Anand George’s influence on Indian cuisine in Cardiff cannot be underestimated.
His former restaurant, the excellent Mint & Mustard, still has many dishes on the menu from the time when he was head chef; the Chocomosa and the Tiffin Cup winning sea bass for starters.
At his current restaurant, Purple Poppadom, he’s refined his concept of “nouvelle Indian cuisine” even further and raised the bar once again for Indian food in Cardiff.
His style can also be experienced at a third restaurant and this brings me to today’s review...
Spice Berry has Chef SundaraMoorty Krishnasamy at the helm. Krishnasamy has worked at both at Mint & Mustard and Purple Poppadom and unsurprisingly, the result is a remarkably similar dining experience to both.
I’m certainly not complaining - it means the City Centre now has an awesome curry house and another independent restaurant to disrupt the chain dominance.
I’ll get the minor criticisms out of the way first so I can bang on about how much I enjoyed last night’s meal.
Firstly, Spice Berry’s Caroline Street location above a kebab shop isn’t the first place you’d think of for a decent meal out. However, one taste of Spice Berry’s food and Chippy alley is quickly forgotten.
Secondly, pre-dinner poppadoms (£2.50) were disappointingly lacking crispness. In contrast, a chutney selection comprised of potent lemon, delicate mint & ever present mango was on the nail.
To start, I ordered the Spice Berry veggie trio (£5). Soft, creamy, saffron marinated Tandoori Paneer and a crisp Dahi Chat with a sour tamarind & creamy yoghurt filling were both frigging lush. A potato and lentil Navadhaniya patty, spiced with ginger and coriander, would have benefited from a slightly crisper exterior.
Mrs G ordered the Chicken Tikka (£5.90) - three tender pieces of delicately spiced chicken.
A Spice Berry non veg trio (£7), consisting of a chicken samosa, sheek kebab and chicken tikka, was also highly rated.
For mains I went for the Lamb Shank (£11.50). The tender and well proportioned shank was splendidly spiced. It was accompanied by a medium hot creamy curry sauce and finely diced potatoes tempered with mustard seed and aromatic curry leaf.
Mrs G’s Paneer Makhani (£8) was also top notch. Soft cheese was bathed in a rich, creamy, mildly spiced tomato based curry sauce.
A Kerala Kozhi Curry (£8.75), a traditional Keralan chicken curry, was heady with coconut and fragrant curry leaf.
Saffron pilau rice (£3.75) was light and aromatic.
Raitha (£2.25) with cucumber and red onion was declared the best Mrs G had ever eaten.
A soft Keema naan (£2.50) was filled with a red and green pepper flecked spiced lamb and chicken patty.
Dessert was the most déjà vu inducing course of the evening...
I ordered the Chef’s dessert platter (£6.50). Tandoori pineapple flavoured with honey and saffron, a textbook fragrant mango crème brulee and a Choc n Roll (essentially a cylindrical chocomosa) were all bloody lovely and nigh on identical to those served at Purple Poppadom and Mint & Mustard.
Spice Berry is an ace restaurant and a welcome addition to the City Centre. The food they serve is refined, interestingly spiced and prettily plated.
Next time I’m in the mood for some Indian food on Caroline Street it’s reassuring to know my options now extend beyond chicken curry off the bone with chips from Dorothy's.
Address – Spice Berry, 30 – 32 Caroline Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FF
Telephone – 02920 099 199
Web - http://spiceberry.co