Name: Cafe Saffron
Status: Closed
Area: Clerkenwell
Address: 17b Aylesbury Street
London EC1R 0DR
Phone: 020 7253 4300

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 30 Jun 2016|2. 30 Mar 2017

A text-book arrangement. Yum, yum!

Visit Report

Visit Number: 203 (visit 2 of 2 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 30 Mar 2017
Cost per head: £22.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.6 6.9 6.5 7.6 7.1 7.3 7.9 7.2 8.9 7.41
Neil 6 7 5 8 8 7 6 8 7.0 See Neil's comments
Brian 8 8 7 9 8 8 10 8 9 8.5 See Brian's comments
John 6 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 9 7.4 See John's comments
Mark 6 7 6 6 7 8 6 8 6.8 See Mark's comments
Jeff 8 7 6 7 7 7 6 9 7.1 See Jeff's comments
Richard 8 8 9 8 9 9 9 9 10 8.8 See Richard's comments
Jon 6 7 7 9 6 8 10 8 10 8.1 See Jon's comments
Dominic 5 6 8 7 6 5 6 5 8 6.2 See Dominic's comments
Tim 6 5 5 8 6 7 7 7 8 6.7 See Tim's comments
Robin 7 7 5 7 7 8 8 8 10 7.5 See Robin's comments

All Comments

Neil - Warm weather and a great choice of pub made for a good start to our March curry evening. The curry wasn't too bad either! I went for the speciality starter which I believe is pronounced chick-a-mo-mo and very nice it was, a sort of spicy chicken pancake of a very adequate portion size. Next, I plumped for a rather ordinary chicken biryani but the accompanying stuffed paratha was very tasty. No room for sides but I recall we did have Sag with no Aloo, which everyone liked surprisingly. A great night out and cheap with the Taste Card discount. That said, we spent some of our savings popping to the pub afterwards to meet Graeme who had bunked off the meal to see his old mates!

Brian - A really enjoyable evening.  Thankfully it was warm enough to drink outside the very small Jerusalem Tavern, which was a very atmospheric little place with a wide range of beers and a decent lager or two as well. On to the restaurant, and the Prawn Puri starter was very enjoyable, as was the fish main – I went for one off the bone, from about 5 or 6 fish dishes on the menu, which made a refreshing change. Veggies and bread were all fine as well. I'd definitely go back to both the pub and the restaurant.

John - Small and intimate. Nice veg and main (chicken tikka jalfrezi) and good value for money. Top pub too (The Jerusalem Tavern).

Mark - Lovely little pub to meet in, The Jerusalem Tavern, followed by a quick stroll through lively Farringdon and then slipped in the back door of Café Saffron to the suprise of the advance party. Quick shuffle of seats to avoid the door and wall and we were ready to order except the other half of our party were still boozing. Waiter seemed to like taking away wine glasses even after he had brought them back once! With no Legend (until ET) I had to work the finger session which went OK apart from a few random orders. Prawn puri starter was standard fare but main of Lamb Chilli Masala was good. Sub-committee on one side of the table held their own EGM and then called for a vote - scandalous - without 2 Founding Fathers as well. Griff would be shocked. I like this place and would be happy to return.

Jeff - A small restaurant in Clerkenwell, off our beaten track. A very warm night for March saw us standing outside the Jerusalem, a little gem of a pub, before a quick stroll to the Saffron. A smallish menu and a biggish taste card discount awaited us. Everything was pretty good without being outstanding, and the dishes were definitely spicier than most places. I had the tandoori mix and chicken Pathia, both of which were above average without being spectacular. Cold Cobra , large portions and decent service makes it a place I'd definitely be happy to return to.

Richard - A very good meal at £20/head thanks to Mark's Taste card, which makes this place 10/10 for value (especially from those who thought the Red Fort worthy of 7/10 for value!). I enjoyed a good mixed tikka starter and excellent chicken bhuna main. Nan, rice, sides and pops were top quality, which were nicely topped off with cold cobra beer from the full size bottle. Sag without the aloo was a nice change. Despite being in a tricky location for me to get to, Café Saffron could be my new favourite curry house.

Jon - Another excellent performance from Café Saffron.  As I had been so impressed last time, I went for exactly the same choices and was not disappointed.  Superb tandoori mix starter and an excellent lamb dansak main course.  Special rice was very good with the only slight negative being that the keema nan could've had a bit more meat.  I've marked them down on service a little only because they served sag bahjee rather than sag aloo, although the one they brought out late was very good.  As for the price, very reasonable indeed with El Pres's Tastecard discount – it was almost like being back in Brick Lane in the early noughties!!

Dominic - After availing ourselves of the London sunshine outside an old fashioned boozer it was off to Cafe Saffron once more. We were seated at the same table which meant we were in plain sight of the crack and water stain spotted last year! Service was again slow all evening with very little pleasantries or mirth offered during the meal - an additional point has been deducted for service due to the continual removal of the wine glasses even after we asked that they remain / be brought back! My tandoori mixed starter was fine but perhaps more tasty as we asked that the poppadum condiments be left. I chose the Chicken Xacuti as a main which was again fine but somewhat disappointing as it was described as being "fairly hot" which wasn't the case. The rest was all OK with my beloved "Matoose" as the standout. Good VFM once again due to El Prez's Taste Card and enjoyable banter throughout including many plaudits for the "Marathon Walk"!! And speaking of which, it was great to catch up with my fellow "athlete" afterwards for a drink or two ... even if it did get a tad "steamy"!!

Tim - They haven't decorated since our last visit - there is still cracked glass in the windows and water stains on the walls. They should also get someone to proof-read the menu; there were many errors, what is "underground garam masala"? As on the previous occasion, they only have small (and expensive) bottles of Kingfisher, and the rather uninformative wine list was quite expensive. I imagine this is partly because of the discounts available on the food; they want to make something back on the drinks. Talking of discounts, although we had a TasteCard offer on the food, the waiter explained that this didn't include duck, fish or king prawns. I had the tandoori mix starter - a reasonable selection of three meats, followed by chicken methi, which was quite tasty although the chicken was a bit dry. The rest of the meal was fine, and because of the afore-mentioned discount, the overall VFM was good.

Robin - Because we'd got a major discount we weren't allowed king prawns or fish, but the (ordinary) prawn puri starter was very good; loads of prawns in a lovely sauce with nice bread. My main course of kosht kata mosala was excellent, lovely aromatic, tender lamb in a really good sauce. The special rice was very good, as were the veg dishes and my half of keema nan. The price was astonishingly good for a meal of this quality and I'd be very happy to return next year.

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