The nostalgic taste of home

The nostalgic taste  of home

Located opposite Palace Grounds in Sadashivnagar is Afrina, a popular restaurant known for its Indian and Chinese cuisine. The place looks like a house from the outside. The yellow and red interiors certainly give it a homely feel. There’s also the ‘Afrina Recommends’ board that greets you, which changes every day based n what the chef feels like preparing.

Started two and a half years ago, the restaurant is run by Anwar Bashir and Ali Jawad, who started it with the intention of selling good tandoori food at affordable prices.

“We were quite surprised when the response to the Chinese food overtook that for  tandoori. If we had known that, we would have chosen a Chinese name,” shares Anwar, explaining that Afrina is an Urdu superlative for ‘beauty’. “We wanted a feminine and exotic name that was easy to pronounce. This fit the bill perfectly,” he adds.

In both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections, there is enough variety to ask for. Chinese items like lollypop chicken, babycorn satay, Singapore fried rice and noodles and mushroom pepper dry are really popular. The soups, momos, gravies and chopsuey also have their own takers. In the Indian section, the fast-moving dishes include paneer tikka, tandoori murg, laccha paratha, Afghani kabab, veg lasuni, chicken rogan josh and the chicken noor jehan among others. The fresh garden salad or crispy noodle salads are also worth trying for the health conscious.

While most first-timers who try the food think that it is home-made food because of the flavour, Anwar dismisses this notion saying, “Commercial cooking is very different from home cooking and so we prefer to leave it to the professionals. We use good quality oil and fresh vegetables and meats, avoid preservatives and don’t cook and freeze food since that alters the taste. That’s why we ask customers to give us time to prepare and serve them freshly-made food.” He also notes that the personal touch with the regulars, pricing and simplicity of the set-up are what has kept it running for so long.

Interestingly, there is only one dessert on the long menu — caramel pudding, a must try for those with a sweet tooth.

“The pudding is so immensely popular that I’m reluctant to offer anything else! It’s inexpensive, not fried and has a delicate flavour,” smiles Anwar.
Afrina is open for lunch from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm for dinner. Call 41328031 for home delivery.

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