Cardiff eatery Moksh named best Indian restaurant in Wales

December 14, 2012 No Comments »

Chef Stephen Gomes of Moksh restaurant in Cardiff Bay,

Diners can choose starters like “chocolate orange chicken tikka” or “chicken with cinnamon nitro essence”.

Now a Cardiff Indian restaurant has seen its imaginative new dishes bring it the accolade of Best Indian Restaurant in Wales.

Moksh was also named the second best Indian restaurant in the UK, beating some 9,000 other entries in the annual Cobra Good Curry Guide.

Owner and head chef Stephen Gomes, who also shared the Best Chef award, said: “To be named the best Indian restaurant in Wales is a real honour.”

Moksh, which means “salvation”, is fully booked over the Christmas period when Mr Gomes, 39, from Mumbai, and his team of five chefs will be busy creating dishes displaying creativity and science.

After 15 years spent progressing through kitchens at five-star hotels throughout Asia, Mr Gomes settled in Cardiff, working for the Cafe Naz Restaurant Group before opening his own restaurant.

He said his food ethos has been inspired by molecular gastronomist Heston Blumenthal and he says he is the first Indian chef to use the science in his cooking.

But he added: “When you cook you should cook from the heart. Any chef who cooks from the heart and not for the money has to succeed.”

Born in Mumbai in 1974, Mr Gomes is the third generation of top chefs in his family.

He said: “It has been difficult because expectations have been high.

“It’s a real achievement to be the second best Indian restaurant in the UK. Next year we hope to be number one.”

Mr Gomes said he has “re-imagined” Indian food with dishes which have foams and bubbles, which involves using frozen carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen.

Diners can choose starter dishes like chocolate and orange chicken tikka, prawn cocktail with lemon cloud and Welsh beef served with a sugar cloud.

Main courses include Ratnagiri mango lamb with spherification of mango (which gives a “caviar” look) and Punjabi butter chicken with cinnamon nitro essence.

He said: “With the right infusion of flavours food could and should be magical.”

He has several signature dishes, but a favourite is Chicken James a la Indiana, named after his father.

He said: “It is a difficult industry to be in and only the best will survive. But I have a team of five chefs who have been with me for a decade and we will continue to cook with imagination and love.”

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