Search

Review: Friendly Gidea Park restaurant serves delicious Indian cuisine with a smile

PUBLISHED: 15:49 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 07:27 06 April 2017

Reporter Ann-Marie Abbasah, joined by Kaede Agyemang left and Stephanie Abbasah for a delicious dinner at Zaafran. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah.

Reporter Ann-Marie Abbasah, joined by Kaede Agyemang left and Stephanie Abbasah for a delicious dinner at Zaafran. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah.

Archant

If you fancy great Indian food with a modern twist, then do not read this review.

Reporter Ann-Marie Abbasah about to tuck into her delicious lamb shank. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah. Reporter Ann-Marie Abbasah about to tuck into her delicious lamb shank. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah.

I am a foodie and a greedy one at that, and would like to be able to book a table at one of the best Asian restaurants in Gidea Park without hindrance.

Apart from former West Ham footballer Danny Potts enjoying a meal, the first thing that stood out to me when I dined at Zaafran, Main Road, Gidea Park, yesterday was how warmly owner Sanu Miah and restaurant manager Mario Rodrigues greeted their customers.

It was as if they were all great friends.

Some diners even stopped at the bar on their way out after eating to have a drink and a chat with Sanu and Mario.

I had not seen this in a restaurant before.

Usually people eat and go, but it provided a great distraction, well that and the delicious smell of Indian food wafting from plates as they were delivered to tables while I waited for my sister Stephanie and niece Kaede to join me for dinner.

Of course they were running in typically late fashion and I used the opportunity to speak to Sanu and Mario about the restaurant’s food hygiene rating.

After trading for many years without problems, a food hygiene inspection in October last year resulted in the restaurant being given a zero rating – meaning urgent improvement necessary.

On March 8, it was awarded the highest possible rating of five stars in all areas – meaning the restaurant has excellent hygienic food handling, exemplary cleanliness around the building and condition of facilities and food management.

Regular customers Elaine and Liam Riordan said: “Zaafran is our favourite restaurant. We were shocked but it didn’t deter us. We knew the truth absolutely and we wouldn’t even dream of trying anywhere else.”

This sentiment was echoed by Ollie Martin, 20, who is studying banking at Loughborough University.

“Restaurants in Loughborough don’t come up to the standard of Zaafran,” he said.

“I have been coming here since I was nine or 10. I always come with my parents. It is my local and it’s very good.”

Tom and Vicky Barter and their children Jess, Evie and Zachary travelled more than eight miles to eat at the restaurant.

“It’s brilliant,” said Tom.

“We drove from Brentwood to come here. We have been before. They’re very patient with the children and relaxed.

“Evie is five and just had her first chicken tikka. We would recommend the restaurant to parents.”

And just when I thought I couldn’t take my hunger pangs anymore, my sister and niece glided in.

To start, Kaede, 17, a vegetarian, order a home-smoked tandoori salmon flavoured with mustard oil, dill and a touch of honey.

I enjoyed crab marinated with fresh ginger, coriander and red chilli flakes served with salad and a tamarind sauce.

I can’t remember what my sister ordered, I was too busy eyeing up Kaede’s delicious looking salmon.

Oh yes! Stephanie ordered prawn puri – mildly spiced fried prawns served with puffy bread.

For mains, we tucked into a lamb shank, prepared to a special Goan recipe bursting with the flavour of red wine, tomatoes and coriander, vegetable biryani, king-prawn pathia, pilau rice, peshwari naan filled with almonds, coconuts and raisins and malai naan, stuffed with assorted cheese, onion and chillies.

To say I rolled out of the restaurant rather than walked is an understatement.

“The staff are friendly and talkative,” said Stephanie.

“We didn’t know what to have and they suggested really good meals.”

Kaede added: “Other restaurants you just talk to those on your table but the atmosphere here is you end up talking with others as if they’re your friends.”

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon follows the usual route from Greenwich Park to the Mall.

Yesterday, 12:00

Fewer side effects, but no actual effects either

Yesterday, 11:38

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a 47-year-old woman yesterday.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

This month is bowel cancer awareness month. And that gives us the opportunity to think about something most of us don’t give much thought to – and certainly don’t talk about.

Fri, 17:30

A Hornchurch headteacher, alongside a number of students and other staff members, briefly turned into a firefighter yesterday afternoon (April 19) when she helped put out a fire in the back garden of a nearby house.

Fri, 17:00

Five eateries and one shop in Havering have been slapped with the worst possible hygiene ratings, the Recorder can reveal.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

NC Construction Services Ltd, based in Hornchurch, Essex, is branching out into residential home improvements and refurbishments after many years working in the commercial sector, in direct response to potential clients looking to add space and value to their property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now