05 January, 2016

Restaurant Review: Lavaash by Saby

The name Lavaash conjures up Mediterranean cuisine in mind. But as described by Chef Saby in his little story, "Lavaash is a word that has found permanent spot in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list (incidentally the only food item to make it to the list from around the world)". This word is deeply associated with the culture of Armenia. "Till date we are baking Lavash at Kashmir in traditional Tonir's."

About Chef Saby: His full name is Chef Sabyasachi Gorai. But he is popularly known as Chef Saby. He is young, talented chef who is well known for transforming restaurants and developing brands like Olive Beach, Ai, Lap, Olive Bistro and SodaBottleOpenerWala. Now Lavaash is his own baby at Ambavatta One, Mehrauli.
Chef Megha helped majorly with the research.

The decor: The blues in the restaurant are quite eye catching but what I really found interesting was a unique mix of Jaipuri tapestry on the chairs and sofas which are bright, floral and have lots of birds. 
It had different colours of peacock. Peacock is national bird of Armenia. There were peacock motifs on laser cut outs at the entrance. Similar birds were hung up on the ceiling. The colourful glass lanterns also made the place vibrant. I found the place chirpy, bright and mood elevating. I was enjoying the winter afternoon but I am sure it looks nice during evening and night as well.
It has amazing outdoor seating on the terrace to spend your winter afternoons. Outdoors you find lot of greenery, swings to sit and lounge on, blue and white tiles, white chairs, etc. which provide perfect photo ops and serene ambience.

LocationH-5/1, Ambawatta One, Kalkadass Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi. The same complex has En and Manish Malhotra's boutique. It is close to Qutub Minar.

The cuisine: The menu is divided into two parts, one is the authentic Armenian dishes and the other is part of Chef Saby's childhood and has dishes that he has grown up with in Bengal which has Armenian influence.

Indoors of Lavaash by Saby

Jaipuri Tapestry with birds and flowers

Chandelier with birds
Story of Chef Saby

Chef Megha

Yours Truly
What I wore: Skirt and Jacket: Uniqlo. Bought in New York. Previously worn here.

This swing was my favorite

The outdoor seating is perfect for winter afternoons

Menu of Lavaash by Saby

Food:  I am vegetarian. Firstly, I was impressed with the vast variety of vegetarian options on the menu. 
We started with freshly baked Lavash, served with white bean hummus and tomato chutney. I loved the texture of hummus mixed with spice. It was smooth and creamy. Unlike chickpea hummus, this one is creamier yet has perfect flavours. (Rs.250).

Next, we were served soft Lavash. It was like super soft rumali roti that absolutely melted in mouth.
I highly recommend BOTH- crispy and soft. The hummus is to die for. I can live on it.

Chilli and Olive oil marinated Labneh balls. It is warm zatar lavash. (Rs. 300)
Labneh is hung curd. It has sumac spice. 
This is something you MUST have. Absolutely the best one here. I can go to Lavaash by Saby again and again, just to have this.

Mochar puff. It is inspired by Nahoums vegetable puff. It has banana blossom filling and served with spicy tomato chutney. (Rs. 250)
It was crispy puff. The freshness was inviting.

These are called Tolma not Dolma (The menu says that). Tolma is a stuffed vegetable. Ask any Armenian to give you key phrases defining what it is to be Armenian. They will somehow always mention the tolma cooked by their mother. 
Here you see stuffed eggplant, green banana Tolma and tomato Tolma. It was served with tomato and hing broth. They had kalimpong cheese. The green banana tolma is baked in its own skin and also had jackfruit. (Rs.350)
For my taste buds, it was too spicy. But that is me. My son found it just right spices. But Tolma is not on top of my list. Nevertheless, you do give it a try.

There are only 200 Armenians in India. Most of them are settled in Kolkata. Dish like oven baked tomato stuffed with panir and vegetables, originated in Kolkata through Armenian influence. Such a dish is special to Chef Saby. That is why he calls it- My Dad's stuffed Tomato (Rs.400).

Below is roasted cauliflower and pumpkin kebab served with coriander chutney (Rs.350)
I liked its taste of open fire grilled and chilli yogurt marination. Succulent and juicy kebabs.
Khorovatz is the Armenian word for barbeque. It is also Armenian word for life lived to the fullest and celebration of good weather.

Amongst Khorovats and Tonir, we were also served Spiced Bergul Kebob. It is traditional Iranian kebab made with broken wheat, fragrant spices cooked on an open barbeque. (Rs.350)
We wrapped it and had it. Tasted yum.
For non vegetarians they had choices with chicken, lamb, pork chop, etc.

Now these are Mantis. You should see my instagram video here. These are traditional Armenian mains. We savoured Pumpkin Manti and Mushroom Manti. Pumpkin Manti is Armenian ravioli stuffed with roast pumpkin, walnuts, yogurt sauce, kalimpong cheese. Mushroom Manti is stuffed with mushroom, tomato sauce and kalimpong cheese. (Rs.450)
This is a main dish that I would recommend. You would not have had a better ravioli. 
For non vegetarians, they also have fish lavash, prawn claypot, chicken walnut sauce, lamb ragout manti.

Further in the mains, we had panir, walnut and spinach kefta. It has raisins, walnuts and cashewnut gravy (Rs.500)
I loved the presentation. It melted in the mouth. It had perfect aroma of spices and nuts.

Jurassic cheese lavash pizza (Rs.450, serves two)
It is the thinnest crust and lightest pizza you will ever have. Luscious and mouth watering. 

It was served with buttered Govindbhog rice. (Rs.150)
Govindbhog is West Bengal's traditional fragrant rice and all of its grown locally. 

Although, we had these shakes, Lavaash also offers wines, beers, sangrias, scotch, etc. We loved the shakes that we ordered- rich, chocolatey and creamy.

Desserts: Cakes, pastries and other kinds of sweets are traditional symbols of hospitality in Armenia. The Armenians are one of the best bakers in the world and Armenian cafes and bakeries started over even before the cafes in Paris. 
We had Orange pound cake served with palm jaggery syrup and nolen gur ice cream (Rs.400), milk chocolate, walnut and cherry cheesecake. It is cookie crumble, cherry glaze (Rs.350)
The dessert menu is limited but to die for. The desserts are unique and like the ones you would have never ever had before. The cake was warm and moist with delectable orange flavour.
The desserts here are finger licking good.

Meal for two will cost Rs. 2500/- approximately without alcohol.

Must haves: Chilli and Olive oil marinated Labneh balls, Lavash, Mantis, pizza, shakes, desserts. 

Recommended for ladies afternoon lunches, nice evening dates, cosy, family dinners.
My only moan is that I found the service bit slow.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment