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“Overrated and overpriced” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Saffron Restaurant

Saffron Restaurant
18 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown 9196, New Zealand
+64 3-442 0131
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Ranked #8 of 33 Restaurants in Arrowtown
Cuisines: European, Seafood, New Zealand, Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The award-wining Saffron Restaurant, located 20 minutes from Queenstown in historic Arrowtown, is known worldwide for its fabulous food and wine. Tourists, foodies and locals all appreciate the zest and passion of this vibrant establishment. Saffron showcases the best seasonal local produce of the South Island. The wine list, featuring the top producers of Central Otago wines, matches the contemporary cuisine and attentive service. Across the historic alleyway from Saffron is The Blue Door bar, the perfect place to start or finish an evening. Further along is Pesto, offering a more relaxed dining style with a great selection of Italian cuisine. Suited to all seasons, Saffron has the choice of outside dining in spring, summer and fall, and a blazing indoor fireplace in winter. Open 7 days a week Lunch from 12 noon Dinner from 6pm
Oxford, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Overrated and overpriced”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

A very disappointing visit, doubly so as it was our first trip to Arrowtown and Saffron came highly recommended. The food was variable, the service was absolutely terrible, and the bill was excessive. Like your previous reviewer we came at lunchtime, and there were just two staff on duty. A meeting with the new bank manager was going on at the same time, so quite how they expected to offer anything like a decent service is beyond me. I'm delighted so many of the clients have had a good experience; what a pity we didn't, as I was looking forward to it and left feeling completely deflated.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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290 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    188
    45
    32
    13
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Nelson, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Superb dining experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Dinner at Saffon was an anniversary experience from my wife's parents, who are very discerning "foodies" (as is my wife, actually....). It's in a great location in Arrowtown, a short drive out of Queenstown, and well worth the drive. The service, food presentation and quality were truly outstanding in every regard. As my wife and I were ordering very different items from the menu we asked for a suggestion on wine, and the recommendation was spot on! The menu is creative (even the dessert menu) and execution sublime.

Highly recommended for a truly enjoyable dining experience!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Invercargill, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Everyone has their "off" days!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

Encouraged by rave reviews and a superb book, my husband and I drove for 2.5 hours to eat at Saffron. Admittedly at lunch time, but standards shouldn't vary that much. There was one chef and one waitress between 5 tables. The meal took 2.5 hours for 3 courses without coffee. Parts of it were excellent, for example, green lipped mussels, arancini, battered blue cod in the platter. The belly pork was (a) tiny, (b) tough and (c) fatty i.e. inedible, although the accompanying spinakopita was excellent, as was the beef curry. The desert (fried iced cream with lemon sauce) was simply lukewarm custard (the iced cream). The goats cheese sorbet was horrid (but probably wrong choice on my part). Cost $NZ 138. Sorry Pete - great first book - disappointing visit.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

Really nice, local food and good service. Got very busy later on with people finishing the Mototapu.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Pokolbin
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Sublime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely superb food and service. Our large Hunter Valley Group have just had the most wonderful meal. Great professional service. Thank you.

Visited December 2012
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