Sapphire Indian Cuisine
500 Via De Palmas, Suite #79
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Written & Photographed by: Tom House
Food: Service: As a food critic and restaurant consultant, far too often I see new restaurants opening that are not really “new” at all; they are just copying the same styles of cuisine already “out there” and sporting different names. Too many of today’s restaurants are offering nothing unique to make South Florida’s “hungry for restaurants” fan base want to return or even visit for the first time! Enter Sapphire Indian Cuisine in Boca Raton, newly opened on
the scene in mid-2014. I only wish I had visited sooner!
Owned and developed by Raju Brahmbhatt, originally from Ahmedabad, India, this is his second restaurant venture in Florida, after opening Tamarind in Tampa first. Raju learned the fine craft of creating Indian cuisine from his grandfather. Raju and his son Khevin have teamed up to bring this latest tantalizing culinary venture to Boca Raton, and here at DinnerReviews.com© we are glad they did!
Sapphire’s dining area inside is fresh and clean looking, offering a full bar, modern light treatments, tablecloths and comfortable booths. There is a full bar and wine list available as well as many good choices of wines by the glass. Upon being seated, we of were immediately approached by attentive servers for drinks and appetizers. Soon we were enjoying glasses Pere Venture Cava Rose (from Spain) which is a perfect accompaniment with this style of cuisine. In general the food here is not spicy, but erupts with savory flavors and the perfect marriages of spices and seasonings.
First up is the famous Mulligatawny soup, a traditional Indian soup made with red lentils and vegetables. This was delightful, and made even better by adding the juice from the lemon wedge that comes with it. We also enjoyed four appetizers, including Lasooni Gobi, which is crispy fried florets of cauliflower, finished with chili flakes, garlic and tomato chutney. This remarkable bright red appetizer was a favorite on our table, and perfectly cooked. Next we tried Aloo Papdi Chaat, a healthy combination of wheat crisps, potatoes and chickpeas, all diced brunoise and mixed into a yogurt, mint and tamarind sauce. This dish was refreshing and light and something I will return for in the future. Finally Hariyali Chicken Tikka; boneless pieces of spiced chicken and sour sauce flavored delicately with mint and coriander. Before moving on to the entrees, we shared Sheesh Kabob of clove smoked sausage-like lamb kabob and chicken marinated in hung yogurt (Hung yogurt is yogurt that is strained through a coffee filter or a fine cheesecloth, so that all the liquid
(whey) drains out and you are left with a very thick ‘yogurt cheese’) & sapphire garam masala. I am sure I will run out of adjectives in this review, because all of the food is outstanding!
Service was nearly perfect, with servers and even owners constantly replacing our used flatware with clean before each new course, and whenever someone got up from our table for any reason, our linen napkins were neatly refolded and neatly placed at our seat as is done in truly fine dining restaurants the world over. It is the little things that often impress guests the most, and Raju, Khevin and their well trained staff know this to be true.
Entrees arrived including Palak Paneer, fresh spinach and cottage cheese with ground spices, Navratan Korma is a fresh mixed vegetable dish in a tangy, rich tomato and cashew nut sauce. More entrees arrived; Sapphire Jhinga, which is jumbo prawns marinated in the hung yogurt, then roasted with mild chilies and cilantro and marinated lamb served Gosht Mughlai style, with nuts and a creamy onion sauce. Lemon Rice and Peas Pulao were the starches. As I predicted earlier in this story, I have run out of adjectives to describe how delicious and fresh all the food is here at Sapphire, so you better come here and find out for yourself what great Indian cuisine is all about.
All super-fresh, healthy ingredients are being used in Sapphire’s food, and these chefs truly understand the art of combining delicate spices and luscious sauces with the main staples of food that they use.
Throughout our main courses we are enjoying a variety of breads, including Garlic Naan, Kheema Naan and Peshwari Naan… These soft white flout breads are wonderful; the Kheema is stuffed with seasoned ground lamb and Peshwari
stuffed with coconut, almonds, cashews and raisins… all are phenomenal.
Even though we were incredibly full, we forced ourselves to experience the Indian-style desserts too. Gulab Jaman is light pastry dumplings made from milk and honey, served in saffron syrup…almost cloyingly sweet but I loved them. Rasmali is homemade sweet cottage cheese patty in sweetened milk flavored with cardamom and pistachio and Coconut Kheer; coconut rice pudding sprinkled with crushed pistachio… we could not get enough!
Make your plans to visit Sapphire Indian Cuisine restaurant very soon, and make sure you tell them that Tom House and DinnerReviews.com© sent you!