This week we were contacted by Optomen Television Limited, who are working with Syco Entertainment (global joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment ) on a new food television programme.
They are currently working on an exciting new food series for ITV1 called Food, Glorious Food. This is the biggest ever search for Britain's best loved recipe, and it's a competition that anyone can enter, all it takes is the ability to cook one delicious dish.
The winning dish from the series will earn its owner a substantial cash prize as well as the pride of seeing their dish on the shelves of Marks & Spencer across the country (with all proceeds going to charity).
If anybody would like to apply, they can do so their website www.foodgloriousfood.tv or through a postal application.
It would be great to see a curry as a winning dish and even better if it was one of our readers who was in the limelight on ITV1!
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
A 5/6 The Precinct, Amlwch Avenue, Offerton, Stockport, SK2 5RR
It had been a very long time since we all visited the Saffron lounge, apart from the new name I was wondering what else might have changed.
First impressions was “this is the same” but something was missing……..The famous fish pond! When I enquired to the whereabouts of said ornament I was informed that it had been removed as there had been too many drunk people dancing in it after copious amounts of curry and alcohol. It was a shame it was now missing but I could clearly understand the reasoning for removing it.
A slightly different approach is now observed in the Saffron lounge with the waiter preferring to show us to a table rather than what used to be the pre-drinks and order area, again where you used to take time to look at the fish. We asked to sit in the exact seats and table from what might have been some of the first pictorial evidence of the CurryCouncil in existence some 16 or so years ago.
Hope you enjoy the before and after pictures…what a difference a few years make.
April 2012 - minus Hagger, Loaf and Rat
After reminiscing for a while about this restaurant and our experiences from yesteryear we decided to get down to some serious curry eating.
The beer order was placed but beers did seem a little strange, slightly warm and flat, although this might not have been the norm during a Thursday, Friday or weekend night, I did wonder how long the cobra had been sitting in the beer pipes as we were the only people in the restaurant, after a slight hint that the beer might not have been what we expected I’m glad to say the second pint was more up to scratch.
As the Gallbladder is still front of mind, I decided to go for what I think is one of the least saturated fat options as to what one can order in a Curry house. Chicken Tikka Starter Followed by a Chicken Tikka Madras. The Chicken Tikka Starter was nice, very tasty and skewer marks could be clearly seen, there seems to be less fat content within the Chicken when skewered and cooked.
Chicken Tikka Madras was also very good, Naan breads in this place are massive so 1 between two is more than adequate. Marf as usual didn’t order plain Naan but again attempted to eat ours. Boiled rice was also good, no big clumps like you often sometimes get and not starchy. All in all considering the bill, this is a good value for money restaurant and the food isn’t bad.
The Saffron in Offerton offers simple, no nonsense food, at a very reasonable price. Its many years since we had frequented this curry house, a firm favourite of the council in the 90’s.
There were a few obvious differences. The fish pond and mini waterfall had gone and sadly so to were the waiters we had grown to love. The layout of the place hadn’t changed one bit, so in some ways if felt like the council had come home.
A midweek offer was presented to us which represented excellent value. £9.95 for a 5 course meal. Even at this fantastic price the place lacked any atmosphere as we were the only diners, which was a shame. The popodoms were more than acceptable and were complimented by a pint of Cobra. For some reason the first round of drinks were not very cold and as a result didn’t really do justice to our beer of choice. This was mentioned to our waiter who ensured the temperature was corrected and our next drink was presented perfectly.
I opted for a mixed starter, which I shared with Gaz. Unusually this came with a portion of chicken chaat which I thought tasted lovely and was by far the tastiest and fresh piece of the mixed starter jigsaw . On the other hand the meat somosa was rather chewy and tasteless.
Whilst the starter was acceptable my main course really delivered. This dish was really well prepared and was extremely tasty. The rice and naan portions were more than generous. The naans were some of the best I tasted in a long while. Top marks for the main.
To finish off we had a nice coffee and a complimentary baileys. Despite this being a “womens” drink, it was still a nice touch. Had the starters matched the quality of the mains I would have presented the Saffron with an 8/10 based on its value for money offered. However on this occasion the starters fell a little short and therefore receives a 7/10 from me.
This was the homecoming for the Council where things really began many many moons ago, when the Saffron was formerly the Bengal Dynasty. We had many a good curry here in the late 90s and early 2000s. The curries were always of a good standard and were great value, so it was going to be interesting to see how things had changed.
It was a quiet Monday night when we visited and we managed to get our regular table where we tried to recreate our photos from days gone by. To be fair the majority of the lads could have done with some air-brushing but like a fine wine, the pictures showed just how much I have improved with age – I’m a bit like the Curry Councils own version of Gary Barlow.
2012 - it appears that Jord has done a Rooney (hair implant)
Back in the year 2000
The Saffron is situated right next door to a number of shops and there is adequate car parking. It was a shame to see the indoor pond had been removed but thereafter, the place didn’t appear to have changed a bit which added to the novelty factor but when compared to the vast number of modern restaurants the council visits these days, it did look somewhat dated. It reminded me of a recent visit I made to the theme park Camelot just a few months after returning from Disneyland Paris. However, this lack of a wow factor was more than compensated by the fact that the Stockport County Specials were still available. If you want to eat a curry named after a Hatters legend, this is the place to go.
The usual 5 members were present and pops and Cobras were ordered all round. These were lovely – just how they used to be. We all plumped for the midweek deal which was a starter, main, rice/nann with ice cream and coffees for the ridiculously cheap price of about a tenner. A mixed starter was quickly polished off followed by an Exotica Delight (Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka & King Prawns cooked in a medium balti sauce) for mains with the standard mixture of rice and nanns. I found the dish quite tasty with good flavour but it was perhaps a little too mild and I only found one king prawn. The ice-creams that followed were hardly Carte-dor, but the Baileys and coffees that followed were adequate compensation.
Overall, my meal was pretty good and excellent value for money. It was just a shame that the decor and ambience were somewhat lacking.
Tonight we visited the Saffron in Offerton, formerly known as the Bengal Dynasty back in yesteryear. This place used to be a regular haunt for us back in the early 1990’s and was one of the first Indian restaurants that got us addicted to curry and probably was paramount in the formation of the CurryCouncil.
Cheap and cheerful would be good description of the Saffron. The restaurant is located in an old shopping precinct in Offerton. The restaurant looked pretty similar to how it did about 15 years ago and is was nice to reminisce.
The usual suspects were in attendance. It’s now been a full year since Andy Hague last attended a CurryCouncil shindig. It was disappointing that he wasn’t here tonight for our readers to judge if his head looks any bigger than in our original photos from the late 1990’s. Dayo was absent again and has not attended an event since July 2010.
The poppodums were nice and the lime pickle stood out as it was extremely spicy. We were the only people in the empty restaurant, which was a surprise considering that Saffron offer a good value midweek deal for just £9.95.
I decided to play it safe and ordered onion bhajis for my starter and chicken tikka madras for my main. The bhajis were slightly disappointing. The portion size was fantastic, as I got four good sized bhajis but sadly they lacked in any spice and tasted quite dull.
The main course however was fantastic. The chicken madras was flavoursome and its base sauce was of a good tomato based consistency. The naan’s were lovely, large and tasted fresh.
Woody did his usual trick of telling us how lovely he thinks peshwari naan is and insisting on ordering one despite only him wanting it. Half a peshwari naan remained uneaten as Woody predictably munched away on our plain naan. I am convinced that he can’t tell the difference between the two breads.
I enjoyed my main course and think that the Saffron offers a large quantity of food at a low price. The bill came in at just £20 per head (including a couple of drinks each and a tip). The meal was finished off with a complimentary blob of ice cream and a coffee.
A decade or so after our last visit we returned to one of our first regular curry haunts, the Saffron in Offerton, formally known as The Bengal Dynasty. We re-visited to see why we returned week after week.
Luckily for us there was a midweek special on @ £9.95 for pop, starter, main, rice or naan, ice cream and coffee, not being the sort to miss out on a bargain we opted for this.
Whilst the pops were were fresh and crisp with one of the hottest lime pickles I'd ever experienced the mixed starter was bland and stodgy. My main of Chicken tikka pudina was not to my liking yet the chicken tasted fresh and well cooked.
The non deal prices of the currys are some of the cheapest I have seen, being little more than an average takeaway.
In all honesty the restaurant has seen better days with the decor feeling very tired.
We were served by two very good friendly waiters which made for a pleasant evening reminiscing about the "good old days" Unfortunatly I would not return.
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