Saffron Restaurant

Mezze Platter

Daal Soup

Seafood Chowder

Chili Prawns

Bhagarey Jhingay

Saffron Rice

Jalapeno Chicken

Grilled Snapper in a Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce

Outdoor seating arrangement

The entrance

(for more photos, please click here)
Last week I got invited to a new-menu-launch lunch at Saffron, an eatery offering Mediterranean cuisine, now introducing Hyderabadi Food in collaboration with Nano's Hangout. The inspiration behind this new menu was to introduce Hyderabadi Cuisine, simply, providing a Hyderabadi alternative to the Mediterranean Greek dish. The owner, who also happens to be a dealer in antiques (the beautiful interior of the restaurant was the proof) besides being a calligrapher, said, that from now on they will only be serving dinner to make sure that they serve quality food to the customers rather than cramming their restaurant with customers and not focusing on the quality of the food as everything gets down to the quality of the food and the customers' satisfaction.
Upon arrival, we were served with Mezze platter with the usual assortments, carrot and apple juice, and Chicken Shamia (from Nano's Hangout). Mezze platter was one of the best I had, and the Chicken Shamia were too delicious a desi dish to be served at a fine-dining restaurant! The starters were followed by Seafood Chowder and Daal soup, with Seafood Chowder being deliciously creamy, pieces of fish and prawns very succulent and full of flavor. Soup was followed by Chili prawns and bagharey jhingay, with Chili Prawns being exceptionally scrumptious with the prawns being cooked to perfection! It was a burst of flavors. The side dishes served to us were Mashed Potatoes, Saffron Rice, and Stir Fried Vegetables with Bhagaray Baigan and Chicken Pasanday as mains. The bhagaray baigan, without a doubt were the best dish served on the table that day, making me take two helpings with saffron rice -- infinitely yummy! The Chicken Pasanday were the breast cut of chicken cooked in a rich gravy, with taste very close to chicken qorma. Hyderabadi Fish and Grilled Snapper in a Lemon Butter Garlic sauce were next -- the grilled snapper was beautiful with the perfect amount of tanginess and garlic flavor, with the fillet of fish being succulent and not dry. In beef, we were served with Beef Stroganoff and Beef Nargisi Koftay followed by Aloo Bhonday or in other words, Bata Wada. For dessert, we had Khubani ka meetha and Saffron Special Cake with both of them being a delight to the palate after such spicy strong flavors. All in all it was a very good meet-up, loved the idea of serving two different cuisines simultaneously, the interior was beautifully adorned with antiques, the lighting was not too dim nor too bright. A place, one should definitely try out. 


Saffron Address: D-82, Block 4, Cliffton, Karachi, Pakistan-75600.
Contact Details: (021) 35876090
Email Address:  info@saffronrestaurant.pk

Chicken Broast with a Garlic Mayo Dip



Ingredients:
Chicken 8-12 pieces
Soy Sauce 2-4 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce 2-4 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chinese salt, ¼ tsp
Mustard, ½ tsp
Garlic powder, ¼ tsp
Plain flour, as required
Corn flour, as required
Egg and milk as required
Oil for frying

For the dip:
Mayonnaise, 1 cup
Garlic cloves, 3 crushed
Salt & pepper

Method:
Mix soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Chinese salt, garlic powder, and mustard in the chicken and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Take a wok, and heat the oil. In a bowl, mix together plain flour and corn flour and add a pinch of salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat one egg and mix a couple of tablespoons of milk. Now dip each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, the egg mixture, and again the flour then fry till it attains a nice golden color and is cooked through.
To make the dip, crush the garlic cloves, finely chop it and mix it with mayonnaise. Season well with salt & pepper.


Mozzarella Cheese Sticks


Recipe for Mozzarella Cheese Sticks:

Get a good brand of Mozzarella cheese (avoid using Adam's as it tends to get a little sour after frying).

Breadcrumbs, flour, egg and milk (as required)

Cut the semi-frozen cheese chunk into sticks -- season well with salt and pepper and and chuck it back in the freezer to keep them frozen. 

Now simply dip each stick first in plain flour, then the egg, then plain flour, then egg mix again and then breadcrumbs -- make sure the sticks have been coated well from all sides. If you want, you can also repeat this entire procedure again to get a good, crisp coating. Now heat oil in a wok for deep frying (make sure the oil is very, very hot) and fry each stick for about 40 seconds or till golden brown.

There are only tips for successfully frying the cheese -- 1) the oil should be VERY HOT 2) the cheese sticks are well coated.

Enjoy! :-)

Calzone Pie








Ingredients:
Cheese
Chicken
Capsicum
Mushrooms
Olives
Corn

For dough:
Flour ½ kg 
Oil 1 tbsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Yeast, 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Milk powder, 2 tbsp

For sauce:
Tomato paste 1 cup
Ketchup 1/2 cup
Garlic, chopped, 1 tbsp
Onion, chopped, 1 tbsp
Salt & Pepper
Mixed herbs
Oregano
Sugar, a pinch
Red chilies, crushed 1 tsp

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C.

Take a bowl and mix in all the dry ingredients; flour, yeast, salt, sugar and milk powder. Now add oil and knead it using water for at least 6-8 minutes or till you achieve soft, smooth dough. Let it rest for at least one hour.

Make the sauce by heating oil in a pan, fry the onions and garlic together till soft, (do not fry them till they are brown!) Now add in all the ingredients for the sauce, mix well and cook for 5-8 minutes on a very low heat. Now divide the dough into four equal balls. Sprinkle the work surface with some flour and roll out the dough (thin if you want it crispy, a little thick if you want it to be soft and bread-like). Now place the filling (sauce, chicken, capsicum, mushrooms, olives etc) onto one half of the rolled out dough; fold dough over filling to cover and seal the edges. Put some shredded cheese on top.

Place the pie on a greased baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes until dough is browned. Serve warm!

Gelato Affair (26th Street)










Me and my sister went to Gelato Affairs for a quick snack/dessert trip. I ordered a Hot Dog, Jungle Ginger and Tropical Fruit Fiesta. The Hot Dog was what I regret ordering. I could have easily made it at home with a lot less mustard and ketchup and was not at all worth the price stated in the menu. Loved the drink and the tropical fruit fiesta however; balanced amount of mint and ginger in the soda and the strawberry & blueberry ice-cream was delicious with fresh fruits! Would definitely go back to have it again!

One-day cooking workshop

The Crazy Chef will be giving a one-day cooking workshop. 
You’ll be taught:


- Basic kitchen hygiene
- Chopping techniques
- Singaporean Rice
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Burger
- Chicken Fajita Pizza
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Steak with mashed potatoes and a creamy mushroom sauce
- Herb roasted potatoes with garlic bread
- Home-made chocolates

To confirm a seat, you need to register yourself and collect your registration pack (the registration pack will include your own apron, chopping board, a chef’s knife, stationary, and the collection of recipes). Your seat will only be confirmed when you collect your registration pack.

Date: 23rd June 2012, Inshaallah
Timings: 12-6pm
Venue: Defence, Karachi.

*Seats are limited.
*Classes are only for girls/women.

For details, email tennythecrazychef@gmail.com or call/SMS at 0312-2045354



Registration packs will be available by Friday, the 15th June inshaallah.

First day of the Summer Baking Classes: Swiss Ice-Cream Cake/Roll





Ingredients:

Caster sugar 100 gms
Flour 100 gms
Eggs 4
Cocoa Powder 4 tbsp
Vanilla essence 2-3 drops
Ice-cream, any flavor, 1/2 liter
Strawberry jam
Water

Method:

Beat eggs and sugar together till smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla essence. Mix lightly. Then combine cocoa powder and flour together in another bowl. Add this dry mixture in the egg mix and mix through cut and fold process (so as to make sure the mixture remains airy and light).

Line a baking tray with butter paper and pour the mixture evenly on it. Bake for 5-10 min in a pre-heated oven at 180C.

Once the sponge has been baked, let it cool then cut it the size of the ice-cream. Now make a paste out of strawberry jam and water and spread it on all the pieces of sponge. Now line the ice-cream with the sponge and freeze for about 6-8 hours till set well.

*You may also scoop out the ice-cream on the sponge and roll it rather than cutting the sponge.

Recipe by Daniya Ahmed

Roasters, yet again!




(To view more photos, click here)

After a disappointing first visit to Roasters, Zamzama, (read the review here) I thought of not judging the place on my very first trip and give it another chance. My second visit, on the contrast, turned out to be absolutely mouth-watering! The onion rings were perfectly crispy and were served with two dips: Marinara and Garlic Mayonnaise. The crispy chicken sandwich was as promising as it's description on the menu - crunchy and flavorful served with fresh, crisp coleslaw. But the Chicken Parmesan Pasta was the highlight of the visit. Delicious, mouth-watering and fulfilling. Pasta in a creamy bechamel, crumb-fried chicken fillet topped with marinara sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, grilled till it achieved a nice golden brown color -- enjoyed all the textual elements in the dish thoroughly. Roasters, is now a must visit.

I went there with a friend, and we ordered a starter and two entrees, with a drink and a mineral water, the bill totaled to Rs.1800 -- average of Rs.900 per person.

Herb Roasted Potatoes with Sour Cream


(To view more photos, click here)

Ingredients:

New potatoes (or small sized potatoes), 6-8, peeled, and par-boiled
Salt, to taste
Pepper, 1/2 tsp
Paprika, 1/2 tsp
Oregano leaves, dried, 1/2 tsp
Mixed Italian herbs, 1/2 tsp
Rosemary, dried, 1/2 tsp
Garlic, freshly crushed, 1/2 tsp
Butter, 4 tbsp

For sour cream:

Cream, 4 tbsp
Lemon juice, 2 tsp
Salt, a pinch
Pepper, a pinch
Fresh coriander and mint, chopped, 1 tbsp

Method:

Peel the potatoes, and par-boil them. Now drain the water, and put the potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in butter, salt, pepper, garlic and the herbs. Mix well then toss in a baking tray, then in the pre-heated oven, and bake for 30- 40 minutes at 200 C. Occasionally, pull out the tray and turn the potatoes so they are a nice golden brown from both the sides.

In a bowl, mix lemon in the cream. Add salt pepper, mint and coriander. Mix really well till the cream thickens. Once the potatoes are done, serve with cream and garlic bread if desired. 

Magnum Relaunch










(To view more photos, click here)

A few days ago I received an invitation card titled 'The Hunt For Pleasure is On', I was intrigued. A few days later, upon receiving a package containing a small box of Lal's chocolate, I was delighted to find out  it was an invite for the Magnum launch, a one of a kind invite for a blogger's meet-up. Was looking forward to it. YUM. Belgian chocolate. 

The meet-up was quite a grand affair, dark ambiance, lit up with spotlights and with Magnum boards all around. The event started off with a presentation, with a couple of video clips regarding the basic idea behind Magnum. It was all done in a very grand manner,and various food critics/bloggers were present. The quality of the ice cream was impeccable - creamy vanilla ice-cream, and a bitter-sweet coat of yummy melt-in-the-mouth chocolate. Loved how we were served different snacks and drinks before the event started, and how, in the end we got to make our own Magnums by dipping 'em in melted chocolate and other goodies. I chose sprinkles  with freshly sliced strawberries and kiwi fruit. The ice-cream indeed is a quality product as the vanilla ice-cream was perfectly creamy, and the chocolate had a fine taste to it with a smooth, silky texture.
 The team also said that they have plans of opening up a Magnum Cafe. This sounds yummylicious and reminds me of Dip Shop. I'd definitely go to the Magnum cafe if I get to eat my Magnum with fruits and yummy chocolate. I loved the combination!

The only thing which I found hard to believe and which made me uncomfortable, was linking Magnum to  pleasures in a highly exaggerated manner. One of the video clips implied that indulging in Magnum is equal to "certain other kind of pleasures". Frankly, it's a food product, an ice-cream, nothing else.



All in all, it was a good event; different from other blogger meet-ups I've been too. And I wish them luck with their future endeavors.

Karachi Burger





(To view more photos, click here)

I am ever discovering new places to have Bun-Kebabs from. Another place, to have absolutely scrumptious Bun-Kebabs from is Karachi Burger, in phase II (ext.), Defence, right next to Ideal Bakers, in the lane opposite to Rahat Milk corner. The aloo bun-kebab and daal-anda bun kebab is completely out of this world. Hard to find such quality bun-kebabs in Defence. Freshly toasted buns, with flavorful patty and crunchy coleslaw (I usually avoid having coleslaw in summers, because of the heat and the doubt in the freshness, but whenever I have had it with coleslaw, it was as fresh as ever). One of these is quite fulfilling, have two, and you are bloated!

Baking/Desserts Classes' Details


A good friend of mine, Daniya Ahmed, who is also a certified baker from Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management is conducting a 10-day baking/desserts' course. Following are the details:


The classes will begin from 5th of June, 2012 and will be held twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, timings: 4-6pm. Venue is Clifton, Karachi. Following recipes will be taught:


First class: Ice cream Swiss roll and Candi ice cake.

Second class: Chocolate cake and Strawberry cake.

Third class: Mango ice-cream and cookie treats.

Fourth class: Beef Burger and Club Sandwich

Fifth class: Brownies and cupcakes

Sixth class: Caramel crunch cake and Chocolate Fudge cake

Seventh class: Naan khatai and short crust biscuits

Eigth class: Bakery biscuits and chocolate/plain biscuits

Ninth class: Puff pastries (variations in Chicken and Mince)

Tenth class: Jalebi and shakes.

Please call 0336-3795335 or email at daniyaahmed904@gmail.com for details. Make sure you book yourself for your choice of class well in advance. Seats are limited. 




*Classes are only for girls/women in Karachi.

Prawn Biryani at BOTS


A few days ago, I did a detailed review of the food at BOTS. Since then, I have become a fan, since I also happen to LOVE seafood. I ordered Prawn Biryani which was literally finger-licking good. I actually became sad when it finished. Perfectly spicy, juicy prawns and the rice had heaps of prawn-flavor. Must try.

Rendezvous at Gloria Jeans










Gloria Jeans, famous for it's coffee and breakfast, has now opened up a branch in Dolmen Mall, Clifton. A bloggers meet-up before it's official launch was organized by Food Connection Pakistan.The place offers a comfortable ambiance, a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea, and delicious food. Azfer Asharay, Business Director at Gloria Jeans Coffee, a foodie like many other cafe owners, says "Gloria Jeans here (Karachi) has done phenomenally well, with great results from all the coffee lovers". Azfer also said that "it was the view which was perfect for a lounge I wanted to create as Gloria Jeans, a comfortable place with outdoor dining and the view of the sea."

As grand as the place looked, I expected the food to be as good. Even though I am not a great fan of beef, but I tried the fillet mignon, which was moist and cooked just right, served with a perfect pepper sauce. The Chicken Piquant was a bit too sweet for my taste-buds, but it was well cooked and had an excellent smoky flavor to it -- succulent and juicy. The Beef Burgers, were average, the burger buns being a bit dry (maybe because the time taken to photograph the dishes made it cold) and not to forget the yummylicious baked Potato Skins with cheese and sour cream -- mouthwatering! I loved the concept of the menu, in the form of  a newspaper. I liked the fact that Gloria Jeans had a couple of bookshelves filled with amazing books, something very attractive for a bibliophile like me. The coffee, Cappuccino was amazing -- coffee and books, the two things which would definitely make me return. Hoping Gloria Jeans does well and serves scrumptious food as good as their coffees.

For coffee and dessert, minimum amount required would be Rs.500. For breakfast/lunch/dinner, minimum would be Rs.600-800 (of course, depending on what you order).

Quality of food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Value for money: 8/10



Have you been to Gloria Jeans Coffee? How was your experience? Feedback is always welcome! Let us know by commenting below! :) The Crazy Chef now does restaurant reviews. If you want your food/restaurant/cafe/new menu reviewed or blogged, please contact me at tennythecrazychef@gmail.com or drop me a post on my facebook page.

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