A lick of blue and yellow paint and a bit of an all round tidy up has seen the spot that was once the much loved Jai Jalaram Khamn transform into Saattveek. It's a prime position right in the heart of the bustling Sandringham strip with a forgotten about courtyard out the back that will hopefully become a public part of the restaurant very soon.
The ideas behind Jai Jalaram and Saattveek are roughly the same, vegetarian Indian street fare made with love, and sold at extremely reasonable prices. However the new owners seem to have taken what Jai Jalaram were doing and made slight improvements in most areas. I am no expert on Indian cuisine but I understand the majority of the dishes at Saattveek originate from Maharashtrian, Gujarati, and Mumbai street food, whereas Jai Jalaram was based mainly on just Gujarati recipes. The new owner was incredibly friendly and explained to us that this is the only restaurant in Auckland, possibly New Zealand, serving authentic food of this type.
The two of us begun by ordering Sabudana Vada ($4) and Khaman Dhokla ($5) as starters. The Khaman Dhokla were a definite highlight, small fluffy squares of gram flour with mustard, coconut, and chutney. Slightly sweet but with a bit of tang, the kind of thing you could eat all day. The Sabudana Vada were a little like koftas but with peanut and chutney to accompany.
We then ordered the Saattveek Special ($15) off of the Marathi Thali menu. A large platter with options aplenty: chutney, mustard, a delicious rice dish, a small salad and bhaaji (small fritters). A little difficult to figure out the correct techniques for devouring this stuff but we finished off every last crumb, while appearing quite dyslexic in the process.
To finish we went with the Thalipeeth at the ridiculous price of $6. Thalipeeth is mixture of gram, chickpea, and lentils, and served with your choice of yoghurt or buttermilk.
We left feeling pretty damn stoked with our new discovery. For a grand total of $30 (between two people) we were as full as a bakers pup.