Taste of Paradise Indian restaurant can definitely be described as one of Newport’s hidden gems; the building is tucked away beyond an intriguing Indian styled archway just off the bustling high street.
The restaurant has been in Newport for 15 years, which is a testament to its popularity and success in the area. In addition to the dine in restaurant they also offer a popular takeaway service with free delivery offered within a four-mile radius, ideal for those nights when you just can’t face cooking!
The restaurant is large and airy with a fresh modern décor, the addition of some clever mood lighting gives the room a relaxed ambience. Parking is readily available either on the high street during quieter periods or on the Co-operative Supermarket car park, which is just behind the building.
Like many Indian restaurants the Taste of paradise is unlicensed, so you are welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks to enjoy with your meal, there is of course a wide selection of soft drinks, teas and coffee available on the menu.
On arrival at the restaurant were welcomed by owner Raja and shown to a quiet table near to the bar. We ordered some soft drinks and a couple of poppadoms to enjoy while we looked through the menu.
The poppadoms were really fresh and crisp and the accompanying condiments were delicious, they included fresh onion salad, mango chutney, a hot and spicy tamarind sauce and a refreshing mango yoghurt raita. Needless to say both of the poppadoms and most of the sauces were gone by the time we were ready to order.
To start my husband Aaron ordered the stuffed pepper with Chicken (£3.95) and I decided to try a vegetarian starter for a change and so went for the spiced potato with garlic mushroom (£2.50). The char-grilled green pepper was filled to the brim with a tasty spiced chicken filling and was served with a fresh side salad. Aaron commented that the chicken filling was tender and delicious and had just the right amount of spice to give it flavour and warmth. The char-grilled green pepper was perfectly cooked and complemented the chicken and spices well.
My spiced potato and garlic mushroom starter was scrumptious, the potatoes were perfectly cooked in a thick and rich sauce with plenty of tender garlic mushrooms throughout, it was really moreish and a dish that I would highly recommend and work well either as a starter or a side dish.
For mains we just couldn’t decide as there was so much to chose from, so we asked Raja for his recommendation, he told us that the new chicken Rajastani (£9.95) was proving to be very popular and from the description it sounded mouth wateringly good, so we happily opted for that, we also ordered the butter chicken (£6.50), with a portion of egg fried rice (£2.30) and a peshwari naan bread (£2.30).
After a short interlude our main meal was delivered hot and fresh from the kitchen to our table, the presentation of all of the dishes was well thought out and everything smelled incredible. The Chicken Rajastani was indeed a winning recommendation; it came beautifully presented with a dome of fluffy pilau rice, fresh salad and some artistically carved tomatoes to garnish. It was a medium hot, rich red curry with tender strips of tandoori chicken, topped with crunchy matchstick potatoes.
This curry was super tasty, it had just the right level of spice to give it some punch without blowing your head off, the chicken was perfectly cooked and the crispy fried potatoes on top were amazing, they were so crisp and crunchy and really added a lovely texture to the dish, it was so good I would even go so far as to say that the Rajastani is my new favourite curry.
The Butter chicken was everything a butter chicken should be, mild and creamy with generous chunks of tender chicken tikka in a thick golden sauce. In my opinion Butter Chicken is a great choice for anyone wanting a milder curry, as it still has plenty of flavour without the kick of some of the spicier dishes, this was always my favourite curry when I was a child and this one certainly lived up to expectation!
The egg-fried rice was very tasty and made a pleasant change to my usual go-to side order of pilau rice. The peshwari naan bread was just divine; hot, fluffy and fragrant with a sweet coconut, almond and sultana filing, it even came drizzled with honey which I’ve never experienced before, but believe me it really worked!
After all of that delicious food we literally had no room left for dessert so we ordered some coffee, which came freshly brewed and served with cream and sugar and was the prefect end to a great meal.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Taste of Paradise, the atmosphere was warm and friendly and the food was seriously good, so next time you are contemplating a curry, please do pay a visit to Newport’s very own hidden gem and experience a taste of paradise for yourself.
Reviewed but Charlie & Aaron Scott