Sofraah, the eleven-month-old restaurant in Jayanagar, is a good bet for those looking for good North West frontier cuisine
Sofrah is the floor spread on which food is laid out in Afghanistan. It's easy to imagine why a fine dining restaurant serving cuisine predominantly from that part of the world would be named after it.
But Sofraah, the restaurant, disappoints on the d �cor front. It shares business space with a Chinese eatery and a terrace bar in the building called Eden Park, and has the privilege of being located in central Jayanagar, a locality that's currently booming.
And hence, it should have done a lot more with its ambience. But what the restaurant currently comprises are wooden flooring, dull pink and grey walls with Indian motifs, a few Afghani pots placed near the tables and square wooden planks on the ceiling.
If you're lucky, they might play Bollywood songs from the 90s. Else, melancholic ghazals will keep you company as you dig into your Tawa Pomfret (Rs 350), as we did.
Khas Methi Murgh
Speaking of which, we must recommend the dish to you. The pan fried fillet of pomfret in a Tandoor marinade that comes with a bit of salad, is an excellent appetiser, not just because of the way it tantalises your palette with its myriad flavours, but also because the fish is wonderfully fresh.
Add a dash of lime to it if you're the sort who likes a dose of zing in most things in life. But even without it, the pomfret dish is flawless.
On the attendant's suggestion, we opted for the Boti Adraki (Rs 290). Also because it was one of those days when a mutton preparation seemed like a brilliant idea. The adrak (ginger) in the dish was in the form of slender sticks. But the mutton cubes dunked in Tandoor spices didn't really have a ginger flavour to it otherwise. Yet the tender meat and the right amount of seasoning made it likeable.
For the main course, The Khas Methi Murgh(R 250), however proved to be an absolute downer, with nothing 'khas'(special) about it. The pleasing bitterness of methi was surprisingly missing and the dish was dead and bland to the point that even adding endless amounts of seasoning couldn't salvage it.
Even the giant Cheese Naan(Rs 45) with it was dismaying, with no trace of cheese of any kind in it.
For dessert,(and they only do Indian dessert, unlike a lot of restaurants in their ilk that also include a few European desserts to please the cosmopolitan diner), we unanimously agreed on the Kheer(Rs 125).
It was not condensed enough, and the dry fruits and nuts couldn't combat the extreme sweetness of this rice dish. Go for it only if you have a very demanding sweet tooth.
Sofraah certainly is one of the better restaurants in the city serving cuisine from undivided India. It's good enough, but not the best, yet has the potential to be. And that bridge can be gapped only by the chef.
Where: Eden Park
722/2, 36th Cross, 10th 'A' Main,
Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore
For: Rs 1500 for a meal for two
Sofraah didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.