Saajan Express

Pakistani/North Indian style - Manchester Road, Chorlton

Chicken and seekh mix £4

May 2012 -
Apologies, not a great picture, but a very respectable Chicken Balti £5.50 - roti 60p. Not something I'd usually have but they insisted it was a good, Asian style curry. It was a light and herby change from the sometimes dense karahi gosht. I'd rather they didn't cut the chicken so small but hey ho. A minor gripe.

 April 2012
Decided to do a mix and match, their tikka with my daal. Worked a treat.

January 2012
Great Nihari - You don't get the little bag of chillies, ginger etc to add yourself but they seemed to guage it right themselves. A good portion and 2 chappati come with it - OK chappati are cheap, but it's still a nice touch.

December 2011
Same order more or less - good chops but surprisingly pretty bad fish. They hadn't bothered to crisp it up in the frier, just warm it and it seemed past its best and grey. Balti Chicken was fine. Not a great experience but I've had much worse - I wish they were more consistent.

September 2011
Yet again went for the spicy fish grill and being a Sunday a dabble at a nihari. Bit of a shame not to get the little bad of chillies, ginger and whatnot, which other places provide to add a bit of zest to the rich stew. Fish was very good and a bargain at £4.50. No idea why it's called grill - definitely a fried in batter. Almost like english fish - but with a spicy batter. We also got a spinach and chicken dish which was rather good.
Spicy Fish and Nihari
 June 2011
Good chicken and seekh mix, pictured. It's good here and handily near the Marble Beerhouse, just not quite good enough to go out of your way for if being 100% honest. Fish masala is probably the best thing. Not had Nihari yet as it's not been on during the day.

Unexpectedly good little curry trip - karahi gosht, daal and spicy fish were all really up to scratch. Fish was the standout - freshly fried in a dry spice mix. This left it crispy on the outside and juicy within - perfect. The bread was fresh and the price decent - what more do you want?

Not very good - the chicken shawarma had been in the warming pot seemingly for hours - even though the guy stipulated it had just been freshly cut form the skewer. Very dry and rather disappointing.

This was a good trip. The issue of seating has not gone away - this is not a place to eat in, unless of course you want to perch on one of four stools in the cramped front area, facing a wall, looking at yourself eating in a mirror - presumably nobody wants that.  So takeaway is the only option.  What Saajan Express have done, to their credit, is prepare little trays of salad and containers of sauce ready to be added to your kebab when you get where you're going to eat it - preventing the warm salad, sloppy kebab, nightmare that we all know and presumably hate. So to the food... -  the selection was of the usual type for a Pakistani, grill-heavy place. There were no additional frills. I quite fancied chicken shawarma but it looked really dry and tired and wasn't rotating... slightly weird at 6.30PM. Anyway, chicken and lamb were choice of the day and they were fine - nearly overcooked but not quite, pleasant if unsubtle bright red and orange marinades - you know the type. The bread was decent - with a substantial roti being particularly good, the naan just OK, as is usually the case if no tandoor on the premises. - This place is a 7.5/10 for the food type place and probably a 1/10 for setting.  Order what looks the best on the day, go somewhere good to eat it and Saajan Express will probably do you fine.  It's been a bit variable over the few years it's been open, but last night it seemed pretty slick - We'd happily return if in the area, not one to go miles for though.

Not part of the Saajan Original business, Saajan Express is seemingly an independent operation. It's a pretty small establishment with very limited seating along the back wall, however it's genreally used as a takeaway so this isn't really a problem.  So far as eating goes, it very much follows the standard kebab house (+pizza) formula. There is nothing particularly remarkable about the place, for good or bad. The meat is of a reasonable standard, albeit thickly marinaded and slightly overcooked. The bread is of the freshly made, but non-tandoor variety. Salad and sauces are OK. The lack of tables mean that eating in is a somewhat awkward affair. The range of other dishes and the prices are quite good. Its Chorlton location (two doors dwon form the Marble Beer House) helps as there is far less competition making it one of the better kebab options available.
Scores out of 10
Meat 7.0
Bread 7.5
Salad/Sauces 7.0
Service/Setting 6.0
Average 6.8

1 comment:

  1. Called into for lunch and had Chicken Tikka Kebab, Chips and Can deal for £4.50.

    All the food was good and represented good value. I'll be back to try the Fish Masala.