Restaurant review: Tasting Menu at Moksh, Cardiff Bay

Seeing as this is the fourth time I’ve reviewed Moksh, this fine dining Indian restaurant based in Cardiff Bay needs no introduction. However, if you’ve never heard of this restaurant before (and if not, why?!), check out my three previous reviews of Moksh.

Like the earlier tasting menus I’ve had the pleasure of sampling, Moksh’s latest tasting menu (launched at the beginning of this year) is brimming with cleverly thought up, creative Indian dishes with catchy names to match. With 12 dishes to taste in total, it was a good job I was hungry. 

Amuse Bouche

1. Lactose Tolerant

The first course was ‘Lactose Tolerant’, otherwise known as mango lassi ravioli. What looked like a small egg yolk lay nestled on a white spoon. We popped the whole thing into our mouths in one go as instructed by our waiter, and it exploded and released a shot of mellow, fruity mango lassi. It was an unusual sensation, but it tasted great. 

Lactose Tolerant | Mango lassi blast

2. Chit Chat

This was the only course on Moksh’s tasting menu that beared even a slight resemblance to a dish you might expect to find being served at a traditional curry house; a simple combination of plain and spicy poppadoms paired with ‘nitro-boosted’ thick, creamy mango dip.

Chit chat - poppadoms with dip at Moksh, Cardiff Bay

Soup

3. Dragon’s Breath

The third course was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before at Moksh. For the first time ever (as far back as I can recall, anyway), Chef Stephen Gomes and his team are experimenting with traditional Welsh cuisine. It doesn’t get much more Welsh than a traditional lamb cawl; widely regarded as the national dish of Wales. As it’s name implies, Moksh’s version of cawl had a fiery, peppery flavour and the lamb was marinated in korma curry. In an added twist, the golden broth was topped with leek-infused meringue, ignited at the table to further reinforce this dish’s fiery nature.

Ignited Welsh lamb cawl at Moksh
Once the flame was extinguished, the broth was poured over the meat and veg and we were left to enjoy this comforting, warming dish.

Dragon's Breath - lamb with curried krmma and floating leek meringue, ignited

Starters

4. Light’s On

Light’s On was another exciting addition to the tasting menu at Moksh. A vibrant trio of traditional Indian street foods including crispy pakora, corn tiki (a tasty take on aloo tiki) and chip shop curry-flavoured chaat were served on Welsh slate, illuminated by a miniature desk lamp.

Light's On at Moksh - Indian street food the alchemist way

5. Emperor’s Notepad

The next starter dish was just as inventive. A wooden clipboard was topped with edible notepaper, dusted with what appeared to be red and green chilli powders. The centrepiece was a carbon-infused, dehydrated onion bhaji topped with a piquant tamarind sorbet and red amaranth leaves. In contrast to the crispy, crunchy texture of a traditional onion bhaji this had a soft, sponge-like texture reminiscent of suet pastry, and a tangy, onion flavour. 

Emperor's Notepad at Moksh Cardiff - carbon-infused, dehydrated onion bhaji with tamarind sorbet

6. Year of the Rooster

Otherwise known as ‘Chicken 65’ because of the 65 different spices used to concoct this dish, Year of the Rooster featured a small cardboard take-out style carton (the kind you get when you order Chinese noodles) packed with honey-glazed, sweet and sour xanthan-coated chicken with chilli pearls, served with chopsticks. This was a bit like popcorn chicken but the batter was thicker and chewier, and the chicken was served in a sauce that was sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time. Well, I wouldn’t expect any less from a dish containing 65 spices! 

Year of the Rooster popcorn-style chicken with 65 spices at Moksh Cardiff

7. Hangover

Moksh’s take on a hangover was much more pleasant than the kind I am used to experiencing. As our waiter brought this dish to our table, he lifted the liquid-nitrogen filled glass that covered it, causing a white fog to billow up and out from the dish.

Once the fog had cleared, we discovered tandoori king prawns sat in blue Curaçao moilee topped with wipsy, white chocolate chilli foam and red amaranth leaves. Whisky wood smoke gave the dish an irresistible, earthy flavour which left us craving more, although as we were beginning to feel full and still hadn’t reached our main course, it was probably for the best that the portion wasn’t any bigger than it was. 

Hangover at Moksh Cardiff - tandoori king prawn with Curaçao moilee, white chocolate chilli foam, smoked over whiskey wood

Palate Cleanser

8. Ice Age

This has been a staple item on Moksh’s tasting menu for a number of years, and it never gets old. A zesty, sweet pink grapefruit sorbet served to cleanse our palates in preparation for our main courses.

Pink grapefruit sorbet

Main Courses

9. (a) a.d.i.d.a.s – All Day I Dream About Spherification

For our main course, we had a choice of chicken, lamb or salmon. I opted for the chicken, consisting of an overnight-marinated tandoori chicken breast with chilli Cantonese-inspired sauce on a bed of fluffy basmati rice, topped with ketchup, tomato, bubblegum and mango spherification. 

Moksh - a.d.i.d.a.s chicken spherification with rice
Once at the table, the waiter poured a broth-like curry sauce over the dish. I was very fond of this dish; the chicken was delicately flavoured and my knife practically slid through it, whilst I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the different flavours of the spherification pearls actually worked pretty well together. This was served alongside freshly baked garlic and plain naan bread. However, I wasn’t able to eat anywhere near all of this dish as I was conscious that we still had three dishes to follow, so I would welcome a reduction in portion size if I was to order this again.

Moksh Cardiff, a.d.i.d.a.s. chicken with spherification and rice

9. (a) Shepherd’s Chai

Opposite from me at the table, my guest tucked into a teacup full of minced spiced lamb with spiced carrots, coriander, potato mash and coriander foam – like an Indian take on a traditional Shepherd’s Pie – also paired with naan bread. The Shepherd’s Chai had a balanced heat, guaranteed to warm you up without setting your mouth on fire, and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it myself on my next visit to Moksh.

Minced spiced lamb with spiced carrots, coriander, potato mash and coriander foam

Pre-dessert

10. Kevin (Bacon in the Candy Store)

I was apprehensive about the next dish because when I first tried it on my last visit to Moksh in November of last year, I wasn’t very keen on it (as mentioned in my most recent review). ‘Kevin’ (Bacon in the Candy Store) is a chorizo-infused Ferrero Rocher, served with a toothsome caramel reduction. The last time I tried it, I couldn’t taste the chorizo (or the naga chilli, which I believe has now been removed this dish) and there was a layer of condensation on the Ferrero Rocher.  This time, the Ferrero Rocher had a nuttier, brittle coating as opposed to a smooth surface and the smoky, slightly spicy taste of the chorizo was definitely there, yet it didn’t overpower the unmistakable hazelnut flavour of the Ferrero Rocher. 

Kevin (Bacon in the Candy Store) - Moksh

Dessert

11.Arabian Nights

Dessert was a mesmerizing medley of smooth pistachio mousse, ginger-infused curry ice cream, subtly-flavoured date meringue and gold-dusted sweet hummus macaroon, dusted with edible sand and finished with an intricately decorated genie lamp that spouted smoke in the form of liquid nitrogen. 

I tried this dessert when I reviewed Moksh’s tasting menu last year and it was just as good this time around as it was back then, but the genie’s lamp really was the cherry on the cake, providing a magical ending to the tasting menu. 

Dessert at Moksh Cardiff - pistachio mousse, curry ice cream, date meringue, sweet hummus macaroon and a magic Genie lamp

Diolch (‘Thank You’ in Welsh)

12. Tea/coffee and Welsh cakes

The finale to the Moksh tasting menu takes the form of tea or coffee, served with homemade cinnamon Welsh cakes. However, whenever I get to the end of the tasting menu, I never have any room left for it. Unfortunately, this occasion was no different – but the table next to us managed to fit in a freshly brewed cup of aromatic coffee served with dainty, sugar-dusted Welsh cakes.

Conclusion

Yet again, I was blown away by Moksh’s tasting menu. It just seems to get better and better. At £50 per head of £70 with wine pairing, it costs more than what you’d spend on your typical meal out at a decent restaurant in Cardiff, but it’s not bad value for money for 12 courses – around Veggie menu also availableat £45 per head, normal menu is £50 per person or £70 with wine pairing. More than you’d spend on your typical meal out, but not bad value for money for 12 courses – less than £5 per course or less than £6 with wine pairing, in fact. A vegetarian option is also available, priced at £45 per head. 

Of all 12 dishes, my resounding favourite was Dragon’s Breath and, without giving too much away, I am very much looking forward to seeing Stephen Gomes rustle up more Welsh food in the not-so-distant future…

Moksh 
Mermaid Quay
Bute Crescent
Cardiff Bay
CF10 5AN
www.moksh.co.uk

I was invited to Moksh as a guest and our food and drink was provided complimentary, but I was not obliged to write a review my experience.

 

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16 Comments

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      The Bay is a gorgeous area of Cardiff. Especially on a sunny day – Summer is the ideal time to visit, really.

  1. May 16, 2017 / 10:57 am

    Wow the food here looks incredible! The Dragon’s Breath looks particularly show stopping – everything is almost too pretty to eat. Bookmarking this for if we’re ever in the area as it looks like a wonderful experience!

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      I cannot recommend Moksh enough – if you’re ever in Cardiff, go here!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    I have not hard Indian food in years well at least not quality Indian food but this restaurant review is making me crave it big time. I am loving some of these names lol

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      This is not Indian food as we know it; it really is something else, in a very good way!

  3. May 16, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Wow these are really unusual dishes, that mango starter sounds interesting x

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      It was very unusual – but pleasantly weird, lol!

  4. May 16, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I’ve never tried a tasting menu before but it sounds like a great way to sample the menu.

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      I love a good tasting menu – just make sure you’re hungry, as it’s often a lot of food to eat in one sitting.

  5. alisonrost
    May 17, 2017 / 2:22 am

    What a unique and diverse menu! Especially as a food blogger, this is one place I’d love to go. It would be fun to experience the Dragon’s Breath with Arabian Night’s for dessert. I’m going to check out their online menu for culinary inspiration!

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      Moksh has to be one of the most creative restaurants I know of. And that’s why I love it here so much!

  6. May 17, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    I was fooled when I saw the “egg yolk”! I’d love to try the mango lassi ravioli. Well, I’d like to try much of this menu. I’ve never had this sort of dining experience, but it would be something I’d like to give a go. Will definitely keep Moksh in mind when I go to Cardiff.

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      It does look like an egg yolk, you’re right! I honestly can’t recommend Moksh enough if you’re ever visiting Cardiff!

  7. Angela Milnes
    May 19, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    I love reading your food reviews. It always makes me hungry and I want to go check out more places to eat out. The starters look interesting and I’d love to try the desserts.

    • May 23, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Aww, thanks! Glad you enjoy reading my reviews. I enjoy eating all of this tasty food, and writing about it too 😀

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