Bistro Spice Monkstown
101 Monkstown Road, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
Bistro Spice Indian restaurant is situated on Monkstown Crescent, beside the large church, and on the same row as Goggin's pub. This small Indian restaurant is a local favourite, and is comfortable and relaxed. Good food, lovely staff and an excellent BYO policy make this a winner.
Bistro Spice has been owned and run by Kosi Moodley since it opened. This used to be a butchers shop, and the neighbouring stores still have a lot of charm, particularly the chemist with its rows of potion bottles and large wooden dispensing cabinet. This is a row of shops that has been here since the community began, and although Indian restaurants were unheard of then it is testament to Bistro Spice that they have become a part of the local furniture.
Inside it’s painted in ochre and reds and simple tables and chairs run down each side. It only sits about 25 people and on a cold November evening it is mostly full, all of them locals who know at least one other set of diners in the room. We grabbed a couple of beers from the off licence next door and were ready to go.
The menu is shorter than some Indian restaurants, but there is still plenty of choice, and some dishes that tip a nod to South Africa. Kosi has an Indian heritage, and picked up other influences growing up in South Africa. Here are about ten starters, and twice as many mains. Starters range in price from €3.40 for an onion bhaji, up to €9.40 for the combination platter, but most are less than a fiver and there are Tandoori prawns, chicken Tikka, Singada, and a Prawn Puri. Main courses are nearly all under a tenner and feature all the favourite curries, along with specialities like the Durban House curry, a Goan style Peri Peri with Tiger prawns or a Malabari Fish curry, made with Indian Ocean King fish.
We enjoyed the prawn Puri starter, spicy as promised and served atop Indian bread. Tandoori prawns were large and juicy, great flavours and not too filling, perfect starter really. Mains brought more prawns in a Balti, medium spiced and flavoured with ginger and coriander, the prawns weren’t killed off by the curry, while a lamb and mint curry was spicy, with the mint peeking through. We enjoyed their lemon rice and a dry version of All Gobi, a potato and cauliflower dish with cumin. A garlic and coriander Naan completed the meal and we finished with two coffees.
We like Bistro Spice, it is homely and friendly and the food is good. The value is off the charts, and I am pretty sure I have paid more for take away. Great mid-week treat that’s just down the road.