Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Indie Spice, Sandymount, Dublin 4

With four locations in Ireland, Indie Spice is a well-established group of restaurants. The first was founded in Belfast over 20 years ago and expanded with newer venues in Swords and Naas. The latest addition to the chain is to be found in the genteel and sophisticated neighbourhood of Sandymount. 

Located upstairs, the interior is modern and extremely stylish. It's so nice to sit in a restaurant with vibrant colours and design. Red lattice lampshades and jewel tones are balanced nicely by dark furniture, while an open kitchen pass allows diners to view the chefs at work in the kitchen. Personally, I like this kind of decor as I find it a refreshing change from the curry-house interior that persists in many, older restaurants.

Stitch and Bear - The sleek interior of Indie Spice Sandymount
The modern interior at Indie Spice
The menu comes as a fancy, printed brochure, while paper place mats feature recipes to try at home. Traditional, well-known dishes mingle alongside some lesser known dishes, including one of my favourites, the achari pickle curry. For starters, himself chose the fearsome sounding Piri Piri Prawns (€10.95) while I went for a favourite with the vegetarian Achari Paneer (€7.95). 

The prawns came with scallops and pretty dots of different coloured sauces, providing a very meaty starter but the promised 2 chili rating didn't really materialise. This was probably due to the fact that despite being large and plump, the seafood was rather bland and watery. My paneer starter featured the same set of polka dot sauces, but needed lemon juice (stolen from his starter) to really zing.

Stitch and Bear - Piri Piri prawns and scallops at Indie Spice Sandymount
Piri Piri Prawns & Scallops
Stitch and Bear - Achari paneer starter at Indie Spice Sandymount
Achari Paneer
I was feeling in the mood for something mild, so I had chosen Malai Chingri (€21.95), which promised jumbo prawns cooked in coconut milk and sweet spices. It turned out to be deliciously sweet and creamy with plenty of chewy coconut flakes.  Himself has a big love of seafood curries so he opted for Malabar monkfish curry (€23.95), which featured dense monkfish chunks in a rich sauce fragrant with fresh curry leaves. However, both dishes were let down by the quality of the seafood itself, which, like the earlier starter, was bland and watery.

Stitch and Bear - Seafood curries for mains at Indie Spice Sandymount
Malabar Monkfish curry & Malai Chingri
Like a lot of Indian restaurants, rice and sundries are extra, which is a bit much considering the price of the main courses. When a restaurant charges €20+ for a main, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect rice to be included. We added a light, fluffy garlic naan to our meal for €2.95.  Our meal  was settled with a Living Social voucher (2 starters, 2 mains and 2 glasses of wine for €39), which saved us over €35, based on printed menu prices.

To be honest, I'd really have my doubts about paying full a la carte prices. Although I did enjoy my meal, it wasn't a stand out Indian experience in the way that you can justifiably expect in venues such as Jaipur or Ananda. It's good, decent Indian food that shouldn't carry a big price tag. Thankfully, Indie Spice offer some great value set menus for lunch and dinner (which can be found on their website here) including a 2 course lunch for €8.95 and a 3 course Sunday lunch for €16.95.

Indie Spice, 23-24  Sandymount Green, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0)1 232 0220
Twitter: @indie_spice


1 comment

WiseMóna said...

I know what you mean about the 'A la carte' prices. The monkfish did look very good though :0)
Have a wonderful wonderful time in the US and takes loads of photos!

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