Naania – Maasi’s Kitchen, Victoria Park, Cardiff.

Victoria Park over the years has turned from somewhat of a desert into a bit of an oasis on the food front, with a not half bad set of eat in and take out venues, including Nook, Ansh and the Doughthrower.

A new addition to this is Maasi’s Kitchen, a place specialising in Pakistani food for breakfast, brunch and lunch.

Located in an old church hall, it has been done up so as to give it a really nice cosy feel.

All very welcoming, with a decent outdoor space if the weather is better than the rather inclement conditions on our visit (the brief heatwave being a distant memory).

The food

The menu is short, but has plenty of  interest on it,

as well there being a board of daily specials.

We were told that, contrary to what is stated on the menu, all of the breakfast items were available throughout the day.

Whilst the menu is short, I was left in  somewhat of a quandary as to what to have, as multiple dishes appealed.

I toying with the rather fine sounding Maasi’s meze, for a seemingly very reasonable £15 for 2, with the ability to load up with extra items for a mere £1.50 a pop.

On this basis, the whole shebang can be had for a mere £22.50 (if my always dodgy maths is correct). Seems more than reasonable!

Mrs. SF is, however, not keen on sharing with me as she claims (with some legitimacy) that I am a pig and always take the lions share (I am also reticent as, for the aforementioned reason, I dislike being stabbed in the hand with a fork).

Whilst the naanwich also sounded rather good, I conceded that choice to Mrs. SF (and a fellow diner). As a result, after much contemplation,  I went for an old favourite (of the sub-continent food scene) in the form of a samosa chaat.

Lovely looking dish this,

with a generous scattering of that bejewelled food stuff that is the pomegranate seed.

Cracking flavour to it too, with some lovely, yet delicate, spicing and pleasing textural contrasts.

Juicy, sweet, pomegrante seeds, crisp pickled red onion, crunchy sev, yielding spicy chick peas and a generous portion of meaty (lamb) samosas with the shells still retaining crispiness, tart tamarind chutney and a tangy yoghurt dressing made for a dish that tasted as good as it looked.

Absolutely cracking dish this. 

Mrs. SF and one of our friends had the chicken naanwich,

which was an absolute triumph.

A pillowy naan was the base for some lovely flavours. Spicy (rather than hot) chicken, a really zingy raw slaw, a coriander and chilli chutney and a tangy yoghurt dressing made for a grand lunch time/brunch dish.

Beautifully balanced spicing and lovely flavours in both of these dishes.

If you want to go a bit more conservative, the menu also offers  more conventional breakfast dishes like the breakfast naan,

albeit with a naan base and a pot of spicy beans, that one of our party had.

Because I am a pig, I persuaded the other that we should also order some of the samosas (which are the things that garnered Maasi’s kitchen their reputation in the catering game).

Both the lamb keema and the potato and pea samosas had a crisp shell and and a generouly spiced filling. Each were complimented nicely by a chilli and coriander chutney (spicy rather than hot) and their yoghurt dip. Textbook stuff👍.

The Drinks

The drinks menu (like the food one) has lots of interest

on the cold and hot drinks front (no booze sold here).

I went for a chai tea,

which had a nice level of spicing to it and was a very generous portion.

Two of us ordered this and the pot the chai came in contained enough for 2 generous cups each and a bit more. Be aware it is unsweetened, so if you like your chai sweet (I do – oddly, as I can’t stand even a grain of sugar in a standard cuppa) then there is sugar on the table to add.

Mrs. SF and one of our friends went for the cold drink option ordering a lemon, cucumber and mint ice tea and a raspberry iced cooler respectively.

Both were rather good, with the advertised flavours coming through nicely, and very refreshing.  The weather wasn’t great on the day of our visit, but on a hot Summer’s days these would be just the ticket.

The verdict

I really enjoyed the food and drink at Maasi’s Kitchen. Lovely flavours and something a bit different for breakfast, brunch or lunch with a naan often the base. Very much a case of welcome to Naania.

Would I go back? Absolutely, lovely flavours served up by very nice people. This is a great new addition to Vic. Park’s burgeoning food scene.

The details

Address:  St. Luke’s Church Hall, Cowbridge Road East, Victoria Park, Cardiff, CF5 1BE.

Websitehttps://www.maasiscardiff.com/

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