Sahib room – Nawabi adah
Rudyard Kipling inspired
Sahib room, a bar + restaurant inspired by Rudyard Kipling and the colonial era. The food at the Sahib room sticks mainly to traditional Indian fare. The décor with etched mirrors, chandeliers, velvet upholstery et al is quite ornate.
Kababs and tikkas – not to be missed
Have tasted most of the non-veg kababs across multiple meals. The melt-in-the-mouth galoutis served on crisp, biscuity bread takes the cake
We got in there for lunch, quite ravenous and decided to forego the starters. We resolved to sample those on our next visit. The cocktail samosa (chef’s compliments) came to the table dressed in two chutneys and was demolished forthwith. You can take a Bong out of Kolkata but you can’t take the mangsho (read mutton/lamb) out of a Bong. And boy did I get my fill of it at Sahib room! We zeroed in on the Nalli Nihari which came to the table darkly fragrant with all the special spices including something called Nagkesar. The lamb shanks in the Nihari were just amazingly flavoured, though a tad over-salted. On the recommendation of our server, we ordered the Zafrani taftan to go with it.
Top of the ‘Best Biryani’ chart
After the best hot chocolate in Bombay hunt, it’s time for the best Biryani in Bombay hunt. First on the list would be Sahib room for its incredible biryani. Chef Asif Qureshi brings his incredible heritage and expertise to deliver a Biryani that is unmatched in Mumbai at least. The parda – a flour topping on the handi, seals in all the aromas of the biryani. And the ridiculously long grained basmati rice has to be seen to be believed. The burhani raita with its fried garlic topping accompanied the biryani. The mismatched mirch ka salan no longer accompanies the biryani which is Lucknowi in style.
Each dish on the table had distinctive flavours coming through. The husband loves the chicken biryani while I think the mutton biryani is a shade better. Sous Chef Ali when asked for his preference said “Always lamb”. A man after my own heart! I shamelessly attack the marrow in the nallis. After all, Robin Williams (and Thoreau) encourage us to suck all the marrow of life. Must-watch film – Dead Poet’s society! The Sahib room doesn’t encourage parcelling leftovers but catch me leaving even a spoonful of that mutton biryani behind!
Executive lunch – manageable bites
Update from another visit. The Executive lunch is a great way to taste a kabab+curry+biryani+dessert option from a pre-fixed menu. However you will certainly not get any work done post this meal! The Yakhni shorba which simmers away for hours is packed with ‘bone broth’ goodness. The Gilawat kabab lives up to all the hype. Basically you will not go wrong if you stick to any of the mutton dishes. Unfortunately the best of the lot, the Sasranga meat with its garlic and ghee goodness is no longer to be found on the menu. In this sea of ‘carnivore’dom, a special mention for the Purvaanchali saag. A mix of 5 greens – Spinach, dill, fenugreek, spring onions and gongura. And cooked to an unbelievably creamy texture. A great way to get your daily dose of greens.
Could anything top this experience? The answer was a resounding yes! The zafrani gulab jamun came to the table topped with pista slivers. And it was enough to have the husband almost moaning in appreciation. It reminded him of the milk powdery taste of the Gits gulab jamuns made by his Mom when he was a child. We tried the Kala Jaam on a bed of Rabdi on a recent visit. And the husband devoured the entire massaive serving all by himself. And just couldn’t stop smiling!
The probably not as healthy shot of greens came from the paan ice cream, a refreshing and lighter option to the Gulab jamun. Trundle yourself out of Sahib room and head straight to an afternoon siesta. The only way to manage this meal is to sleep it off. Boa constrictors seem to have figured this out a while ago!