Esfahaan is a newly opened restaurant located in Bandra near KFC. The restaurant stands where Sahibaan stood earlier.
An extremely small eatery, it is ironic that the restaurant is frequented by groups of 5 or more. We too were such a group and occupied 1/4th of the restaurant.
Busy chatting and laughing, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for quite sometime before the crowds started pouring in.
While chatting, we ordered for a couple of drinks including an Ice Tea and Fresh Lime Soda. I think the drinks are expensive for the quality on offer. Though its good, for Rs.90 a glass, other places offer better Ice Tea. The Ice Tea at Sahibaan used to be excellent in my opinion.
Moving on to the starters, we ordered a few of those!
First up for the Almond Smoked Chicken, Cheese Frittas, Fish Fingers, Manchow Soup, Nachos, Murg Malai Tikka and Crispy Baby Corn.
The starters here are extremely good. One should try the Cheese Frittas and the Nachos here. They are excellent especially the Frittas where the cheese is in liberal dosage. The Nachos were accompanied by spicy gravy. However, the tomato cheese sauce was the icing on the cake and ordered for a couple more to be had with other starters!
The Fish Fingers are a bit pungent and sharp in taste which could have been avoided, me thinks! Again, the starter was accompanied by spicy gravy!
The Manchau Soup was a bit different. It wasn’t watery but wasn’t the thick white soup that one generally accepts!
The almost smoked chicken was a delight though. Rich aromas filled the entire room when it was bought and even the veggies thought twice before denying themselves an opportunity to taste this exotic cuisine.
The Murg Malai Tikka was the usual Malai Tikka fare that one gets in most restaurants.
The Veg crispy/Crispy baby corn was good fare too. The baby corn especially seemed fresh.
The main course was a bit of a disappointment. The two gravies we ordered were thin and not exactly what we expected. The meal wasn’t spicy nor tangent and it felt like someone had forgotten to put in enough salt and masalas.
Murg Eshfani Malai was a bigger disappointment than the Murg Shabnami which had a far thicker gravy. However, the good thing was the chicken was soft, tender and well cooked.
The veggies ordered for a Paneer Shashlik Sizzler which was a bit bland for our taste buds. The paneer was soft and the gravy that came with the sizzler was a rich mix of veggies.
Not yet content with the food, me the gluttonous biryani lover ordered for a Chicken Biryani and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. The biryani wasn’t oily and was good enough for two people. But priced at INR 180, it was far more expensive than Biryani elsewhere which is where the disappointment stems from. Places like Just Biryani offer far better course and are cheaper as well.
Esfahaan is a multi-cuisine restaurant and we felt that it lost the essence of good food by trying to be more than what it had bargained for. A tiny kitchen can only give certain number of items and as for the rest, one has to do with subtle or sometimes major changes. Our biggest disappointment was their failed efforts to add spice to nearly every food item served which ensured that food didn’t taste the way it was meant to! Main Course was disappointment as well, as the gravies weren’t filling nor were they tasty.
Besides not to so good food were the not so good prices. Most starters were in the range of Rs.120-160, main course in the range of Rs.180-250 and the biryani for Rs.180. Clearly, the prices are on the higher side and I fail to understand what they plan to achieve with such high prices. Thankfully, we had Mydala.com coupons so the final bill wasn’t heavy on the wallet.
However, it seemed that the Tandoor items were in great demand here and probably that is something we should have tried out but couldn’t at that time.
My overall rating of this place are as follows:
Ambiance: 2/5 – There isn’t much of an ambiance to speak of here.
Food: 2/5 – I generally don’t give such low ratings but having tried a wide range of dishes on a single day, I have no other choice!
Price: 1/5 – Very very expensive is what I would term it as.