After I didn't get to try the food at the grand opening evening at Cardamom Black I was invited back by the owners for a complimentary meal. I couldn't turn down such a generous offer, so on Thursday last week Phil and I headed over to Harrogate for some top notch food.
We were greeted warmly, coats taken and shown to our seats for the meal. Coincidentally they were the same seats we had at the opening.
We opted for pickles and popadoms to start.
The mango chutney was delicious. The best one I've had.
To start I chose one of the specials, Nidderdale Lamb Chops. They were described in the press release I was sent and I'd wanted to try it since then.
I wasn't disappointed. The meat was tender, with a subtle spiced flavour which didn't overpower the meat. I'd been expecting something very spicy that would stop me tasting the lamb, so I was very pleased.
Phil went for the Monkfish for his starter, which he thoroughly enjoyed too. The fish was fresh, moist and packed with flavour.
To drink we'd picked diet cokes, as we're both on a booze ban (well I am until my holidays!) so we decided to get some lassi to liven things up drinkwise. We couldn't resist the Passionfruit and Mango one, we definitely made the right choice with it - amazing.
For main I had a Seafood Medley, which I think was Balti, with my staple Cheese Naan, and Phil had Wazaki Chicken (I hope I've spelt this correctly) with lime and coriander rice.
The mains were as good as the starters. The fish, prawns, squid and scallops in my dish were cooked perfectly, no rubber in sight. The curry was hot, but not so hot I couldn't eat it, which is what I'd always imagined a balti would be. Phil's chicken was tender and juicy, and he enjoyed the rice.
We were absolutely stuffed after our starter and main but were convinced to try and cram in some pudding.
Who could resist sharing these? An Assiette of Desserts, the raspberry mousse cake was my favourite, with the ginger and lemon cheesecake coming a close second.
I really enjoyed the food, and the service was impeccable. Of course it would be, I'm sure you're saying, but we made a point of watching how other customers were treated - the waiting staff were every bit as attentive to them as they were to us.
My pictures aren't amazing - apologies for that - but I can't bring myself to ponce about with a flash when people are trying to enjoy their meals. Here's a couple of poor shots of the fantasticly sparkly interior of Cardamom Black - I just couldn't do the place justice with my little iphone camera.
As part of the evening we were told some more about the background of Cardamom Black, of the hard work that's gone into the restaurant and aspirations of things to come. I had planned to ask what was going on with the website, I've seen a few disgruntled tweets about it not being fully operations. Well there's method in the madness for that - an 8 week initial opening period, for all the little problems to be ironed out, for staff to be trained up and for everything to get ship shape. You'll see a lot more from Cardamom Black in the next couple of months I'm sure, with a big campaign to get the word out there.
So - would I recommend it to anyone who reads my blog?
Will I be going again?
A very definite Yes.
Thank you again to the hospitality of the owners of Cardamom Black for inviting me back to the restaurant and making us feel like royalty for the night.