Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You Sakoon?

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Those who know me well, (or even slightly), know that next to writing, one of my favorite passions is FOOD, particularly Indian. So I was thrilled when restaurant public relations expert Susie Biehler ( invited me to a special evening for the press last week at Sakoon ( in downtown Mountain View, featuring sumptuous food and drink in a cozy yet elegant atmostphere that you will want to take your friends and colleagues to, for special occasions, or even just to liven up the work week or wind down on a weekend. There's also a tasty lunch buffet with a great variety of dishes to try.

The moment you walk into Sakoon (which means "peace,") you know you're in for an atmospheric treat, as architect Sanjeev Malhotra provides a fun and intimate environment, complete with fiber optic chandeliers, fountains, plushy seating, a built-in Buddha, an eclectic bar area with exotic drinks with names like Kamasutra and Citron Fizz, and a spacious upstairs lounge.

Executive Chef Sachin Chopra skillfully balances heady spices such as mustard seed, fennel, and pear and tomato chutneys, with aromatics and yogurt marinates, to achieve delicate and memorable combinations of flavors. The meal began with a refreshing watermelon and feta salad, which featured organic watermelon and heirloom tomatoes with roasted corriander and fennel feta cheese, roasted walnuts, and fresh tarragon oil. Next was Saufiya Paneer, a delicate cube of farmer's cheese marinated with fennel and sundried tomatoes. I've had this dish before and not liked it, but here it was truly a taste of ambrosia. I chose for my main dish the rack of lamb, which was tender and juicy and enhanced with lavender and thyme. The curry leaf flavored potatoes served as an elegant and appropriate complement to the dish. Dessert was my favorite, which is not uncharacteristic for me! Imagine my delight at the frozen pistachio and cranberry bar, served with a seasonal stone fruit brulee and drizzled with spiced chai sauce. The layered textures and flavors and the contrast of sweet and tartness were a wonderful way to end the meal. As full as I was, I could have eaten another.

Thank you so much to the evening's hosts and for a wonderful meal at Sakoon...I'll be back soon. And if you haven't yet been, treat yourself. And in the meantime, enjoy the video and photo highlights here.

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