In a line: Bringing the best of sattvik food under one roof.
Price for two: Rs. 1800(approx)
Must haves: Paan patta chaat, nayaab tikki, kala jamun, ghevar
If you’re a vegetarian and one that abstains from eating onion and garlic or if you’re a hard core non-vegetarian who becomes a vegetarian on special occasions like navratras and Tuesdays, then Shraman, a pure vegetarian restaurant which is located in The Ashok Hotel, is the place for you to come to fulfill your cravings for some delicious vegetarian delicacies. Serving satvik food to it’s patrons, the menu offers a mix of jain specials along with Gujrati, Rajasthani and North Indian to ensure that no palate goes unsatisfied.
The silver work laden chairs and tables with hues of turquoise and brown give off a royal feel to the whole place. The beautiful Rajasthani work mirrors and peacocks on the walls are certainly worth an eye but the overall feel lacks charm and needs to be amped up a bit.
Not only is it pure vegetarian, Shraman does not offer alcohol and instead has some great mocktails to be accompanied along with your meals. Shraman punch is a beautiful blend of different fruit juices and the hint of vanilla adds on to the interesting bit to the otherwise regular mix-fruit juice. Though my personal favourite is the kha rock, a concoction of ginger, cumin, carom and rock salt, this different take on a lemonade is very digestive and pairs along well with oily and deep fried dishes.
In order to get the best of all what Shraman has to offer, I picked out the chefs recommendations from all the sections i.e. from jain specials, Gujrati, Rajasthani and North Indian, from the menu.
I started my meal on a good note with the unusual paan patta chaat that had a mellow hint of the paan leaf which was bartered, deep fried and then loaded with dahi and chutneys. The nayaab tikki, tikki made with cottage cheese and peas was mild in flavour, went well with green chutney and was cooked over griddle, instead of being deep fried. I even dared to try the marwadi mirchi pakoda, which were stuffed with spicy potatoes but weren’t very spicy on the palate all together. While all went well till now, the kalmi vada and vegetable seekh didn’t live upto the mark and the surkh paneer turned out to be a little bland.
The main course too had it’s own ups and downs. The dal baati choorma, a dish that shraman is known for, didn’t come across as being authentic. The dal and baati were loaded with ghee, were nice but the choorma(prepared by crushing the baatis) was more like panjeeri. The gatta curry and ker sangri, both thick gravy dishes sailed through and were spot on when it came to flavour and spices. The til wale aloo from the gujrati section were a hit on the table and were coated in a thick tangy and sweet tomato gravy. But the thepla wasn’t as thin as it is supposed to be and resembled a dal parantha. The paneer lazeez, a rich tomato gravy cooked with cream, though a tad bit oily, was rich and full of flavour.
The meal concluded with indian desserts that became the highlight of the evening. The stuffed kesari kala jamun were velvety soft and tasted so good when hot that I ended up finishing them all by myself. The mini ghevar malai mishri not only looked nice but tasted even better. With the perfect amount of sweetness, the dessert was well balanced when it came to the soft and smooth texture of the rabri in contrast to the crunch of the ghevar and mishri. The malai rabri angoori, tiny rasmalai balls covered with rabri on top, was a dessert for those who like their desserts to be extra sweet, and hence, it wasn’t something that went down my alley.
Overall, my evening at Shraman had it’s own ups and downs. The service was swift and polite and I feel that the presentation of the dishes needs to be worked upon as the tomato and carrot flowers are a thing of the past now. The overall ambiance and food needs to be amped up a bit in order to offer an unforgettable vegetarian dining experience.
Value for money– 3/5