I’ve visited Kumar’s three times in the last three weeks. That’s how much I like the place.
This no-frills Southern Indian restaurant on City Road is perennially busy. So, I’m clearly not the only person who’s a fan.
With a comprehensive menu of cracking value Southern Indian food, a bring your own booze policy and an uber-friendly waitress who somehow singlehandedly manages to keep service running smoothly, Kumar’s is a great restaurant.
Cauliflower Manchurian (£3.50), an Indo-Chinese classic, combined lightly battered florets and finely diced onions and peppers (with just the right amount bite) in a ferociously spicy, sweet and sour sauce.
A podi dosa (£3.75) saw a whopping thin rice and lentil pancake filled with a spicy, crunchy lentil powder. An accompanying trio of sauces were the ideal companions – a coconut chutney, a tomato and lentil sambal and a lentil sambal.
I’d like to apologise for the number of times I’ve written about lamb kothu parotta on this blog. However, it’s one of my all time favourite dishes and I’m compelled to order it whenever it’s on a menu.
Kumar’s version (£4.99) is one of the best I’ve tried – soft, finely chopped bread, tender lamb, fragrant curry leaf, egg, red onion and tomatoes combine to make one of the best comfort foods going. A little pot of chicken curry in a coconut twanged-gravy and a coarse cut onion raitha provided extra moisture.
Malabar lamb therakal (£6.25), a supposedly dry curry, wasn’t as dry as the last time I ordered it. However, the huge portion of lamb, onions, shredded coconut and curry leaves were just as tender and well spiced as my previous visit.
A paneer butter massala (£5.25) provided a contrast to the other dishes – soft, golden cubes of cheese were bathed in a creamy, mildly spiced sauce heady with cardamom.
An egg veechu parotta (£2.25) was the perfect mop for all that gravy. A stretchy bread topped with a thin layer of omelette, it was only let down by a heavy hand with the salt shaker. Last time the seasoning was bob-on.
And that’s where my only criticism of Kumar’s lies – a slight lack of consistency – sauces have been spiced and seasoned differently each time I’ve visited. However, that’s not to say they haven’t been lush each time.
If you’re looking for a different Indian meal in Cardiff then Kumar’s is a must visit.
Address - Kumar's, 129 City Road, Cardiff CF24 3BP
Telephone - 02920 214 569