Saffron Indian Bistro
Chef/owner: Ajay Walia | San Carlos, CA
Restaurateur Ajay Walia has never done things the traditional way. He worked in Silicon Valley before opening his first restaurant, Saffron Indian Bistro in San Carlos, California, and his approach to brunch is equally unconventional.
“At Saffron, we didn’t fully adapt to the American idea of brunch, but instead brunch presented us with an opportunity to showcase our cuisine in a new light,” Walia says. “We are able to expose customers to Indian ideas of breakfast and lunch by adding traditional items menu like eggs, [but] prepared the Indian way.”
One of the brunch dishes Saffron has taken on is chicken and waffles. The fried chicken is spiced with cumin, fenugreek leaves, cilantro powder, and chilli powder. Other menu items, like the Gali Aloo Paratha, introduce a typical Northern Indian breakfast food to American guests.
“At the beginning guests’ reactions to our brunch were a bit surprised, because everyone is so used to Indian buffets,” Walia says. “Now, customers have caught on and the feedback is great and very positive.”