We're great believers in the 'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day' philosophy. And, by default, we're fans of innovative Indian cuisine. So when we found out that Zafran, which is known for making desi food that much more interesting, had just launched a new Indian-inspired breakfast menu, we just had to try it out.
We got to the restaurant bright and early on a Saturday morning. Zafran and indeed Mirdif City Centre were fairly deserted at 9:15am, but if you're the type who likes your meal-in-a-mall sans too much people watching this is the time to go.
Even at first glance, the new breakfast menu is pretty extensive - there are Indian faves (from utthapam and tandoori parathas to dalia and even pav bhaji), Western staples (French toast, sausages, eggs, croissants) and a variety of juices, smoothies, coffees and teas. Everything is very, very reasonably priced. In fact, the most expensive item on the breakfast menu is the smoked salmon with onion bagel and cream cheese (Dhs24).
We started off with a health drink – the orange, green apple and fresh celery combo (Dhs19) – served delightfully chilled. Fresh and flavorful, it set the tone for the rest of breakfast, which arrived minutes afterwards, just as we were getting through the day's newspaper - also delivered to our table.
Our first choice was poha (Dhs10), a childhood favourite. Made with pressed rice, it's a traditional Indian breakfast, particularly in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and we were curious to see if the chef would get its subtle taste and texture right. Lucky for us, the poha was quite perfect – light, fluffy and tempered with just the right touch of mustard seeds, chilies and curry leaves. It was served in a cabbage leaf, which added a fun touch to the dish, and the yummy green chutney along with it made the poha nicely tangy.
Next we ordered the pancakes, and they arrived in a busy plate - complete with maple syrup, crme frache, blueberries, strawberries, and a variety of jams. Our sweet tooth was more than satisfied with this comfort breakfast food, and The Essential Ravi Shankar playing in the background just added to the feeling of fulfillment. We ended with some peppermint tea, richly aromatic and piping hot.
When we visited, the only thing not available from the menu was the Cumberland sausage sandwich with tomato relish. The chef wasn't entirely happy with the quality of sausages from the existing supplier and was looking for a new one. We'll be back to try that soon, but meanwhile, you ought to try all the other treats on Zafran's breakfast menu. They're delicious, healthy, and easy on the wallet too!
Zafran's breakfast menu is available from 9am until 11am every day.
Location: 1st floor, Mirdif City Centre
Phone: 04 2840 987