There was a time when Indian Restaurants serve predictable meals , “British Curry” style .
Holidays in India and popular TV cookery programmes have encouraged interest in real Indian food and the regional variety it offers.
So if you are in Cardiff opportunities await.Why not try authentic Indian Street food?
This is CHAI STREET (153 Cowbridge road East ,Canton Cardiff)opened at its new premises since January 2015.
There are no reservations it is open from midday to 11pm serving snacks and light food.There is a children’s menu.The decor is simple and fun with funky lighting.
The music is Bollywood and the menu short and reasonably priced.
We ordered one of their gourmet treats each, fish for R and Paneer for me.R was taken with a waft of nostalgia to the canteen at his Dehli factory where all meals were served on these metal trays.
The food was fabulous, and I couldn’t resist a dessert made mainly from grated carrot and nuts.
The waiter kindly explained the recipe and was eager that we enjoyed every mouthful.
R decided to end with a traditional Indian Tea
I couldn’t leave without a trip to the loo, passing the house rules on the way.
Even the toilet facilities try to create an interesting ambiance.
It is a really fun place to eat , with a delicious menu.I can imagine in the evenings full of students there is a lively atmosphere.
More information on www.chaistreet.com
If you want a more sophisticated evening why not try the critically acclaimed Mint and Mustard at 134 Whitchurch Road.
The decor here is comfortable and chic.
The menu is more sophisticated and elaborate. Booking ahead is definitely advised.The seasons are reflected in the fresh , healthy choices offered. It holds the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand rating and the only Cardiff restaurant in the Sunday Times Good Food List.
Check the latest menus on www.mintandmustard.com
If you really enjoy Indian Food , particularly the flavours of Kerala ,why not come here for a cookery course run by their Master Chef.
At the rear of the restaurant is the cookery school , each student given their own cooking base and hot plate.
Like many of my fellow cooks we had been given a gift voucher for the event as a Christmas Present. To start we were given our own apron and chefs hat.
We watched the chef as he demonstrated step by step a Lamb Coconut Fry.We were then let loose on our lamb and spices to replicate it.The chef patrolled , turning up heat , giving tips adding spices and tasting.The atmosphere was relaxed and helpful.
Although the smells were tempting the dishes were boxed ready to take home.Much appreciated by R that evening.
The chef demonstrated his skills in bread making.
Then it was our turn to knead dough for chapattis.
While we cooked, nibbles appeared by magic from the kitchen next door,savouries like bhajiis and refreshing palate cleansers .
We learnt to make a basic saag with suggestions for all the tasty varieties we could try at home.
Finally after questions , hints , and practical demonstrations we were invited into the restaurant to sample their taster menu.An array of dishes to tempt us back for the full restaurant menu
We ended with a yummy chocolate filled samosa balanced on banana.
Both venues offer delicious food in their own distinctive style and give two wonderful alternatives for eating out in Cardiff when you decide to go Indian.