CULINARY DISCOVERY: Journeying around the world at one restaurant - Zaffron


My newest culinary discovery is a restaurant from where you can explore the world of food without ever leaving the Bay. Zaffron, a new fully-halaal and kosher establishment that opened in Walmer in November 2013, fuses tastes from the jungles of Mexico, the Greek islands, the Pakistani-Indian highlands and the imperial palaces China, into unique, delicious meals for the entire family.

I had an opportunity to chat to Sumaiya, the wonderful owner of Zaffron, who explained that her restaurant’s name is derived from the Greek spice, saffron, which is commonly used to flavour gourmet foods. Consequently, Zaffron is relaxed, homely and neatly draped with saffron-red walls and classic scenes from Greek mythology.

From Sumaiya, I also learnt that Zaffron’s two chefs, one a Greek chef was trained by Mykonos owner Iannis Kosmos and that one of them have had extensive culinary experience after working all over the world - from the small cafés of Pakistan to the luxury hotels of Dubai. No wonder why my food had character and tasted so divine.

I must say, I had a hard time choosing one meal from the Zaffron menu. In addition, I leant you are allowed to order your favourite dishes that may not be on their menu and they would gladly prepare them for you as long as they have the ingredients.

Eventually, I decide to try their chicken falafel while a friend of mine that I had brought along, ordered their lamb neck.

While I enjoyed my generously-served and flavourful falafel, I noted my friend’s complete silence as she tucked in. Her lamb neck, which was served with the best tzatziki that I have ever tasted, reminded me of how my grandmother would prepare it for hours for our family Sunday lunches.

Sadly, we had to forego Sumaiya’s offering of an appetising cheesecake after our substantial meals. She said she was also introducing new desserts onto her menu including an authentic Pakistani Khulfi.

Besides their meals being reasonably priced, I found Zaffron a perfect venue for intimate family get-togethers. The restaurant can cater for up to 110 people and offers ample, safe parking. Being a family and halaal restaurant, they do not, however, serve alcohol or allow it on the property.

Zaffron is open from Mondays to Fridays from 11h00 to 14h30 and from 17h00 till 23h00. On Saturdays, they are open from 11h00 till 22h00 and Sundays from 11h00 to 16h00. They will also be offering Sunday lunches soon!

Visit Zaffron at 94 Heugh Road in Walmer, Port Elizabeth or call 041 581 1111.