Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Saffron Desi - Guiseley

Over the years I must have eaten more curry here at Saffron Desi than anywhere else!  It's my local curry restaurant you see - me living in Guiseley.  Eat ins and take aways, we've had them all. Sorry for not blogging sooner.

Saffron Desi, however, does have it's roots in Bradford, and is a genuine Bradford Curry eating establishment - see here.  NB.  Saffron Desi opened the Guiseley branch a good few years ago now, and I understand the original Leeds Road, Bradford Saffron Desi has now closed.

Naans on sticks - Excellent.
At Saffron Desi you get a very good quality meal, with excellent service and an overall splendidly trendy experience.  I have always been happy here.  Over the years the Mrs and I must have sampled the majority of the menu, but stand out dishes for us, and the ones we re-visit time and time again are, for starters, the Saffron Mixed Grill.  It is a massive, packed to the rafters sizzler with chops, fish, kebabs and tikka etc.  It is not for the people with weak constitution!  Rather for those with a bottomless appetite.  The Grill alone can fill you if you're not on top of your game!  But as with everything in life, size isn't everything, and the Mixed Grill is great tasting too.  All spicy and carcoaly - very nice.  For mains, the stand out dishes for us are the Vensi and the Saffron Ka Khana.  The Vensi is not a dish you'll come across very often - indeed a quick Google search produced very little info - but it is a brill dish.  It is a creamy dish - which I don't often favour - but it has heat and sourness, which gives it a real kick.  Comes garnished with peppers too, which add another dimension and flavour.  It is one of our favourites.   Secondly the Ka Khana, which is your more traditional Bradford Curry in a thick onion/tomato based sauce, and is a 'complex dish of many individually roasted ingredients' apparently - or something like that.  It is dark and rich and very tasty.   As always, the above are accompanied with a garlic naan on a stick (a nod to Akbars??) which is always warm, fresh, fluffy and, above all, bery garlicy.

Saffron Achari
The Lamb Saffron Achari I had recently was perhaps not in the same league as those discussed above evenif it was listed on the Saffron Specialities - Award Winning Dishes section of the menu.  Different to other Acharis I have had in Bradford recently, it ticked all the right boxes on the menu, with mention of yoghurt marinades, pickle masala and a dash of cream, but it was rather too creamy for me, and not quite as butt puckeringly sour as I would have liked either!  Having said that, it was still very good, a perfectly good take on an Achari - worth a try if you are a fan of this variety.  Perhaps ask for extra sour when ordering?

It is great to have such a quality establishment on ones doorstep.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Bundobust - a First Taster

Real Beer Tokens
Leeds Beer Festival and a Bundobust Pop-Up Bar just inside the gate.  Coriander Ale and Pav Bhaji - Boy I am really looking forward to this place opening in Leeds proper.  Still early doors though, and no concrete venue details available as yet.  You lot will be the first to find out.

The Bundobust Coriander Pils was very refreshing, not too fizzy, and definitely had a unique spicy flavour to it.  It was a great beer, and I think a perfect accompaniment to a curry.

Bundobust Pop Up Bar

Then to the Pav Bhaji (Pav means bread and Bhaji means vegetable dish), and it's fantastic.  Originating from Mumbi (I understand), it is a basic, but complex, quick, fast food dish.  Bundobust's Pav Bhaji was cooked in the traditional way on a large flat griddle,  and all the vegetables and potatoes mashed together with plenty of spices and butter.  It is pretty rich and very rewarding to eat.  The bread is generously buttered and warmed/slightly toasted on the edge of the griddle.

Prashad's Bobby (yes him from the telly) was on hand offering samples and some history about the dish. Bobby is great at this sort of thing, and talking about the dish, it's origins and about how many millions of portions of Pav Bhaji are served in Mumbai per day.  I quipped "Mumbai dish, Mumbai prices?"  A stern "no" was the response!  Never mind, Bundobust's/Prashads's Pav Bhaji was worth every penny.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Shimla Spice - English Curry Awards 2013

Congratulations to the mighty Shimla Spice for recently landing yet another set of awards.  This time at the prestigious English Curry Awards 2013.  But when will they stop?  There can't be many more awards left!

Announced as competition finalists in mid August, Shimla Spice went on to beat stiff competition and win not only the Best Restaurant in Yorkshire 2013 category, but also the Best Restaurant in England 2013 category too!  It is, of course, a great achievement for Shimla Spice, and an excellent reward for a lot of hard work but, thinking of the bigger picture, how fantastic is it for the Bradford area itself?  It says a lot about the quality of the food available in the city and surrounding area.  Shimla Spice have done themselves and the Bradford - The Curry Capital of Britain - proud.

So a massive well done Shimla Spice.  I am looking forward to my next visits to this award winning restaurant, and hope experiences such as these will issue forth... Bring it on!

Leeds Cultural Curry Festival

Another date for the is Leeds Cultural Curry Festival 2013:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Breakfast Study #2 - The Sweet Centre

The Breakfast Study continues with a trip to the Sweet Centre, arguably the finest breakfast establishment in Bradford.

And it is indeed great - and I have breakfasted here on many occasions, as regular readers to the Bradford Curry Blog will all to well know.

Today, the cafe was very busy - and showed obvious signs - uncleared  tables - of a very busy morning prior to my arrival.  The bar was rammed, and I was unsure of my place in the queue.

So why so good?  Well, it's a combination of many factors.  It's cheap and quick for starters, so can be considered as a rapid pop in when passing, and the the food is great too.  The chana has substantial chickpea and potato content in a thin sauce, which is excellently flavoured, seasoned, and spiced.  I find the level of spice can increase with depth, probably due the the spices settling out of the thin sauce??  Great though.  Then there's the kebabs.  50yr+ recipe apparently?  Simply gorgeous course ground meat and obvious onions, are certainly substantial in their texture and flavour.

Plenty of mint sauce is the order of the day for me.

My breakfast of choice at the moment, but from here the Breakfast study travels into virgin territory.