Indie Spice Grill is consistently one of the best Indian restaurants in Ireland. Its Naas outlet is a smart contemporary space serving cutting edge Indian food in very stylish surroundings. It is situated at the south end of the town, beyond the courthouse, and they have recently had a big renovation.
The restaurant is on two floors. On the ground floor is the open plan kitchen, where you can see the Indian chefs preparing and cooking the food. Up the stairs the room runs from a picture window at the front to the rear, with a cool bar on one side and seating running down the other. The front and rear spaces open out and there are a series of large colourful pictures facing the bar, while copper and metal fittings play with the lighting system and create installations on the other walls.
We visited again recently on a busy Thursday, and managed to get the table in the front of the upstairs room, giving us a view out and a vantage to see the rest of the room. We have reviewed Indie many times, and the food is always top notch. The new menu here is shorter than you may find in older Indian restaurants, but all the dishes are well thought out and the presentation of the food is superb.
We were eating as a duo, myself and the food scientist, and she started with prawn Kali Mirch and I had to try an old favourite of Raj Kachori . Abigail’s dish was stir fried king prawn with curry leaf, chopped ginger, garlic and freshly ground black pepper, served with apple chutney. The prawns were butterflied and the sauce was tangy and spicy, with a pleasing heat afterthought.
My RK came as a giant flaky hollow shell dough dolma, with a ragout of sprouted green Mung-beans, baby gem, red kidney beans, mini gram flour dumplings, dollops of whipped natural yogurt, tamarind chutney. This large doughnut shaped confection is fresh and light and the tamarind combines with the yoghurt to produce a cool yet sweet and sour flavour that is simply delicious.
Main courses continued to impress and we both went for classic dishes. This brought me a lamb Dhansak - diced lean lamb cooked with lentils and vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce, with a hit of extra chilli at my request. Abigail likes her chicken and so her order was Tandoori chicken tikka with peppers, garlic, freshly ground coriander seed, chilli flakes and peppercorns in tomato and onion sauce. Both of these were expertly cooked and as usual the presentation was spot on, while the garlic and coriander naan was seriously flavoured and the Pilau rice was fluffy yet flavoured and the combination of the dishes, mixed and shared was very pleasing indeed.
Service throughout was excellent and the evening came to a fine end with good coffee for me, while the dessert princess couldn’t pass a traditional kulfi ice cream flavoured with pistachio. Indie Spice in Naas is one of the only spots to eat in this busy town, and the food gives any other Indian restaurant in Ireland a run for its money.
As an aside owner Tariq Salahuddin is the man responsible in one way or another for most of the new wave of contemporary Indian cooking in Ireland; most of the other chefs or owners have worked for or with him at some stage. That Indie Spice is so good really should come as no surprise under these circumstances, but if you haven’t been already, correct that omission.