The Saffron

Sector: Whitley Street
Stardate: Wednesday 7 November 2001
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AMBIANCE Classy

Decor: Very smart although a bit conservative - had the feel of an airy stately home. Strategically placed folliage.
Music: Indian wailing - very authentic. Ended prematurely though.

SERVICE OK

Time to get served: Around 30 minutes.
Menu descriptions: All rather terse - no flowery language.

STARTERS OK

Popadums and chutneys: Four good dips.
Lime pickle: "Creamy, pretty hot but nothing to chew!" (Morcrette).
Onion bagees (2.00): "Moist - enjoyable but bland" (Hogan).

MAIN COURSES AND DESERTS Very disappointing

Vegetable Dansak (4.90): "Slop. Alright slop, but slop." (Allan). "Salty slurry, very boring" (Dixon).
Lamb Rogan Josh: "Adequate, but come to Bourne End for a proper curry" (Ellison).
Vegetable Madras (4.50): "Strange veg - baked beans?" (Morcrette).
Thali: "Cool, in both temperature and spiciness; bland" (Challinor).
Vegetable Bhuna (4.50): "Tinned vegetables, almost completely unspicy" (Hogan).
Garlic Chicken (House Speciality): "Mild: would expect a more potent sauce, but OK" (Holden).
Vegetable Vindaloo: "Tasty, but beaten spectacularly by the onions in the hotness stakes" (Felton).
Vegetable Balti: "Palatable but plain" (Pocock).

Chicken Bhuna costs 4.70, King Prawn Bhuna 9.90
MISCELLANEOUS
Buffet option Egg-fried rice Sweet Lassi Liqueur coffees Hot towels Sweets with bill

Key: Yes No Too drunk to remember

FINAL VERDICT

Everything was going well until the main course came along: the dishes were almost universally bland and uninteresting - my grandmother could make a more spicy curry (although she might put sultanas in it). A number of previous visitors had reported that this was an excellent restaurant - perhaps the normal chef was sick (on to our plates perhaps...) and they had to fall back on replicators. We award the Saffron 2 Cobras: