A craving for Indian lead me to Saffron in the Virginia Beach town center last Thursday night. I had heard good things and was excited to give them a try. The restaurant has a great location. It is right on the corner of Columbus Street, across from a nice sized parking lot. Getting in and out could not have been more convenient!
We arrived a little after six and were promptly seated. I have heard tales of woe from people who had long waits, but during the week this did not appear to be a problem. The decor of Saffron is clean modern; dark, with lots of tile, brushed steel and subtle lighting. To me it was instantly relaxing. I commented on the music and my husband said it sounded like something you would hear at a spa. Again, calm and soothing.
Service was solicitous, but not rushed. Several waiters served our table throughout the night, picking up plates, or bringing more drinks. I like when restaurants use this type of team service. The customer gets much better service and consequently the team gets better tips. The menu is complex and lengthy. There are many different appetizers, a page of breads, and another 3-4 pages of entrees. One page lists about a dozen curry sauces that can be paired with different “proteins”. One page is tandoor selections. Another page is dedicated entirely to vegetarian dishes. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help. I asked a lot of questions about the curried sauces and which paired up better with what protein. I got great details that I would never have know on my own, and consequently made a great combination.
We started out with cocktails, a Meat Samosa appetizer and Aloo Pratha bread. The Meat Samosa surprised me when it came to the table. It was larger that I had envisioned and the shell was crisp. Inside it was filled with crumbled lamb and vegetables. Indian food is all about the dipping sauces too! This had a slightly sweet, and mildly hot sauce that was the perfect accompaniment. Aloo Pratha is my favorite Indian bread, and I always order it at every Indian restaurant. Theirs is paired with a light yogurt sauce. The bread was very tasty, with nice seasoning in the potato filling. I thought it was a bit oily, but not in an overwhelming way. Both items were in the clean plate division by the meal’s end.
We both opted for curry dishes. I ordered TIKKA MASALA (requesting mild), which is a tomato based cream sauce with herbs & spices, and I paired it with lamb. My husband ordered VINDALOO, a classic Goan Speciality, tangy spicy sauce with Ginger & Potatoes, and paired it with scallops. Both dishes were served with one large bowl of Basmati rice, to be shared. Mine was fabulous. It had a hint of heat and unbelievable flavoring. I could not stop eating it!. My husband’s dish came out and it was bright pink! Interesting..... He ordered his hot, and about halfway through the meal I could see the sweat rolling down his brow. He agreed that everything about his meal was perfect.
Overall, I loved Saffron and know we will return. In addition to having excellent food and service, the prices are very reasonable. Portions are large, so be prepared to ask for a take home doggie bag.
Restrooms-NA, didn’t use
4532 Columbus Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23462