Review: Empire Indian Restaurant, Cardiff

By Kate Bryony

This weekend, I got to try the absolutely amazing Empire restaurant in Cardiff! 

On entering Empire on Albany Road, we immediately felt calm and relaxed. The whole atmosphere is peaceful yet genuinely warm and friendly. Sammi, the owner, greeted us and made us feel welcome. Sammi was a delight to speak to throughout the night and gave us all the recommendations and information we needed. He was so thoughtful with his recommendations. 

Sammi shared a little about the history of the restaurant. Originally run by his own father, Empire is one of the longest running Indian restaurants in Cardiff. He told us that generations of customers have been visiting the restaurants. One customer in particular had been a regular since it opened, now his grandson is visiting on his own. 

Settling down at our table, we got started with drinks straightaway. We both had the mojitos, one kiwi and the other mango. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It was sweet and refreshing. While recognisable as a mojito, the added flavour really made it unique and worth getting. We also got a poppadom each and a selection of four accomplishment (Tomato and onion salad, mint sauce, mango and coconut chutney). 

Mojitos, dips and poppadoms / photo credit – Kate Bryony

As the starters arrived, we knew we were in for a treat. We got the kofta, the lamb chops and the tikka paneer. The koftas were a great size and had a great flavour. They came as two so would be perfect for sharing if you wanted something smaller. 

Starters / photo credit – Kate Bryony

The tikka paneer plate was delicious. The paneer had been marinated in tikka and served with peppers, onions and a mint sauce side. If you’re a cheese fan, this is the dish to try. 

The stand-out for us though was definitely the lamp chops. These spiced lamp chops were mouth-wateringly good. 

Mains arrived and we were blown away. We got the kurzi and the lamb shank biryani. 

Mains / photo credit – Kate Bryony

The kurzi was amazing. It was spicy yet creamy and was certainly filling. It came with pilau rice and salad.

The lamb shank biryani was jaw-dropping. The slow-cooked shank was served with biryani rice and sealed in a sort of naan dome. The presentation alone was worth getting this dish, but it also tasted great. It was a really unique experience and one that I would recommend. 

Last but not least; dessert. We had the chocolate ice cream sundae and the coconut ice cream. Both were delicious and the perfect way to end the evening. 

This meal was an invite for @laurenjaji_ (Instagram). The meal was free in exchange for an honest review. 

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