I’d been hearing positive reviews from the Miller clan about an Indian restaurant in Cradlehall called Saffron so decided to try it for myself. First of all, Cradlehall is a residential area of Inverness in the East of the city that takes about ten minutes to drive to from the centre. Saffron has opened up next to Cradlehall shop in a tiny unit that has 7 or 8 tables and a takeaway area. There are no other restaurants in Cradlehall so it’s great for those who live there now that the drink drive limit has been reduced. It’s also currently bring your own bottle so you won’t spend a fortune.
I had tried to book on another night but they were full, so booked a few days in advance this time – something to remember if you’re planning a visit.
I have been twice now and both times had poppadoms and dips to start so I didn’t fill myself up before the main course. Mr S was eyeing up the Saffron Thali so that he could sample a bit of everything so we shared that and my choice of curry. I usually picked a Chasni in Glasgow but apparently this is a Glasgow curry & you don’t usually see it in other places. Undeterred, I asked about it anyway thinking that the staff might have heard of it and recommend something similar. The waiter asked me to wait a second and returned saying the chef would be happy to make me a chasni – happy days!
The Saffron thali has tandoori chicken, seek kebab, chicken tikka mossallah, lamb bhuna, chicken dansak, lamb samosa, basmati rice and naan bread. The tandoori chicken was still moist and well marinated – great dunked in the sauces. Chicken tikka mossallah (spelt different on the menu from the chicken tikka massala so don’t know if it is different) could have done with some oomph whilst the Dansak was both of our favourites and new to us. The sweet and sour element gives a flavoursome curry and we’ve ordered it since. I’m glad to have started with the thali on our first visit – it’s a bit like samples at launches in the sense that you can find your favourites without having to order whole dishes.
My chasni was exactly as I remember it – sweet and sour with a hint of mango chutney. It is a good sauce for mopping up with naan and often the whole table end up using my sauce for this towards the end of the mains. It’s my guilty pleasure and any time I order anything else in an Indian restaurant I just don’t enjoy it as much.
I’ve spoken to several other people about Saffron and it seems to be a hit all round. They score points with me for having an up to date website with a menu to browse – it is so important for restaurants to build their business up. The idea of more local restaurants around the residential areas of Inverness appeals to me as buses up here aren’t very reliable and taxis are expensive. I don’t think it takes much business from the city centre because both times we went we would have ordered a takeaway or eaten in if we couldn’t get a table. Walking ten minutes to a restaurant for dinner & a glass of vino is something that I’d spend my money on regularly, as long as the food is of a high standard. Now if someone can open a good restaurant in Inshes please…