Striking the right balance
Meeting your clients for lunch to strike a deal or having a team lunch to strengthen the bond between employees often translates into a long, lavish meal following which you no longer feel like heading to work. In fact, all you want to do is catch some sleep and think about the scrumptious meal that you just had. But what if you could enjoy a filling lunch without feeling sluggish?
The meal serves two mains, along with a portion of dal, rice, roti, salad and raita
The Jyran Balanced, a new lunch concept launched by Sofitel earlier this month, claims to offer healthy food that you can enjoy within 45 minutes. When we first heard of it, we were quite amused. A lunch outside work that can be completed within 45 minutes flat, somehow didn’t seem too convincing. So, on a sunny Thursday afternoon, we headed to the hotel to check if their claim held good stead.
As soon as we entered their signature restaurant Jyran – Tandoor Dining & Lounge that specialises in cuisine from the North-West Frontier Province of India, we were transported to another world. The entrance to the restaurant, replete with a small bridge and a stream running below it, reminded us of the canals in Venice. The interiors made up in muted shades of brown complimented the elegant white décor.
A tasting portion for the review
We started off the meal with a glass of water that was infused with orange rind and mint leaves. It had a calm soothing effect but it missed a dash of salt that would have balanced the orange’s citrusy taste with the mint’s
As it was a tasting, we requested the chef to serve us smaller portions of all the dishes that came with a cucumber raita and a grated carrot and beetroot salad. The raita was a tad too salty but the salad was, thankfully, light and fresh.
When we took the first bite of the Dhaba Dal, we were surprised that it tasted delicious despite being 80 per cent less creamy than the usual ghee- laden dals served in restaurants. We devoured this without the fear of lethargy setting in. Then, we moved on to the Shabnam Curry where the mushrooms were tossed in a simple onion and tomato gravy and mildly spiced with garam masala. The mushrooms weren’t soggy and added a good texture to the tasty dish.
The Mix Vegetable Masala reminded us of what our mothers make at home — carrots, peas and potatoes in onion-tomato gravy, topped with coriander and Indian spices. Slightly on the sweeter side, the veggies were crunchy and added a good bite to the dish. One of us, who cringes at the thought of a banana sabzi, was delighted to try the Kache Kele Ki Sabzi, which tasted more like aloo. The liberal use of coriander and turmeric powder lent the dish a Maharashtrian flavour.
But our clear favourites were Lasooni Saag, which didn’t have a drop of extra oil. Spiced with cumin powder, turmeric and oodles of garlic, the spinach dish went well with the missi roti, which was crisp and didn’t have an ounce of oil.
The Kadhi Pakoda, which came in second, was tangy and thick, with lumps of deep-fried onion fritters. Coupled with piping hot organic rice, it was comfort food at its best.
The non-vegetarian among us couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of tasting four dishes at one go. The Methi Murgh, our favourite, married the dual flavours of fenugreek leaves and chicken perfectly. Neither overpowered the other and we could taste both the flavours distinctly. The Suva Jinga had good-sized prawns made in a tomato-onion gravy with dill leaves. It was light on our palate and went well with the tandoori roti. The Mutton Masala was a lighter, healthier version of Kosha Mangsho (a spicy Bengali mutton dish). Minus the heavy dose of spices, it reminded us of the curry that we make at home for a Sunday lunch. The Mahi Kaliya made in an onion and tomato gravy was slightly oily and didn’t appease us much.
Despite having so many items, we didn’t feel sluggish but were pleasantly full. We ended the meal on a sweet note with a barfi that wasn’t too sweet and a spicy green tea, served in a khullad, which was refreshing. After the meal, when we glanced at our watches, we realised we had finished our lunch within 45 minutes. We concluded if you are hard-pressed for time and want to enjoy a light lunch, reminiscent of a home-cooked meal, the Jyran Balanced is a good option. With this thought, we knowingly smiled at each other and patted our hands on our bellies before heading to work.
We cannot rate the experience as it was an invitation.
At: Sofitel Mumbai BKC, C 57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East
Price: R1099 + taxes for a vegetarian meal and R1199 + taxes for a non-vegetarian meal