Who would think that an Indian restaurant would offer such a variety of food? Zaroka is more than a restaurant – it is a story. Behind every dish was a heart-touching history that followed it. The dishes were tasted and, if needed, modified by the mother of Zaroka’s owner, making sure that the food tasted like that from back home in Pakistan. The stories behind the dishes enhanced the taste that filled one’s mouth when eaten.
The chicken wings hot out of the tandoor can threaten wherever your go-to place is. Yes, the best chicken wings in New Haven are at Zaroka.
The crisp falafels, prepared by a local Syrian chef, are rival to many Middle Eastern restaurants in town. The soft momos have very rich filling inside, and the combination with tikka masala sauce is just di-vine.
Zaroka naan is so unique: You won’t easily find a goat cheese naan elsewhere, and the fresh mozzarella naan is — hot take alert — better than garlic bread. To accompany the naan, Mahesh brought us the Karachi Chicken Karahi — a chicken dish with creamy tomato sauce and thin fresh ginger pieces on top. Imagine dipping grilled cheese into creamy tomato sauce. The excitement of the experience is similar, but better.
For all the veggie lovers like us, we highly recommend the Eggplant Pakora. Eaten together with the cilantro sauce, the eggplant dish was so irresistible that one of our reviewers who did not like eggplant was enthusiastically eating the dish! Dip it into the yogurt-cilantro sauce and it will be the perfect summer dish.
Then comes a variety of chicken kebab. The meat is so soft that it took me a second to believe that it was kebab. The seasoning is just perfect, and the veggies surrounding the chicken add a fresh taste.
Among all this great food, however, our favorite was Dahi Papri. As yogurt and chickpea fans, we can tell you that it does not get any better. The restaurant’s special yogurt sauce worked together with the crunchiness of the food that brought a combination of textures inside our mouths, with a perfect balance of saltiness, sweetness, and spice.
We finished with the most unique ice cream we have had to this day: a selection of rose-saffron, pistachio, and mango. I will stop by Zaroka during these hot summer days to say hi to Mahesh and freshen up with some rose-saffron ice cream.
Eating at Zaroka is not just about food. It is a whole experience — especially if you have time to eat a slow and long dinner. Mahesh, the owner & manager, really means it when he says that his guests at his restaurant are like his guests at his house. He will never serve you food that is not freshly cooked just for you. So, say goodbye to pre-prepared and put-aside dishes. He is also great company to your table. He tells you about the origins and specifics of the food you are eating, sharing his culture with you. He will always help you choose your food as well — and believe me this is necessary given the large selection — by first asking you what kinds of dishes you like. Simply put, just give yourself over to Mahesh when you go to Zaroka; he will take great care of you.