(Jake Bugg)

Saffron Tandoori Restaurant – Rayleigh

It was another Friday evening, and the ladies were out for another of their regular get togethers. This meant a couple of husbands at a loose end for the evening, and rather than sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for them we headed off for a Friday Night Curry.

This time the ladies were dining in the vicinity of Rayleigh, so we took the opportunity to try the Indian Restaurant offerings in that town – having researched them online first, of course.

Two choices presented themselves, both had equally good reviews, and both menus (checking their websites) looked interesting enough.

My friend chose ‘Saffron’ as it’s been his regular for a number of years.


My friend’s status as a ‘regular’ was confirmed as he was greeted on arrival, by name. We were quickly shown to our table, there were a few other tables occupied, but the restaurant was far from busy – this being about seven thirty on a Friday evening.

We skipped poppadums and starters, heading straight for main courses. My friend ordered Chicken Jalfrezi with Pilau Rice, while I ordered a Chicken Tikka Biryani, and as usual I requested that the accompanying Curry sauce be ramped up to Madras heat. We ordered a side disk of Bindi, and a Garlic Naan, and a couple of draught Cobras.

The Chicken Tikka Biryani was tasty and slightly moist, the chicken neatly diced to centimetre squares and the accompanying vegetable curry just left a madras tingle on the lips. My friend’s Jalfrezi was meaty and he declared it to be up to the usual standard. The garlic Naan was light and not too garlicky, and the Bindi offered a slight resistance the tongue, not over-cooked or mushy.

My friend has a sweet tooth and ordered a pistachio kulfi to follow, while I enjoyed a second pint of Cobra – he was driving.

As we left we noticed that the restaurant had filled up, I had been facing the (interestingly mirror mosiac decorated) wall and hadn’t noticed it filling up – there were no problems with the service, though.

All in all a very tasty Indian meal, nothing sensational, but at under twenty quid a head including drinks, another venue to put on my local list.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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