When it comes to spicy foods I have to admit I don’t indulge, My palette is far too delicate, so when a walk along the picturesque Embankment in Bedford took us onto The High Street to The Spice Shop, a truly authentic Indian restaurant I was a little worried at what I’d let myself in for.
Walking through the door into The Spice Shop, the aroma of sweet spices hit you straight away, with its dark wood interior and shelves full of jars and bottles that are home to all the spices that are used to prepare the dishes. They have managed to create a smart, intimate, contemporary Indian restaurant.
Each dish on the menu is started slowly from scratch and finished even slower, creating dishes the truly traditional way, taking you on a culinary journey to discover true Indian food.
Shown to our seats the whole ambience of this unique restaurant hit me. Poppadoms and chutneys in front of us we contemplated the choices on the menu, of which there were many that had our mouth’s watering! I decided to stick with what I knew and opted for Classic Tandoori Chicken, this delicious dish is marinated overnight in a selection of spices, garlic and yoghurt then grilled to perfection and served with a fresh salad which is just perfect for cooling down the slight kick that lingers in your mouth. The marinade had seeped all the way into the succulent chicken leaving it full of flavour a real treat on my tastebuds. Hubby loves seafood so when he saw the Kolkata Calamari there was no other choice for him – Tiny tender squid and tails in a grainy crumb crunch, quick fried and tossed into a bowl with tamarind chutney drizzle – the calamari were soft and cooked perfectly, they literally melted in the mouth.
Main courses were just as tasty – I opted for the Duck Tikka, a duck breast steeped overnight in a marinade of sweet jaggery tangy tamarind and spices, which is then grilled on skewers in the Tandori and served with baked Pilau rice – This dish was delightful, with roasted peppers, tomatoes and a small salad served in a poppadom cone – it looked far too good to eat but eat I did, although a little apprehensively at first in case the spice was overbearing but it was pure perfection – the duck was tender and flavoured without being overbearing, rice fresh and fluffy. Hubby’s choice was Dark Duck Curry – a leg of duck cooked with dark spices and chana daal (a robust lentil), I have never seen this on any Indian menu before so it was going to be something truly different – Spice wise this is definitely not for the faint hearted a real authentic dish that hubbie loved – definitely one for the food connoisseurs who want to experience something completely different.
The menu has a varied selection of dishes to suit everyone and staff will happily accommodate any special requests from fussy people like me – Not too spicy (really) – We are in an Indian Restaurant!!!!
Everything in The Spice Shop is just that little bit different creating an ambience that leaves you feeling that you may well have experienced just a tiny bit of real India. Staff are warm and welcoming and service is impeccable and of course food is delicious, different and will certainly not disappoint.
The Spice Shop
19 High Street, Bedford