Just a short drive from Center City, the chefs at Saffron Indian Kitchen have been working since 2009 to master the art of blending spices. First opening in Bala Cynwyd, PA then Ambler, PA and now in Wayne, PA, Saffron offers its diners a unique ambiance with friendly staff . Whether guests desire traditional Indian or the ‘nouveau’ style cuisine, diners can BYOB and enjoy it all.
Winning Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Award in 2010
“The layers of flavors at this Bala BYO take our Indian favorites up a notch, starting with the rice: Light, fluffy, and infused with the restaurant’s namesake spice, it’s the perfect starchy building block to a delicious meal. Don’t miss the saag paneer, in which the brilliantly spiced spinach [with a] smoky note shines (rather than the cream, for a change), or the tandoori-kissed lamb cubes in the house special boti kebab.”
Owner Rahul Bhatia noticed that diners on the mainline didn’t have much options if they wanted to enjoy Indian cuisine. So he worked to open his first restaurant with a menu of recipes mainly derived from the northern part of India with a delicate blend of spices that would be ideal to convert those unfamiliar with Indian cooking. Today all three of his restaurant locations have the same menu which offers a variety of dishes many of then naturally gluten free and vegan options are also available.
We started our meal with a small appetizer sampling. All appetizers are served with mint and tamarind chutney. Saffron has Vegetable Samosas which are homemade turnovers stuffed with diced potatoes and peas, flavored with spices. The Onion Bhajia of fresh marinated vegetables deep-fried in a chickpea batter is also a popular starter. The menu also has a variety of Dosas which are traditional south Indian crêpes made from rice and lentil butter, served from spicy lentil broth and coconut chutney.
Entrees for both lunch and dinner are served with a side of basmati rice. We tried the vegetarian Chana Punjabi with chickpeas gently cooked with onions, herbs, and tomatoes. The Tandoori Shrimp Masala was a unique twist on the classic dish made with shrimp cooked in tangy tomato cream sauce. Of course we had to get an order of the Butter Chicken which is the most popular with tandoori chicken of boneless dark meat cooked in a tangy tomato sauce. If you prefer something with a little more heat, the Lamb Vindaloo is spicy made with red chili and vinegar marinated lamb stewed with potatoes in a curry sauce. For something different try a side of homemade Indian pickles with traditional spices!
Make sure to order yourself some Naan to mop up all the sauces from your meal. This traditional leavened Indian bread comes with a variety of different spices or can be stuffed with seasoning. The most popular is the Garlic Naan with garlic and coriander. Our favorites are the Spinach and Cheese Naan with fresh spinach and mozzarella cheese or sweet Peshawari Naan stuffed with cashew, raisins and topped with dry coconut.
If you’ve saved some room for dessert, Saffron offers Badami Kheer which is a chilled homemade rice pudding flavored with cardamom, almond, and raisins. They also have Ghulab Jamun, hot cream dumplings dipped in sweet rose water syrup or Ras Malai, homemade cheese soaked in cardamom flavored sweetened milk syrup.
Lunch is served Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, Dinner is served everyday 3:00 pm- 10:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday offer guests a Indian brunch buffet with 12 rotating dishes. Reservations are available and delivery is offered via UberEATs and Caviar. Plus stop by Monday and Tuesday evenings to enjoy live sitar music. Plus in October and March, Saffron offers a special Dwali Platter for 1 week only.
Menu special additions for July & August include a Spinach Chaat appetizer made with fresh spinach leaves dipped in chick pea batter fried golden with yogurt, mint, and tamarind chutney. Entrees include Tandoori Vegetables which are lightly spiced grilled vegetables and cubes of paneer. They also have a Chicken Chapali Kabob with grilled minced chicken patties marinated with ginger, garlic and spices. A Lamb Bihari Kabob is being served with tender lamb cubes, lightly marinaed and grilled in the tandoor. Additionally there is a Tandoor Salmon Tikka with fresh salmon fillets marinated with a touch of yogurt and light spices, cooked to perfection in the tandoor. All entree specials are served with veg pulao rice, salad, and raita.