I booked for a group of 6 on a Saturday night and the restaurant was full when we were seated to eat at 8.30pm. The first thing I noticed about Merchants of Spice was that the décor was much nicer than the usual run of the mill Indian in Norwich; wooden floors and high backed cream dining chairs in an elegantly decorated room. I had previously tweeted to check that they could cater for my gluten free requirements and I was assured there were plenty of options. The waiters were extremely attentive and checked my options to ensure they were suitable. The dishes you would find at most Indian restaurants up and down the country were extremely reasonable ranging from between £6.95 and £8.95. Even their signature dishes such as Rabbit Bhuna and Crab Curry were only £12.95. My girlfriend and I shared a Goan Green Chicken Curry and a Lamb Korai. Both were perfectly cooked with soft tender meat, the green curry fresh with coriander and chilli and the Korai packed with ginger, garlic and warming spices. We had sides of Pilau Rice and Tarka Dall which were equally well cooked, seasoned and flavoured.
|Goan Green Chicken Curry|
Fine dining might be a stretch (although we did get that complimentary hot towel!), but a tasty, reasonably priced Indian meal in a well decorated restaurant certainly fits the bill. There wasn't a grumble between the 6 of us. I had previously reviewed Passage to India in Norwich on my blog, but I think Merchants of Spice pips it to the post. The food is of a similar standard but Merchants of Spice creates a better atmosphere and I would be much more likely to return.