You can’t miss the two-week old restaurant Zitar at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. A massive board stands out from the clutter of cafes and restaurants around it. The soothing white walls juxtaposed against the dark wood tables and purple chairs strike a balance between fine dining and a casual meal here.
Zitar describes itself as an Indian restaurant and bar and that’s exactly what you get. The menu is an exhaustive list of vegetarian and non-vegetarian starters, main course and with a wide selection of rice and ‘breads’. The bar menu has rum and vodka cocktails such as Absolutely Screwed and delicious mocktails such as Red Eye.
Entrance to Zitar at Powai
For starters, we tried the Tandoori Garlic Prawns (Rs 320). The tandoor gave the prawns a light, smoky flavour but the zing that garlic brings was missing. It was so light that it went unnoticed. For the main course, we had Methi Infused Chicken (Rs 330), Paneer Amritsari (Rs 300) and plain naan (Rs 50). What worked against the prawns worked beautifully for the chicken – light flavours. You could taste the methi just enough to know that it was the main ingredient. The light creamy texture was a pleasant surprise.
The chicken was tender and succulent. The Paneer Amritsari only had a hint of sweetness which did not overpower the dish. The paneer could have been softer but that did not mar the flavour. The naan, on the other hand, was the softest we’ve ever had. It was light, fresh and broke apart easily. A few bites of just the naan are a must. For dessert we picked the Mango Indulgence mango shrikhand with aam papad (Rs 140). The shrikhand was much thicker than the ones we are used to but that just meant a stronger taste of mango. The aam papad, served in tiny cubes, was delicious, but too small a portion.
While the menu has primarily Indian dishes such as Dal Makhani, Dum Aloo, Biryani and stuffed naan, there’s also a smattering of pizzas, grilled chicken sandwich with mayonnaise and an entire bird cooked in schezwan sauce. They do an interesting twist on desserts serving gulab jamun with rose ice cream and blackberry gel and a chocolate jalebi too.
The staff is friendly and has a fair knowledge of the dishes. The service was a little slow. The starters did take a while but a nice drink and a complimentary dish of papad with spicy-sweet tomato chutney and peanut-chilli chutney kept us busy. The main course, however, arrived much after the starters were polished off and maybe even digested. The dessert was served quickly but after a reminder. All said, Zitar’s a good place for leisurely weekend meals with family or even a large group of friends.