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Café Saffron brings Indian tapas to Shropshire

Head waiter Mohammad Alam, of Café Saffron, with one of the many tapas dishes now being served up at the award-winning restaurant
Head waiter Mohammad Alam, of Café Saffron, with one of the many tapas dishes now being served up at the award-winning restaurant

Shrewsbury’s national award-winning Indian restaurant Café Saffron has introduced Asian tapas to its repertoire.

The restaurant, in Hill’s Lane, which enjoys a line-up of celebrity fans and has a string of accolades to its name, is believed to be the first in Shropshire to launch a tapas style Indian menu.

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Incorporating elements of Indian street food and taster portions of dishes from its a la carte menu, customers can tuck into creations originating from South India, Goa, Bengal and Bangladesh as well as Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

“The tapas menu, served Sunday to Thursday evenings, gives customers the opportunity to enjoy lighter portions of a wider variety of dishes,” said Executive Chef Mohammad Azad.

“A lot of people come in, order a main course and they end up sharing it or tucking into the order of the person sitting next to them. So this gave us the idea of introducing an additional tapas menu to make it easier for customers to share.

“Indian tapas, as a food trend, is taking off in major UK cities and we’re excited to be able to offer it here in Shrewsbury. It’s already proving popular with our customers.”

Café Saffron has featured in national magazines and Azad is recognised as one of the UK’s leading curry chefs. He has been crowned Curry Life magazine’s Curry Chef of the Year four times – in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010. The prestigious award recognises the contribution of top UK chefs to the industry.

The restaurant’s other chefs have also been decorated. Mohammed Samsul Islam took the Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year title in 2012, two years after former head chef Abdul Husen won the award. Spice Times magazine hailed Café Saffron the Best West Midland Restaurant in 2010 and the following year Husen was plucked to TV stardom showing off his culinary skills and humorous banter on the prime-time show ‘John Bishop’s Britain’.

The restaurant prides itself on using only fresh ingredients and cooking everything to order from scratch. It carries a rare Red Tractor certificate, showing it can trace all its chicken from farm to fork, using only one supplier who sources fresh premium chicken from Shropshire and Staffordshire.

All Café Saffron’s chefs have trained in India. Azad is passionate about authentic Asian cooking, while injecting an imaginative contemporary makeover to create unique new dishes.

In 2013 Azad was invited to represent the best of British Indian cuisine abroad. He was one of seven chefs, chosen from hundreds across the UK, to showcase their talents at the Taste of Britain Curry Festival in Slovenia. The international event, organised by Curry Life, the British embassy in Ljubljana and UK Trade and Investment, attracted hundreds of representatives and business leaders from 10 different nations.

Visit Café Saffron’s website for more details and menus http://www.cafesaffron.co.uk

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