Saarvi – Mumbai, India
As our car stopped in front of the Nagpada Police Station. I was at a loss for words. I had heard many strong recommendations from my friends and I definitely hadn’t expected it to be a tall rundown building which looked like it was going to be succumbed any minute. I checked whether I was at the right location, and sure enough I was at Saarvi. I walked in and asked the manager, an ancient looking man, whether I could have a table. He sent me upstairs into an air-conditioned basic room. The room was packed. There were friends, families, colleagues, couples and people who had come to enjoy a good meal, like myself.
A short man came to take my order, and he passed me a paper menu, which was laminated in transparent plastic sheets. There were a few items that immediately caught my eye. The seekhs (Mutton strips, seasoned with lime and cooked on an oven/Tawa), Tangdi Kebab (Chicken Leg) and the Egg Masala (My all time favourite!) along with the basic staple, Rumali Roti (Jumbo sized) . I asked him to give me one of his signature dishes. He agreed and went pacing towards the kitchen. I waited for less than five minutes till the food came.
The warmth and scent of the seekhs hit my senses as it was placed in front of me. I thanked the waiter and dug in. The seekh was soft and well cooked. The meat definitely stood out. There was a subtle hint of spice which gave some balance to the dish. I also garnished it with some lemon zest. The spice and the lemon zest acted well together. It was a decent portion, enough for a person to eat.
Next I moved on to the tangdi kebab. I had heard so many great things about this dish. As I bit into the succulent meat, there was a flurry of flavours in my mouth. The sense of parity between the elements of this dish was lacking. Although the chicken was cooked to perfection, there was nothing to accompany it properly. The kebab seasoning was very spicy and there was s few burnt bits too. I was deeply unimpressed as I did not go ahead for another piece.
Now going on to the main course! The Egg Masala with Rumali Roti. The roti was huge as opposed the two halfs of a single egg that was surrounded in a pool of thick yellowish gravy. I tore a piece of roti to dip it into the gravy and bang! The gravy was serene and the soft roti accompanied it perfectly (My mouth is watering as I am writing about it :)) The eggs were hard boiled to the right point and was not to grainy. This dish had everything in place and I enjoyed it to the last bite.
Finally, the desert. According to me, no meal is complete without a desert. I ordered the caramel custard. It came in about two minutes and I dove in into the contents with my silver plated spoon. It was liquid, yet held its shape. As soon as you put in your mouth, it just melts into a sweet milky substance. It was surreal. Every bite you think it’s weird, but that’s what keeps you going. I am going ahead to say that this was the Best Dish of the night. Here ended my meal.
I think that it was a great experience and these type of places form the true heart of India. The originality, the excitement, the happiness and the simplicity, these are the things that make an experience special, no matter the location. That’s what made my experience great. Thanks Saarvi!
My Ratings :
Mutton Seekh – 6/10
Tangdi Kebab – 4/10
Egg Masala + Rumali Roti – 7/10
Caramel Custard – 7/10
Thanks for reading!!!