Curry and Cardiff: a guide on must-visit restaurants

Three Indian restaurants in Wales were named best in the UK at the Nation’s Curry Awards. Here are Cardiff’s top 5 curry joints that you simply can’t miss.

With plenty of options to choose from, Cardiff boasts some of the best restaurants in the country.

Three Welsh Indian restaurants were named as the best in the country at the Nation’s Curry Awards. Held in Manchester last week, the awards showcased regional excellence with three establishments from Wales standing out among the best in the UK.

The Grand Sultan in Port Talbot is the Curry Restaurant of the Year, having previously won Restaurant of the Year Wales at the Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards and Welsh Restaurant of the Year at the British Curry Awards.

Caernarfon Tandoori Restaurant earned the title of Indian Restaurant of the Year. Mustakim Raza, involved its beginning said “This is our first award, and it feels awesome to be recognized for our hard work.”

Royal Balti in Barry secured Takeaway of the Year, adding to its accolades, including Takeaway of the Year at the 2023 Asian Restaurant Awards and Best Restaurant in the North West at the Engli Awards.

Beyond the award-winning establishments, Cardiff boasts several curry restaurants, each offering its own unique take on this beloved cuisine. For those eager to explore Cardiff’s vibrant curry landscape, here are 5 must-visit restaurants offering an authentic taste of India.

Mowgli Street Food

Mowgli specializes in serving Indian street-style food, offering a variety of snacks and hearty meals.
Image credits: Mowgli

Looking to dine among the stars in Cardiff? A visit to Mowgli might just lead to an unexpected celebrity encounter. “Willem Dafoe came here two nights in a row,” shares Nathan Mitch, a server at the restaurant. Long-time patrons attest to the authenticity of their curries, making Mowgli a hotspot for those seeking genuine Indian cuisine.

Specialties: Among the restaurant’s specialties are the house lamb curry, which is slow-cooked with plums, and chickpeas, and the Goan fish curry featuring boneless fish in a tangy, sweet mahogany sauce.
Location: Church Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BG 
Website: Mowgli Street Food Cardiff
Price range: £20–30 per head

The Empire Restaurant

Since its establishment in Roath in 1992, The Empire restaurant has maintained a steadfastly loyal customer base.
Image credits: The Empire Restaurant

The Empire Restaurant has been a staple in Cardiff’s Indian dining scene and dubbed the Best Indian restaurant in Cardiff. Under the ownership of Sami Rahman, Empire set out with the ambitious goal of becoming the number one Indian restaurant in Cardiff on TripAdvisor. After years of dedication, the restaurant last year achieved this coveted position.

Specialties: The Empire’s menu features a wide range of authentic Indian dishes, including rogan josh, a medium-spiced curry garnished with fresh tomatoes, and vegetarian options like mutter paneer, a dish of peas and Indian cheese cooked with herbs and spices.
Location: Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3NT 
Website:  Empire Restaurant Cardiff
Price range: £20–30 per head

Spice Village

Over the years, Spice Village has expanded its brand, specializing in Indian and Bangladeshi cuisines.
Image credits: Spice Village

Drawing inspiration from London’s West End dining scene, Spice Village offers a stylish yet welcoming ambiance in the heart of Cardiff. Mohammed Fazil, a regular customer says, “What I really love about the place is its range. It’s not just a spot for special occasions; you can come here for a casual meal too. It caters to different tastes and dining vibes, which is pretty neat”.

Specialties: Their house specials feature Shahi Bhuna, a lamb chop curry with yogurt, saffron, and aromatic spices; Captain Patila, spring chicken cooked with mint, green peppers, and onions in a medium-hot sauce; and Mango Delight, chicken or lamb cooked in a creamy coconut and mango sauce.
Location: City Road, Cardiff CF24 3DL
Website: Spice Village 
Price range: £10–20 per head


With over 25 years of experience working in the hospitality industry, Ramakrishnan welcomes customers with a warm smile.

Mattancherry draws inspiration from the village of its namesake in Kochi, India. “We like to keep it simple but deliver the best taste possible. We’re all about simplicity without compromising on taste. It’s been heartening to see the growing appreciation for Indian cuisine, especially among the local community, which has welcomed Asian eateries like ours with open arms” says Ramakrishnan the manager. Regular patrons, Mr. and Mrs. Kovach, an old couple, attest to favoring it over other establishments. “This cozy little gem has won us over. Unlike the larger, bustling joints. It’s been our go-to for date nights for years now,” they say.

Specialties: Inspired by Kerala’s cultural heritage, Mattancherry excels in curries beloved by locals and the Indian diaspora. Their top dishes include classic chicken tikka masala, creamy chicken korma, and flavourful saag gosht with tender lamb, spinach, garlic, and green chilies.
Location: Cowbridge Road, Cardiff CF11 9AH 
Website: Mattancherry 
Price range: £10–20 per head


Salkaar has received high ratings for offering an enjoyable evening with drinks and authentic Indian dishes.

Salkaara offers authentic Indian cuisine, particularly influenced by the vibrant flavors of Southern India. Ananya, the assistant manager, sheds light on the essence of Salkaara, “Our chefs from various parts of India bring their expertise to our kitchen. We make it a point to source fresh ingredients flown in weekly to ensure the authenticity of our dishes.”

Specialties: Visitors to Salkaara will find themselves immersed in a culinary experience reminiscent of home-cooked favorites, each dish carrying a story of tradition and heritage. Among the offerings is the renowned Syrian beef curry, a nod to the historical ties between Kerala and Syria, tying together flavours that speak of cultural exchange and shared roots.
Location: Wellfield Road, Cardiff CF24 3PB
Website: Salkaara 
Price range: £20–30 per head