Sunday, 18 March 2018

Mirchi, Roath, Cardiff Indo-Pakistani restaurant review

Mirchi, an Indo-Pakistani restaurant on City Road, polarises opinion.

On Tripadvisor, reviews swing between love letters to their mixed grills and karahi chicken and criticism of their poor service and flavourless food.

My review of a takeaway a few years ago was a mixed bag.

But, Mrs G’s work colleagues have recommended the place on countless occasions and Cardiff blogger Tummy Says Yum and Waterloo Tea’s Kasim Ali are fans.

Mrs G and I decided it was time to give Mirchi’s dining-in experience a go.

Mirchi’s interior is simple, with an almost work canteen-like vibe. A tandoor oven and charcoal grill at the restaurant’s entrance tells you that Mirchi are serious about grilling meat.

As they don’t serve alcohol it was great to see that a jug of tap water was brought to the table without prompting. Mrs G ordered a mango lassi (£2) that was full of flavour but could have been cooler. 

Mirchi’s menu comprises familiar curries as well as more interesting vegetarian dishes and specials such as karela (bitter gourd) and nehari (leg of lamb). However, most people seem to come to Mirchi for their barbecue, with a multitude of mixed grills processing out of the kitchen on our visit.

We had a hefty wait for our starters and mains but complimentary poppadoms and chutneys put us in a happy place. The standout was a tangy tamarind number with a good whack of chilli. 

Lamb seekh kebabs were excellent - loaded with coriander and a good hum of chilli, they were licked with char and sat on top of crisp and tender onions. And at £4.90 for four, this was a great value dish - a theme that continued throughout the meal. 

A chicken tikka biryani (£8) would have fed a family of four (we took half of it home). The huge mound of seriously buttery and delicately spiced rice was flecked with pieces of tender meat. We chose a creamy mint raitha as the complimentary accompaniment but there’s also a curry option. 

Karahi chicken (£7.50) was packed with yielding flesh and a well spiced gravy but it was a little heavy on the ghee.

Finally, a roghni nan (£2.50) was exemplary. Crisp, pillowy soft, scattered with toasty sesame seeds and a brush of butter, it was the perfect mop for the curry sauce. 

We had a very tasty meal at Mirchi and I can now see why people rate it highly as we had a feast for £25 with leftovers to take home. However, please be aware of the slow service and basic decor.

The Details:

Address - Mirchi, 90-94 City Road, Cardiff CF24 3BN
Web -
Telephone - 02920 492344

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Maya, Roath, Cardiff BYOB Indian restaurant review

Snowmageddon 2018 - I’d finally gone stir crazy from three days indoors and was in need of a change of diet from eight meals straight of bread and milk.

Ok, not quite.

Mrs G and I wanted to get out the house and a Twitter recommendation of Maya, Albany Road’s newest curry house, sealed the deal.

Maya is BYOB with no corkage; a huge plus for any restaurant in my book as you can drink something interesting and save a good whack off the bill.

We enjoyed a bottle of fruity Von Goler Riesling, a good match for a spicy curry. However, I was jealous of the adjacent table who had brought a mini keg of beer. Skills.

Maya’s decor, with its coloured light fittings and diamante studded seats, isn’t quite to my taste but the restaurant is warm, clean and comfy. The menu is chock full of curry house classics with a scattering of more interesting dishes in the specials section.

Poppadoms (70p each) were warm, crisp and grease free. Accompanying chutneys were run of the mill, the highlight being a pokey mixed pickle.

I kicked off with haryali kebab (£5.95). Four huge pieces of juicy chicken were coated in a fresh and vibrantly coloured spinach paste. The meat had a nice lick of smoke from the tandoor and was served with soft and sweet onions and fiery chilli and fragrant mango chutneys.

A quartet of golden onion bhajis (£3.50) were crisp on the outside with a properly cooked interior.

A lovely chicken shashlik karai (£10.95) saw tender pieces of chicken tikka and flame licked onions and peppers in a well-spiced gravy.

Murghi massala (£9.95), my go to curry house dish because it’s a meat feast, was excellent. A heap of shredded tandoori chicken, coarse keema and caramelised onion were coated in another nicely spiced sauce.

Pilau rice (£2.90) was made more interesting thanks to the crunch of crispy onions.

A pillowy peshwari naan (£2.70) was made even more indulgent thanks to a drizzle of honey and a scattering of sesame.

We had a very good meal at Maya and their BYOB policy makes it stand out from other curry houses in Roath. If you’re looking for a tasty curry then I recommend it.

The Details:

Address - Maya, 68 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3RS
Web -
Telephone - 02920 470 004