New Saffrani

New Saffrani
11 South College Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AA
  • Telephone 0131 667 1597
  • Opening times Mon Wed–Sun 2–10.30pm.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 2–11pm.
  • Pre-theatre times 5.30–7.30pm (only on Festival Theatre performance days)
  • Average price £13 (lunch); £13 (evening meal)
  • Pre-theatre price £9.95 two £10.95 three courses
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  • Website
New Saffrani
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2014/15 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2014) edition.

Lurking in the deep shadow of Old College, New Saffrani is indeed new, having supplanted its predecessor in the autumn of 2013. A spartan and somewhat makeshift interior belies the commitment of a young team with a clear eye on the market and ambitions to match. Rather than compete with the local proliferation of cut-price student lunch menus, New Saffrani (the name comes from saffron, which is widely used in the cooking) opens at 2pm, thus scooping up late lunchers and those hungry enough to eat their evening meal in the afternoon. A slight unevenness in the cooking speaks of inexperience, rather than lack of skill, as the spices are well judged and differentiated between dishes. The spiced lamb chop starter burra chap attracts aficionados from all over the city and the Goan fish curry is over-sauced but it is presentation, not cooking, that is at fault here. Lamb garlic handi is tender and nicely marinated, and the haggis pakoras are worth trying. Watch this space: with a lick of paint and improved lighting this place will soon be better known.

  • High point: Great range of flavours
  • Low point: Drab decor
  • Notable dish: Burrah Chap grilled marinaded lamb chops

Promoting True Taste of India. Eat from the street of India menu.

Our experienced chef is pleased to present New Saffrani to the curryholic Scottish public that has an insatiable inquisitiveness for new dishes, new ingredients and new experiences. Many of these dishes have never graced Scottish restaurants or are very hard to source. For guidance or to satisfy your curiosity, simply ask our chef, and he'll be only too happy to explain the origins of each dish.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Delivery: £1- £3
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
  • Capacity: 30
  • Largest group: 40
  • Open since: 2013
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
  • House wine: £11.95 per bottle
  • BYOB: Free corkage

Comments & ratings

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9. cathymcdon14 Dec 2011, 2:31pm5 stars New Saffrani Report

definitely the best curry restaurant in Edinburgh!!! Had the most amazing Indian seafood experience ever. and also a very fine selection of wines. Excellent service and attention from the waiters complement to the food. I had made it a point to recommend this restaurant to all my friends and it is definitely a must try. The food is served really warm and they also have a excellent range of starters.
PS: Don't miss out on the Mango Kulfi dessert which is simply the best Indian dessert I have ever tasted!!!!

8. DavidMorg6 Dec 2011, 11:25am5 stars New Saffrani Report

I had gone to Saffrani restaurant a couple of weeks earlier with my wife. This is a restaurant where you get absolute value for money. The food is excellent and its all moderately priced. The meat samosas and lamb jalfrezi were amazingly good. Having tried a variety of Indian restaurants in Edinburgh, i would say that I had the best Tandoori chicken from here.
To top it all, the service was excellent, they have a good selection of drinks. I had the kingfisher beer and my wife had wine.

It would be a sin not to mention about the mango kulfi which was suggested by the waiter to be one of the best Indian desserts. It is definitely one of the best desserts I have ever had. Make sure to try the mango kulfi if you happen to visit Saffrani!!!

7. Peja20 Jun 2011, 10:37am Report

This was our first visit to Saffrani and we will not be returning. The service was friendly and efficient but the food was dreadful. My Tandori salmon Tikka was overcooked and tasted strongly of stale fish and my partner's Aubergine Pakora was soggy and tasteless. My Goan Fish curry was inedible - small pieces of unidentifiable grey fish floating in a vaguely coconuty brown sludge, I complained and to give them credit we were not charged for it. My partner's chicken Jaipuri was OKish. To describe themselves as a specialist seafood restaurant is a joke. I wish we had read the previous review before deciding to go there. Something has gone badly wrong.

6. Samcrumb24 Apr 2011, 4:12pm1 star New Saffrani Report

Oh, dear. We have been going to Saffrani's for years but on Saturday we had the worst Indian meal ever. The vegetable pakoras were just ok but the 'sauce' was a dish of cold, chopped tinned tomatoes probably mixed with ground chilli. The main dishes were barely adequate, small, lacking in flavour. My lamb rogan josh, for example, was swamped in tomato and had no fresh coriander. The nan breads were dry and didn't taste freshly made. We asked if there was a new chef but all they said was the menu had changed. The waiting staff, though clearly keen to please, were amateurish and clumsy. Not recommended and we do not intend returning.

5. MartinL10 Aug 2009, 5:34pm1 star New Saffrani Report

My friend and I ate at Saffrani on Saturday. We arrived at about 9.20pm, and the restaurant was about half full, yet it still took time to see if we could actually eat or not.

Our drinks took some time to come, then our starters a fair while longer. My fish pakora was alright. My friend's starter also OK.

Our main courses also took quite a while to arrive. My lamb biryani was fairly lacklustre, with overcooked rice, and a tomato and onion sauce. My friend's lamb kofta came as uncooked, cold lamb balls. When this was pointed out to the manager, it was taken away, and he was offered a lamb bhuna in it's place. No apology was offered whatsoever.

Given the other restaurants in the area (Mother India, for example), there is no way I'd eat there again. The cynic in me thinks they were simply punting out sub-standard food during the Festival to non-regulars. The couple sitting beside us were also unimpressed with their food, and had no plans to return.

Bill came to £50 for two starters, two main courses, rice and four beers. We decided not to leave any tip.

Overall, the experience was like I can imagine when Indian restaurants first came to prominence: patrons would have limited knowledge of the cuisine, and limited expectations. These days we have some excellent Indian restaurants. This is clearly not one of them.

4. ouime24 Feb 2009, 4:11pm Report

this is the best indian food I've ever had. 4 people; brilliant food & drink; £100.

3. EckyP7 Feb 2009, 4:16pm4 stars New Saffrani Report

We eat in Saffrani on a regular basis and find the food delicious. Friendly service and the bill for two courses and a bottle of wine for two people is around £40.
Worth every penny

2. NeilT13 Nov 2008, 2:42pm Report

I checked with several North Indian friends and they said they'd never put cream in their food but Saffrani does. So its not authentic as it claims to be. I had lamb passander which was laden with cream, almost sickly and devoid of any chilli heat. And some stuffed aubergene thing that was bland and dull.

Some other diners had fish and seemed happy. Maybe this is a better option.

The bill came to 50 for 2 of us - 2 beers, water and two courses. That's way too much for a dinner.

Someone told me the mosque kitchen (round the corner) offers authentic north indian food.

1. Restaurant Reviewer30 Apr 2008, 3:16pm Report

This is probably the best Indian Restaurant in Edinburgh, however, what it lacks is its location, but makes up for that with the quality of the food.

It's not on a main road or thoroughfare, but don't let that put you off. You'll find it tucked just behind the Royal Museum of Scotland and the Festival Theatre.

Friendly and inviting staff - and great food. No artificial flavouring here just fresh tasting food...oh and ice cold Kingfisher on tap as well!

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Average rating 3/5 from 5 reviews of New Saffrani.

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