Indo-Portuguese cuisine in Peterborough - you should give it a Goa!
When it opened two months ago, 1498 The Spice Affair promised to share the exotic Indo-Portuguese flavours of Goa with Peterborough diners and on the basis of what I have seen so far it, is certainly delivering on that.
It’s not just a one-hit wonder either. I was mightily impressed by the food on offer at the opening night gathering, plus a Christmas lunch visit for a thali delighted the taste buds.
And a family lunch on Sunday afternoon merely confirmed it.
The restaurant itself is a very smart looking place, taking on the building in Priestgate vacated by Prevost two years ago with attractive decor and table settings.
Meanwhile, the food celebrates the flavours of Goa, on India’s west coast (the name refers to the year when Portuguese seafaring explorers first arrived) and reflects the combination of Arabian, Portuguese and native cultures.
There is quite an inviting traditional selection of Goan dishes as you might imagine - their own take on curries with fish, prawns, pork, crab or squid.
Forgoing my beloved biryani (which in this setting comes with potatoes and a boiled egg) I ordered Chourico de Goa - “a true Goan delicacy” according to the menu. And it wasn’t wrong.
It was spicy Goan sausage (home made Loyd the owner told me) cooked with sliced onions and potatoes. A real onion-rich sauce with bags of heat from the chunks of spicy sausage. It went very well with a soothing and very fresh tasting kachumber salad, lovely fragrant rice and light, soft plain naan.
There is interestingly a Chindian section on the menu - Indian interpretations of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques - which included the chilli chicken dish as chosen by my wife.
Unmistakable on the plate, it was sweet and spicy and very moreish.
A side dish of tarka daal - yellow lentils tempered with cumin seed, garlic and chilli - was equally appreciated.
From the “chef’s signature dishes” came Murgh Makanwalla (Butter Chicken served with plain rice), a new favourite of my nine-year-old daughter; Shredded pieces of tandoori chicken cooked in a special tomato and butter sauce, creamy with just a hint of spice, but again plenty of flavour. And - noticeable with all the chicken dishes - beautifully cooked meat.
Her younger sister plumped for a chicken korma from the “made in England” section of the menu, which did make me smile. Tasty sauce though, sweet with that undeniable blast of coconut, that ticked all of her boxes on top of the same fragrant serving of rice as me.
The girls shared a dessert - bebinka, and if you have never tried it then your should. It’s a delicious Goan layered cake that is moist and sweet with a hint of coconut milk. It is a slow process preparing it apparently, but it disappears off the plate in no time at all.
A nice venue, super food and friendly service . Give it a Goa!!
Owner Loyd Luis is looking to work with local good causes or charities to put on some fundraising evenings.
To find out more information, call him at the restaurant on 01733 358778.
Brad Barnes was dining at 1498 The Spice Affair, 20 Priestgate, Peterborough www.1498-thespiceaffair.co.uk