Restaurants & Bars 5

Saffron - Flavors of India (report)

janetofreno | Jun 3, 201209:34 AM

A new (at least to me) Indian restaurant on the northwest side is always of interest in our family. So we decided to check out this place yesterday...I had to pick up DH from the airport, and since its convenient to the freeways it seemed like a good choice.

I gather from what I could find on google (mostly yelp reviews) that Saffron was open for awhile, closed, and then reopened - probably at a different location although that wasn't clear. I do worry about their ability to make it in this present location...it seems pretty off the beaten track in what is mostly a residential neighborhood. It is on the corner of Craig and Tenaya in what appears to be an almost empty strip mall. Furthermore, parking there is well, weird: when you turn into the lot from Craig (which you will almost surely do if coming from the 95) there is no straight shot to the restaurant...you have to negotiate weirdly-placed parking barriers. I also question the wisdom of featuring the (beautiful) bar in this family-friendly, and frankly probably heavily Mormon neighborhood. (The bar is the only part of the restaurant visible through the large picture windows; if you didn't know better and just glanced in you might well think it was only a bar....and you have to walk through the bar to get to the tables).

But we came for the food. DH didn't even want a drink; he was already half asleep after a day that started at 5:30 am Florida time. (and it was already after 8pm in Vegas...). Our very friendly waitress quickly brought us some forgettable pappards (what you might call pappadums). Sorry, but after you've tried my SIL's home-made pappards everything else tastes like paper. Things did get better: we had a kachumber salad that was made with very fresh and tasty vegetables and was a very generous serving for 3 or 4 dollars (easily serving two). We also enjoyed the corn-mushroom curry and Madras chicken. Both were well-spiced and tasty. The nan at Saffron is very good; probably the highlight of the meal. I particularly appreciated the fact that the garlic nan is not overly coated with garlic, and there is just a touch of butter so it isn't overly greasy either. Our meals came with a generous serving of basmati rice.

The menu is typically northern with a few Hakka items. I would like to come back and try the Hakka noodles....maybe with a friend as DH is not a fan of Indo-Chinese food. Prices are moderate; our meal was just around 40 dollars. The restaurant is nicely decorated, and has a serene quality that makes for a nice "date night." I definitely think Saffron is worth a visit, especially if you are in the neighborhood or live anywhere in the Northwest or Centennial Hills. (Not necessarily a place I would drive across town to go to...). I would like to try some of the specialty cocktails some time. I just hope the restaurant can survive in that location....everyone we talked with there seemed very nice and service was very accommodating (bringing extra nan, etc). After all, on a Saturday night it was almost empty. (It was fairly late, but still....we did note that they seem to do a good take-out business...)

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