Review by Kirstie McCrum via Wales on Line on 17th August 2o13
Who knew curry could be this good? Definitely not Kirstie McCrum. But thanks to one incredible meal, she’s finally fallen in love with Indian cuisine.
Have you ever had a theatrical meal? One with drama and intrigue, a real performance? I’m not talking food that’s still alive, here – I mean a meal that truly surprised and delighted you with every mouthful, that you wanted to rave review like a Broadway show or an Orson Welles production.
I didn’t start out with such high expectations. Don’t get me wrong, when I set foot in the Purple Poppadom I was aware of the reputation of multi award-winning Kerala-born chef Anand George. Creator of nouvelle Indian cuisine, he’d been working to transform the concept of Indian food in Cardiff since his first restaurant, Mint and Mustard. His artistic style of cooking brought new resonance to the idea of Indian food, making it more than merely ‘curry’ and certainly not one to waste on the post-pub crowd. Nearly two years on from its opening, and the Purple Poppadom has only tightened its hold on the elegant cuisine that George introduced through his previous endeavour, even snapping up the Welsh Curry House of the Year Award 2012. The problem wasn’t with George, or the restaurant and its reputation – but with me, and my tastes. You see, I’d never been convinced by Indian food.
The idea of ‘curry’ made me think of a variety of amazing ingredients slathered in the same sauce, so that all the freshness and flavour disappeared from vegetables and subsequently the plate had one flavour, merely with varying textures. I’d been persuaded to give the Purple Poppadom a try because my partner is a convinced Indian food fan – he adores the spices with the passion of someone brought up on the curry houses of the north of England, and seldom a weekend goes by when he isn’t trying to convince me to pop into one of South Wales’ Indian restaurants. In future, on the strength of this one incredible meal, I might be tempted.