Address: 570 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Phone: (09) 929 4544.
Open: Tues-Thurs 4pm-10pm; Fri-Sun11am-10pm
Cost: $46 for 2 people.


Dominion Rd rightly celebrates the great variety of Asian food available along its length - check the nifty noodle sculpture in Ballantyne Square - perhaps a similar sculpture celebrating the excellent Indian cuisine available at the far end of Sandringham Rd isn't far away.

New(ish) is vegetarian restaurant Saattveek, which specialises in Marathi food - Mumbai snacks (chaat) and thalis (meals made up of various dishes) and also a selection of Gujarati food (Western India). Decor is bright and clean, nothing fancy, but its corner location makes it a great spot to take in the energy and bustle of Auckland's Little India.


Broadly speaking, the Mumbai dishes - are spicier and richer (with a big coconut component); the Gujarati thali ($11) was milder. We ha a thali of each the MT2 Special Thali (Mumbai) ($13.50) and the Gujarati Set Thali ($11). We also ordered two appetisers, the Alu Wadi ($5.50) - taro leaves coated with gram flour, tamarind sauce and spices and the Khaman Dhokla ($5) - steamed gram flour tempered with mustard, asafoetida, fresh coconut, chopped coriander, soaked in lemon water both served with a fresh green chutney.Both were excellent. For dessert we were treated to Gulabjam ($5) (balls of milk-based dough in a saffron and cardamon flavoured sugar-syrup) compliments of the owner. The dough still warm, the syrup to die for. Tip: order the mango lassis ($5.50) - a batch is made fresh daily. The samosas here ($6) are also highly regarded.


Owner Varsha Belwalkar went from table to table relaying info on the dishes to the mostly non-Indian clientele. Her enthusiasm and knowledge made this a highlight rather than an intrusion. Our food came in about 10 minutes but if the place is busy wait time can be longer as everything is made fresh. Usually I have to be dragged to a vegetarian restaurant, but I'm looking forward to returning to Saattveek very soon.