Dinner: Sapne

2 Sep

Quoting the website: ‘… great food, amazing service and a fine ambiance doesn’t have to cost the world.’ That honestly sums up my first encounter with this newly opened Indian Cuisine restaurant called ‘Sapne’ in Jumeirah Beach Park Plaza. (map)

Once again on recommendation of my partner in crime Shruti, who also happens to be the person who shot the dishes served there, (go check them out on the website… like, right now!) we headed down the ever-so-slow Jumeirah Beach Road looking for the restaurant because she conveniently forgot the exact location, so it meant my iftar ended up becoming more of a dinner. Anyway, beyond the minor hunger pangs in my tummy, we slipped into an empty restaurant.

I was expecting the place to be bigger. Not that it was small but I just assumed it would accommodate more tables due to the brand presence it has on Twitter and Facebook. Thankfully, the interior was a contemporary setting (and not mayhem of traditional gaudiness) with pleasant shades of blue and colourful wall mounted paintings adding to the white base. The glass bead hangings were a nice touch without being intrusive or exaggerated.

Especially for Ramadan, we were served a plate of Pakoras that were surprisingly good with the usual basket of Papad and an array of Chutneys. Roasting a Papad may seem like the easiest job ever, but you’d be surprised how often restaurants get it wrong by either burning it or leaving raw parts. These Papads were perfect. Moving on to the Chutneys, you often find restaurants skimping on the quality of them, but no complaints here. The Green Chutney was just the right amount of spicy while the Mango Murabba was wiped clean by us. The Imli Chutney complimented the Pakoras perfectly while the Achaar was sublime in its taste. Also part of Ramadan, Shruti ordered two glasses of (complimentary) Rooh Afza with milk.

Papad, Pakoras and Chutneys
Rooh Afza with milk

Having a year round cold/cough warrants me to sometimes order some soup. I went for the ‘Murgh Makhani Shorba’ as it was the only non-vegetarian option. For once a restaurant had managed to serve soap that was blistering HOT; I was pleased. Oh and it tasted good as well. A thick creamy soup with pieces of boneless chicken and hints of cardamom that went streaming down my throat in a jiffy.

Murgh Makhani Shorba

For starters we had Aloo Chaat which was made of diced potatoes, tomatoes, onion and capsicum mixed with chaat masala. A simple but deliciously effective spicy dish that was slightly on the drier side when munching on some of the larger pieces of potatoes but for a starter, the quantity was good enough for four people and we were just two. Shruti was stuffed already.

Aloo Chaat

On the staff’s recommendation (who are Indian and therefore understand the cuisine), we ordered Chicken Tikka Masala and Murgh Laajawab with some Butter Naan. Both dishes looked so similar in colour that our initial thought was that we’d ordered two things that were going to taste the same. We were wrong. A rich, creamy, spicy sauce with soft, well done char-grilled chicken, onions, capsicums etc. made up what was quite possibly the best Chicken Tikka Masala we had ever tasted (and we’ve had quite a few lately). The only gripe I might have was that it could have been spicier.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Murgh Laajawab is tender chicken in uncomplicated onion-tomato gravy which was fine, though not amazing but then the recipe doesn’t really give you the space to be mouth-wateringly innovative. And for the record, both the dishes were served HOT; felt like they were brought right off the stove. The same could be said about the Naan that were literally popped from the oven on to our table. Loved it!

Murgh Laajawab
Butter Naan

I’ve never been a fan of Indian desserts because they tend to be extremely sweet for my taste buds. The Shahi Tokda we ordered was no different. Fried bread slices in creamy Saffron, hot milk and garnished with Pistachio (and possibly Khoya). Apart from the sweetness, I liked the saffron and crusty bread and I didn’t mind having it in small bites. Shruti, on the other hand loved it. It was a perfect ending to a delicious meal.

Shahi Tokda

Sapne stands true to its claim: ‘… great food, amazing service and a fine ambiance doesn’t have to cost the world.’


1 Murgh Makhani Shorba
1 Aloo Chaat
1 Chicken Tikka Masala
1 Murgh Lajawab
2 Butter Naan
1 Vanilla Shahi Tukda
1 Water (small)

Total AED154 (for two people)


3 Responses to “Dinner: Sapne”

  1. Hisham Wyne September 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Nice one 🙂 Those absolutely delectable dishes look all the tastier for the excellent pictures. Good work, you two.

  2. madryy September 6, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    I want to eat. That. Now. 😀

  3. Tonya Colson September 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Thanks for the recommendation! Going to try it this weekend. Looks delish.

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