Spice, Wexford, Ireland
Good. Indian. Restaurant. Wexford. These are not four words you’re likely to see in the same sentence too often. But here it is: Spice, a beautiful restaurant buzzing with diners enjoying excellent Indian dishes. Well, well, what a find this is.
Wexford, a small, pretty town with a population of just 20,000, sits on the east coast of Ireland, about 90 miles from Dublin. What would the Vikings, who founded the town in about 800AD make of this spicy food one wonders.
The decor in Spice is smart and classy with modern sharp lines and thoughtful lighting creating a relaxed and atmosphere. It belies the exterior, which doesn’t promise much.
The chefs are from South India (Kerala) and the menu reveals their regional influences. There is a section of traditional South Indian curries (Lamb €12.50, Vegetable €9.50), a Fish Curry from Goa, the neighbouring region to Kerala (€12.95), and interestingly Kolhapuri, a delicious dish you’d struggle to find on the menus of many restaurants in London, let alone Dublin. Kolhapuri originates from the town of Kolhapur, in Maharashtra to the north of Goa.
Following a generous portion of a delicious squid starter (€9), it was time for a Lamb Madras (€12.50). Madras is, of course, the colonial name for the town of Chennai in south India, but although this is a well-known and popular dish it certainly doesn’t originate from that part of India. In fact, Madras was a name coined in the restaurants of the UK for a curry of a certain heat level (think Curry to Madras to Vindaloo to Phaal). Nevertheless it is a delicious dish and cooked excellently in Spice.
Fresh cream was used to achieve a nice, thick consistency (other restaurants use yoghurt or coconut cream for the same effect) and there was not a trace of oiliness. Those curry lovers who don’t like that film of oil on the top of their dishes will be pleased to know the only thing floating on the top was black mustard seeds.
Finally, worth a mention, is the clever way the menu provides info for people with allergies. Every dish contains a few letters next to it and there is a key at the back (PN = peanuts, S = soya, G = gluten, etc). It’s clever, helpful, and unobtrusive.
* The exchange rate at the time of the visit was £1 = €1.15
Spice, Monck Street, Wexford, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)53 912-2011. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open: Sun–Thurs 5.30pm to 11pm, Fri–Sat 5pm to 11pm.
Scores on the Tandoors
Service and friendliness 7
Vibe (Saturday night) 7.5