Located in Manhattan's Upper West Side, the newly opened Saffron, is the brainchild of Raju Brahmbhatt, a restaurant industry veteran of more than 20 years. His love and craft of Indian cuisine was passed down from his grandfather and now onto his own son Khevin, who present this flourishing family affair. "I'm on a mission to show people what authentic Indian food really is," he says. "It's about a total experience." And indeed, diners at this intimate location will be treated to a variety of regional Indian cuisine dishes from Rajasthan, coastal favorites from Goa and even selections from as far away as Tamil Nadu.
"Indian cuisine—the food from the Indian subcontinent in Asia—is primarily characterized by the extensive use of exquisite spices, herbs, vegetables and exotic fruits," he explains. "The subcontinent is as diversified in its culinary traditions as its languages and religions." While there may be some new and enticing dishes on the menu, don't worry, your tried and true favorites are still on offer.
For appetizers, try the Lasuni Gobi—Cauliflower florets battered and fried, served in garlic sauce. But be warned, friendships may be tested as you reach for the last one. The Shrimp Balchao is also a stand out. A classic Goan dish, it features succulent shrimp in a spicy, chilli sauce.
For mains, family style ordering is best to sample the many delicious dishes on offer. Try the Saffron Tikka, a dish featuring Marinated Chicken, Gram Flower Saffron, Yogurt, Nutmeg, Clove, Ginger and Garlic. Add to that the Lamb Hara Masala, a melt-in-your-mouth dish featuring Lamb cooked in a Green sauce of Coriander Green Chili, Mint and Spices. And a vegetarian option such as the Aloo Gobi Mutter, lightly spiced Potatoes, Cauliflower and Green Peas cooked in a Ginger and Tomato Sauce.
For the table, try the Poori, it's definitely a show stopper. A puffed, whole wheat bread, it's the perfect accompaniment to your meal and is quite spectacular.
For dessert, opt for a bowl of Indian Ice Cream or the Gulab Jamun—a light pastry dumpling made from milk powder, sugar and honey syrup.
Whether you are big fans of Indian cuisine or are simply looking for a new restaurant to add to your line up, check out Saffron, 320 Columbus Ave. With a 15 course brunch on offer every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for only $14.95 you'd be crazy not to. — SaffronNY.com