Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cafe Madras, Indian restaurant & takeaway, Cardiff review

*Update - Cafe Madras has now closed and has been replaced by Madras in Wales*

Feeling “slightly” hungover, a takeaway curry was the only thing which could heal the pain. Mrs G suggested we tried Cafe Madras on City Road as she’d had food from there whilst in work a few months ago and rated it pretty highly.

Cafe Madras is the most recent addition to Cardiff’s pantheon of South Indian restaurants.  I’m a fan of Punitha’s and Mint & Mustard's food so was interested to see what Cafe madras could bring to the table.

As I didn’t have any cash and wasn’t feeling up to venturing outside, I decided to order through Everything seemed pretty straightforward until the website crashed out whilst taking payment and I had to go through the rigmarole again. Nearly a broken man (I was already on the edge before I even started), I managed to complete the order on the second attempt only to be met with the nail in the coffin that my order wouldn’t be delivered for a good 50 minutes.

Thankfully it arrived within half an hour. As I'm sure hundreds of cliched business bibles have said before, it's always better to under promise and over deliver.

What of the food? It was pretty good in general but some of the portion sizes were definitely on the stingy side.

From bottom left clockwise - Mutton Kotthu Parotta, Paneer Butter Masala, Yoghurt rice and Cauliflower Manchurian
Cauliflower Manchurian (£3.50) – Crisp battered pieces of cauliflower in a spicy, sweet & sour sauce. An Indo-chinese classic. However, the portion size was about half the size of the Punitha’s equivalent.

Mutton Kotthu Parotta (£4.75) – Shredded parotta (chewy flatbread) stir fried with pieces of mutton, peas, onion, egg, tomato and spices. Perfect hangover food and the portion size was decent too. It was well spiced and a little less greasy than the Punitha’s version but in comparison didn’t have the same curry leaf complexity  and quantity of meat.

Paneer Butter Masala (£3.99) – Soft pieces of Indian cottage cheese served in a creamy tomato massala with a good kick of chilli. Again the portion size and amount of paneer was a little underwhelming.

Yoghurt rice (£.275) –Described on the menu as “Rice well cooked & delicately mixed with yoghurt” and in the same section as other rice dishes served hot, I was a little narked to receive a dish of cold yoghurty rice pudding flecked with coriander and chilli. It was pleasant enough but didn’t quite fit into the meal I’d had in mind.

All in all a fairly decent meal but on this basis of this experience, my preferences still lie with Punitha’s. However, I won't pass final judgement until I've sampled some more of the rather tasty looking menu.

The Details:
Cafe Madras, 29 ,City Road. Cardiff. CF24 3BP


  1. Now called Madras in Wales. The dosas are probably best value and always delicious. Not bad value if going in a group, especially as it's BYO (Tesco opposite)

  2. I'd like to revisit to eat in. BYO is very appealing.

    I'm a big fan of Punitha's but always find the portions are more generous with their takeaway than when eating in! Haven't visited the little street food cafe they've got yet either.

  3. We had a takeaway and it didn't travel well. try a sit-down masala dosa.