The Dish

Sree Saffron: A hidden gem in Hannah Plaza


The restaurant doesn’t serve alcoholic beverages, and Cokes are delivered in cans with straws. The seat cushions are thin, and the restrooms resemble those at a gas station. But none of this really matters. After one taste of its food, I plan to be a regular diner at Sree Saffron. 

The small eatery, located in East Lansing’s Hannah Plaza, offers a wide menu of authentic Indian delights. I chose a bowl of dal soup and an order of mixed-vegetable curry with a side of plain naan. The dal was heavenly but too complicated to discuss here. My dish of choice for this spotlight is the curry. 

I was initially pleased by the three levels of spiciness — mild, medium and hot — that Sree Saffron offers for all its main dishes. Since I’ve found most Indian restaurants tend to lean toward the high end of hotness, I selected the mild version. The steaming bowl I was served was plenty pungent but not so spicy that its ingredients were obscured. 

Leafy and fresh cilantro was sprinkled on top of a stew loaded with garden-fresh vegetables that still had some crunch to them. I also noticed a few thin curry leaves in the mix that included green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato and onion. Large chunks of potatoes and crinkle-cut carrots were also in abundance. Everything was soft enough to cut with a fork but firm enough not to be mushy.  

The thick sauce was savory but never too peppery, and the curry flavor came through without dominating the unique, aromatic blend. The luscious goo coated every morsel to make the unglamorous veggies seem exotic. For $11.50, it was a generous portion — enough so that I took some leftovers home. (As expected, its spiciness increased significantly on the second day.) 

The basmati rice that accompanied the curry was nothing less than perfect. The blend of white and dark grains was warm, fluffy and never sticky or full of clumps. It provided the perfect bed for spoonfuls of curried vegetables, making for a more satisfying meal. 

Sree Saffron also has some of the best naan I’ve tasted. It was thick, a bit puffy, slightly chewy and full of flavor. It was served warm and cooked just right — enough to give it some desired scorch marks without coming close to being burnt. 

Understand that the tables, floor, cutlery and dishes at Sree Saffron were very clean. And for those who prefer a more elegant ambiance, it runs a strong takeout business. Whether dining in or out, the restaurant’s high-quality, appetizing choices and ability to cook and prepare Indian food so expertly will surely be appreciated.   






No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us