Jess Food Therapy
 
Behind Tienmu's Mitsukoshi and Jasper Villa hides one of the most amazing finds in Taiwan. If you smell hard enough, your nose will eventually lead you to my newest obsession – Saffron: Fine Indian Cuisine.

To be quite honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Indian food. But looking back, that’s probably because I’ve never actually had real Indian food before. In the past, the only times I would ever come in contact with “Indian cuisine” in Taiwan would be at my school’s annual food fair or during weekend visits to the American Club. And when I say Indian food, I’m referring to samosas…JUST samosas.

Even after I moved to California where actual Indian restaurants existed, I still never went with Indian when choosing a place to eat. Lacking culinary knowledge (or balls), Indian food sounded way too adventurous for me. Burgers and fries sounded like safer bets. 


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Oddly enough, it took a full circle around the world for me to fall completely, and utterly in love with Indian food. The encounter was purely accidental but I knew it was love at first sniff. It’s funny how out of all places, Taiwan would be the one popping my Indian cherry…

It was a cool autumn day. My fiancé and I spent the afternoon hanging out around Tienmou, window-shopping and snacking here and there. As we headed towards the Mitsukoshi buildings to catch the bus home, we were suddenly hit by a gust of pungent aroma that hypnotized our every senses, disabling us to do anything but hunt the spellbinding smell down.

We found Saffron all right. That memorable day marked the first (and-never-the-last-for-as-long-as-I-live) encounter of our Indian adventure. 


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Saffron opened just a few years ago. The owner is an Indian native and has been doing business in Taiwan for many years. He’s always dreamed of opening an authentic Indian restaurant in Taiwan. I’m so thankful his dream came true!

To him and his wife Josie, what makes Saffron so delicious is the careful selection of ingredients. There are close to 80 items on the menu, and they’ve all been specially chosen to bring more than just family-type cuisines to guests in Taiwan.

They are being way too modest.

To me, what makes Saffron so damn delicious is the complete experience! From the moment you walk in the door (or in my instance, from a few blocks away), the fragrance of garlic, cumin, ginger, coriander, curry…completely envelops you. When you begin exploring the menu, you’ll find a long list of authentic Indian dishes. They may sound intimidating at first, but you’ll find that they are all heavenly delicious. As you wait and enjoy the elegant Hindu décor, you’ll find yourself inching to take a peek at the Indian chef in the upfront open kitchen. Carefully, he bakes your Garlic Naan (bread) and skews your Tandoori Chicken. By the time your plates are in front of you, you’ll find yourself hungrier than you’ve ever been before. And that is perfect, because the next step of eating will be one of the best experiences in your life.

Your taste buds will never be the same after that.

Indian food is so careful, sophisticated, and smart with such brilliant use of spices and ingredients. I mean, who ever thought of dicing up cauliflowers, mixing it with mashed potatoes and garlic, while seasoning it with turmeric, paprika, cumin, garam masala and salt? Or, what about Bhaji, Indian-styled onion rings? Instead of simply slicing and frying the onion the way American do it, Bhajis are bounded by a fragrant chickpea flour batter and then flavored with turmeric, chili powder, cumin and coriander after frying.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Over the past years, Indian restaurants have popped up left and right throughout the country. Today, I guarantee you’ll find an Indian joint at almost any department store food court in Taipei. People are loving it here and how can you blame them? Although it may not be as blatantly obvious as the 葡式蛋塔 (egg tart) or 芒果冰 (mango ice) fad, I can see Indian food subtly becoming the next culinary trend here in Taiwan.

So jump on the bandwagon and experience the best of Indian food at Saffron!
Saffron
天母東路38-6號
 38-6, Tienmu E. Rd
(02) 2871-4842

Regular Hours: 11:30-2:00pm & 5:30-9:30pm
Special Hours: Th-Sat11:30-2pm, 5:30-10pm
**closed on Monday lunch time
**credit card accepted. 10% service charge
JessicaJang
2/16/2010 11:35:23 pm

wow!! this is the Indian cuisine you guys were talking about! gosh I missd it.. I was way to allured by the charm of oami sua(?),,

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Jess
2/17/2010 12:58:45 pm

i will take you here next time you come back :)

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Corinna
3/30/2010 11:54:54 am

I love this resturant too! The owner is even a friend of our tenant...So, we
have been there couple times...
I love the Naan and chicken curry~
also, the Dondori chickens~
Yum~ and u must try their Lassi- yoguart
drink.....So damn good!
Let's go there sometimes~

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