Taste of India: Madhav’s is a store that will fulfill your Indian cravings

For the last 38 years, Madhav store has been in the Lower Cathedral Road of Cardiff serving the people whenever they’ve wanted to immerse themselves in Indian food and culture.

Old man Madhav at Madhav’s Store sits quietly as the customers rush the various sections but he observes everyone. Walking up to him with my shopping cart, he looks up and throws a sweet smile my way—I feel at home. Madhav’s was set up in 1980 almost after two decades of the owner’s arrival in the UK.

The perfect amount of light seeps into the store from the front door

A quaint little Indian shop cum restaurant, Madhav’s is the perfect store for the residents of Cardiff if they like Indian food or would like to try it and the overseas Indian students here to study who might be the feeling home-sick.

You see customers hustling and bustling within the store, talking to the owner of the shop and cracking inside jokes. What comes across is that the store has been more of a legacy than anything else around the area. People know Madhav and they appreciate it.

Selection of masalas and dals at Madhav’s, all priced decently for students to come splurge

You get a range of masalas (condiments) and dals (pulses) which for me was the highlight of the store. They even had some dried hilsa fish (Ilisha) which I bought just because the inner Bengali in me squealed upon seeing it. Madhav’s wife runs the small restaurant just adjacent to the shop connected through a narrow corridor where she makes South Indian dishes in an open kitchen while the happy customers eat away.

Empty table at Madhav’s. The customers had just left after eating some ‘idli-sambar’

Upon asking old Madhav if he worked somewhere before settling down with the store, he replied “Of course. I worked, and I worked hard. You cannot achieve anything substantial if you don’t work hard.”  

The restaurant’s outer door which tells you exactly what Madhav is meant for