I don’t normally blog on a Sunday and I certainly don’t write restaurant reviews- so what’s going on??? I woke up this morning with a full belly and a happy heart, so I decided that I had to tell you all why….
Last night, Dr Doolittle and I went to a ‘south Asian’ restaurant called Copper and Spices in Navan, which is near The Glen House in county Meath. They have recently won the Yes Chef best Indian award.
As I hadn’t intended to write a review, I don’t have many photographs but the inside was dark, but warm with beautiful subtle lighting and a wonderful large Buddha canvas. The restaurant was small, but incredibly cosy and inviting, with the mumblings and laughter that you would find at any food gathering in India. We were sat by a window draped with a beautiful Indian fabric glittering in the soft light from the street outside. I felt at home.
Our lovely waitress brought a delightful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and we nibbled on crisp, crunchy broken up poppadoms served in little silver bucket. I loved this! I didn’t need to worry about breaking up the large poppadoms and have them flying across the table! A moreish fresh chilli onion salad and mango chutney accompanied them.
I’m gutted I didn’t take a photograph of what came next; a large fresh ‘fluffy’ prawn appeared as a little taster plate, with a fabulous chilli and garlic oil. It looked so pretty- but it was gone in a flash! Exquisite! Next came our starters of fish cakes and samosa. My little potato and pea pastry parcel was crammed full of cashew nuts, raisins, coriander, cumin and chick peas. Samosas have a special place in my heart and I didn’t think it was possible that anyone could make them as well as my Aunty’s do in Goa. However Chef Nitin Gautam and his team certainly surpassed my expectations. Dr Doolitte (the carnivore) couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any meat in it. He was also thrilled with is fish cakes and loved the fresh herbs that were surrounded by all the salmon and cod.
For mains we picked Himalayan Curry which was packed full of tiger prawns, lemongrass, galangal, basil, onions, tomatoes & coconut milk and the Irish favourite Tikka Masala. Look, I had to!! The dishes were presented in beautiful copper dishes alongside balti pans with pilau rice and incredible smelling garlic and coriander naan. My chicken tikka masla was crammed full of succulent chicken pieces smothered in a sweet jaggery based sauce with tomatoes and fenugreek. It was divine! I’ve never seen so much meat (or fish) in a main course, it was very generous indeed. The prawn curry had notes of the Goan food served up by my family, the creamy coconut brought back delightful memories of my Aunty’s crab curry.
After a relaxing little pause, we actually managed to eat dessert. I opted for the sticky toffee pudding; yes, I did seem like a bizarre choice in an Indian restaurant, but washing it down with some Masala tea seemed like a good idea. It was! The light fluffy spongy pudding had a hint of spice and banana. Dr Doolittle loved his panna cotta which was presented in a cute little kilner jar.
It was a delightful experience and I’m sure we’ll become regular customers! I should point out that I wasn’t paid to write this review, I’m just happy to shout about glorious modern Asian food.