Souq Bistro and Grills, Ahmedabad

I am not generally very open to trying new restaurants which don’t serve a particular cuisine of food. When my friends recommend to me that some place has a generic menu with Indian, and non-Indian, food, I get a little pessimistic because I don’t know understand how well you can really make food that is generally not authentic to a place. All I want to do now is to try new cuisines and kinds of food, and I found the perfect place to start my search.

There are two locations of Souq in Ahmedabad – one is in Navrangpura. and the other is in the mall complex where PVR is (Thaltej). I went to the Navrangpura location first, followed by the Thaltej location twice. The place boasts of authentic Mediterranean food, and as a vegetarian, I had always heard that Mediterranean food was very kind to people of our kind. The place is tiny and looks very plain and simple, at least the Navrangpura location does. The first time I went, we started with the Patatas Bravas which was essentially a starter with fried potatoes in a spicy, tomato and cheese sauce. It was very flavourful and looked delicious, and I would definitely recommend it. The platter that we ordered, the hot mezze platter was also pretty good, since we got to taste a few items on the menu that we otherwise did not know bout. The hummus on the platter was incredible, and the hummus and the falafel is what kept me going back to the place, to be honest. It has a solid chickpea taste and texture, and perfect garlic flavours. The falafel was also excellent, and this was truly when I developed good taste for falafel. It was crunchy and not dry at all, and crumbled inside my mouth. The hummus and the falafel made for an incredible combination, especially with the pita bread. The bread was also quite nice, fresh and soft. The other items on the platter were majorly two things. One was this item called Fattayer which are like smaller spinach pies. They were very mild in taste, but the spinach taste was unmissable. I like spinach as an ingredient anyway, but the taste of spinach was very subtle. I know for a fact that a person who doesn’t like spinach will also like this item. Other than this, the platter had a mediterranean fresh lemon salad, called Fattoush. This is also one thing that I loved. The dressing of this salad was mild and yet tangy, and I enjoyed the combination of falafel with the salad, wrapped in pita bread, and dipped in some hummus.

The second time I went was also another time we ordered a platter. This was the Thaltej location and I know now that that is a better place than the location at Navrangpura. The Thaltej location is also much larger, and has amazing ambience. It is spacious and the lighting is generous in accordance with the mood, and there is a band that performs live on Fridays (which I unfortunately did not witness happening, since I went on a Sunday). We ordered the hummus platter, and from the three varieties of hummus, I truly only liked the original kind that I already had had. The platter however, only had the Mediterranean salad, the pita break and the hummus. There was one particular ‘hummus’ that was reddish in color, something that I haven’t found the name for. I think it is called Baba Ghanoush, but I am not sure. My company, however, told me later that he loved that dip the best. I know now that it is not really hummus, but a dip. I was disappointed with the absence of falafel, but the platter made up for it eventually. While it seemed to me that the items on the menu were differently made at both the places, I liked the items at Thaltej better. The platter this time contained a lot more than just what we had then. This platter was larger this time, had more quantity to boast of. Even the Fattayer were much, much better, with more filling and the crust was also crispier. We also got grilled vegetables in the platter, and I liked the smoky flavour of the zucchini and broccoli.

The third time I went there was for the Sunday brunch. I went with a lot of expectations, but I was slightly disappointed. As with most places, the buffets generally do not have the quality they boast of. There was, again, no falafel as such, but a falafel burger which was not to my taste, really. The Patata Bravas, as it said on the brunch menu, was actually Batata hara (as I knew from before), but was still quite good. The pizza was also thin, fresh and appropriately flavoured. The dessert, especially the chocolate hazelnut mousse, was quite well done. It was creamy and the flavour of chocolate was not too sweet at all, which is a complaint I have with most places serving mousses. The three cheese ravioli, which I could only taste, was quite cheesy and the gravy was also strong, but had an overpowering tomato taste. The hummus, as usual, was brilliant and I had a lot of it along with the pita bread.

Overall, I would suggest that you go to the Thaltej location. The prices are a bit high, so go there only if you are willing to spend. However, for me, it was money well spent. I would also recommend ordering a la carte, instead of the brunch. I have heard some very good things about the Friday Grill night at Souq, and I look forward to going there soon. Overall, it is a pretty good restaurant, and I am going to find myself going there for meals in the future as well.


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