When sushi burritos, ramen burgers and cronuts made an appearance on the food scene over the last few years, the sceptics and purists were appalled. But these eccentric dishes soon found their groove, primarily among Instagram hungry millennials. Food mashups are here to stay. And luckily, they’re tasty!
Zambar has swooped into a very traditional market to deliver a modern interpretation to south Indian food. It is upbeat and fun. There’s a colourful wheeled cart with alcohol and coconuts balanced on it at one end. Next to it, on the wall, a volley of pictures and videos depicting the backwaters of Kerala, traditional dances and markets are projected. The opposite wall is a window into Char Minar and other famous sites (paintings of course. If only Char Minar was actually visible from the 3rd floor of Ambience Mall). A little further is a well-stocked and pretty looking bar with a black board menu in the new Instagram font. The restaurant staff wore flowers in their hair and traditional sarees which was endearing.
Kaffir Lime Rasam was served first as a palate cleanser. The kaffir lime elevated the humble rasam dish, giving it a fresh and light citrus kick. I lapped up every bit of that hot concoction. I always want my rasam with kaffir lime in it now. The next dish, Zambar Net Dosai was stuffed with chicken and layered with delicious spices. The Goan Prawn Curry lived up to its name and heritage but the lamb in Achamma’s Lamb Curry was a bit chewy. Egg lovers will have a field day with Zambar’s rendition of utthapam and appam with a sunny side up perched on each of them. By the time we reached the dessert segment, I found myself loosening my belt, in a desperate bid to make more room. I tried the Coconut Jaggery Pudding which was their take on a mishti doi. It had a comfortable level of sweetness, with the coconut shavings adding a crunchy texture to the dish.
Zambar’s menu has cute drawings of lungi clad men playing tennis, women balancing pots on their heads and Super-Hot Man giving poses (his super power seems to be cooking hot food) along with historical excerpts and blurbs about southern Indian states – because education is important, wherever you may be! So go visit, for a tasty, playful and educational meal all packed in one.
Location: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
Meal for two: Rs. 1400 (without alcohol)