REVIEW: Zafflong, Broomside Lane, Belmont, Durham

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A hidden gem – but now the secret is out

Despite living just over four miles from Zafflong, I’d never heard of the place until a few weeks ago.

The restaurant, which is an extension to The Traveller’s Rest pub, is tucked away off the beaten track, but just 90 seconds’ drive from the busy A690.

Authentic Indian decor provides a comfortable welcome and the background music is at just the right level.

We went on a midweek evening and found ourselves to be the only diners in the venue.

I started with the moreish garlic chicken, while my girlfriend, Siobhan, opted for a classic bhuna prawn.

Both hit the spot and set us up for the main course.

There’s a varied menu with all the classics at Zafflong, but after opting for spicier foods for my last few curries, I decided to go down the milder route and chose a prawn balti.

It wasn’t too hot spice-wise, but was very rich in taste, the succulent prawns nicely blended with the coriander in the curry.

I went for plain pilau rice and the only minor complaint of the night was that it was a smaller portion than I was expecting.

Siobhan chose her favourite, a chicken tikka masala with keema pilau, which was sweet and rich, but more than suitable for her tastes.

A tikka naan bread proved too big for us to finish even though we shared it, and the meal was washed down with a pint of coke each.

We were both too full to even consider the dessert menu, so decided to call it a night there and then. Although the only people to come in during our meal were two diners, who arrived just as we were leaving, the staff assured us that the place is packed out on the more popular nights each week, which I’m not surprised about.

This place is clearly something of a hidden gem.

You can see why on weekends Zafflong is a popular eatery among the local curry-favouring clan.

The bill was a little higher than expected at just over £25, but then again, the dishes couldn’t be faulted.

Service was welcoming when we arrived and swift throughout.

It might not be as well-known as some other restaurants in the area but, on this evidence, maybe more people should be aware of Zafflong.

David Allison