Review - The Purple Poppadom Cardiff

Have you ever had that smug feeling, that you've found that little gem that none of your friends knows about? Well, last Wednesday I felt exactly like that. The Purple Poppadom in Cardiff, is marketed as a Nouvelle Indian cuisine restaurant and you can certainly say you won't get your bog-standard uninspiring Indian food here - this is Indian food with a touch of class. Since opening two years ago it has been rapidly winning awards aplenty, including Welsh Curry House of the Year 2013 and has gained a place in The Good Food Guide 2013. The Kerala-born chef Anand George is well known for his super skilled and creative cooking being head chef at the Mint and Mustard in Cardiff previously.

Hidden away in the Canton area of Cardiff this unassuming restaurant is a foodies delight. Modern and bright inside with friendly staff it was fairly quiet for a Wednesday but soon filled up as the night went on. The waiter said it gets very busy from Thursday to Sunday so booking ahead is certainly advised. The background music was soft Indian classics and the staff were keen and eager to please. A warm welcome from the restaurant manager Raman ensued which is always a good start and then the food commenced.

I chose from the A La Carte menu but they also have a tasting menu which they pair with a selection of wines.

Poppadoms and chutneys, Peli Potsiwar and Chicken Connoisseur

Firstly we started with a selection of poppadoms and chutney. Light 
crispy poppadoms, a lovely mint sauce, date chutney and lime pickle were the perfect nibbles and were devoured in almost seconds.

Onto the starters - I started with Peli Potsiwr. This is an interesting combination of venison scotch egg, rabbit potli, crab cake, potato bonda, and green pea kachori with homemade chutney. My favourite was the green pea kachori and the venison scotch egg, the former was spicy and delicious with the sweetness of the date chutney, the latter meaty with great flavours. My son had the Chicken Connoisseur which is a selection of three types of chicken marinated in various herbs and spices, which he described as 'tasty!" - (he is a 16 year old teenager after all!) and my husband had the Vegetable Variations which he thought had intriguing flavours. As you can see all the starters were beautifully presented and looked amazing.

Next up the mains.

Both my husband and my son had the Malabar Chicken Biryiani. This is my opinion was a stand out dish - I had to have a taste of course! Cooked in the Kerala style the waiter explained how it was made - in layers, with curry sauce, rice and chicken and the pastry lid keeping in the moistness. This was brought to the table and mixed expertly by the waiter, first the pastry lid was cut off, then the biriyani mixed together, then served. The biriyani was moist and delicately flavoured but not over spiced. You could really taste the cardamom with slight hints of saffron, ginger and coriander and the rice was really fragrant. So often in a biryani the meat is dry but not in this one, just deliciously cooked.

Malabar Chicken Biryiani

My option was the Kashmiri Rogon Josh. Sweet chunks of tender meat in a rich gravy it was the perfect foil for the light and fluffy pilau rice.

For an accompaniment we chose garlic nan - the butter and garlic on the bread made the nan taste delicious, however it was a little thinner than nan bread I have had previously, this is not a criticism as I really enjoyed it, just an observation.
Kashmiri Rogon Josh and Garlic Nan

At this point I was full but I managed to squeeze in a dessert. Myself and my son had the creme brulee. Presented in two little pots, we had a green tea flavoured creme brulee and a rose petal creme brulee. With creme brulee it's all about the crunch, and both of these gave a satisfying crunch when the crispy sugar layer was prodded with a spoon. The green tea was very delicately flavoured and creamy, but the rose petal was my favourite. Not normally a fan of Turkish delight, this was a little piece of heaven, creamy with a distinctive flavour, unfortunately it did over power the delicate flavour of the green tea brulee and although I am no expert I would suggest pairing the rose petal creme brulee with a stronger flavoured brulee such as light chocolate perhaps?

Green Tea Creme Brulee and Rose Petal Creme Brulee

As we made our way out of the restaurant we chatted with the restaurant manager Raman. Pleased to be mentioned in the Good Food Guide he was obviously proud of his restaurant, and so he should be, and on this note we departed with full stomachs and a sense that this restaurant will go far. 

Highly Recommended 

The details:
Address: Purple Poppadom, 185 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF11 9AJ
Telephone: 029 2022 0026

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  1. Wow, the food looks incredibly delicious! I love Indian food and like the sound of Rose Petal Crème Brulee!

  2. Oh, I don't even remember last time we went to nice place like this... I miss nice evenings out with full size humans only

    1. Do you ever come to Cardiff? You must check out this restaurant if you do.

  3. I am coming back to Cardiff just for the Malabar Chicken Biryiani sounds fantastic, all the food looks fresh and from your great description, aromatic and superb. A restaurant to be bookmarked.
    Thanks for telling us about your dining there.