A curious chef, some faded childhood
memories, his father’s book and two years of intensive research was what it
took to give the city of Delhi its first restaurant dedicated to serving
Armenian cuisine. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, fondly known as Chef Saby with Chef
Megha Kohli have together created not just a restaurant but an experience for
your taste buds.
It all started when Chef Saby was casually
flipping through the pages of a book written by his father Mr Sakti Gorai which threw light on the
history of a small town called Asansol. A picture of a grave in that book made
the chef’s mind travel to his childhood, he started digging deep to find out
that Asansol and many small towns surrounding it were colonized by Armenians,
one of the first white people who came to India, long before the British. They
not only contributed to the building of the country but also influenced the
food of these towns. Till 70s, Asansol was home to many bakeries and food
joints managed by Armenians. Chef’s childhood, influenced by his then school
principal who was an Armenian, gorging on a fruit cake from the ‘Gir-d Gir..di
‘ bakery, an iconic institution of Asansol on every Christmas, all now made
sense to the chef. During the course of his research, he found that Armenians
travelled into India and brought along the oldest oven for baking breads called
‘Tonir’ now popularly known as Tandoor, which is widely used in India,
Armenians also gave us the gift of curd and paneer. Traces of Armenian cuisine
are still evident in the traditional dishes of Bengali cuisine.
Saby gets its name from ‘Lavaash-a bread’ a word, which is the only food item
to make it to the UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list, a dish that
Armenian’s rich culture gifted to the Indian food history.
has in store fine dishes that will dazzle your palate. Hye rollers – chicken
ham, lettuce, smoked bandel cheese wrapped in lavaash, served with a
traditional hummus; eggplants stuffed with vegetables and mildly spiced known
as tolma, which is common dish in Armenian families; a puff with an interesting
banana blossom filling – Mochar Puff ; a mutton puff are some of the dishes
that are so different and yet so similar to the food that we have.
Armenian cuisine, one visiting the place should definitely try firstly, the
traditional Lavaash bread; secondly, Mutton rezala- a fragrant and delectable
mutton and yoghurt stew.
chocolate mousse infused with rum and a moist orange cake served with a Nolan
gur (jaggery) ice cream is bound to satisfy one’s with a sweet tooth.
A warm place
with a décor so colourful and serene; the place gives a view of the Qutub Minar
; what one will notice is that how the most simple pieces of wall hangings,
windows with Armenian motifs,curtains, tables and lampshades have been used
perfectly by interior designers Viplov
Singh and Svabhu Kohli to bring to reality the initial
mood board of the place made by Chef Megha Kohli and Chef Saby and to create such a lavish space.
visit to Lavaash by Saby in Mehrauli to connect with a culture rooted deeply in
our history and to taste a lost fine cuisine, recreated by Chef Saby and Chef
Megha to ensure that the Armenian legacy does not fade or end.
Lavaash by Saby
H-5/1, Ambawatta One, Kalkadass Marg,
Mehrauli, New Delhi
Coverage By : Vickrham (vicky) and Ritika Dhawan ( Written by)
Pics Courtesy : Vickrham (vicky)
Labels: Alexa Rankings and Blogging, armenia, BAR., beautiful, BENGALI, blog, cafe, chef, dinner, food, heritage, japan.pan asian, lebanese, olive, qutub, review, romantic, vikas, zomato