2015-06-10 / Restaurant of the Week

Saffron Indian Cuisine

Saffron Indian restaurant will enchant you with its beautiful, serenely decorated dining room, charming outdoor patio, friendly, welcoming service, and its delicious cuisine. The overall experience is relaxed, yet exotic so visit now while the warmer temperatures allow for dining outside or inside, and the flavorful food will warm your soul.

Specializing in fine Indian cuisine from all regions of the country, the chef at Saffron uses time-honored recipes to create aromatic dishes that will entice you right off the street. In fact, Saffron is right on your way, just off the R or M train’s 46th Street stop. Step into the peaceful dining room, painted in rich tones of cinnamon, curry and saffron surrounding wood plank floors and warm lighting from woven light fixtures. The tables are nicely dressed and very comfortable to linger at. The friendly duo of Majda and Saiful welcome guests and offer warm attention.

Enjoy a cold Taj Majal beer, or a glass of your favorite wine while you peruse the impressive selection of appetizers and crunch on crispy papadam chips. This time, we tried the crab kofta which are golden

fritters made with sweet crabmeat served with tamarind sauce and found them to be light and very tasty with mild spices ($6.95). Majda brought us delicious aloo tikka patties made of spiced potatoes and lentils served with yogurt sauce ($3.95). A sampler platter of kababs allows you to savor succulent meats cooked in the traditional tandoor clay oven. Juicy chunks of lamb, chicken, and minced kabab are marinated in yogurt and cooked to perfection. This appetizer portion is generous enough to share for 2-4 people ($8.95). Meatless appetizers include flaky vegetable samosas, vegetable fritters called pakora and florets of cauliflower with chili flakes and garlic tomato chutney.

Saffron has entrées for everyone, from mild to hot dishes, with or without meat, hearty rice dishes and seafood specialties too. The prices are so reasonable, it’s no wonder Saffron is busy with in-house and delivery orders. You can even get a discount for phone-in orders. There are 18 vegetarian specialties at just $10.95, including saag aloo with potatoes, spinach and mild spices. Channa saag is a popular recipe of stewed chick peas with spinach and mild spices. Navarattan korma is a medley of vegetables with cashews and saffron gravy, perfect for spooning over fluffy basmati rice. Aloo mutter gobi is a delicious dish of cauliflower, potatoes, fresh ginger, onions, green peas and spices while the eggplant masala is simmered with sesame and coconut sauce.

Chicken specialties cost $12.95 and you’ll find all your favorites, such as chicken tikka masala with its rich tomato-based sauce. Chicken saag is cooked with spinach, spices, onion and tomato. If you like it hot, then the chicken vindaloo is for you, marinated in vinegar and fiery spices. You can also order vindaloo made with tender lamb or goat. I devoured chicken biryani, a traditional rice dish served in a copper bowl. You can order it mild, medium or hot and it’s so good, I was happy to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Try the Seafood specialties that set Saffron apart. For just $14.95 you can enjoy steaming hot shrimp curry with saffron in a heavenly sauce, or Goa style fish and shrimp with coconut milk, curry and coriander. Tilapia cooked in onion and tomato with curry is another great option so branch out and try something new. As with all Indian dishes, you order the bread separately. Fluffy naan bread will help soak up all those delicious sauces and flavors, while the kheema naan is stuffed with ground lamb and spices, and makes a great appetizer on its own. Puffy whole wheat roti bread is made in the tandoor, while paratha bread has flaky layers with lots of butter.

Desserts sweeten and soothe the palate so order kheer rice pudding, galub jamun, made with homemade cheese and sweetened milk, or cool, creamy mango ice cream. Saffron Indian cuisine offers a prix fixe dinner for just $14.95 that includes one appetizer, one entrée with basmati rice and naan bread, and a dessert. For lunch, the $9 lunch special can’t be beat and the service at Saffron is fast and friendly. Take-out orders are swiftly delivered to your home or office or eat in and enjoy the Happy Hour until 7pm. Catering available too so make your next event a success. Follow your nose to Saffron Indian Restaurant!

44-04 Broadway, Astoria


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