Saffron

By on 18 February, 2019 in Food, Kate and Stephen, Restaurant Reviews with 0 Comments

We’ve got a new favorite Indian food restaurant in town, and although it requires us to drive way out east to the part of the city that we don’t prefer, it’s the best spot currently operating in Montgomery.

Saffron is in the same space as Taste of India, which then became The Bay Leaf, which we reviewed in 2015. This third incarnation may be the best yet, although it’s hard to make comparisons across so many years. Memories, like a sari left outside on a clothes line for too long, will fade.

We’ve been to Saffron twice now, once for dinner and a second time for the lunch buffet. The dinner had pleasant ambiance for a brightly-lit strip mall location, and we were particularly excited about the diversity of options available on the lengthy menu. No matter what protein you prefer, Saffron pretty much has it in some capacity, with a wide variety of vegetarian options prepared in a number of permutations.

After considerable deliberation, we settled on a “bullet naan,” which came laced with jalapeno peppers. It was pretty good, but not that spicy, and we regretted not going with garlic naan. The spicy came with our entrees. We’re accustomed to ordering our food “spicy” at Indian and Thai places around here, as this usually means something around whatever the Scoville scale is for a little bit of Sriracha. But the good folks at Saffron are definitely not messing around. They took us at our word and brought us two curries (one shrimp and one vegetarian) that were incredibly hot. Although we consumed an astonishing amount of water during our meal (and they kept our cups full), we found ourselves overmatched by the heat as well as the amount of food on offer. Next time we might try a little less heat. But the food was delicious. And we loved that the menu offered a number of items we’d never had before. Caveat emptor, y’all.

Next time we came for the Sunday buffet. The place was packed, which we hope is good news for the incredibly nice family that owns the place. There were ample items for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike, as well as several kinds of bread. Some things we’d never seen, including a delicious item that looked like a mini-donut but tasted like a pakora. Nothing was greasy, and everything was well-spiced – not too hot, while not dumbed down for an inattentive audience. It’s also worth mentioning the innovative (to our Western eyes) desserts. The rice pudding was robust, loaded with cashews, and had an unusual texture, almost like broken noodles. It’s worth saving some room for the end of the buffet.

We’re hooked. It’s well worth the drive all the way out to Chantilly. And anyone who wants Montgomery to boast a robust array of food options should make Saffron part of their regular rotation. We do love India Palace, for sure, but Alabama’s capital city has got to have room for at least two Indian restaurants. Here’s hoping that Saffron persists and thrives.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

 

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