Saffron is a curry house which likes to make an impression. Award-winning dishes, lavish interior and an exciting sounding menu certainly positions this restaurant higher up the pecking order than some of the alternatives Northamptonshire has to offer.
So last week, my partner Alys and I decided to head to Saffron to see how it compared to others in town.
Located in Castilian Street, the restaurant is in one of the plusher areas of Northampton town centre, surrounded by other eateries and clubs.
We visited Saffron on a Friday night and booked in advance, although it wasn’t really necessary as we ate quite early in the evening.
When we arrived, we were quickly shown to our table and ordered drinks.
While you’ve got to judge a restaurant by its food, the décor of Saffron shows it means business. It has a modern feeling, with the tables laid out and smartly decorated.
Our drinks arrived promptly and we ordered a couple of poppadoms each.
You can tell a lot about an Indian restaurant by the quality of this course alone and Saffron got off to a good start with warm, fresh poppadoms and a tasty dips.
The accompanying mango chutney had generous lumps of the fruit in.
We ordered the Platter For Two for starter (£10.95).
This included onion bhaji, chicken tikka, sheek kebab, tandoori king prawn and chicken pakora.
And it wasn’t long before a large platter arrived, which we tucked into.
The food was piping hot and delicious. Although it was a fairly safe selection of starters, they were cooked well with strong flavours.
For our mains, we both ordered from the Bangladeshi dishes section of the menu.
Alys ordered mango chicken (£9.95), a dish the menu informed us was an award-winning dish from the international chef of the year.
I opted for lamb passanda which comprised of lamb pieces cooked in fresh cream and cultured yoghurt (£7.95)
We shared a pilau rice (£2.75) and a peshwari nann (£2.95). The passanda was exactly what’d you’d expect, succulent pieces of lamb in a mild sauce.
The mango chicken was a far more interesting creation.Cooked in a medium hot dry bhuna sauce, it mixed generous chunks of chicken with equal size slices of mango.
While very sweet, it was sold as a “medium” hot dish, which Alys felt lacked having much more “kick” than the mild lamb passanda, which was a bit disappointing.
On the whole, it was an enjoyable meal, but with four soft drinks, the bill came to just over £50.
Which raised a dilemma.
That was roughly £20 more than what we had spent at an alternative curry house near the town centre for the same quantity of food in more basic surroundings.
So was it worth it?
In terms of ambience yes. Saffron is a lovely restaurant, the food was good and staff were courteous throughout, regularly returning to check how the meal was.
It is one of Northampton’s nicest curry houses and we will return.
But there are cheaper ones we’ll return to before it.
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: On street
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £52
David ’s star rating: 7/10