Yes, it’s a real thing. It’s the whole name of this new restaurant located in a non-descript building that also houses a tire store on 378 in West Columbia. I saw the sign from the road the other day and within the week dragged Patrick there with me, all because of the hilariously long name. We stopped by on a Sunday evening when it was very quiet in there — in fact, we were the only patrons at the time.

saffron indian restaurant west columbia sc

One of the many questions I had about the place was if the cuisines were separate or if this was some sort of fusion. The answer is (thankfully) separate! The menu is mostly Indian, with a section of Chinese that is mostly appetizers and noodles, and a slightly larger Mexican section that includes appetizers, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas and the like. Their Facebook page has photos of all of the menu options.

Another question I had was simply, why? Why all of those things together. The owner, whose name I forgot to ask for because I was super hungry, was also our server so I was able to get some insight. The answer is humorously simple: He has friends who are cooks that used to work in both Mexican and Chinese restaurants, and they wanted to work for him┬áso… that’s why the menu is the way it is!

We wanted to try a little bit of everything but also didn’t want to overdo it, but we started off with two appetizers, queso, and spinach pakoras. A pakora is made by using gram flour to bread a vegetable of choice and then frying it, usually in a ball-like shape. It was a great way to get in some greens! It came with two dipping sauces, one spicier and green and a sweeter brown one.

saffron indian restaurant west columbia sc

saffron indian restaurant west columbia sc

Our entrees came fairly quickly, mattar paneer for me, and lamb goat korma for Patrick.

saffron indian restaurant west columbia sc

Mattar paneer means peas cheese, but is a little more involved than that. It’s a stew of green peas, pureed tomato, chunks of paneer cheese, and spices, eaten with rice. I love all of those individual ingredients, and put together it’s very good. I’m no expert on Indian food but this take on it was excellent.

I couldn’t get much out of him on the korma except that it was good eatin’, but I had a taste of the sauce, and it was very creamy and rich, tinged with spices that made it a lovely shade of turmeric yellow.

Not pictured is a rose lassi, which is a yogurt drink, that I got to go. It looks like Pepto Bismol in color and thickness but obviously tastes much better. A lassi is a good drink to have on the table when eating Indian food, especially if you’re testing the limits of your spice tolerance. The casein proteins in the dairy help to soothe the feeling of your mouth set on fire much better than water, tea, or soda.

The only thing that I hope they’ll change about this place soon is moving to the use of real dishes rather than disposables, but this is still a fairly new establishment. It would make it much easier to combine the rice with the entree on larger, sturdier bowls or plates.

During the day (except Monday when they are closed) they offer a lunch buffet of Indian cuisine, which I hope to go back and try sometime soon. There are certainly enough options there to keep anyone satisfied even if they ate there exclusively for a month. Check them out for yourselves!

Saffron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato