I am, as many of you will know, very rarely lost for words. The Purple Poppadom has genuinely left me with a shortage of superlatives to describe the meal that Mrs Tonfoodie and I enjoyed there recently. Located between an estate agent and takeaway food shop it would not be difficult to walk past this gem of a place. If you did you would be missing out on an exceptional dining experience. I know that in my previous posts I always leave my random scoring system to the end but on this occasion I make no apologies for telling you this delightful eatery scores a resounding 5 T's and if I hadn't stopped the scoring system at 5 I would have given it more for the food alone.
A very unassuming doorway off an ordinary street in Canton, Cardiff leads you into a whole new experience of Indian Cuisine. The decor is unsurprisingly purple, however it is not overpowering and makes you feel warm and welcome.
The staff are a credit to the owner and cannot be praised highly enough. From the warmth of the welcome to the attention to detail out waiters and waitresses were excellent.
Never to busy to stop and talk, always able to offer advice and suggestions, should you want it, but also attentive enough to understand when we were happy to be left alone.
Having already viewed the menu before our visit I have to say I was very tempted by the Deep Blue Tasting Menu and I am sure that had my head not been swayed by the a la carte dished I would have chosen that. Never mind that can wait until the next time.
General Manager of the restaurant Raman Bijalwan takes time to mingle with diners and always seemed happy to explain the dishes and how the genius that is Anand George (Chef Patron) greats his amazing mix of flavours. I promise if I worked for a certain French Tyre manufacturer this place would be well starred up.
Anyway enough of the preamble lets get down to the real reason for our visit, the food. The taster menu as I mentioned earlier looks to be very good value at £39.95 without drinks and £47.95 with beers between each course. If you are a lover of seafood with a twist then this is the one for you.
We had, as I said earlier already decided we were going to attack the a la carte menu and while Mrs T opted simply for poppadom and chutney starter I chose the Lamb in a Thrice (£7.95), this consisted of Lamb pattice with potatoes and bread crumbed. Seekh Kebab from Lucknow, cooked on skewers in the tandoor, accompanied with a pan fried spice crusted lamb. Served with a mango and what I think was either damson or blackberry jous it was mouthwatering.
Lamb in a Thrice
Fish and Chips AG
I think apart from the beautiful flavour the first thing that struck me about this was the three completely different textures the chef was able to conjure up from basically the same meat. It was quite simply delicious.
For the main course Mrs T chose, wait for it, Fish and Chips AG! (£14.95) Yes I know but this is was fish and chips a la Anand George and not your average takeaway I can assure you. Lemon Sole in a delightfully lite crispy batter with small roundels of potato in a breadcrumb covering. Served with a garlic infused crushed green pea and a mango mayonnaise it was something truly extraordinary.
Now clearly in the interests of this review and not because I am a glutton, that is a pure coincidence, I had to try the fish. Even the notoriously difficult to please Mrs T said it was cooked perfectly. Trust me when I tell you this is high praise indeed.
For my own main course I chose the interestingly named Nawabi Chicken (£15.95). Described by the restaurants web site as; A dish from the Moghul emperors, chicken supreme marinated with creamy cheese, with a touch of cardamom and mace finished in the tandoor. Accompanied by a boneless bhuna chicken thigh served with makhani sauce (sieved tomatoes) and mint sorbet. While this may be a perfectly acceptable description it does not begin to convey the subtle mix of flavours and textures delivered to the palate (sorry I am getting all carried away now but this was truly our of this world).
To my uneducated palate the thought of a frozen mint sorbet alongside the warmth of the chicken should not work but it simply does. As I have stated in the past I am no great lover of salad but the simple cucumber and red onion offering was served with a honey and mustard dressing which was gorgeous.
I could not leave without trying Chef Georges signature desert Chocomosa Anand (£6.50) a light crispy pastry parcel filled with a melted Belgian chocolate ganache served with vanilla ice cream.
If I say that you should try this just for the homemade vanilla ice cream that would be reason enough but the chocolate ganache was out of this world. I do not know what percentage of cocoa solids were used but the flavour was just delightful. I realise I am running out of superlatives now so it is probably time to draw this offering to a close.
If you are a resident of Cardiff and have not tried the Purple Poppadom, why not? And if you are planning to visit in the near future then take the time to track down this award winning venue. It is slightly off the beaten track but in my opinion well worth the visit. Total for our evening including drinks was a reasonable £54.95 which for food and service of this quality was not expensive.
You will need to book and my advice is if you want an early sitting then book early. I hope you have enjoyed my musings and that you enjoy the dining experience as much as I did. This will most assuredly not be my last visit. Enjoy!
Score: 5 T's
Upper Floor 185a Cowbridge Road East Canton Cardiff CF11 9AJ Tel: 029 2022 0026