No matter what street you’re strolling down in Cardiff, you’re bound to stumble across a number of Indian restaurants trying to tempt you through their doors with enticing fragrances and the promise of a flavoursome and comforting Indian feast – perfect for warming your soul and lifting your spirits on a gloomy winter’s day.

But with so many options available to you in the city, choosing where to enjoy your next jalfrezi can often seem like an impossible task. Whether you’re tired of ordering the same old dishes you’ve tasted time and time again or you’re simply craving your favourite curry, the difference between your average Indian restaurant and one of the country’s very best is staggering – not all kormas are equal.

Here at Food & Drink Guides, to celebrate the recent release of our Cardiff Food & Drink Guide 2019, we’ve made your life that much easier this year with our round up of the region’s very best Indian restaurants.

For a more comprehensive guide to the best places to eat and drink in Cardiff, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our Cardiff Food & Drink Guide 2019 here or read a digital version here.

Red Fort

2 Cross Street, Caerleon, Newport, NP18 1AF

A bright and colourful Indian restaurant boasting an impeccable food and drink offering, if you’re in Newport and you’re craving some warming and flavoursome Indian dishes, you’re in luck. Set in the heart of Caerleon, despite its unassuming façade, when we visited this rare gem of a restaurant we were pleasantly surprised. Greeted by friendly and extremely attentive staff who made us feel right at home, we sat down and quickly began salivating over the enticing menu before opting for the perfectly spiced onion bhajis and deliciously light poppadoms to start, followed by a mouth-watering chicken balti and delicious lamb biryani served on a decorative golden tray that was a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds.

To finish this fragrant three-course feast, we indulged in some scoops of sublime pistachio ice cream which made the perfect palate-cleansing dish to round off an unforgettable dining experience.

Shampan

70 Eastgate, Cowbridge, CF71 7AB

If you consider yourself a true fan of Indian cuisine and regularly order takeaways from your local Indian restaurants, one visit to Shampan in Cowbridge may challenge everything you think you know about your favourite dishes. Providing a real education in Indian cuisine that will ignite a revolution in your tastebuds, the chefs at this one-of-a-kind establishment use the finest and freshest spices to create memorable flavours that set their regional Indian dishes apart from the competition.

Formed by three Keralan friends and elegantly situated in a Grade II listed building, chef Ashi Aravind was even crowned Asian Chef of the Year 2018 and creates every dish from scratch to produce imaginative and mouth-watering Indian food that makes it almost impossible to put down your forks. When we visited earlier in the year, we couldn’t help but devour the comforting chicken curry flavoured with coconut milk and Kashmiri chilli and delicious Malabar beef curry, while the deep-fried tiger prawns with curry leaves, lime, ginger and garlic was a taste revelation.

The Cinnamon Tree

Tonteg Road, Treforest, CF37 5UA

The family-run Cinnamon Tree in Treforest has a well-earned reputation among Cardiff’s foodies as one of the finest Indian eateries in the country, and as soon as you sample a selection of dishes off of the restaurant’s broad, dynamic and diverse menu, you’ll quickly understand why.

Going strong now for over 20 years, the Uzzaman brothers remain dedicated to delivering nothing but the finest cuisine combined with impeccable service and an unrivalled atmosphere. On the menu you’ll find the likes of duck, venison, turkey and even ostrich, along with tempting fish dishes such as green fish curry and Goan sea bass cooked in spiced coconut milk. The traditional dishes on the menu are also not to be missed.

If you’re new to Indian cuisine, overwhelmed by choice, or simply wish to try something different than your typical order, the Uzzaman brothers will be more than happy to recommend a dish completely suited to your mood and preferences that evening. The brothers’ extensive, deep-rooted knowledge of Indian cooking, coupled with their excellent understanding of good customer service, are the ingredients that make The Cinnamon Tree restaurants such a success.

Salkaara

125 Station Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff, CF14 2FE

Situated close to the district’s famous cathedral and just a short walk from Llandaff train station, Salkaara may have only recently opened, but it’s already gained a glowing reputation as one of the places to go in the region for outstanding service and world-class Indian cuisine. Founded by Santhosh Nair with the aim of offering diners high-quality Indian cuisine at an affordable price, why not try Salkaara’s tasting menus, affording foodies the opportunity to savour a variety of scrumptious Indian dishes such as the Kashmiri chicken tikka, pan-seared sea bass served on a bed of curry leaf, and Nadan chicken curry!?

The main menu is just as tempting, featuring all your favourite dishes like chicken tikka masala, tandoori salmon, and tandoori king prawn, as well as some more unusual choices such as konju manga curry – tiger prawns simmered in a spicy coconut and mango gravy – or the Indian cheese-based five-spice paneer.

The Castle Gate Restaurant

5 Castle View Shopping Centre, Nantgarw Hill, Caerphilly, CF83 1SN

Twice voted one of the Top 100 Indian Restaurants in the UK by the British Curry Awards, Castle Gate Restaurant is well known within the historic town of Caerphilly for serving exceptional, vibrant and beautifully presented Indian food packed full of flavour. With over 20 years’ experience in the culinary industry, you can trust the team to deliver an Indian dining experience that is difficult to better, using the finest locally sourced produce and prepared fresh every single day.

Start with the likes of samosas, onion bhajis and pakoras, before moving onto the likes of Caste Gate Restaurant’s speciality gosht kata masala – a warming dish of braised lamb with sliced onion, ginger, garlic and ground masala, served with rice or naan – or the always popular jalfrezi, which can be prepared with chicken, lamb, or king prawns.

Offering something for everyone, Castle Gate Restaurant has even created a spectacular vegan-friendly menu and can cater for a range of dietary requirements. For a real treat, visit Castle Gate on Sunday when you can choose from over 20 delicious dishes from the buffet for under £10.

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