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Restaurant Review – Saffron

By 21 June 2008 16

Saffron Restaurant

Where – Franklin st Manuka
Cuisine – East Mediterranean fine dining
Review date – 17/6/08
Phone – 62957068
Cost – Banquet and drinks $50 per head, give or take (mains approx $25-28 which include rice and salad)

I’ve had the great pleasure to have dined at Saffron on a number of occasions and on each i have been very satisfied by the consistently good dining experience it offers.

Saffron seats perhaps 50-60 diners in both indoor and alfresco (heated) dining. Not a large restaurant by some standards however, both in larger parties and smaller groups it somehow creates a sense of intimacy that enhanced the dining experience even when larger groups filled the restaurant. Almost as if my group were the only ones there and we had the restaurant to ourselves. The staff, headed by Marvin at front of house are attentive and friendly without being overbearing and always manage to ensure that the water on the table is topped up just when you need it to be, which in my book is a mark of excellence in service.

The cuisine itself is a delightful blend of Greek, Lebanese and Turkish fare.

On my latest visit I had the Deluxe Banquet, which priced at $37.90 per head I thought it great value considering it has no less than 11 dishes not counting salad, rice, bread that also comes with the banquet. Max’s fine work in the kitchen ensures that when you’re ready for your next course the meal appears promptly on the table, and in sufficient quantities that you end the night feeling well sated but not bursting at the seams.

I was particularly fond of the very tasty Mantar (a marinated and grilled mushroom) and Balik Buglama (Snapper fillet cooked in a bag with vegetables, tomato puree & white wine sauce) but there is not much i could fault on the rest of the menu either. Even the tawook (chicken skewers) were done to perfection and not dry and chewy as they can be if overcooked. Our complimentary turkish delight and some of the best Baklava i’ve ever tasted rounded out an excellent meal.

I would thoroughly recommend Saffron restaurant for your next night out, just so long as I’m still able to get a booking as well :)

Saffron’s menu is online at its website and also has details of its great wine list and catering menus.

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16 Responses to
Restaurant Review – Saffron
moneypenny 4:28 pm
21 Jun 08
#1

I have been here quite often and have found it to be great each and every time whether it is for lunch or dinner. Would definitely recommend it.

Pandy 6:01 pm
21 Jun 08
#2

I would triple that. Marvin at times has offered complimentary drinks. A favoutite of mine and the missus.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:25 pm
21 Jun 08
#3

Can I clarify something – are moneypenny and Jazz hitched? I know one’s a real estate agent, and the other is married to a real estate agent, and one has a pretty low userid for somebody with a whole seven posts to their name, and they both seem to gushingly agree with one another in particularly isolated circumstances.

ant 11:37 pm
21 Jun 08
#4

Definitely a place worth checking out. I have never found a bad lebanese/turkish/greek restaurant, but it’s nice to hear raps about a particularly good one. I’d never even considered Saffron, but shall now.

Canberra lacks enough Greek restaurants, come to think of it. we abound in Lebo/Turkish places, but where’s the Greek places? The Plaka doesn’t really qualify, where else, the Hellenic Club bistro?!

realityskin 4:13 am
22 Jun 08
#5

“Max’s fine work in the kitchen ensures that when you’re ready for your next course the meal appears promptly on the table,”

Are you getting paid for this ?

Jazz 8:32 am
22 Jun 08
#6

RealitySkin

realityskin said :

“Max’s fine work in the kitchen ensures that when you’re ready for your next course the meal appears promptly on the table,”

Are you getting paid for this ?

Nope.

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Can I clarify something – are moneypenny and Jazz hitched? I know one’s a real estate agent, and the other is married to a real estate agent, and one has a pretty low userid for somebody with a whole seven posts to their name, and they both seem to gushingly agree with one another in particularly isolated circumstances.

Yep. Is it surprising that we agree on some things?.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:59 pm
22 Jun 08
#7

No. A little disingenuous not to simply say you went together, though, rather than your missus hopping on after you post and adding what appears to the rest of us as another, completely independent and separate assessment of the restaurant. It makes what is a frankly suss review even more so.

Probably also applies to the real estate agent thread, although it explains why you went a bit happy with the [edit:] button. It was particularly indirect of you to claim that there were lots of positive comments about the industry in that thread, when it turns out it was just you and the wife (and a third person who I suspect works with your wife) – that is, two people with a direct stake in the industry under discussion. You were given an opportunity to clarify this when you were asked if you were married to an agent (as I suspected your relationship then – could it be James and Moneypenny? Too twee, I thought), but you avoided it, simply stating that you were married to ‘an agent’.

Certainly, you’re both separate individuals with your own opinions and the right to express them, but it helps to know when one user has an explicit interest in another when they post – particularly when one of those people has mod privs. It’d be like me asking my family to create accounts just so they can post comments that are supportive of mine without making our relationship clear, or me wielding the edit button because somebody was having a go at an industry my family worked in without making it clear why that use of admin power was suddenly required.

Anyway, back to the restaurant. I found this review surprising because the two times I’ve been there (both for lunch), it was just OK – nice enough, and certainly nothing bad, but nothing great either and not the universally stellar dining experience described above. Just another short order mod med joint, like pangaea next door or verve across the road. Meh-zze.

Jazz 2:12 pm
22 Jun 08
#8

Woody,

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

No. A little disingenuous not to simply say you went together, though, rather than your missus hopping on after you post and adding what appears to the rest of us as another, completely independent and separate assessment of the restaurant. It makes what is a frankly suss review even more so.

I can’t say that because we didn’t go together. Moneypenny was interstate on tuesday when i went to saffron on this occasion. In fact the last two times i’ve dined there (the previous one being a bucks party) she wasn’t there either, so I apologize for debunking your theory.

Your other theory about the real estate thread is, while a wonderful conspiracy, unfortunately also a little unfounded. My response was purely because i find the attitudes of most people towards that industry to be appalling. That some respondents wouldn’t ‘piss on one if they were on fire’ is frankly a disgusting representation of where society is at. I have no idea who the other people are and frankly couldn’t be bothered looking them up unless they start abusing the rules we try and run this site by.

Now, to also get back on to the restaurant, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You obviously have a different set of standards and/or are looking for something else from your dining experiences. I’ve also eaten at both Verve and Pangaea and IMO they offer different dining experiencesdespite the influence of the cuisine being similar.

Vic Bitterman 7:10 pm
22 Jun 08
#9

WMC is on to something here. I have also noticed some remarkable coincidences between your posts.

Is this a ‘cash for comment’ story? Some of us aren’t falling for it.

Honest question above.

sepi 8:07 pm
22 Jun 08
#10

Honestly if you don’t like the review dont’ go to the restaurant.

And why not try asking your local restaurant for a free meal or a handful of cash and you’ll write a nice story on a website and see what they say.

Clown Killer 8:14 pm
22 Jun 08
#11

Oh puleeeze, welcome to the world of on line internet media people. This isn’t a published scientific journal. I think that Jazz’s byline “RiotACT Overlord” says it all. If you’re going to complain about objectivity in an open online forum then start your own thread and let the gratuitous endorsement continue!

OK, rant over.

Jazz 12:02 am
23 Jun 08
#12

Vic Bitterman said :

WMC is on to something here. I have also noticed some remarkable coincidences between your posts.

Vic, Given she’s written 8 comments in the history of RiotACT’s 150,000 comments your seeing remarkable coincidences that i’m not

Vic Bitterman said :

Is this a ‘cash for comment’ story? Some of us aren’t falling for it.

No its not. Marvin, does know about this review as i spoke to him about it (and to get a copy of the menu to refer to) as i was walking out the door. I’ve no idea if he’s read it or not.

I’m yet to get offered a freebie meal in exchange for a review but if i do it will be clearly noted in my comments. It also doesn’t mean i’m going to be nice if i think the restaurant is crap. Riot has a certain amount of wiki about it. Anything written here has to be able to withstand a certain amount of public scrutiny or there’ll be enough people lining up to shoot you down.

Pandy 7:49 am
23 Jun 08
#13

Note: I like Saffron and I like Marvin (even if he has a distaste towards doors opening)

Next I’ll be accussed that Jazz and Moneypenny are my other personalities.

Jazz 7:54 am
23 Jun 08
#14

Pandy,

Maybe you are one of mine? :)

Crikey 10:31 am
23 Jun 08
#15

I like the place. very yummy food. I didn’t know his name until now but Marvin is a wonderful host…one of the best in the business.

astrojax 2:19 pm
24 Jun 08
#16

clearly, this isn’t marvin, the paranoid android, then..? have long felt a need to go to saffron, having heard various enthusiastic references, but never a review, as such. ta.

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