Saturday, 14 January 2012

Mirchi, Indian / Pakistani restaurant, Cardiff review

It’s common knowledge to most Londoners that curry houses on Brick Lane are generally worth giving a wide birth. Annoying touts try and harangue you into choosing their identikit restaurant, tempting you with the prospect of ridiculous offers including corkage free byo and 60% of the bill.

Instead, those with a little insight into East end curry patiently spend their time waiting in line for the phenomenally brilliant and bargainous Pakistani food served up by Tayyabs a short 10 minute walk away (Mrs G and I would have gone there on our first date if we hadn’t decided we were too hungry to queue). Their grilled meats (lamb chops in particular), masala fish and dry meat hold cult status amongst most London food bloggers.

So when I started to hear good things about Mirchi’s Indian/Pakistani restaurant and takeaway on City road I started to count lamb chops in my sleep......

We opted for takeaway as we were feeling particularly antisocial.

Mango and sweet lassis were pleasant but average (£2.00)

The best dish of the meal was a paneer butter massala (£5.50) with a deliciously rich and creamy sauce. Karai chicken (£4.90) was well spiced but stingy on the meat front and the sauce was on the watery side.

Paneer butter massala (midground), Karai chicken (foreground)
The nan bread (90p) was more travel pillow than goose feather pillow and the pilau rice was dense with a powerful taste of clarified butter (£2.00).

Surely the dish I was looking forward to the most, the mixed grill (£9.90) would show off Mirchi’s skills with the grill? Sadly not. The lamb chops (and the rest of the meat in fact) were well charred but a little on the dry side and the spicing was just ok. None of the fresh herbs and grilled onions which add an extra dimension to Tayyabs exemplar version were present.

I did add some more sauce after this photo was taken...honest
Unfortunately with such a high bench mark set by Tayyabs, Mirchi's wouldn’t have to go far wrong to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong all of the food served by Mirchi’s is highly edible. But that’s about as much praise as I can give. It’s not really enough to make me hurry back.

Mirchi, 89 City Road, Cardiff, CF24 3BN
029020 492344


  1. Not been to Cardiff yet but I was up in Oban which is in Scotland the gateway to the isles and found this little Kebab restaurant called Kebabish Curry House, they recently won an award for cleanliness the "Eat Safe Award" and I have got to say it was the best meal I have had in years. I had the Chicken Dopiaza which I would recomend to anyone and I am currntly trying to give myself an excuss to go back so I can try some of there other delights :-) htt://

  2. Went here a few weeks ago after a gig for a sit down meal. I think a sit-down is much better than the take away we had a while back. (incidentally, Mirchi is one of the few places open after 10.30 on a Saturday night in the Roath area of Cardiff, which frankly seems bonkers given the student demographic). The food was really excellent - the paneer was superb, my lamb biryani tender - the real test of any lamb dish - and massively generous. The star dish was the kebab starter - really delicious and sizzingly fresh with bits of green chilli to give them a kick. Again, huge portions. Nice friendly staff too. If you don't mind forgoing the booze, I would highly recommend Mirchi but suggest you eat in .

  3. @grahamf - Your mini review has just tempted me back. Think I'll have to eat in and give all the dishes you've just mentioned a try. I'll let you know how I get on.

  4. Mirchis is my favourite Indian Restaurant in Cardiff...the food is excellent, the portions enormous and the welcome is one of the friendliest you will find in the City!