Bharat is Leyalty Groups latest foray onto the restaurant scene. A contemporary Indian restaurant located on the premises of the Star Avenue Mall, Bharat has had people buzzing since it first opened.
Once through the frosted and revolving doors we were greeted by staff dressed in traditional Indian attire, complete with bejewelled turbans and ‘Aladdin’ like slippers, all of which was little over the top, but did take me back to my last visit to India where I encountered many a hotel and restaurant doormen in similar garb.
Guiding us to our table we took a moment to take in our surroundings. In contrast to the doorman, the furniture here was more contemporary (to say the least). Soft leather Rolf Benz chairs more ‘Star Trek’ than ‘Maharaja’, but somehow it worked; while the furniture may not be traditional in itself, Indian undertones came through in everything from the background music to the elaborate golden hanging chandeliers.
Sitting down at our glass-topped table, we were both handed a couple of brightly coloured patent leather menus filled with a selection of both traditional and contemporary Indian dishes. Everything from Goan Chicken Stew, to ‘Angus’ Beef Coconut Curry, the choices were a little mind boggling, and we weren’t quite sure where to start.
Before we had a chance to decide on what to order, a selection of complimentary poppadums were served with three different types of sauces, a tamarind chutney, tomatoe chutney, and a yoghurt and spice sauce. We particularly enjoyed the tamarind chutney here, the tomatoe one being a little too spicy, but perhaps the kick-start our tastebuds needed for what was soon to come.
After flipping back and forth between the two menu sections, Contemporary and Traditional we finally settled on a couple of starters to sample, the samosas (37 SAR), and the sea food platter (105 SAR). To drink we tried the Mango Lassi, and Fresh Lemonade. Both drinks were bursting with freshness, and the Mango Lassi came in handy later.
The Samosas and Sea food platter came out together, which was good to see, three different types of Samosa were smartly presented on a narrow plate; green pea and potatoe, wild mushroom, and a goats cheese and smoked cashew nut samosa. The first was similar to those common elsewhere and as such pretty unremarkable, the other two were a little more creative, and surprisingly good, but not the typical Indian fillings one might have expected from a samosa.
As for the Seafood platter, this consisted of just two tandoori shrimps, a grilled scallop, and two pieces of herb marinated ‘Najel’ fish. The fish was beautifully cooked, succulent, almost melt in the mouth.
The mains in contrast were more than generous, we had ordered the Angus Beef Coconut Masala Curry cooked in coriander spices (105 SAR), and the Nariyal Jhinga (95 SAR) – a dish of lime and lemongrass infused prawns poached in coconut and chilli masala. We also ordered some steamed rice (22 SAR) and Karala Parathas (7 SAR) to soak up the curries.
My angus beef while tender and perfectly braised, was incredibly spicy; enough to have me requesting a box of tissues was left on hand to help me deal with the heat. As for the Nariyal Jhinga this was a bit of a disappointment, spicier than expected, but also more sweet and sour than lemony, the masala spices neutralising any remnants of the lemongrass flavour.
All in all our meal at Bharat was an enjoyable one, the food was good, but came at a price; you may want to save this one for a special occasion.Bharat,
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