Dinner at ZARF, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre

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Zarf, Sheraton Grand, Bengaluru

Zarf is an Urdu expression for a receptacle utilised for cooking and serving. The first thing you notice about Zarf, The Indian Kitchen at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre is how warm and inviting it is. As I strolled in, Ayushi Bhardwaj, the Marcom manager, welcomed me in the foyer and drove me to my table while acquainting me with Executive Chef JP Singh and Chef de Cuisine, Hardeep Singh.

Every plate at Zarf tells intricate stories that reflect India’s and pre-partition India’s rich culinary voyage. Each dish is a bridge to India’s heritage, an invitation to discover the origins of a cuisine that has evolved through time, carrying with it the stories of generations.

Zarf, The Indian Kitchen at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre
Zarf, The Indian Kitchen at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre

The trendy new restaurant makes a bold impression in the opulent lobby with its simple yet elegant wood and glass décor, which is complemented with colourful lighted artwork made of rice paper on a wood panel. Their menu has a delightful combination of appetisers, grilled entrees, small plates, and large plates, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

My ZARF Experience at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre

There are various tributes to Kashmir, Delhi, Multan, Peshawar, Lucknow, Punjab, and other south Indian states’ signature foods, from Multani Paneer Tikka and Bharwan Gucchi Korma to Punjabi Bagh Nutri Kulcha, Aloo Amritsari Wadiyan, Salmon Tikka, Kakori Kebab, Lucknowi Murg Korma, Lamb Galouti Kebab, and Lahori Tandoori Chargha. Despite being pitched as small plates, just a few of these dishes are robust enough to constitute a full meal.

The evening was an unexpected masterpiece, with Executive Chef JP Singh in the driver seat overlooking the arrangements, and Chef Hardeep Singh along with Sous Chef Mohd. Taureef and team refining exemplary flavours and executing them with creative flair.

I had scarcely gotten comfortable in my seat when my server, Shamsheer, carried crispy-flavoured papads alongside a fantastic blend of seven chutneys, each resembling the flavours of a different state. Raw papaya relish from Lucknow. Mint chutney from Delhi. Raw mango malanji from Multan. Imli Pyaaz Chutney is from Amritsar. Hemp (Bhaang ki chutney) from Uttarakhand. Tomato kutt from Hyderabad and pineapple (ananas) chutney from Tamil Nadu.

Another appetizer that arrived to nom-nom was the Charcoal Avacado Puri. This little croustade with avacado filling with a hint of mint chutney was perfect to stimulate my appetite.

Crispy papads and a selection of chutneys on the left, and Charcoal Avacado Puri on the right

Next, I started with the classics. The Himalayan Pink Salt Salmon Tikka was the best salmon I’ve had in Bengaluru yet. The tandoor-cooked salmon was delicate, marinated with mild Indian flavours like caraway seeds, black pepper, fennel seeds, Himalayan pink salt, and dill leaves. The pairing with Bhaang Ki Chutney was ecstatic.

Himalayan Pink Salt Salmon Tikka at Zarf
Himalayan Pink Salt Salmon Tikka at Zarf

Another item of interest: Bharwan Gucchi, a truly Kashmiri delicacy. Premium morels sourced from Kashmir are jazzed up with Khoa with mild flavouring, sprinkled with walnut dust, and topped with parmesan cheese. A hearty tribute to the himalayas platter. The seriously rich mix of gucchi, along with dense milk, parmesan, and pecan, was heavenly.

Bharwan Gucchi at Zarf
Bharwan Gucchi at Zarf

Another star among the starters is Kakori Kebab. Kakori was first introduced to the world in Uttar Pradesh. The kebab’s melt-in-the-mouth texture has reliably enchanted the royalty of Dastarkhwan-E-Awadh, becoming a perennial favourite. Needless to say, the succulent juiciness of the kebab is as princely as it can be.

Kakori Kebab at Zarf
Kakori Kebab at Zarf

In the wake of wolfing down all of the abovementioned, my stomach needed a rest. The break came from Lemon Berry Sorbet, a palette cleanser that worked wonders.

Lemon berry sorbet
Lemon berry sorbet

Khameeri roti, Jalebiya naan with Nehari at Zarf
Khameeri roti, Jalebiya naan with Nehari at Zarf

Show time! Next was Nalli Nehari, a staple dish of the Nawab’s regal food. The sluggishly cooked sheep stew remains a demonstration of superb culinary greatness. I’m not completely certain how I managed to find room, but I processed the crispy Khameeri and Jeelebiya roti to mop up the fantastically cooked meat with every last inch of the rich gravy.

Nalli Nehari has set the bar high all along – a sheer feeling of pure joy the second it was served on the table.

Server Aman whips up Dal-E-Zarf at the table

Clockwise from left... Pishori Paneer Makhmali, Kathal Kofta Roll and Pahadi Saag Chilgoza
Clockwise from left… Pishori Paneer Makhmali, Kathal Kofta Roll and Pahadi Saag Chilgoza


In regard to vegetarian options, a modest serving of Pishori Paneer Makhmali, Pahadi Saag Chilgoza, and Kathal Kofta Roll was delicious. The paneer makhmali gravy, made with cashews, had a sweet and tart flavour to it. Pahadi Saag Chilgoza with unassuming red amaranth, alongside spinach and organic mustard, is an Uttarakhand claim to fame. At last, the Kathal Roll is a jackfruit delicacy that has a substantial flavour and is established in Hyderabad. The vegetarian fare particularly won me over with its earthy cooking, which had a distinctly comforting character.

Dal-e-Zarf
Dal-e-Zarf

Dal-e-Zarf is the signature dish at Zarf. The preparation of the yellow moong lentils is light, flavorful, and made with simple ingredients. I could have had endless bowls of the velvety slow cooked dal had it not been for the weighty appetizers and starters I had before on.

Kesar, Paan and Raspberry flavoured Gadbad Kulfi at Zarf
Kesar, Paan and Raspberry flavoured Gadbad Kulfi at Zarf

The Finale. Sweet heads will enjoy the Gadbad Kulfi Trio, which has the distinct flavours of kesar, paan, and raspberry elevating the taste, served over falooda and topped with seasonal fruit and berries.

The Zarf crew
The Zarf crew

While we all relish old favourites and have a delectable secret (or two) about childhood delicacies, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of being among the first to taste the city’s newest and most-talked-about fine-dining hotspot. I feel delighted dining at Zarf. Period. I’m already planning a revisit with family, even if it means doing an advance reservation next time round. The yet un-tasted Peshawari Namak Mandi Lamb Chop, Shatavar aur Singhade ki kadhai and Bharwan Gulab Jamun are just three of the many tempting reasons to return.

Alongside flawless service, Zarf’s hospitality deserves special mention here as the team was warm and attentive. Shamsheer, Aman, and Zing were the servers for the extravagant night. Shamsheer was the most mindful and dynamic of the group, delivering a quick heads-up on the contents of servings.

TheGlitz highly recommends that you visit Zarf, The Indian Kitchen, at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre with your family for a memorable occasion. A guaranteed bang for your bucks.

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