Royal Spice Indian Restaurant is in the marble city. This contemporary ethnic restaurant is beautifully decorated inside and serves a range of dishes from across the Indian sub-continent with a contemporary twist
Syed Ahmed’s stylish restaurant recently relocated from Patrick Street to Watergate Gardens, a great city centre location close to the theatre and with parking across the street it couldn’t be more accessible. The interior is beautifully decorated with a mix of dark and cream leather seating, taupe and cream on trend walls and statement pink lampshades give the room an intimate setting, while well positioned mirrors create a feeling of space.
We visited last Saturday evening with the family, a busy evening which showed off not only the great buzz Kilkenny is renowned for as well as the professionalism of the staff at Royal City
There was a selection of menus including the early bird offering 2-courses for €18.95 or 3-courses for €21.95, available every day till 9pm and 7pm on Saturdays, while a wine & dine menu for €49.95 for two people offered 2-courses with a bottle of house wine from Monday to Friday, and of course there was the a la carte
The wine list is broken down into a selection of six reds and the same of white, house wines priced from €19.50 to €21.50, other choices run from €22.95 for the Butterfly Ridge Riesling to €31.95 for a Chianti, There were a couple of options by the glass or some sparkling for that special celebration. We went with the New Zealand Hunky Dory Sauvignon Blanc priced at €26.95, it had a slightly citrus flavour which went well with the food and of course in homage to the Bowie album.
We opted for the a la carte, with a selection of ten starters priced between €4.20 for the peyaj bhajia or vegetable samosa to €7.25 for the Royal Spice selection, a choice of the chef’s starters. Other great options were the aloo bora, chicken pakora or tandoori lamb, chicken or prawn.
I started with the murg tikka, fresh Irish chicken marinated with mixed ground spices, yoghurt, garlic & ginger grilled in the tandoori oven and served with the dohi chutney while Fred had his favourite sheek kebab, two generous lamb kebabs served with a mint chutney and the girls couldn’t wait to get their tandoori chicken, a large chicken breast on the bone marinated in garlic, ginger and cumin cooked in a clay oven served with a homemade chutney and salad.
Main courses are divided in sections, starting with a range of Royal specialities, including the Royal Galda Masala, black tiger prawns with house special spices cooked in a creamy masala sauce. Their Grilled Dishes is where you will find all their Tandoori dishes, Tandoor ovens get up to temperatures of 600C, so the food cooks quickly, and the meat retains its moisture.
All the classic curries are here, Bhuna, Madras and Balti. If you like hot food, try the madras with a choice of chicken, lamb, prawn or vegetable, it’ll blow your socks off
Royal Spice have a very good range of vegetarian dishes, as accompaniments to main courses, but also as vegetarian dishes in their own right. Their new menu features a lot of locally sourced produce, meats and fish, and provenance is now obviously important to them
I went with Tandoori king prawn, a dish I really enjoy but also feel as if I am being slightly good on calorie count, It came as a generous serving of large king prawns served sizzling with homemade chutney and salads while Fred opted for Syed’s recommendation of Lassai Ghosht; fresh Irish lamb pan cooked with sliced garlic, onion, coriander seed, it is very spicy and fred loved it, the plate was cleared and thoroughly enjoyed whilst the girls went with their Indian dish of preference, the chicken tikka masala which certainly didn’t disappoint. We shared a selection of pilau and special pilau rice and plain and Peshwari naan breads
When it came to dessert Fred decided to finish up with a bottle of cobra while I indulged in a Baileys coffee and the girls went for a very tempting chocolate fudge cake. One of the many things that sets Royal Spice apart from other Indian restaurants is that all their desserts are fresh as opposed to frozen or bought in, and the chocolate went down a treat.
Royal Spice is another of the new type of Indian restaurant that have become so popular in Ireland in recent years. Good food, friendly and courteous service, and excellent value for money. Add Royal Spice to your list of Indian treats, and check out their menus on www.royalspice.ie