One of the perks of food blogging is that I constantly get recommendations sent my way.
It means I get to hear about the places that don’t court publicity which are quietly doing their thing, often without so much as website to let you know of their existence.
The only downside is I can’t keep up with all the restaurants I’d like to visit… I’ve currently got 98 places on my list in South Wales and no slack left in my waistband.
It’s thanks to a Twitter tip that I heard about Palms Beach, a Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant in Cathays, which has been open since the middle of January.
Their menu is home to a whole bevy of interesting and lush sounding dishes.
Unfortunately, some of the more unique breads (appams, pittu and string hoppers) weren’t available the midweek night we visited. So, we ended up ordering more familiar food.
Mango lassi (£2.50) straddled the fine line of being both refreshing and tasting like a dessert – ice cold, fragrant, sweet and creamy with a yoghurt zing.
Mutton kothu rothi (£6), a regular on this blog and in my stomach, was a bit meh. Whilst all the textures were bob on (tender lamb, soft shredded rothi), it tasted a bit one note. Lacking the vibrancy of fresh tomato and the fragrance of curry leaf, the dish tasted almost exclusively of lamb and chilli heat.
In contrast, a chicken Sri Lankan curry was delicious and an absolute steal at £4.50. There was plenty of tender chicken and the sauce was coconut-y, fragrant with curry leaf and had a good whack of chilli.
The star of the meal, however, was a masala dosa (£3.50). The crisp pancake, filled with a superb tender potato and tomato curry, was another bargain. Its accompaniments of lentil gravy, and coconut & chilli and coriander chutneys were also excellent.
Dessert, payasam (£2.50), wasn’t the most appetising looking bowlful. In spite of this, it was a pleasant, creamy concoction of tapioca, sultanas and vermicelli fragranced with spiced with cardamom.
Ok, so dinner at Palms Beach wasn’t perfect. But 2 out of 4 dishes were excellent, it’s cheap, and the service is super friendly. In summary, it’s another restaurant worth checking out. I’ll most certainly be brushing up on my Sri Lankan food trivia before my next visit so I have a better idea where the hidden gems may lie.
Address - Palms Beach, 2 Coburn Street, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4BQ
Telephone - 02920 37 37 67