My first experience with Salt happened at the World on a Plate event. They had their kiosk stall, and we tried a few dishes there. The food was great, and I had loved the taste of the lamb kabab wrapped in a pastry puff. Hence when I was invited to their VR Mall restaurant for review, I agreed happily. Of course the drive to Whitefield on a weekday is daunting to say the least, but Tapash and I braved this journey. A little stop by at H&M didn’t hurt too. SALT – Indian Restaurant Bar & Grill – is located on 3rd Floor of VR Mall, flanked by The Irish House and Toscano on either side. The place itself is very tastefully and neatly done – a sublte green and white theme, brick walls, mounted boards with specials lined up, a pretty big bar, and a neat rooftop area overlooking the Whitefield main road. We were warmly hosted by Navin, one of the partners – who spared his time, and shared a lot of the ideas and inspirations behind Salt.
A lot of their food is deliciously simple, from the grill or Indian food with a small twist. They had thoughtfully lined up mini tasting platters for us, so the sizes in the photographs are not actual portions. Our meal started with Dahi Tawa Kebab – a chef’s signature dish with slightly spiced hung yogurt and cottage cheese brought together and delicately balanced, with a surprise of beet root chutney on top – a lovely and simple rendition. We also had the Masala Spring Roll – the vegetarian version of the Mutton Spring Roll – that I had already tasted. This had vegetables stuffed in a spring roll sheet, crisp fried – and was the perfect dish to munch on. Would strongly recommend this.
The non-vegetarian starters came next – the Galaouti Kebab and Nimbu Wali Prawns. The former is a dish I am extremely fond of, second only to Kakori Kebab perhaps. This finely grounded kebab with aromatic chutney served with saffron bread, this was done to perfection – loved it! The prawn in contrast was a simple roasted prawn in lemon and lime marinade – quite tasty.
The mains came in after a short break. Meanwhile I tried the Pan Martini, which was a really refreshing drink. The Palak Aap Ki Pasand – a palak paneer – that was not as rich as I expected, but the cottage cheese itself was soft and flavored. The Dal Tadka, presented in a big mug was delicious – nicely tempered with garlic and tomato. I realize that good Dal is kind of hard to come by these days. There was also the Keema Mutter Masala – quite flavorful with succulent minced meat. We had this with their bread basket – the basil naan and garlic naan being my top two choices. The Chicken Dum Biryani was a little different – the basmati rice was layered and slow cooked for good flavors and aroma, while the chicken was nicely blended. A little more spice wouldn’t hurt, this was a little light on the richness.
Their desserts are again Indian fusions. The elaneer Payasam made with coconut milk and served cold is nice, not overly sweet and very light. I see this setting in a nice trend of Indian desserts which aren’t too heavy or sweet. The Jamun Tiramisu with the signature S embossed on top is a very interesting creation, with chunks of gulab jamun inside the cream layers – delicately adding flavor to the Tiramisu, not overpowering it.
As we came to an end of our meal, we did notice the staff being very attentive and prompt at all the tables in the restaurant. Yes, albeit the place wasn’t too crowded – but the service was noteworthy. The staff always explained dishes while serving, and cleared tables promptly, for a new place, this must be mentioned. Personally, we loved our experience. SALT – Indian Restaurant Bar & Grill is a beautiful cross between casual meals and fine dining, highly recommended!