With an executive chef consistantly winning accolades, awards and plaudits Saffron in Oldbury is a step up from a normal ‘curry house’ in more ways than one.
Sudha Shankar Saha, who lives in Dudley, beat off competition from Gordon Ramsey’s chef to win the Alaska Seafood Recipe Challenge at Claridges and now his diary is getting more full up than Sophie Dhal’s Arga.
The decor of Saffron is very wine bar-ish with simple white, blacks and reds and obviously designed to be as far removed from a traditional balti house as possible.
If you are looking for a simple curry then the Saffron menu will see more raised eyebrows than a James Bond box set.
What a refreshing change to see Scottish rabbit fillet, Highland venison and Barbary Duck on an Indian menu.
However, I was assured that the chef’s and the Wolverhampton Road restaurant’s speciality was fish and I suppose the framed Seafood Recipe Challenge certificate.
The owner recommended the Saffron Machli, saffron marinated seabass shallow fried, and when it arrived it looked like a work of art.
The fish crumbled perfectly when I put my fork through it and it melted in my mouth when I tasted it, the flavours all combined beautifully and the dish was light enough not to effect my main course.
My partner had the Lucknow Sheek kebab, tandoori spiced minced lamb with soft cheese, which was a brilliant twist on an classic Indian starter.
When it comes to picking a main course anywhere I seem to revert into a child for about an hour, it takes me ages to pick one and then when it comes I always want the one I didn’t pick or what my partner ordered.
The Saffron specialties and seafood menu is where the action is at, the tandoori and chicken menus look good but my mouth was watering at the prospect of eating something that you dont associate with Indian restaurants.
I couldn’t make my mind up whether to have the Highland venison with ‘rustic potato gateau’ or the Barbary duck with Chinese hickory sauce. I ended up panicking and decided on the Nalli Gosht, welsh lamb shank with herbs and spices.
My partner went for the Beef Steak a la Indiana, Scottish beef steak with mustard mash and red wine mushroom sauce, and when it arrived I immediately wished I’d had that.
But my lamb shank was presented beautifully and was wonderfully tender, the portion was huge and the side order of pilau rice was as fluffy as can be.
My partner had overdone it on the poppadoms earlier so I was delighted to be able to sample an ample part of her beef main course.
The pair of us couldn’t face the desert menu because we were so full and decided not to tempt fate by ignoring our stomach’s advice to call it a day.
The starters were priced between £3.50 and £5 and the main courses were both around £12 which considering the chef is one of the best in the country is reasonable.
Saffron is certainly not your average Indian restaurant and as it is very close to M5 junction 2 so it is no surprise the clientele come from far and wide to sample the award winning chef’s fare.