3 Spice a Hot Ticket for Curry Lovers

Guest reviewer and friends sing praises

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When an extrovert and hungry American tenor demanded a curry – apparently not readily available in Chicago – I thought we would stroll down Churchfield Road to the relatively new 3 Spice restaurant rather than shlep into town. He’s a big man with a big voice and appetite to match and it could have been a challenge – but 3 Spice rose gamely to the occasion.

It’s a pretty place with a rather clean, contemporary feel: lots of blanched wood, no clutter and definitely no flock wallpaper. There’s a sofa for those picking up take-aways and no smoking throughout.

We started with papadoms and standard though tasty chutneys then moved on the starters proper. By far the best was Hara Kebab a lentil, spinach and potato cake in a delicious sweet but tangy sauce. The meat and vegetable samosas were fairly predictable though light and fresh-tasting and those who tried the Onion Bhaji enjoyed it.

The main courses, which took a good while to arrive but seemed freshly prepared, were all good. I particularly liked Chicken Tikka Lazeez which is a mild dish with a nutty, creamy sauce. The Dal had that smoky flavour that you find in good curry restaurants. Lal Kudu Bhaji – a sweet pumpkin dish – had a crunchy texture that complemented the other dishes well. The Lamb Pasanda came in another creamy sauce but even the chicken tikka – which could have been rather dry – was moist and delicious. Both rice and nan were as they should be.

3 spice has no licence for alcohol but you can bring your own – or buy it almost next door.

For four of us, with three bottles of fizzy water and marsala tea for two, the total bill was £45 plus service. That’s due to a 25% special offer for the duration of the World Cup when trade seems a bit quiet. Even at full whack, it would have been exceptional value.

The tenor carolled that it had been the best Indian meal he could remember and, while I can think of one Kerala place in town that I would rate as high, it was certainly right up there in quality and about half the price. We will be wandering down there again soon.

Sara Nathan

July 8, 2006