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Dec 18, 2009 12:58 PM

Saffron in Ambler

Any early reports?

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  1. I went to Saffron last night and had a fabulous dinner. I can't wait to go back!

    The service was very attentive. I met my friend there and I brought a bottle of wine and she brought champagne-- before we could even decide, we had both wine and champagne glasses on our table. (These are the types of details that drive me crazy when overlooked!) The place was packed when we arrived, but service was very timely.

    We started out with a shared order of samosas, 2 per $4 order. I am pretty apathetic about samosas normally, but these were great. I think they just were made fresh with good ingredients and good flavorful sauces (tamarind and mint chutney). I have been craving them all day.

    For entrees, my dining companion had the chicken korma and I had the house recommendation of chicken tikka masala (both $13). We probably should have been more diverse, but we were both thrilled with our choices. Again, everything just bursted with fresh flavor-- my chef hubby remarked later when eating my leftovers that he was suprised to find a whole clove in the sauce, since many Indian joints would just use ground clove. The rice was also a great - perfectly cooked and fragrant... it never fails to amaze me how many restaurants can f' up rice???

    The chef came out to say hello to diners. He is from Pakistan and told us he specializes in Pakistani and Northern Indian cooking, but he is always willing to jack up the spice level on request. I should point out that I love Indian food, but I'm pretty beginner-intermediate in terms of my knowledge of Indian cooking and the nuances of the various regions.

    We reluctantly allowed them to pack up our leftovers and split an order of ghulab jamon for dessert. It was not my favorite version of this dish that I've had, but it was good AND it was not micro-waved, which seems to happen alot.

    At this point, it was about 9:30 and we were the only table left. The servers brought out a cake for one of their employees who was having a birthday. They eagerly included us in their celebration and brought us each a peice of their cake. It was a nice touch.

    Usually when I have Indian, that will tide me over for a month or so before I crave Indian again... This time it was all I could think about today! I can't wait to go back and in fact, got a text message from my dining companion that she and her husband did go back tonight. Next time I will try some of the tandoor dishes that smelled so good...

    It is a great addition to Ambler and now I don't have to schlep over to Tiffin!

    5 Replies
    1. re: xtian

      Thanks so much for the report. We walked by on Thursday night and peeked in (cute decor, glad they added a hostess/welcome desk that La Cava was lacking in that space). Also grabbed the menu and it look good and prices were reasonable. Sometimes with Indian restaurants it can go either way, so I am so glad to see a good review. Can't wait to try it!

      1. re: xtian

        This sounds fabulous! I can't wait to give it a try.

        1. re: xtian

          yay, indian close by! thanks for the review. wonder if they have high chairs? anyone know?

          1. re: missfunkysoul

            yes they have high chairs available and special menu for lunch and great selection of dishes for kids. my kids loved their recomendations.
            its a fabulous place to dine in.
            i will definitely go back.
            its a recommended place.

          2. re: xtian

            Understand the disadvantage of having to schlep! My favorite Indian is in/not on Broadway. Not NYC but the Cotswold. To my taste Saffron is as good Indian as I have ever had. Much better than most local area offerings that I have tried. Love the Daal and the Chicken Masala also. All the smells I have experienced there are stimulating and suggestive of delights to come.

            1. re: jujuthomas

              Had dinner there on Sunday night. Food was very tasty and
              well prepared. There service was attentive maybe a little slow.
              The staff certainly were very helpful. My wife did not finish her
              Lamb biriyani which was a good sized portion and the staff asked
              the food was ok because she had a lot of leftovers.
              Will definitely return

            2. We went there for lunch and it was just great. I had the chicken madras and my husband had the lamb tikka masala. Both were so good, by far the best Indian food I have had in the area (though I guess that's not saying too much). Very fresh tasting with a good balance of flavors. My husband is not into Indian food and this converted him. We also had the garlic naan, between two of us we ate three orders of it so I think that's a testament to how good it was (or we're just gluttons!). Had the mango lassi, was great. Only problem was I orderd the ras malai for dessert and it was frozen so they could not serve it (actually a good thing that they chose not to serve it instead of serving a poorly defrosted version). Portions were huge, we feasted and lunch was only $24. The space was pretty and bright, if a little tight. Defiunitely plan to go back, they are a great addition to the area.

              5 Replies
              1. re: AmblerGirl

                I'm taking my husband to Saffron for a birthday dinner this weekend. I've never had Indian food before, so I'm clueless as to what is an appropriate wine to bring. Any suggestions? Thanks.

                1. re: localgal55

                  i think beer is better personally. a good crisp lager with indian food = A+!

                  1. re: localgal55

                    I really like the food at Saffron. The first time we went we asked our server to make recommendations. We took Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The only one I felt was lost with the food was the Pinot Gris. Just my personal take on that.

                    1. re: localgal55

                      Also a spicy crisp wine like a geverstraimener (I'm sure I spelled it wrong!) would be nice, that is my favorite with indian food. Also a dry reisling or a vioginier would pair well. Go for dry and crisp but not sweet!

                      1. re: AmblerGirl

                        was at saffron ambler tonite and had a wonderful daal with of their new sept. specials....amazing...also...ask for a side of hot sauce...takes a bit of time to make but it added wonderful flavor to everything....

                  2. My parents took my wife and I to Saffron tonight (1/26/2010) after they ate there less than a week prior. Their experience was so positive that they wanted us to try. I will say right up front, it didn't disappoint at all. The staff was friendly, attentive, and professional. The space was simply, but tastefully, decorated.

                    For the four of us, we ordered the Onion Bhajia and Samosa Chaat for appetizers. For entrees we had Lamb Roganjosh, Goan Shrimp Curry, Tandoori Chicken, Shrimp Biryani, Garlic Naan, as well as a few dishes of Saffron Rice.

                    All I can say about the dishes is that the shrimp and meats were all insanely tender and flavorful. I typically brine my grilled chicken to get a nice mix of tender moistness with char-grilled flavor. However, no white-meat chicken I've ever made or ordered can compare with the tenderness of the yogurt marinated chicken served at Saffron. Its gonna be hard after tonight to enjoy chicken any other way. I really can't believe I'm talking about CHICKEN this way, but goddam it was good. Now take my impression of the chicken, and basically apply it to the shrimp and lamb. The only difference is that the lamb and one of the shrimp dishes were served in rich, flavorful sauces, that were spiced to provide a perfect compliment, without being overwhelming.

                    Between the apps and entrees, there wasn't a single item that any of us thought was less than excellent. To top it off, the entire evening was roughly $80. I will certainly go back, and often.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: waddsworth

                      just got the menu in the mail, it all looks so tasty, and they deliver! :)

                    2. I tried it and the only issue was that I hated the smell. The place is small, so with all of the steaming dishes, it is heady, and I ended up feeling like I needed a shower and to wash all of my clothes. If that smell doesn't bother you, then I recommend it because the food was tasty.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodie527

                        I've eaten at Saffron several times and was not at all bothered by the smell. Yes, the place is small but the scent is pleasant and quite delicate. In fact, it is less fragrant than most of the other Indian restaurants in the area. I and my dinner companions certainly did not feel like we needed a shower or wash our clothes!

                        The menu is a limited, but the food is excellent. I've had various chicken and lamb dishes. The only dish that was just okay was a goat special. My reaction was probably due to the fact that I had never eaten goat before.

                        I intend to make this my go-to Indian restaurant. Aside from the great food, the prices are very reasonable and the service attentive. And it is in the Ambler area where I live.

                        On a different point, has anyone ordered delivery? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.