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Cafe Spice Namaste

 

Cafe Spice Namaste

16 Prescot Street
London
E1 8AZ
Tel. 0207 488 9242
Fax. 0207 488 9339 

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Cafe Spice Namaste, by chef and proprietor Cyrus Todiwala

Although classically trained, Cyrus Todiwala is known for his innovative approach to Indian food. Alongside familiar dishes, he combines traditional techniques and flavourings with more unexpected ingredients to produce recipes such as ostrich tikka, and tandoori monkfish.
In association with amazon.co.uk

Tuesday 16th May 2000

I was down in London for a couple of days of meetings. Our tame hotel booking squad had told us there wasn't a room to be had - I only got into the Tower Thistle at the last minute thanks to a cancellation. Quite lucky really, as the room was a "City Club Double" - a pretty good upgrade - overlooking Tower Bridge.

I knew that Cafe Spice was nearby. It had been a lovely day - not a cloud in the sky and quite warm so I went for a stroll.

Cafe Spice has two large rooms with tall ceilings (which I like because any smoke gets suitably lost). The waiters were, er, earnest - hardly a smile, but when I asked about the menu, they were very friendly and helpful. The place was already buzzing at 7:30, and I was found a table (unfortunately, I was dining alone).

I took my time reading the menu - this is no standard high-street Indian, and I was eager to try something out of the ordinary. Lately, I have been suffering stomach upsets, and my appetite has been less than sparkling, so whatever I picked had to be enticing, and fairly light. They brought Poppadoms and relishes while I examined the list.

Just a few items from the menu:

Frango No Espeto Piri Piri (Goa)
Hottest amongst the chicken tikkas, piri piri is marinated in Goa's notorious red masala, ground entirely in palm vinegar to throw that extra punch which has made it quite addictive to some of our patrons. £3.95/£7.75

Dhanajeera Ni Sea Bass
Whole Sea Bass marinated the delicate Parsi way with cumin, coriander, lemonjuice. Skewered and chargrilled in the Tndoor. Served with Mushroom Rice. £13.90

Chorise Carne de Javali
Wild Boar sausages made exclusively with our recipe, filled with spiced meat in typical Goan style. Cooked with diced green peppers & onions in a thick vindaloo gravy. Served traditionally with hot bread. £5.45

I started with the Channa Chutt Putti - Chick peas tossed with dry spices, lemon juice, green chillies and chopped shallots. Topped with beaten yoghurt, tamarind chutney and sprinkled with crushed poories. A street side speciality of Dhaka, Bangladesh. (£3.85). This was absolutely delicious - the crunchy texture of the poories, the tang of the yoghurt, and the freshness of the coriander was "just so". The dish was also probably enough for me as a main course, given my lack of appetite (One of the reasons for picking this dish was the yoghurt, which is supposedly good for upset stomachs).

I asked for another small bottle of Cobra (£2.95) and told the waiter to hold fire for five minutes for me to regain my composure!

Main course was Vegetable Dahi Kadhi - a unique curry made with yoghurt in a typical Keralan style. Whipped yoghurt is cooked with roasted chickpea flour, tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin and asafoetida. Cauliflower florets, baby carrots, deep fried aubergines and green peas are simmered in this mild and flavourful curry. (£3.95/£6.75). Served with a bowl of Pilau rice and a bowl of Raita. I had to leave about a third of it, as I was overfull. I finished with an espresso, which was pretty good, and paid the bill of £27.11 including 12.5% service.

Verdict: Highly Recommended

PS They have a sister establishment in Battersea, London SW11

PPS They do takeaways - I wonder if they'll deliver to Manchester?!!

PPPS - See our re-visit review

 

 

Eatanddrink Ratings

Café Spice Namaste

Total Score: 85%
Quality: Exceptional
Service: Good
Facilities: Above Average
Ambience: Above Average
Value: Good

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