Inter(the)city for a curry? Indian Express, Cardiff City Centre

With life slowly getting back to normal (I am certainly looking forward to the point where masks are a thing of the past here in Wales – a necessary evil perhaps, but boy do I actively hate the ghastly things), I am in the office and thus town more often.

With the work’s canteen (never that good anyway) in deep hibernation (possibly never to reawaken, bar from for sarnies and jacket spuds I suspect) a packed lunch (can’t be arsed) or a trundle into town (essential for sanity with so few people still coming in) is necessary for lunch.

On such a trundle I nipped through  Caroline Street to get onto the Hayes and noticed a couple of new (ish) places (everything is sort of new after months of being locked up), including the rather interesting looking Indian Express.

The place promised proper Indian fast food in the form of curry boxes

and naan wrap, with the naans rolled out and cooked

in a tandoor as you wait.

There is also a wider menu on offer

but I was after a quick turn around so it was the box or naan (there is a tortilla option, but I mean why would you …) wrap option.

After some deliberation and indecision (the people in front of me had the naan wraps and they did look good), I went for the £5 box option, which offers 1 x rice or chips, 1 x curry and 1 x side (you can go larger with £6 and £8 boxes).

The food

I opted for jeera rice and the Indian street food curry for my fiver box and what I got was a very substantial portion of a pretty good quality curry.

The jeera rice was well cooked (hitting that sweet spot of fluffiness) with a touch of cumin (bit more of a cumin punch would have been nice if I was being ultra picky) and the curry had an abundance of tender chicken mixed in with a rich gravy. Nice to have a smattering of fresh herbs on top to add a bit of freshness.

Mild rather than hot, this had decent spicing to it and was an excellent curry for the price (remember we are talking a mere fiver here).

The side I opted for (all in for the £5 price), with my curry, was a mixed vegetable pakora. Other options included samosas, bhajis and poppadums.

The pakora was straight out of the fryer and had a crisp exterior

and a plethora of veggies in the mix. Nice bite retained to the veggies and good spicing, without it being oily.

I really enjoyed this.

My only quibble would be a chutney  with the pakora would have been nice with it, but it’s a fiver so I think expecting that is pretty unreasonable!

Really enjoyed my curry box, which tasted great

and filled me up.

You can eat in, with a handful of formica tables inside, or take away. The box my curry came in certainly seemed of robust enough structure to easily withstand a journey back to the desk.

On the drinks front they have the usual soda suspects, but I spied a mango lassi – so plumped for that.

Nice lassi this, with a decent amount of mango in the mix and a consistency that was stiff but not jaw achingly so. Not cheap at £2.50, it was very refreshing and a decent size so good value I thought.

Verdict

Very pleased to have stumbled across this place, which brings a fine combo of flavour and value to the formica table.

For a fiver it is an absolute steal and you will be hard pushed to find better value in the city centre of a lunch time.

Would I go back? Absolutely – naan wrap (prices range from £3.50 to £4.50 depending on what you have) for me next time methinks.

I have actually been back already and can confirm the naan wraps are the business

Well filled and nice and spicy (but not incendiarily so – I went for medium) it was great value for £3.99.

Really nice chap on the tandoor and – multi – tasking like mad- gave me a can of coke on the house as I he said I had had a long wait (I hadn’t really) for my wrap. Very welcome on a hot day I can tell you.

They also have a loyalty card, so the more visits the more freebies you get freebies👍.

The details

Address: 45 Caroline Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FF

Website: https://indianexpresscardiff.com/

Eat in and takeaway available.

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