Kali Mirchi, Southampton 22/25

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Kali Mirchi, Southampton

award.gold22/25££££

98 Shirley High Street, Southampton

SO16 4FB

Tel: 02380 528200

Website:kalimirchi.co.uk

Gluten free: Just ask

Parking: Public car parks

Wheelchairs: OK

Loos: Above average

They say the best things come in small packages! This is certainly true of this stylish Indian restaurant; I am very lucky to live near by. My husband, myself and the friend who came with us on this occasion have been here many times so we were warmly welcomed by the owner Madan and the restaurant manager Anil. They recently launched a new menu so I think a new menu deserves a brand new review!

The décor is very smart, the seating comfortable and the service attentive. The staff are always helpful with explanations but on this occasion we had the main man Madan on hand! His recommendations were wonderful, we tried dishes I would never have thought of ordering. This was best Indian food I have ever tasted.

We decided not to start with the usual poppadoms as, welcome though they are, they are so filling. We all thought the Kali Mirchi Combo Platter, a selection of chicken tikka, seekh kebab chicken pakora, onion bhaji and served with tamarind sauce, mint sauce and salad looked delicious and it was. To this we added a dish we had never tried before, Lassoni Tikka chicken breast marinated with cheese, cream, garlic, cardamom, mace and hung yoghurt, roasted in a charcoal oven. The chicken was so tender! It was Madan’s suggestion to order this along with 2 other starter size dishes….. from the Tandoori menu Adraki Lamb Chops, Lamb chops marinated in ginger paste, fresh coriander, green chillies, hung yoghurt and brown onion paste, cooked in a clay oven and Basil King Prawn, King Prawns marinated in traditional tandoori masala, basil, cream cheese and cooked over charcoal to make it more appetising.

Again at Madan’s recommendation, from the Main dishes menu, we ordered just 2 curries between us, Naram Garam Gosht (Tawa Lamb), tender lamb infused with authentic herb and spices, onion, green chilli and lemon juice, tossed together on a traditional hot iron plate and Chicken Caldin  a combination of three sets of spices whole, dry roasted and tempered, all ground into a fine paste to make this delicious chicken preparation finished with coconut cream, a speciality of the Goan region. Another two dishes I have never tried before and most probably would not have ordered thinking they may be too spicy but we all loved them! My favourites were the  Lassoni Tikka chicken and the Tawa Lamb. Don’t be shy to ask for advice and share so you can try everything!

To accompany, from the vegetarian menu, we tried a dish that apparently is unique to Kali Mirchi, Dal Makhani, thick black lentils flavoured with tomato and cream, simmered overnight on the tandoor, Zeera and Peas Rice, Basmati rice cooked with green peas and tempered with cumin seeds, a Peshawari Naan and a Plain Naan. Far too full for any dessert. We drank Cobra beers.

Their food really is superb, we enjoyed every mouthful. I could recognise that they produce, using the freshest and highest quality ingredients, authentic Indian food. My mouth is watering remembering all the delicious flavours!

At lunch times they do a 3 course buffet, eat as much as you like and includes ice cream, tea or coffee for £7.45 from 12 – 2.

I highly recommend and if you live near enough you can order everything as takeaway.  Open seven days a week including bank holidays (not Dec 25th & 26th) Lunch Time 12:00pm to 2:00pm, Evenings 5:00pm to 10:30pm. Fridays & Saturdays 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Ladies Who Lunch: Kali Mirchi, scoring

award.gold LWL Gold Award awarded June 2014

Cost ££££

5/5 Quality of food

5/5 Variety of menu

4/5 Staff and service

4/5 Ambiance and décor

4/5 Value for money

22/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ

Ladies Who Lunch: score key

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.

The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).

5/5 Cannot be improved upon

4/5 Very good

3/5 Good

2/5 Satisfactory

1/5 Poor

0/5 Terrible

If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!