I have been a recurring customer of Mirchi since I moved to Cardiff in 2006, when they were in the smaller premises across the road from the current location. It was the go-to option for me to satisfy my biriyani cravings. Over the past couple of years, the visits have been a lot less (though the biriyani cravings still occur frequently!).
So when I had a reunion weekend with my ex-housemates, we decided to go back to Mirchi for old times’ sake. Unsurprisingly, this visit did coincide with one my frequently occurring biriyani cravings.
We went for our “standard” order. Started things off with a plate each of the sheesh kebab (£3.90); I opted for the lamb version.
This has to be one of the best tasting and value offering of sheesh kebabs in the city (you get four on a plate). True, there are a few noteworthy Lebanese/Turkish restaurants on City Road that does a good seekh kebab but the Mirchi version adds more spice and flavour to their version. Placed on a bed of crisp sizzling onions, the meat is succulent and bursting with garlic and coriander flavour. I had one of the chicken kebabs too, which was probably better; tender chicken that carried the smokey tandoor oven flavour, mixing well with the marinated spices.
For mains, I ordered the chicken tikka biriyani (£6.50) (bet you didn’t see that coming…). What I like about the Mirchi biriyani is that it is subtle compared to Indian restaurant versions in Cardiff (Mirchi serves Pakistani cuisine).
The rice and meat did carry the flavours of spices and condiments used – namely ginger, garlic, cinnamon and onions. But it doesn’t have the heady flavour of “garam masala” and excess coriander that you get with some of the Indian versions. What this means for me is that I don’t get heart burn which is normally the case when I eat it elsewhere! Again, the chicken came off the tandoor oven; well marinated and delicious.
The meal was very good, perhaps slightly surpassed expectations given it had been a while since we had eaten here. If you are looking for a good value, and authentic Pakistani fare, I’d definitely recommend Mirchi.
Address: Mirchi, 90-94 City Road, CF24 3BN
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12.30pm – 11.30pm; Fri & Sat 3pm – 11:30pm; Sunday 4pm – 11pm,