Monday, January 08, 2007

Saffron Cottage

Saffron Cottage
1531 Burwood Highway, Tecoma
9754 8388

"It's a bit pricey for Indian Takeaway", someone grumbled at me when we were discussing Saffron Cottage. And yes, it is a bit more expensive than a cheap'n'cheerful takeaway place with beaded curtains to stop the flies and sticky plastic tablecloths. Then again, it's rather better food than you'd get from such a place. In fact, it's a proper restaurant (proper, in my limited definition, meaning it has linen tablecloths, waiting staff in smart clothes, a decent wine list, and let's not forget: good food).

They offer takeaway at 15% discount on the eat-in prices. Mrs. Banttha and I have two young 'uns, so we tend to eat takeaway far more often than we get to go out to dinner - hence, much of our interaction with Saffron Cottage is via the take-away they offer. Recently, Mrs. Banttha's mother came up to mind the Banttha boys, and we skipped out to enjoy a meal.

The interior decoration is interesting - a mix of rustic (exposed beams and rough wood panelling) and refined (rather swish bar, neatly-set tables, the usual stuff). It's got a cosy feel, despite being quite large. During winter they have the open fires going - the tables near those go really fast. During warm summer nights, the back porch, with its view up to the Dandenong Ranges National Park, is the place to be.

A lot of the menu is standard Indian restaurant fare that any self-respecting Melbournian would know. In my books, this is no bad thing. My sister has more than once accused me of being Lister from Red Dwarf - nothing suits me better than a hot curry and a cold beer. I'm sure she didn't mean that I'm a slob.

The curries are great - tender chunks of meat, and full flavour - even in their hottest vindaloo, all of the flavours come through beautifully. When we dined there I had the lamb rogan josh, with a glass of merlot (their wine list includes some decent reds, quite a few of them available by the glass). Mrs Banttha chose the mango chicken - between two such tasty meals, there was a long silence at our table, punctuated only by the clink of cutlery.

Two curries + rice and a serve of roti bread will set you back about $40. Add a couple of glasses of red wine ($5 - $6 per glass) and maybe a couple of entrees, and you'll still come in around $60.

It can get a bit busy at times, so booking a table for a peak night (Friday or Saturday) would be a good idea.

Quick summary: decor inviting, staff friendly, food excellent, wine list decent. Criticisms? I have none.


Chai said...

Actually, Indian food is more expensive than say, Vietnamese or Chinese cos of the spices and the frigging effort and preparation required. Of course I am generalising but I'm ok with that.

sublime-ation said...

Indian in the dandenongs? well I never. A change from Devonshire teas and German-themed restaurants. Will keep in mind next time I'm over that way, thanks for letting us know about it.

Banttha Fodder said...

Yes, we have both kinds of foods in the hills these days.

Next up, I'll review Tamarind Thai in Upwey. Chai, this is your cue to start hassling me about it.

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