Saturday, 18 July 2020

Family Choice, Cathays, Cardiff Sri Lankan takeaway review

It’s difficult to go above and beyond with customer service when it comes to takeaways - it’s that much harder for a business to make an impression without the face to face interaction between front of house and customer.

But, Salisbury Road’s recently opened Family Choice Sri Lankan takeaway more than surpassed our expectations. It was only when we’d got to the end of our delicious meal that we noticed one of our side dishes was missing. Unprompted, a few minutes later, there was a knock at the door with an apologetic delivery driver with our missing dish and a complimentary bottle of Coke. This is the kind of service which drives loyalty.

Family Choice is a curious hybrid of a business - at the front it’s a Cathays convenience store and Asian supermarket whilst at the back they’re a Sri Lankan takeaway available via Just East and telephone. With a non-existent social media profile, I was alerted to their existence by fellow Cardiff food blogger Tummy Says Yum, who gave them a positive write-up. 

Their menu of curry leaf and coconut-packed Sri Lankan food is enjoyably different to other options in the city (with only a few overlaps between Ponnuswamy and The Coconut Tree). Koththus, rolls, vadai, devils, fries and string hoppers are just some of the areas of the menu to work your way through.

We ordered a broad cross section.

A parcel of light-textured and neutral tasting rice noodle string hoppers (£4.99) ...

were pepped up no end by an accompanying pot of spicy and oniony grated coconut sambol…

and a flavoursome yet mild sothi curry sauce studded with soft potato.

Crisp crumbed mutton rolls (£2.50) were stuffed with chilli and spice laced pieces of meat and soft potato. 

Mini Cornish pasty-esque fish patties (£2) were uncompromisingly fishy. Thin and grease free of case, they were stuffed with an earthy, well-spiced flaked mackerel and potato mix. A pot of sweet chilli sauce added zip and zing. 

Chicken fry (£5.50) saw thin slices of golden chicken, which were a touch dry, judiciously seasoned with pepper and muddled with soft red onions and medium-spiced green chillies. 

Egg koththu (£5) was a good example of its type - a generous tub of soft-textured, comforting shredded roti was flecked with egg, curry leaf and onions. It was a lovely accompaniment to other bigger flavoured dishes. 

Paneer devil (£5.50) saw golden cubes of slightly chewy cheese and crisp peppers and onions bathed in a sweet, savoury and slightly spicy sauce.

Lastly, Ceylon fish curry (£7.50) combined big bone-in meaty pieces of kingfish (a type of mackerel) in a decadent and spice-laden thick coconut-based curry sauce. 

We really enjoyed our takeaway from Family Choice. We had an absolute feast for just over £30 and enough leftovers for another meal. If you’re looking for a different takeaway in Cardiff then it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Details:

Address - Family Choice, 96 Salisbury Road, Cardiff CF24 4AE
Telephone - 078 3434 0000 / 029 2022 0522

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