Eat your way around various regions of the Subcontinent at Saffron Indian Cuisine in Sunny Isles Beach.
It is the new outpost of the first Saffron in Pinecrest. Owner Deepak “Danny” Karamchandani dabbled in becoming a film producer as his father was a well respected Bollywood producer. But after working in a restaurant in his native Bombay he became a restaurateur. He opened his first in Clearwater, then Las Vegas until relocating to Miami. Here he supervises a staff of all-Indian chefs trained at the same culinary school he graduated from in Bombay. Here hot is not incinerating but complex and spicy.
Start With These Dishes
Try battered and deep-fried Amritsari salmon or shrimp fritters from the Sikh holy city in the Punjab seasoned with tandoori spices. Or get the fried hara bhara kebab made from mashed potato, grated paneer cheese and spinach.
Also good are onion bhajia with thin sliced onions mixed into a chickpea flour batter and fried. They are served with tamarind and mint chutneys.
Indo-Chinese starters that originated in West Bengal include chicken lollipop wings in garlic Sichuan or Manchurian sauce. This brings a choice of protein in chile soy sauce with cilantro.
Share These Dishes
Each person should order his or her own curry dish. Chose from lobster , salmon, sea bass, shrimp, chicken, lamb, or mushrooms, all served with rice.
The ranges of curries begins with makhni, which features cream, butter, ground cashews and tomato to tikka masala. Vindaloo is a Goan curry from the former Portuguese colony on the west coast of India. It means “vinegar with garlic” and is fairly spicy, as it should be. Also from Goa is shrimp xacuti in a thick luscious sauce based on toasted ground coconut and tamarind with layers of flavor originally made by fishermen.
There’s Kerala black pepper chicken in a thick sauce darkened with black pepper and mustard seeds, garnished with matchsticks of raw ginger and cilantro. Meen molie is also a Kerala specialty with fish in a coconut milk curry tempered with curry leaves, herbs and spices.
Vegetarians can order fried okra with dal makani. This is Punjabi slow-simmered black lentils and red kidney beans with spices, tomato paste, cream and butter.
Save Room For Dessert
Go with ras malai, the milky dessert from Bengal, where cheese curds are shaped into patties, simmered in sugar syrup with milk and served in clotted cream, topped with sliced almonds.
Contact Linda Bladholm at email@example.com. Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.
If You Go: Saffron Indian Cuisine
Address: 18090 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach
Contact: 786-899-5553, saffronmiami.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday Noon-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon-midnight
Prices: Appetizers $5-$14, entrees $15-$40, breads $3-$15 (for a basket), desserts $6-$8