Food Review: Zatar
Zatar, a new vegetarian Lebanese snack joint located between S. V. Road and Linking Road in Bandra, opened over two weeks ago. However in this time, the owners have got very little in order. The restaurant has an al fresco seating area, but they haven’t provided any rain cover. Ordering food is quite a long-drawn process as the sole server is fairly ignorant about the offerings. The menu lists desserts and mocktails, but these are are not yet available and only about half the wraps and dips offered are being served.
A good falafel wrap, the kind that packs freshly-fried chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, hot harissa and pickled veggies like beetroot or red cabbage in warm pita pockets, is among the handful of vegetarian dishes that we relish. We were greatly disappointed by the lightly grilled Zatar Wrap (Rs190), which was composed of pita bread stuffed with ominously dark (brown verging on black) pre-fried falafels, hummus, harissa and batata harra (potatoes cooked with a sweet and spicy powder made from roasted red peppers). The tough, puckered falafels and under-cooked potatoes were the worst parts of the dish; the adequately creamy hummus lavished with lemon juice was its only saving grace. The baba ganoush (Rs150) wasn’t much better. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, it had the taste and squishy texture of baingan bharta, but wasn’t as intensely smoked as the Indian eggplant preparation. Given that Zatar is primarily a take-away—there are just two tables with seating for about six people indoors—the 20-minute wait for our order was perplexing.
There is an amusing disclaimer in the fine print on Zatar’s take-away menu, which reads: “Please note that due to our popularity and authenticity of the ingredients, stocks are limited. Please do try again if your particular choice is not available on the day or let us know in advance.” For a new restaurant with a limited menu to make excuses for being poorly stocked is unacceptable. Their proclamations of popularity are also a tad absurd; we were the only customers on the two occasions we visited. Besides, placing an order “in advance” is not an option—they have to still install a landline.
This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Food reviews, Restaurants, Zatar
In the same lane as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Off S. V. Road
HoursTuesday to Sunday, noon to 11pm; Monday closed