You may have noticed I’ve been away from the computer and writing for a spell but I’ve still been cooking up a storm as they say and eating, of course! Not much stops me from doing those things. It’s been an up and down year so far but I’m back on track and would like to return with a review of one of our Indian Restaurants here in Hobart. One that we have enjoyed on numerous occasions and one I hope others will enjoy whether you live in Hobart or are just visiting.
Indian restaurants seem to be on every street corner these days but they aren’t all good. So what makes a good Indian restaurant and what is it that you look for or want when you go to an Indian restaurant?
For me I like some heat, a lot of flavour and nothing too stodgy. I always think of Indian and Asian foods having bold flavours (not just heat) which emanates from the beautiful fresh spices and herbs used to create each dish from each different region. These flavours make dining out a joy.
So when I visit an Indian restaurant I expect flavour and lots of it, along with some heat (I love a bit of chilli in my food but I don’t necessarily want my lips, mouth and tongue to lose their senses).
Here in Hobart Wayne and I usually frequent one of two Indian restaurants, one being The Saffron on Hunter Street, located near numerous hotels and right on the waterfront. It is surrounded by other great restaurants so is in good company.
It was a cold night when we last visited, Dark Mofo was in full swing and we decided to hang out in and around the wharf area of Hobart to see what was happening. After a peek at Dark Park and surrounds we headed in to The Saffron for dinner. Upon opening the door we were welcomed with warmth and happy, friendly faces.
Once seated and drinks orders taken we perused the menu to decide what we would have this time. We like to try different dishes each time so we can experience all the flavours of India. While having a look at the menu Wayne had a bit of a chuckle to himself and then shared with me a couple of cute but funny errors on the menu. The lamb was marined instead of marinated and the fish was plattered instead of battered. We just had to smile at this but that aside the menu always sounds appetising and the food is always tasty.
Our wait staff asked if we would like papadams and of course we said yes. You can’t start an Indian meal without a few papadams. They were light and crisp just as expected but the real flavour came from dipping them into the yoghurt and mint dip/sauce. Cool, refreshing, like sunshine in a bowl. What a great start.
So it was decided this time we would have the Onion Bhajiis, a Beef Malabar Curry, Aaloo Gobhi, some Saffron Rice and of course you can’t have an Indian meal without some Naan, so garlic naan it was! First up were the onion bhajiis. They came out hot and crispy but we both found them to doughy and heavy, there was more batter than onion so I must say this wasn’t my favourite and I have had better elsewhere.
Ready for more and we weren’t disappointed. Beef Malabar Curry, tender enough that you didn’t need a knife as you could break up the meat with your fork. The coconut curry sauce was fragrant, smooth and had just enough heat (but not so much to make it uncomfortable to eat). Both Wayne and I loved this dish, creamy, tender and very flavourful. The Aaloo Gobhi is a mix of cauliflower and potato cooked in ginger and garlic, spiced just enough to enhance the flavours of the vegetable but not overtake them. This was a wonderful accompaniment to the curry. As was the rice and naan which was garlicy and soft yet had those wonderful crisp bits from being back in a tandoor.
What a great meal to fill us up and warm our insides. We were now ready to take to the streets of Hobart again and explore more Dark Mofo. I would recommend The Saffron to those who like Indian and to those who may not. There is a little something for everyone. Samosa and pakoras, tandoori in various guises, korma, masala and more curries of varying heat. Meat of all types, seafood and a great choice of vegetarian dishes as well.
So next time you are in Hobart give The Saffron a try. You’ll like it I’m sure and you can’t complain about the service as the staff are friendly, helpful and welcoming. If you want more information, contact details, menu and opening hours go to www.thesaffron.com.au.