Saffron Indian Cuisine on Kingsway, Burnaby

I brought the project team out for a Christmas lunch just before Christmas. The choice of the lunch places is somewhat limited as I have now a few contractors from India who wanted vegetarian dish. Moreover, I was told that they had been going to the Curry Express stall at the Metrotown Food Court for their daily fix of curry. So, I know they will then enjoy Saffron.


Saffron is located on 4300 Kingsway which is just walking distance away from the office. With all the snow still falling, no one was in the mood of driving anyway. Despite the fancy name (Saffron Indian Cuisine), it is just a buffet place.


The place is almost always crowded at lunch time. When I called for a reservation, I was told that they will take the reservation if it is for 11:45 AM. If we do not show up at noon, they’ll give up the table … and … no, they don’t take reservation after noon.


The above is their buffet spread. It might not seem like a lot but the choices are sufficient really. The buffet is $11.95 per head for lunch.


All the normal suspect are there … curry of all sorts, vegetarian and “meatatarian”, which I can hardly start naming. The Butter Chicken is there and it’s all that matters. They also bring fresh warm naan frequently.

To me, the curries were great … simply the best. But to the folks from Indian, they quickly detected that it is not to their expectation. They said that the curries were deliberately made creamier than it is traditionally made to please the local Canadian palate. I can’t recall exactly but I think they said they added whipped cream. Regardless, it tasted great to me!


You guys help me here … what is this white dessert. It is sweet and had something like sago or rice.


… and this one too? I like their dessert. They are both really rich.


We ended up with Chai Tea (extra $1.95). Actually is should be called just Chai instead but here it sounded cool calling it Chai Tea. Don’t order this as they obviously were not used to making this. We can tell because almost all of us had different shape and size of cups.


In all, the main thing is that it is cheap and definitely value for money. The Indians told me they are not authentic but to me as long as it is great, that is enough for me. Go hungry … go really hungry.

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  1. Jennie

    The white dessert looks like Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding). Although that looks really milkly compared to what I’m used to at the Indian restaurants near me. Alot of evaporated milk in that dish. The yellow one, not so sure. Looks yummy though.

  2. sabrina

    the white dessert is called “kheer”…same as sweet rice pudding and the yellow dessert looks like “fruit with custard/mango juice.

  3. Reader

    I love Indian food! Have you tried East is East on Main? It’s a bit pricey, but I definitely think it’s a bit more authentic than most places in Vancouver…not to mention a lot more delicious as well =]

  4. KimHo

    Hey Ben,

    I have been there a couple of times sometime ago and my experience was… mixed. Agreed the food was plentiful and left really full; however, I was really thirsty half an hour later. When I went with a friend for dinner (they don’t serve buffet everyday/every night), the food was lacking (in the sense it didn’t “wow” me). One thing you can’t deny, though, is the fact you can smell the curry when half a block away! 😀

    As for “authentic”, it is something I already abandoned hope; instead, if I suddenly find it is “authentic”, it would be more of a surprise. In other words, my current expectation level is that of “bastardised” or “adapted” to the local taste, rather than the “real stuff”. To quote somebody, “if it is tasty!”

  5. monchichi

    Hi Ben, over in the UK, there are also adapted dishes, the most notable one being the Chicken Tikka Masala which is supposedly from Scotland. Most cuisine is adapted to suit local tastes, so it’s not surprising that curry is also! Your postings really show what the restaurant and food is like, bril!

  6. gigi

    I used to come here quite a bit but I found the food to be too heavy for lunch. It’s partially my fault for overeating though because if I limit myself to just 1 plate at the buffet, I’m usually ok. :p

    1. Ben

      Hey Gigi:
      It is impossible to just take 1 plate … not in Saffron’s. I know what you mean. I ALWAYS end up regretting going to Saffron because it’s so easy to overeat.

  7. LotusRapper

    I agree with Kimho. But that’s reality. You can go to Maurya or Vij’s and it’s still cuisine adapted to local tastes. And in terms of saltiness, I’ve yet walked out of one Indian restaurant without feeling thirsty from their over-salted foods. Which is ironic as their foods are so rich in strong or subtle spices and yet they still seem to add so much salt in their cooking.

    But I’ll admit to being a 2-plater at Saffron. I used to be able to do 3, but nowadays 2 is good enough for me 🙂

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