Indie Spice Grill in Swords is the original of the group now with restaurants in Sandymount and Naas as well. This is modern Indian food at its best, served in stylish and contemporary surroundings with more than a little panache.
The entrance is in a lane parallel to Main Street, Swords and it's on the first floor. It doesn’t feel like a first floor restaurant though, it’s bright and airy with comfortable chairs and smart cutlery and crockery.
The menus aren’t like that traditional Indian either. There are no long listings of the same dishes with different sauces or ingredients, this is a curated list of the best dishes of their choice, but you will still find plenty of classics and some new surprises.
Start with Gol Gappa, hollow durum wheat puffs with spicy potato filling, tangy tamarind and black salt, or Murg Chat, Barbequed chicken tossed in tangy, sweet sauce and served on a pancake of go to the sea and enjoy some delicious squid rings or jumbo prawns with ginger, garlic and sweet apple chutney.
Main courses continue at this high level and include delicacies such as whole sea bass, cooked in the Tandoor with green chilli, coconut, coriander and turmeric served with salad and mint chutney. Fabulous venison makes and appearance with spicy coconut sauce and south Indian spices. You may notice at this point that this is Indian cooking taken to new levels, and the presentation, from the food itself to beautiful plates and stemware really help raise the bar.
On a recent visit I thoroughly enjoyed a healthy feast, starting with crispy spiced Okra, with carom seeds, red chilli, turmeric and dried mango. In this time of healthy options, this was a triumph of taste and the feeling of comfort derived from eating well and healthily.
I had heard that in India that Saag is generally served with prawns rather that lamb or chicken as it usually is here. So the chef kindly made me an authentic prawn Saag which was delicious in its simplicity, and wonderfully light. This and delicate naan bread with garlic and coriander and Pilau rice were both perfect and this dish will be making an appearance in my home cooking after this.
The dessert menu combined European classics and traditional Indian ones such as Mala Kulfi, C baileys cheesecake or mango mousse. I find it difficult to pass a good kulfi - traditional Indian ice cream like dish - but a mango mousse is always a treat and this tangy and sweet confection hit the spot.
The chefs here have been hired from some of the top restaurants and hotels in Europe and the Middle East and the standards reflect that.
Owner Tariq Salahuddin has been at the forefront of Indian restaurants in Ireland for over 20 years, and his restaurants have regularly been winners in all the top food awards, including one year when our late colleague Paolo Tullio awarded two of the restaurants awards in the same year, and more recently they have received the best World Cuisine award from the RAI.
Indie Spice Swords is one of the top Indian restaurants in Ireland. This cooking reflects the new India, a melting pot of flavours and influences, both traditional and contemporary. Simply excellent.