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“Great sauces”

Saffron Indian Bistro
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Ranked #20 of 133 Restaurants in San Carlos
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Indian, Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Between W. El Camino Real and Laurel
Transit: Taking SamTrans on El Camino get down on San Carlos Ave/ Holly Street Bus Stop. If taking Cal Train, get down 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.
Description: 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. We feature an ever-changing menu that is sure to please the Meat eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans alike, including items that are Gluten Free.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great sauces”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

The dishes are spiced very well. Service and setting very nice. Food is satisfying in its quality and creativity.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jjca77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Avaerage Food”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Food is too bland and very limited meat entrees for Buffet.Tandoori chicken was very bad and not properly cooked.They were out of one of their Deserts which is my favorite.
Overall disappointed with the place.

Visited January 2013
Thank vicks79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We had such a great time here. We were travelling and this place worked out since it is walkable from the caltrain station. We ended up staying there much longer than a we usually spend at the buffets. The staff was very friendly and understanding, the food was excellent. The chef even got some freshly made jalebis out since we were new to the area and had older parents with us. The chaat, main dishes, the sweets everything was so tasty and so much variety in the buffet. The Dahi vada was very yummy. They also have hot tea as part of the buffet for end of the meal. Absolutely loved everything.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank motherof21015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
65 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Saffron Indian Bistro Excellent Cuisine in San Carlos”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

We are big fans of authentic Northern Indian Cuisine and also enjoy local neighborhood restaurants, so we ventured to the cute hamlet of San Carlos on the Peninsula, where we found Saffron Indian Bistro. We were told that they had just hired a new Executive Chef, Parveen Sharma, who is an acclaimed Indian Chef from New Delhi. Chef Sharma is quite accomplished and has even prepared dinners for Indian Prime Ministers and England’s Prince Charles.
We were seated at a table by the window where we could see the pleasant interior décor and the comings and goings on the street including the Holiday lights. The Starters that we tried were excellent. The Saffron Sampler included perfectly prepared Vegetable Samosas and Vegetable Pakoras. They were crispy and lightly spiced. We really enjoyed the dipping sauces which added nice dimension to our dinner and included a spicy Mint Sauce, Cucumber Raita which is yoghurt and cucumber sauce and the Mango Chutney. Next we enjoyed the Dal Shorba which is traditional yellow lentil soup topped with cilantro which was delicious. Be sure to have an assortment of their Clay Oven baked Naan breads which were the best we’ve ever had! The Pesto Naan was unique, perfectly seasoned and quite delicious.
The Entrees were all served piping hot. We loved the Chicken Korma which is chicken cooked with curry spices, garlic and yogurt in a coconut based sauce. This dish has a rich creamy sauce with tender pieces of chicken. It is served mild but you can ask for it to be spiced up to medium or hot. What a great new addition to the menu! We enjoyed the Saag Paneer which is creamy spinach cooked in an exotic blend of spices with bite size pieces of paneer cheese. It was served as an entree this evening and we have also enjoyed it as a side dish. You must have the sweet, tender and delicious Butter Chicken which is their signature dish. Roasted Chicken is folded into a tomato and fenugreek based sauce. This is a delightful entree and a favorite of their customers.
The Wine List features California wines and is very affordable. We liked that wines by the glass were served in carafes which allows the wine to breathe and portion control. The Pacific Oasis Chardonnay and the Rancho Sisquoc Riesling paired well with our starters and the Harlow Ridge Pinot Noir paired well with our entrees. The Desserts were also excellent and perfect portions. We loved the Gajar ka Halwa which is grated carrots cooked with milk and sugar until caramelized then garnished with nuts and served hot. The Gulab Jarmun is hot cheese dumplings simmered in sugar syrup sauce then garnished with coconut and pistachios. This was fun, fabulous and quite unique. The Kheer Badami is a creamy rice dessert with cardamom and almonds. Anyone who loves rice pudding will be wild about this Indian interpretation.
Saffron Indian Bistro serves their full menu dinner on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday and a Prix Fixe buffet for Daily Lunch and Dinner on Sunday and Tuesday. They offer Catering, Delivery and have their own Indian Mobile Kitchen Saffron Food Truck which they use for catering and special events. They use no trans-fat and 100% cholesterol free oil and can accommodate vegan, gluten free, dairy free or nut free, as well as hot and spicy requests. Congratulations to Restaurateur Ajay Walia on Saffron Indian Bistro’s 10th Anniversary. He is passionate about flavors, the dining experience and service and has created a family friendly neighborhood Indian Bistro with great cuisine that pleases the senses and warms the soul. We looked forward to our next visit to try other menu items from Chef Sharma.

Saffron Indian Bistro
1143 San Carlos Avenue
San Carlos, CA. 94070
Sidewalk Seating Weather Permitting

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DiningDetectives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
121 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

San Carlos is not much of a destination, most people in the area drive through it rather than stop and that's a pity because if they did they might discover this little gem in San Carlos's downtown. I was actually just driving by when I saw it from the street and it just looked attractive, so when I had a chance a day later I went in for dinner.

The name is a little misleading. It isn't a "bistro." It's a full-fledged restaurant. But if the name is off target the food is just perfect. The menu is extensive and it brings in dishes from all over India but mostly from the north. They have a wide selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes (although no beef, obviously).

I had the tomato shorba (soup) and it was creamy, full of flavor, and so surprisingly good that I couldn't stop smiling (you try to swallow while smiling, more difficult than you'd imagine).

I then a large plate of Goan shrimp in curry with plenty of cilantro and a side of rice. Such a great dish. One of the great dangers of Indian food is that they might over do it with the
spices and the dish will move from spicy to just plain hot. It's a balancing act and it requires some experience and dexterity to get it right. Saffron, thankfully, gets the balance just right.

For dessert, rice kheer (rice pudding). Cold, sweet (but not too sweet) and the perfect way to balance out the spices in the curry.

Saffron doesn't offer coffee. Usually something like this would drive me nuts. I looove coffee. I neeed coffee. Coffee is my friend. And yet, I received the news in perfect equanimity, because well, this is an Indian restaurant, and at Indian restaurants you have tea after your meal. Not coffee, tea. And that's just the way to end a perfect meal.

Wish I could stay around, I'd go back tomorrow.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Benja764
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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