We are all familiar with the type of establishment where we usually go to grab a quick bite be it during the office hours or a late supper. The city is peppered with these restaurants,bearing the humble South India family restaurant tag. But Saffron Vegetarian,the new restaurant on Lal Bahadur Shastri Road,is a smarter,swankier avatar of the countless Shiv Sagars,Rupalis and Amrapalis.
The restaurant is done up in pale colours,with comfortable seating and the walls lined with photos of the saffron crocus flower. The menu is ambitious,to say the least. Dosas,sandwiches,pav-bhajis and salads apart,they also have an extensive menu for north Indian,Jain,Chinese and Italian food. To be fair to our waistline as well as the menu,we decided to make two trips to the restaurant,as some items on the menu were available only in the morning hours,while others during lunch and dinner hours.
For breakfast,we started with the Rava masala dosa,followed by the Sabudana khichdi. While the dosa was delightfully crispy and perfectly cooked,the khichdi,which kept us waiting for some time,was soft and flavourful,with the gentle aroma of ghee adding immensely to the taste.
The peak hours of the restaurant are definitely the dinner hours. A table for two kept us waiting for half an hour. But they have helpful staff,and enough chairs are placed outside,in a casual manner,so that the wait isn’t any more taxing than it should be. After exactly 30 minutes,we were shown to our table.
For starters,we ordered the Spring roll from the Oriental section,and a Pineapple and strawberry milkshake. The Spring roll was golden-brown and cooked throughout,and was served with a generous helping of salad. We proceeded to gulp down the milkshake with alacrity. The Aloo mattar and Paneer guldasta that were ordered for the main course were perfectly made,greatly helped by the fresh peas and succulent paneer. Satisfied so far,we were a little disappointed to see a very bare desert section,comprising only of ice-creams and milk-shakes.
The pricing of the restaurant is easy on the pocket and the portions very generous. Definitely not a fine-dining restaurant,Saffron Vegetarian has the feel of that friendly,unassuming neighbourhood restaurant,with a great potential for take-away and home-delivery as well.
Address: Saffron Vegetarian,
Lal Bahadur Shastri Road,
Meal for two: Rs 500