Skip to content

First Look: Sanjh Restaurant

Visit Las Colinas' latest fine-dining Indian eatery

The sign out front says it all: "Creative Indian." Inside, Sanjh Restaurant, now open for two months, is packed. Not bad for a Tuesday. Heck, not bad for any day. I ask Sanwar Mal Khokhar, the bartender, if it's always like this. "On the weekends, it's even busier," he says. 

And for good reason, Sanjh, like the sign says, is a creative take on Indian cuisine. Yes, you can get standards like butter chicken, but you can also get khumb hara pyaaz, forest mushrooms and spring onions, topped with intricate (and edible) latticework. 

"This is one of the few places in this part of the world, you can get this dish," says Chef Balpreet Singh Chadha, who's one of India's exciting young culinary talents, making Condé Nast Traveller India's “40 Under 40: India’s most exciting young chefs” list in 2023 and winning “Best Young Chef” by the India International Hospitality Expo in 2019.

The dishes are a mix of comfort food and show-stopping fine dining. I love it. We order dal makhani (black lentils, cream butter, tomatoes and fenugreek leaves), the rucola salad (marinated melons cut into tiny balls, seeds and goat cheese), scallops recheado that are seared to perfection, masala dosa (chutneys, lentil broth, spiced potatoes, rice and lentil crepes) the aforementioned old Delhi butter chicken made with free-range chicken, and the lucknawi duck dhaniya qorma made with free-range duck, nuts, seeds and curd. For dessert, we had the laddoo and the ras malai. 

But the creativity doesn't stop in the kitchen. Bartender Sanwar Mal Khokhar (@vintage_barboy), who trained under famed mixologist Yangdup Lama (@thespiritedmonk), director of mixology at Sanjh and Travel + Leisure Asia’s 2022’s Mixologist of the Year. He brings out the house-made chili tincture extract — its flavorful, even slightly floral, before the spice kicks in. "We use this in our cocktails," says Sanwar, as he mixes a mango puree cocktail dubbed "East India express." The puree is also house-made, but so is everything else, down to the syrups. I take a sip, and my mouth is coated with the mango puree, with a spicy punctuation at the finish. "We are not just adding spice," he explains. "We are adding flavor." Spice, whether that's the chili tincture or black pepper, pulls out and enhances flavors. 

"This is my take on a margarita," he says, setting down another drink. The spice on the glass looks like a Texas dirt road, which makes sense because the drink is inspired by the place he now calls home. It also has Indian and even French (yes, French) influences. I take a sip. It's a great spicy margarita with grapefruit, a touch of raspberries and a clean finish. It's not on the menu, but Sanwar is testing it and entering it in competitions. "Can you come up with a name for it?" he asks. I think about it. Across the prairie, I say. Call it that. I hope he does.

The food and the drinks were great, but what stuck with me was the creativity. This is a restaurant that doesn't hesitate to experiment, to try and to dare. When we sat down earlier in the evening, we were given prints of the latest addition. "Right now, we are in phase one," Chef Balpreet Singh Chadha tells us at the end of the meal. "We have more traditional Indian cuisine on the menu. In the next two weeks, we will go to phase two, which is more creative. Then, after that, we launch phase three, which is a little bit crazy." Crazy? Creative? Can't wait. 

Don't miss anything Local. Sign up for our free newsletter.