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About Saffron Indian Bistro
Saffron is a local neighborhood family restaurant located in the heart of downtown San Carlos, serving Northern Indian Cuisine with a commitment to using local and sustainable foods.
San Carlos, CA 94070
Indian, Vegetarian, Contemporary Indian
Hours of Operation:
Daily lunch: 11:30AM - 2:30 PM
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM
Friday - Saturday: 5:00PM - 10:00PM
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Let us cater your next event. We will bring everything you need including a kitchen (on wheels). We cater corporate lunches, wedding, birthdays, or if are just in the mood to celebrate.
There is street parking all over downtown, including parking at the nearby Caltrain station, just a 2 minute walk away.
Taking SamTrans, on El Camino get off at San Carlos Ave/ Holly Street Bus stop.
If taking Caltrain, get off at Holly Street Station (San Carlos) and walk west on San Carlos Ave to the restaurant on the left, 5 doors from El Camino Real.
Chef Owner - Ajay Walia
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Saffron Indian Bistro Ratings and Reviews
We ordered samosas and the "street food" option as appetizers. Delicious. For mains, we ordered baingan bharta, butter chicken, malabar shrimp curry, lamb kebobs and hyderabadi chicken curry. The butter chicken was the only disappointment as the chicken was dry but the other dishes were delicious. Also ordered onion and garlic naan and mango lassis.
We keep coming back to Saffron as our go-to Indian place. We venture further afield, try someplace else, then end up back here and enjoying it. I've had take-out, the buffet and normal dining here. All have been great. The service is pleasant and it is almost always easy to get a table.
We've been eating at Saffron for years and the meals are always very good and the service is very attentive. Our only disappointment is that the menu has been scaled back a lot. They used to serve a variety of fish dishes... all of which were good. They no longer serve fish. We also had some vegetarian favorites that are no longer on the menu.
Saffron used to be our go to Indian place but they changed the menu and raised prices and it is no longer our favorite. They don't even offer tandoori dishes anymore. In their effort to be like all the other new restaurants in this town, they've now downgraded their menu and lost several loyal customers. I'm sure they will still survive since it is the only Indian food in the area.
The food was very good! We had the eggplant which was prepared like babaganoosh (meaning squished rather than in chunks or pieces). It had a lot of ginger but was very good. We also had the butter chicken, samosas and shahi paneer. All were yummy and their nan was very good. Add a Kingfisher beer and you are in business. The wait staff was a little too attentive. Meaning like they removed plates when not everyone was done and they interrupted conversation.
Saffron offers consistently good dishes across the board. They also have one of the best Indian buffets I've been to in the Peninsula.
They've scaled back their menu items quite a bit and I find that disappointing as most dishes are now chicken or vegetarian. They used to offer a really great assortment of fish dishes.
I'm very cost conscious and I like to get bang for my buck. I've come here twice, and each time I'm in disbelief about what I am paying vs the amount of food I am receiving. Sure, the food is delicious, but $17 for a small dish of curry is beyond me. And $8 for two small samosas? Try to split that between 3 people - it doesn't leave you feeling satisfied.
I also had to repeat my order/questions a couple of times due to some communication barriers - not usually a big deal, but in the end they ended up bringing out the wrong glass of wine anyway. Didn't say anything as we're pretty flexible, but I'm noting it here.
This is no ordinary Indian food restaurant. The food is fresh and delicious. You will find some of the usual south Indian dishes on the menu, but they are the best I've had and some not so common dishes. But be warned, it's going to be hard to go from here back to a standard place...
Saffron has been one of our go-to restaurants for many years. My favorite is the (lamb) Rogan Josh, which is always outstanding. We tend to complement that with a chicken or fish dish, which have been uniformly excellent. The appetizers, especially the samosas, are always very tasty. The wine list is not elaborate, but there are good choices at reasonable prices. The service is superlative, attentive but not hovering.
I used to love this place but I'm a super Lamb Tikka Masala lover. They no longer serve ANY lamb Tikka dishes! They said it was because so few people asked for it. Unfortunately, because of that, I won't be back which is really sad because other then that the place is great.
We dined here on the night before Thanksgiving. Luckily we had a reservation
from Open Table because the restaurant filled up and was very busy. It is very popular. The noise level was mostly due to one family with ENERGETIC, out of control children. After they left it was more enjoyable. Our SERVICE was EXCELLENT and the FOOD was EXCELLENT! I love certain dishes because they are the only ones I know. This night we all tried something new to expand our Indian food dining experience. We all were very full and satisfied with the food and service. Cant wait to take some new friends there and share our new discovery.
Secretly, I would like to keep it to myself so it will never be too busy to
get a reservation. But I wish the establishment ALL THE BEST ..... I will
return many times and bring new friends each time to help spread the word.
We loved our meal, we ordered an assortment of dishes, chicken, lamb, shrimp, and vegetarian. We also had garlic naan to accompany our meal. Every dish had a unique flavor and was seasoned to perfection. We loved our carrot cake-like dessert with a touch of burnt toffee flavoring. We will definitely go back. I would like to try their luncheon or dinner buffets as well.
The last time I had this quality of Indian food was when I dinned in a 5 star hotel restaurant in Delhi India. It is a bit pricey for Indian food, but it's worth every penny. Outstanding service, friendly staff that are not in your face. They make sure your water glass is full, swap out warm plates before you dine, and attentive.
I thought the signature butter chicken and garlic naan were good but not amazing. MUST HAVE Lamb Briyani!! Great finish with Saffron Pistachio Kulfi (traditional indian ice-cream), and a masala chai tea. LOVE!!
Almost anytime I go out with friends who are from India we always seem to end up here - and with the selection of Indian restaurants in the area this is saying a lot. Food and service are always excellent and this time our group had a 2-year old and without asking they brought him a water cup with a straw. I cannot rave enough how great this restaurant is - my favorite dish is their Saffron’s Signature Daal Makhani - I have it every time I come here and it gets better every time (not sure how that is possible but it does!)
Service was great--servers were always attentive and always made sure our water glasses were full. Food was amazing--butter chicken, their signature dish, was delicious and the naan was hot and fluffy. They had other interesting curries on the menu, but the butter chicken alone makes me want to come back here.
I had 2 friends in town from India who wanted good Indian food and so I took them here and they loved Saffron Indian Bistro! We asked for medium spicy and it was wonderful. The service was very attentive, the food was served at the proper temperature and the naan was cooked to perfection. I have been here several times myself so I knew how good it was and recently had to order food-to-go for 3 different meeting groups and no one had ever been here so I was taking a chance but everyone loved it and asked me to bring their food to our next meetings this week. This is a consistently excellent restaurant!
This place is well worth a visit! The food was outstanding and authentic from the appetizers to the desserts: probably the best Indian food in the mid-Peninsula. I had the mahi-mahi baked in the clay oven, and it was tender, moist, delicious, and with just the right amount of spice. The service was efficient and attentive. We had an early booking at 5:45 pm on a Friday night, and the restaurant filled up fast. The only only negative was that, since the restaurant has a concrete floor, there is nothing to absorb the sound and the noise level was a bit high. Parking can be a bit of a problem, although there is a City parking lot 2 blocks away (the other side of Laurel Street).
We selected the 9:15pm dining time and only 20% of the tables were occupied which was surprising. They came by to take our order and since we were not ready, they came back two minutes later. They let us know the kitchen would be closing soon and needed to get our order in asap. We ordered and they let us know again that we would be unable to order any additional food items. While we were eating, two servers came over and let us know that the restaurant was closing at 10pm. Before we had finished eating they were already taking fixtures away from the table. When finished, they dropped off two containers and a bag on the table. We had to request additional containers and had to package our leftovers ourselves. Would not recommend.
We brought out of town guests on a Monday night and the place was hopping! We ordered a variety of dishes - daal, fish tikka, lamb vindaloo, tandoori chicken, etc. Everything was delicious - the daal house (pun intended) special was luscious and creamy, the fish tikka was cooked & seasoned to perfection, the lamb vindaloo was as spicy as expected and the chicken tandoori was moist and flavorful. The service was friendly and attentive. Everyone had a smile on their face when they would come to our table to replenish our drinks. We are definitely looking forward to going back to try all the other dishes!
Made reservations for Wednesday evening. Got there, the place was half empty and refused to seat us until all members of the party were present. I could understand if place busy and packed but not the case. Ordered, service was quite slow 30 minutes for food and the place was not busy, also servers not friendly at all. Food was very good and I will go back for another try or maybe just do take out to avoid the service issues.
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