For fans of authentic Indian food, New York City is blessed with several key neighborhoods where an abundant selection of terrific restaurants are available for your choosing. 6th Street in the East Village and Curry Hill (East 20s at Lexington Avenue) are convenient destinations for downtown residents who don’t want to travel outside Manhattan to get their fix of favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo. But the Upper West Side also boasts its share of excellent Indian restaurants, and one of those is Saffron, located at 75th Street right on Columbus Avenue — one of the best locales for prime people-watching in the city!
The Gig was recently invited to dine at Saffron as part of a media dinner, where we had the opportunity to savor many of Saffron’s excellent, multi-regional dishes, be pampered by friendly, attentive service, and enjoy the great street views! Owned and operated by Raju Brahmbhatt, who is already an established successful restaurateur, each menu item at Saffron was personally developed by him to showcase the depth and breadth of authentic and diverse Indian cuisine, characterized by the use of exquisite spices, herbs, vegetables and exotic fruits. Here are a few of the dishes we enjoyed!
We also enjoyed this freshly prepared Poori, a puffed, quick-fried whole wheat bread. This one is always greeted with smiles when it arrives at the table.
Ginger Tikka is made with boneless chicken marinated with fresh ginger, garlic and spices, and cooked in a clay oven. A tender and juicy people-pleasing dish!
For seafood lovers, Shrimp Balchao is a classic Goan dish with succulent shrimp in a spicy chili sauce.
Lasuni Gobi is a dish of battered and fried Cauliflower, served in a garlic sauce. Saffron has seemingly endless varieties of creative, vegetarian-friendly dishes.
Aloo Gobi Mutter is another popular Indian vegetable medley of lightly spiced potatoes, cauliflower and green peas, cooked in a ginger and tomato sauce. All of these dishes are ideally portioned for sharing, so a small group of friends can enjoy an eclectic feast by ordering just a few items!
Peas and Carrot Pulao is the favorite Basmati Rice dish with Saffron’s special touch of, well, saffron!
Another standout entree, for Salmon lovers especially, is the Fish Tikka Jalfrezi; tandoori Salmon Tikka sauteed with onion, bell pepper and special seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce — the best salmon dish I’ve yet tasted in any Indian restaurant. Highly recommended!
No Indian feast is complete without Paneer; a traditional Indian Cheese that is one of our favorites. The Palak Paneer pictured above combines cubes of this delcious homemade cheese with spinach, garlic and herbs.
Although we were all surely stuffed and satisfied by the end of the meal, Saffron did not skimp on serving two excellent Indian Desserts. The Indian Ice Cream Cake is light and luscious, with its three flavors of ice cream including pistachio, cherry and vanilla, layered on top of a moist, spongecake base. So good!
Gulab Jamun is a light pastry dumpling (not unlike a doughnut) served with a honey syrup. Sweet and a little decadent! What a fantastic evening!
In addition to its full dinner menu, Saffron also offers a variety of lunch options. Monday through Thursday, enjoy a special $9.95 lunch menu (Noon – 3 PM), or pick up a boxed lunch to-go for just $8.95. A weekend buffet lunch (Friday through Sunday, 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM) offers a fifteen course, all-you-can-eat entree selection for only $14.95 — a unique alternative to the usual Sunday Brunch!
Saffron Indian Cuisine is Located at 320 Columbus Avenue, at the corner of West 75th Street, in Manhattan. Take the 2 or 3 Train to 72nd and Broadway, or the C Train to 72nd and Central Park West. Order online or make a reservation for dinner at Saffron NYC.