Monday, April 6, 2009

Saffron Cafe- Indianapolis

Antipasto plate:

Almond Chicken Tagine:

Kafta Tagine:

We had an absolutely lovely experience at the newly opened Saffron Cafe in downtown Indy. With El Morocco gone, we were excited to hear that a new Moroccan restaurant was open. The decor was stunning, the service was attentive and warm, and the food was delicious. We arrived for an early dinner and were seated to a table in the cozy dining room. Since so many of the appetizers looked good, we had to order the antipasto plate so we could sample the hummus, zaalouk (eggplant spread), and bakoula (spinach spread). It came to our table quickly along with a basket of pita bread. We have a weakness for eggplant dishes and for other cultures' ability to deliciously spice spinach so, needless to say, we loved the antipasto plate. Then, there's nothing like the presentation of a tajine in the gorgeous pot it's cooked in. We had the Almond Chicken Tagine and the Kafta Tajine. The sauce in the Almond Chicken was just divine. It had ginger, saffron, the subtle flavor of ground almonds, and raisins. It was covering the tender and delicious on-the-bone chicken and was also all around it so we had plenty to sop up with the bread that was provided just for that reason.

The Kafta Tajine was equally wonderful; seasoned ground beef, with peas and topped with egg. Perfectly roasted potatoes adorned the side. Plenty of sauce was present and waiting for the table side bread. This dish was garnished with pickled lemon, which perfected a dish that was pretty near perfect anyway. This tart little slice of heaven was an amazing compliment to the flavors provided on the plate.

If you think you don't have room for dessert, you should know that the tiramisu was amazingly light and absolutely divine. We were also hearing raves from fellow diners about the baklava.

Aside from having a very friendly and helpful server, the chef himself came to our table, inquired if everything was good and told us a little bit about our dishes. We don't know about you, but that hardly ever happens when we go out to eat. He was absolutely charming. Our hearts go out to someone opening an independent restaurant right now. We're happy to highly recommend this one and we wish them all kinds of success.
Saffron Cafe on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Nice report. My wife and I ate at the Saffron Cafe the week it opened. Even though they were still getting things up to speed it was a wonderful and delicious meal. We were really impressed with what they had done with the space. We could hardly believe that it used to be the Canary Cafe.

Suzette said...

Can't wait to go -- and appreciate the wonderful review! I hear they have developed their own gluten-free menu, and that is THRILLING! I already have Paella on my mind!
The Naked Fork

Anonymous said...

I must admit I was stuck in the Canary Cafe mind warp when I heard about the Saffron Cafe. Not that I didn't enjoy a great breakfast on occasion at the Canary if you were ever at the Canary be prepared for a visual shock. The atmosphere was perfect with just enough chatter to make you feel like we were among friends while allowing for a more intimate conversation at our table. The decor gives a great feel of modern day Morocco and an old cafe in Marrakech. Then there is the food. We enjoyed the Antipasto plate(assorted hummus)and a bottle of Moroccan wine to start. The Zaalouk was amazing. We then shared a Shrimp, Avacado and Citrus Saled which was perfect for two. We were pleasantly surprised by the abundance of avacado on the dish. Next came the Tajine and the Lamb Kababs. Both were perfectly cooked and the sauce in the Chicken Tajine left us asking for more pita bread. The cumin was present but not overpowering in the sauce. The lamb kabab was just as appetizing and both came with roasted potatoes. We finished with Moroccan coffee and tiramisu. Chef Sintissi stopped by every table giving that personal touch that SO many restaurants have lost. We had great food, great service and a great time. This restaurant gave us the feel of being in a NYC restaurant. We are lucky to have it here in Indy."