Review of Britannia Spice Restaurant in Backwell, Bristol

Here’s another review recently-written for the Bristol Bites website.

We went out for an Indian meal at fairly short notice recently with friends and I wasn’t planning to review the restaurant.  However, I thought I’d share this cut above the average experience.

We visited Britannia Spice at Backwell, located a few miles from Bristol on the A370 at the crossroads.  We’ve eaten there once before and whilst it does not have the same intimacy generated by the subdued lighting at its sister restaurant Posh Spice in Nailsea, this second visit confirmed that the food quality is better.

We started off with the poppadum tray, which was fairly standard in choice and quality, with spicy lime pickle, raw onions, yoghurt and mango chutney. We also received two free extra poppadums to share!

We skipped starters and were glad we did, because we would have all struggled to finish the mains.

We chose a main course each and shared a couple of pulao rices and garlic naans. Our friends also ordered a side of Aloo Gobi – spicy cauliflower and potato.

I chose Chicken Shashlik Masala, which comprises chicken pieces marinated in “specially selected” spices and barbecued in a clay oven with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a medium sauce.

It came up in a large metal bowl with good-sized chunks of chicken and plenty of sauce.  A bit heavy on the onions, but the chicken melted in the mouth and the sauce was tasty, with a spicy but not overdone sweetness.  Great for mopping up with the garlic naan.

My wife went for something a little hotter – Luari Chicken.  This is slices of barbecued chicken and fresh tomatoes, cooked with ground coriander and ginger in a fairly hot sauce. Again it came up in a generous-sized serving dish.  Teresa said the chicken was very succulent and there was plenty of it.  She thought the sauce had a good, intense, rich tomatoey flavour and the spices were well-blended and tasty.  Heat was noticeable but subtle.

One of our friends was keen to avoid anything too hot and was pleased with his choice of Gosht Kata Masala. The lamb pieces were cooked with a tangy sauce with fresh herbs and spices. He too was pleased with the portion size, the lamb was tender and the sauce was full of rich flavour, without being hot.

His wife went for one of her favourites – Lamb Jalfrezi, found on most Indian restaurant menus.  The lamb is cooked with peppers, onions and fresh green chillies. She considered it rich, full of flavour and the heat met her expectations.

We all thought this was a better than average Indian meal and the service was excellent.  Even the draft Cobra and the house red were on-form. We also unexpectedly received complementary coffees, which was a nice touch.  We will definitely visit again.

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