Samaroh, in its yellow and pink avatar, pampers you with its heavy duty pre-plated Indian fare.
If I am ever arrested for robbery, it would be for stealing the absolutely cute little kansa (bell metal) bowls and spoons from this restaurant. In fact, all the dishes are served in kansa. Samaroh, a new addition to the vegetarian restaurants in the city, sticks to the basic food preferences of Bengaluru by serving an all-encompassing Indian food. So while nothing is strikingly different, the chefs have added their touches to modernise the food, to an extent of course. And just how it should be, we begin the meal on a sweet note with a dry fruit-based ‘amuse bouche’, the zafrani moti. It’s sort of a crumbled version of the boondi ka laddoo, served in one of those lovely little bowls, and eaten at one go.
This is followed by the kesari shorba, probably one of the only two dishes on the menu I didn’t care much for. The saffron essence was too strong, and the salt excessive. However, what’s interesting is that the shorba is served with a savoury version of the khaja, originally a sweet from Odisha. I suppose it is meant to balance the sweetness of the shorba, and it does its job.
Four appetisers follow — the sookhe anardane ke paneer tikka, mawa makai galauti, surati plaza, and the palak bharwan roll. Of these, I found the mawa makai galauti to be a bit too dry for my taste. But the sookhe anardane ke paneer tikka scores high, with the slightly hint of mustard blending well with the pomegranate paste.
Don’t miss the kacche nariyal ki pani puri where the puri has bits of tender coconut, and the masala paani has tender coconut water in it. It’s not too obvious though, and that really works. The ghewar ke chaat, where the traditional ghewar, minus the sweetness, is used to make something that is quite close to the tokri chaat, is good too; rich, but good.
The main meal is simple, but not without its fair share of calories. About seven dishes are served, in small portions, of which the hare pyaz aur lehsoon ki dal, the ramras ke aloo palak, the dahi gunjiya, and the matar paneer ki kahani stand out. Ask them to repeat what you like. The multi-grain roti served along with the other Indian breads is quite tasty. Having said that, I would ditch the pulao with the ‘English vegetables’ if I were you; it’s too peppery, and masks the flavours of any of the curries on your plate. Leave room for dessert. There are four of them, but if there were an award for just the sweets here, I’d give it to the sondesh soufflé with nolen gur. I could eat two of those.
Rs 550 per person. At Vittal Mallya Road. Details: 41203600
— Priyadarshini Nandy