Bread is a staple around the Gazette household. A nice piece of bread and some quality butter, or other spread, is always welcome at our table. It’s no wonder then that we have always had a love affair with the Indian-style Bread Service from Sanaa for quite some time. In fact, we reviewed the service back in 2013 in Serve with Flair. Recently, however, there has been a change in the offerings of the bread service.
Let’s start with the smallest change, the breads. Previously you have had a choice of three breads from a list of five. Now, it is a selection of all five breads: Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. The Paneer Paratha replaces the crispy sheets of bread known as Pappadum, and my heart may never be the same. To give you a primer on the breads, naan in a lightly leavened, white-flour flatbread that has the appearance of pita but is much chewier. Paratha, on the other hand, is unleaved flatbread made with a whole wheat dough. It is still tasty, but not to the same levels of naan or pappadum in my book. Regardless, it is nice to not have to choose between the breads and just have the full selection at our disposal.
The major change comes from the accompaniments. Until now you were given a selection of nine to choose three from. For a few dollars more you can now have the full range of nine accompaniments. They are: Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, and Spicy Jalapeno-Lime Pickle. If you order the full carousel of spreads, the place them around the serving board in order of spiciness. By that, I don’t mean which accompaniment uses the most spices, as this is Indian cuisine there are a lot of spices present, but which is actually going to cool your taste buds and which ones will scorch your tongue.
I’d love to tell you which spread is the best and which ones to avoid, but that truly is a matter of taste. When my wife and I each picked out our favorite three accompaniments to see if there was a consensus, we both picked three different offerings from all across the spectrum. It should suffice that I don’t believe there is a bad bite in the smorgasbord.
The full bread service may look like a lot of food for an appetizer of sorts, but trust me when I say that you will chomp through it in no time and still have room for your meal. Although you may want to keep some of the accompaniments to use with your meal, a common practice I’m led to believe. The Indian-style Bread Service is my go to item at Sanaa, which is saying something considering the amount of wonderful dishes on the menu. The ability to order the full spread offerings is a welcome change, and one that will surely keep us coming back to Sanaa time and time again.