Saffron is a Persian restaurant situated in the heart of Richmond. Steps lead you down into this cosy basement restaurant where you can enjoy the delicate flavoured cuisine of this rich and ancient country.
Decor is simple and Persian artwork lines the walls. Tastefully minimal in design, its small space creates a feeling of intimacy. There are tables upstairs and downstairs, offering enough space for small groups or, if you prefer a quiet meal for two, choose the table under the stairs for that extra bit of privacy.
The mood is sedate and Persian music plays softly in the background, adding to the authentic experience. Even on weekends the place seems empty and quiet. Unfortunately, the waitresses are neither approachable nor friendly and really the only thing that lets Saffron down.
If you are a meat lover, you will love the food on offer. The menu is easy to follow and there is a good range to choose from, but there are few vegetarian options. For starters, the dolmeh (vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs) is delicious and succulent. Be sure to order the taftoon bread (Persian flat bread), which comes freshly baked, and when dipped into the boorani-ye esfenai (steamed spinach mixed with home-made yogurt) makes for an excellent starter. Main courses are priced between £10.00 and £13.00 a dish and the portions are generous. The khoresht-e bamieh (lamb and okra with steamed rice) is also highly recommended. Cooked in a rich and aromatic tomato sauce, it contains beautifully subtle flavours and the lamb melts deliciously in your mouth.
The wine list is relatively comprehensive. The house red is rich and full-bodied and the perfect accompaniment for the variety of meat dishes available on the menu.
The Last Word
Saffron is a treasure waiting to be discovered. It’s definitely worth a visit to unearth traditional Persian cuisine.