Last Monday saw the official opening of the Chef Anand George’s new restaurant- The Purple Poppadom. Being a huge fan of the Mint and Mustard and Chai Street, I was very excited about this new venture and was very happy to go along to a pre-opening night to sample the menu.
Located on Cowbridge Road East, you would be forgiven for thinking the location isn’t quite what you’d expect from a restaurant with such promise but although it looks a little dingy and sad, Cowbridge Road is becoming a great place to head for out-of-town little gems and the Purple Poppadom is no exception!
The restaurant is upstairs so once inside, you could be anywhere. The purple decor is both contemporary and stylish. The colour makes it bright and exciting but you still feel totally at home and relaxed. It is clear you’re in no ordinary Indian restaurant, everything is very upmarket and rightly so because the whole experience matches the outstanding food.
Staff are very attentive and it was very clear how happy they were to be there. Many of them left the Mint and Mustard to join Anand George in his new venture which shows their commitment to him and trust in his ability.
The evening began with a trio of starters which came beautifully presented. I sat for a while wondering which to eat first as they all looked so fantastic. I settled for the Bombay Chat and immediately wished I had left it until last as it was perfection in a mouthful (a big mouthful I might add, not dainty pop in the mouth bite as it was described). The semolina pastry was filled with yogurt and homemade chutney and topped with gram flour vermicelli and was absolutely delicious!
Along with this we had Basil Murgh (Chicken tikka gently infused with fresh basil) which was beautifully tender and very unusual. The basil worked surprisingly well and was something I would not think to use in Indian cooking. Lastly was the Caws Aur (Golden triangle of grated Tintern Welsh cheese with cashew nut spice) which was also suburb.
For the Fish Course we had Salmon from the Race which was a trio of tandoori salmon, marinated with mustard and honey; Salmon cake; Smoked salmon roulade in a crust of hand crushed spices. I love salmon and this course did not disappoint. The salmon marinated in mustard and honey was outstanding! Succulent and juicy and beautifully flavoursome.
Trio of Salmon
Following a lychee sorbet, it was onto the mains. After the unusual fusion starters and fish efforts, the mains were brought back to curries more reminiscent of those I’ve eaten in Indian. We were treated to three curries, a Thoran (a vegetable dish from Kerala) steamed Basmati rice and assorted bread.
The curries were lovely and complimented by the light Thoran. The Coconut King Prawns were spicy in their creamy sauce and the chicken in the Kozhi Melagu Curry was unbelievably tender. I was especially impressed with the cooking as the staff were cooking for 80 people who were all eating at the same time. However, the stand out main dish for me was the Lamb Varattiyathu. Described as spicy preparation of lamb with aromatic spices in Kerala Syrian-Christian style, this dish was everything I want from a curry. I touch of spice, depth of flavours and tender melt in the mouth lamb.
I’m a generally more of a savoury person than I am into my sweet dishes but one of the three mini desserts I had gets me very excited just recounting it. The Rose Petal Brulee was one of the most delicious desserts I have ever tasted! Sweet and crisp on the top and thick and creamy inside, it was everything you would expect from a good brulee but it had the most wonderfully powerful yet somehow subtle flavours of rose. I love rose flavours but this was something else as it was made with rose petals giving it a wonderfully unique texture. Out of this world!
Trio of desserts
Overall, this was a fantastic meal. At £39 per person the taster menu is expensive but I think it is worth it as you get to try so much and it is all of a very high standard. For me, the starters and desserts are what stand out over the mains and with a taster menu, you get to try more of them. Saying that, the A La Carte menu is extensive and is reasonably priced with mains ranging from £7.59- £14.95. Starters and desserts are also very reasonable.
This review has taken longer for me to write than usual because I’m having trouble concentrating when thinking back the amazing dishes I ate and constantly flicking back to the menu to plan my courses on my next visit! I will be definitely be back sooner rather than later! I have awarded the Purple Poppadom a green spoon overall but it really isn’t far from being awarded a Golden Spoon. We’ll see what happens on my next visit…
My Last Mouthful was: The Bombay Chat and The Rose Petal Brulee (I cannot chose between them, this is a first!).
Atmosphere and decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-