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RTP: Saffron

Wanted to do a quick plug for a new upscale indian place on davis drive, in the big shopping center with harris teeter. Saffron does an excellent lunch buffet, with lots of fresh, buttery naan to sop everything up, and a wide range of offerings. Dinner is pretty killer too-- tandoori smoked lobster, braised lamb shanks in a gorgeous sauce, the ingredients of which escape me (i confess an ignorance of traditional indian cuisine). wine list was very thoughtfully put together--eclectic, but good complements to the food. will try again and take better notes.

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  1. Agreed!! I live within walking distance of Saffron (Davis Drive in Morrisville), and it is excellent.

    Matt

    1. The menu looks fantastic! We'll be going there this Saturday evening to try it out and will report back.

      1. Went to Saffron for dinner on Saturday night. In short, this place is a gem. I can't declare it the best for Indian food in the Triangle after only one meal but it is certainly in the running and may well be after a couple of more meals.

        To start we were brought the now ubequitous pappardums but were brought three sauces along with it: a tamarind chutney, a cilantro chutney, and a yogurt raita. I like the tamarind and cilantro a lot. The mango lassi came in a large, tall glass with a pinapple and cherry garnish and was delicious, if a bit too sweet. The Hoegarden Belgian White also went well with the dishes. I had a coconut a shrimp soup that was okay, could have used more salt. The highlight were clearly the entrees. We ordered the fried okra (to which the waiter said was a excellent choice and gave us a look that indicated we knew what we weredoing) and the lamb shank curry. I figured a curry using lamb shank would require long, slow cooking rather than a pre-made curry sauce being poured over some meat and veg. Both the okra and lamb were outstanding! The okra was sweet, slightly crunchy, with hints of mild spices. The lamb was melt in your mouth tender wher you first tasted the meat and followed by layers of spices and then finally some heat. It was so good I had forgotten about the naan and beer that I had ordered. We only had room for masala tea and it was just like they make it in India: milky, sweet, and fragrant of cardamom, cloves, and ciannmon.

        The prices are a little higher than other Triangle Indian restaurants but given the nicer ambiance, and the extra touches like the sauces, garnishes, and better ingredients and execution of the dishes, it's well worth it.

        Thanks to HeelSox and Westy for clueing me in about this place. I plan to return soon to try out more of the menu.

        1. word... i'm glad you guys had similar impressions of the place. i was a little concerned (and still am somewhat) about the ability of the surrounding area to sustain a restaurant such as that, but i think if we all put the word out on the food, it can only get better! will also be back in for dinner soon.

          1. After reading so many great reviews of this place, I decided to have dinner there last night. First of all, I'm coming from Durham and had never really ventured far into RTP. It was a hike to get there. Enough griping..... :)

            I had a nice glass of cote du rhone and split an order of the vege samosas. They were good but not as flavorful as I've had before. For entrees, my friend had the saffron chicken and I had the goan shrimp. The chicken was delicious----stuffed w/spinach and apricot preserves. My goan shrimp was good but not great. I did absolutely love the cucumber raita--it was delicious. The naan was on the greasy side. I thought it was baked in the tandoori but it appeared it was deep fried. For dessert, we split the chocolate lava cake w/vanilla ice cream. It was not all that great. I've had better from a convenience store.

            Verdict? The wait staff and the manager/owner (I think) were super nice and attentive. Wine? Excellent. Food? Good but not great. I will definitely give it another try and sample some other dishes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gyp7318

              That is essentially my take on the place as well. Nice folks, very cool wine list, and good food. Will not hesitate to eat there again but not like I can't get it out of my head or anything.

              1. re: gyp7318

                A comment on making naan. Traditionally, naan are baked in the tandoor oven and then brushed with ghee (clarified butter) while it's hot. That's probably why you found it greasy-- it's supposed to be. If you don't like it that way just ask them to skip this step next time you order and I'm sure they'll oblige. If you do like deep fried bread try an order of puris.

                1. re: bbqme

                  Thanks for the info. I had just never had naan served to me that way before so I was a bit unclear as to why I found it greasy. Makes sense. I do think I will skeep the ghee step. To me it detracted from the rest of the meal.