Returning to work was never so difficult than when I went to Saffron for my lunch.
Greencastle monkfish fritters, traditional Indian Thali, chickpea risotto and chilli and chocolate cupcakes - Saffron boasts without question, one of the most spectacular lunch menus in Derry.
Not only does the food taste absolutely amazing but the service is top class and the restaurant’s interior abounds in class.
Lunch at Saffron is just so darn good you’ll be tempted to locate your closest power source, plug in the laptop and phone the office to tell them you’ll be working from home for the rest of the day.
As soon as I arrived in Saffron I was welcomed by one of the owners, Sukhjit Nagra.
Sukhjit then introduced me to waitress Bronagh, who led me to my table. Bronagh handed me a menu, poured a glass of water (how I pined for something a little stronger but duty called) and left me to decide what I was going to order.
A few minutes later and another waitress called Julie arrived at the table to take my order. Julie couldn’t have been anymore helpful or anymore friendly - she was a pleasure to talk to.
Julie was able to rhyme of everything that was on the menu and explained what the day’s special were. I asked a few questions about the food and not once did she hesitate - Julie knew her onions (forgive the pun).
I ordered a portion of onion bhajis and the traditional Indian Thali (a meal made from a selection of dishes).
The onion bhajis came with a freshly prepared salad and some mango chutney - I can hand on heart say they are the best onion bhajis I’ve tasted in my life. Crisp, full of flavour and scrumptious.
No sooner had the bhajis, the chutney and the salad been devoured and Julie arrived with some Peri-Peri marinated chicken and the traditional Indian Thali.
Excitingly, the Thali comprises of two chicken curries which are changed every day and the dish comes with the most amazing homemade naan bread and pillau rice.
The Thali was delicious and after I’d scoffed it all I joked with one of the owners that I could gladly sit in his restaurant and eat naan bread and taste Saffron’s amazing curries all day every day.
Soup and sandwiches are also available in Saffron but if you fancy spicing up your lunch hour in the city centre I couldn’t recommend this place highly enough.
The lunch experience is of such high quality it will be no surprise to me if many of you are planning a return trip to Saffron for an evening meal.
Saffron restaurant is owned by the Nagra family.
The family opened India House on the Carlisle Road over 30 years ago and it was the first Indian restaurant to open in the city.
The family have relocated the business from Carlisle Road to Clarendon Street and have changed the name of the restaurant to Saffron.
Saffron opened in September 2013.
The design of Saffron is based on restaurants in Manhattan - New York and Covent Garden - London. The designer wanted to give a modern contemporary feel to the restaurant that would suit both a daytime / night time restaurant - a modern Indian kitchen.
The restaurant employees over 30 people and every morning Indian, European and pastry chefs are working tirelessly to deliver top class Indian food, homemade scones, chocolate and chilli muffins. The restaurant also serve homemade crepes every morning at 10am.
At Saffron you are simply spoilt for choice.