The sign is so small you can be forgiven for overlooking it completely. Hidden in Moon River, a concept store in Defence Colony, Zambar on the Moon is more cafe than restaurant. The decor is a bit odd; the tables are basic and the chairs made of high-grade plastic. One side is completely covered with wallpaper sporting books. Nothing about this space suggests it serves southern cuisine as you wonder whether the food will also be confused.
Worry not, the food here more than lives up to your expectations and is the only reason to visit this otherwise nondescript cafe. With a much tighter menu than that offered at its flagship restaurant Zambar in Gurgaon, the focus here is on less dishes, more flavour. It draws heavily on food cooked across the southern states and uses spices to perfection to create a fantastic repertoire of dishes.
Begin with the Telangana aloo-baby potatoes cooked in a thick tamarind paste-or the mushroom pepper. Both vegetarian starters really hit the spot. If you crave meat instead, the sukka mutton which is succulent, rich in flavour and texture, is recommended. The gunpowder prawns that taste more like a rava-fried version were a tad disappointing and would have done well if served with an exciting chutney or sauce.
For mains, achamma's lamb curry is truly comfort food and transport's you to another realm. Reminiscent of home cooking but with elevated flavours, it was a true delight. Use the neer dosa or appam to mop up the thick, delicious curry. True to its name, the chettinad chicken is spicy, well-cooked and bursting with aromas. There are enough vegetarian options as well, so you won't come away disappointed.
After the heavy meal we decided to skip dessert but were told that the litchi payasam was a must-try. We are glad we relented. It was semi-sweet with the rich flavour of litchis. Round off your meal with a tumbler of filter coffee and come away satisfied. Zambar on the Moon is a must-visit if you live around Defence Colony and want to enjoy a fantastic meal with service to match.
BT More recommends: Sukka mutton, Achamma's lamb curry
Meal for two: Rs 1600 (excluding taxes)
Timings: 12 noon to 11:30 pm
Contact: 011 41706669