15 New Street
01905 610505

AS a word, Saffrons conjures up a warm, fuzzy feeling inside so I was happy to dine in at the city restaurant to see if it lived up to expectations.

The restaurant has a cosy feel, with a quirky and laid back charm and some nice feature decorations dotted about for the casual dining eye to rove upon if conversation gets slack.

Upstairs there is a snug bar area and the efficient staff sweep between tables both upstairs and down ready to spring to your aid if your glass is empty.

The bistro also serves up popular lunch sittings from noon until 2.15pm, but my companion and I opted for an evening meal.

I started off with the – at first – unusual sounding ‘duck hash’ cut with fresh rocket and coriander and a sweet orange sauce (£6.25).

And thinking nothing would go wrong with the classic duck and orange combo, I was right.

When the dish arrived the duck was lovely and richly flavoured, with plenty of meat, not too much fat about and with a sauce that was neither heavy, nor tooth-achingly sweet. Good start.

My companion has been going on about a holiday to Thailand – although she’s looking at me to pick up the bill – and whether inspired by dreams of far away, or not, she opted for the Thaistyle smoked haddock fritters with chilli dip and salad (£5.95).

They were a good choice, tasty, with some welcome zing to the chilli, proving a tasty variation on the bland avalanche of Thai fishcakes prevalent on many other menus hereabout.

Feeling seasonal, I went for the roast pheasant off the specials board (£13.95).

It’s always a tricky bird to cook and though perfectly tasty with a mouth-wateringly deep colour with tasty accompaniments, the meat was just a touch drier than my personal taste.

My companion went for the pork tenderloin with calvados sauce and mashed potato and green beans which was the better of the two main courses, being pull-apart tender and moist with that warm flavour of the sauce setting off the pork (14.75).

I buried my tastebuds in the hot fudge sundae, which was as good as it sounded and not at all stodgy (£5.75).

My companion went for the slightly healthier and elegantly tasty option of ice cream and sorbet for a strong finish to the meal (£3.50).

The bar I mentioned is wellstocked with a wine list as standard but boringly, we went for coke and after-dinner coffee to round off our meal out. Good food, good times.

Food 4
Service 4
Ambience 3
Value for Money 3