It may take a lifetime to master the art of Indian cuisine, but tasting the ingenious creations of the subcontinent takes significantly less than a lifetime. With today’s Groupon, $15 gets you $35 worth of fine Indian dining at Saffron. Saffron is an elegant eatery that serves traditional northern Indian dishes and taste-titillating modern plates. Creative Loafing calls Saffron “devoid of the expected sameness of many Indian restaurants,” and Charlotte Health & Fitness says the “bursts of flavors in the dishes here will take you by surprise.”
Saffron’s menu is divided into traditional favorites (lamb dishes, saag, curries, etc.) and avant-garde Indian fare. To start, Creative Loafing recommends the papdi chaat, a northern Indian pastry snack served with flavorful sauces ($4.95). Saffron’s specialty is saffron chicken tikka masala, chicken cooked in a tandoor and tossed in tomato and butter sauce ($13.95). Charlotte Health & Fitness recommends the palak paneer, which is “as good if not better” than creamed spinach ($12.95), and the unconventional tastes of the salmon ordinaire ($19.95). Saffron also offers more than 10 vegetarian dishes. Use your Groupon at Saffron’s daily lunch buffet to sample an impressive slate of new flavors and possibly learn the secrets of breaking wild horses.
Saffron’s former owner, Sangeeta Yadav, started out catering at Indian weddings, and her lavish feasts eventually evolved into Saffron’s creative fare. The bright and elegant restaurant is “small enough that servers are without unchartered places to hide, yet one back corner holds an out-of-the-way booth filled with fluffy pillows where customers can be out of sight,” according to Creative Loafing. If your New Year’s resolution was to try something new and you've already learned to tie new knots with your feet, completed a Sudoku puzzle, and sold something that wasn't yours on eBay, this is the perfect chance to treat your taste buds to Indian food. Stick to your resolution.
This Groupon is not valid toward alcoholic drinks.
- I had the Tandoori shrimp and Bharta bruchetta appetizers, both of which I have enjoyed three additional times now in the week since I first visited Saffron. I am not kidding when I say that I could eat these two dishes every day for a month...The five huge Tandoori shrimp were nestled in a darling little basket of poppadom, which is a crunchy lentil wafer...This dish was an explosion of flavor, and every taste bud on my tongue just sang, connecting to so many flavors in one dish. – Kelly Gray, CHF
- Once inside, the crew at Saffron embraces its customers with hospitality…Saffron's entrees beg to be tasted, especially the chicken tikka masala, which has tender morsels of chicken smothered in a succulent sauce of tomato and yogurt. Or if you have matriculated beyond the traditional choices, try the tandoor roasted lamb chops zaikedar, albeit thinly cut chops (religious dietary restrictions forbid meats gushing fluids thus meat is marinated but cooked thoroughly), yet almost mysteriously both sweet and smoky. – Tricia Childress, Creative Loafing
- I have had Indian cuisine a few times so I am no expert, but I enjoyed my lunch at Saffron today. The food was nicely flavored and aromatic and cooked beautifully. Often meat on buffets can tend to be overcooked and tough, but Safforn's [sic] was tender and perfectly cooked. The staff was attentive without being obtrusive. – kenterry, Citysearch
Saffron Indian Cuisine
Many people would consider warm carrot pudding an adventurous dish, but at Saffron Indian Cuisine, the gajar halwa isn't even on the avant-garde section of the menu. Rather, the traditional Indian dessert joins other Northern Indian classics, including palak paneer combined with fresh spinach and homemade cheese. The shrimp vindaloo is another standout with a sauce so painstakingly balanced, you can offset its mix of tangy and spicy by eating a spoonful of basmati rice or having a friend gently blow into your mouth. As for that avant-garde section, it's where Chef Mahesh—who has worked in multiple 5-star hotels in India—shows off his ability to experiment and invent. His paneer nirvana, for instance, mixes cheese and grilled vegetables in a punchy red-pepper sauce, whereas the sea bass bahaar wears a cloak of coconut-sesame-cashew sauce.