A place described by Curry Life magazine as one of the hidden gems of Cambridge. The Saffron Brasserie.
The usually unimpressive looking restaurant from the outside has had a lot of work done on it since the last time the Cambridge Curry Crew were in here.
It clearly has had a paint job, so it looked very fresh and new. I wouldn’t say the place looks much better than it did, but it was certainly needed.
The place is large and open which gives lots of space for big parties.
We were seen immediately and shown to a table at right the window. We enjoyed people watching while waiting for our food, and being near the window let in lots of light as it gets quite dark at the back. We did notice however that we were right next to the traffic lights on the street which ended up becoming quite a nuisance, we could hear the thing going “buzz buzz buzz” every couple of minutes during our meal. The place does not have double glazing so you could really hear it buzzing. As I went to the other side of the room to use the toilet I could hear it just as well. I find it hard to believe this hasn’t been brought up by customers before as it’s very irritating, thesound cuts right through you! By the end of the meal I wanted to smash the damned thing down.
That being said, the service was of a standard pace. We got our poppadoms quite quickly and they were very nice and thick, though it did only come with beetroot, onions and mango chutney though which was a little disappointing. I had to ask for lime pickle as extra but they were good enough not to charge us for it, which sometimes isn’t the case in other places (Chutney Joes in Cambourne!).
The poppadom portions were generous and well prepared. We only managed to use up the onions by the end so it worked out quite well.
Once we had ordered our meal we were pleased to see that the food portions were of high quality and generous sizes. My vindaloo tasted delicious and was very hot, just the way I like it. My friend’s vegetarian meal was consumed with a little fuss also. We were both very happy with the quality of the meal.
Once we had finished we had our plates and cutlery taken away, we felt under no pressure to leave at any time, though this might be something to do with the fact it was empty. We were given some chocolates after our meal but sadly weren’t lucky enough to be given hot towels. I was not impressed by this, as the hot towel is another one of those cultural differences which makes Indian restaurants that little more interesting than the rest, and see it disappearing everywhere! It was made particularly worse by the fact I was sweating quite a lot after a very hot and very satisfying vindaloo. By this point the constant beeping of the traffic lights were driving be CRAZY, so we decided to leave. I suggest going during the evening when there are less people crossing the road. We went during lunch time and it was quite busy on the streets.
4 out of 5 but feeling generous.