We were invited to the new healthy eating restaurant SAFFRAN at The Trafford Centre which is pleasantly located in the quiet area of the booming shopping mall. It’s in The Great Hall, which makes for a peaceful sit-down dining experience away from the hustle & bustle of people walking out of the shops and fast food joints.
“…nothing is fried, there is no white flour, oils or white sugar and all meals are under 650 calories.”
Saffran was founded in Iceland, then introduced to Orlando, Florida and now we’re pleased to welcome them to Manchester, England. The head chef who’s invented the menu, has travelled the world taking inspiration and secrets and it shows. The décor is aesthetically clean – minimalist yellow and white that endorses clean food.
After skipping the gym and eating rubbish the night before, we were bang in the mood for some healthy food. I suppose in a similar mind set to someone saying “I know I’m eating a Mars bar but I’m going to eat some fruit afterwards.” And with all the horse scares around, somewhere that is affordable and has an ethos of healthy living is welcomed in what has been a burger, pizza environment.
When you think of ‘healthy food’ most people assume tasteless, bland… rabbit food. Saffran might absolutely not do chips or foods that contain sugar but we found the healthy food stigma to be shattered once we’d experienced the Saffran Chicken.
At Saffran, nothing is fried, there is no white flour, oils or white sugar and all meals are under 650 calories.
We had a full course of the heroic Saffran Chicken (£9.85 or £6.85 on its own). The chicken is skinless, boneless and marinated – all the fat is drained away. The full course means you can choose a gorgeous sauce and two sides to go with. Dubai went for piri-piri sauce, baked sweet potato and brown & red rice. He said it was nice and fresh. Surprise surprise he couldn’t finish it. I opted for the spiced yoghurt sauce, corn on the cob and fresh salad. It was obviously also fresh, succulent and exotic. The plates are very colourful. It’s as if Jamie Oliver is a cameo chef there somewhere. A colourful plate always anticipates an appetising meal.
In fact, Andrew Parkinson, a valued member of the Jamie Oliver Team visited SAFFRAN and got introduced to the concept and food. To make a long story short he was very impressed and in his own words “SAFFRAN is nothing but amazing!”
All the flavours you’d expect in a dish but without the guilt. Not so much a chicken dish, but they do burgers (from £4.95), pizzas (from £6.95) and naan kebabs (£6.95). It’s similar cuisine and price to the extremely popular Nando’s. It’s also close by, in the Great Hall. I’d say Saffran was the much healthier choice of the two. So, if I were you, I’d walk straight past Nando’s for some healthy food and service from your table.
Saffran’s food is not only a treat for the taste-buds, but with all main menu items less than £10 and containing less than 650 calories, it’s also a treat for the wallet and the waistline
Saffran accordingly had a very slow start, but as people are starting to familiarise and with our help, this is the destination of choice. A place we should promote to children. In fact, they did a rather clever chicken boxing challenge campaign to humour the kids.
We’ll be back for the piri-piri lamb they’ve innovated this week, when it’s ready and they invite us back.
On our I love’o’meter
If the saying “you are what you eat” were true, at SAFFRAN you’d become a temple.
SAFFRAN Restaurant, Trafford Centre, Manchester.
0161 747 2804