I was holidaying in Wales last week so, being a curry lover, I decided to find an Indian Restaurant in Cardigan. My 12 year old daughter also enjoys a curry so when I told her there was a moored boat on the River Teifi – converted into an Indian Restaurant – she was keen to go.
We arrived at the restaurant and were greeted by a member of staff before being quickly shown to our seats. Because the Shampan is on a boat, and listed noticeably to one side (see the picture), the tables and chairs were at unusual angles. There was plenty of room, but there was a tendency to either lean left or right depending where you were seated.
Our drinks were quickly attended to and the usual poppadums arrived with an array of accompaniments. Plenty to suit all tastes. The Poppadums were large, very crispy, and were swiftly devoured. I had noticed the size of the portions, arriving at other diners’ tables, so we decided to share a starter and ordered the chicken tikka, which arrived with a small salad. I have eaten at many Indian Restaurants and I can honestly say that the chicken tikka was excellent and the most tender I had ever eaten. My fork simply sliced through the pieces of juicy breast.
I was full of a cold so asked the waiter what the spiciest dish was. I ordered the Lamb Naga Jalfrezi on his suggestion. My wife ordered the Chicken Goachi, and my daughter, the Chicken Tikka Masala. We had garlic and peshwari naans and a portion of coconut rice. When the main courses arrived I was shocked at the size of the portions, there must have been a pound of meat in each dish. One main course would have catered for two people so I knew there would be a considerable amount of food wasted. A shame, considering how good the food was. The Naga Jalfrezi arrived in a Karahi pan, piping hot, and very tasty. It was spicy, but not too hot, and the lamb was tender – although maybe not as tender as lamb dishes I’ve had elsewhere. The Chicken Goachi tasted like a slightly spicy Korma: creamy, satisfying and it went really well with the sweet peshwari naan. Unfortunately, my wife hardly put a dent in the dish due to the amount of chicken, but she thoroughly enjoyed it. Again the chicken was very tender. My daughter told me it was one of the best tikka masalas she had ever had. I had to agree. It was a very good masala, but way too big for one person. It was a shame that it was our last day in Wales, otherwise I would have had a large doggy bag to take home. The naan breads were nicely cooked but a little too doughy for me.
Shampan is an excellent Indian Restaurant: friendly staff, good food and quirky. Although the prices are a higher than usual, you are certainly paying for quantity and quality.