The Cockney Critic reviews Asian Spice, Romford

Otherwise known as the cockney critic or Mr Happy Days, Jerry Mullan’s culinary journey has been as diverse as the countries he’s lived and cooked in, whether it was running Charity events at St Paul’s Cathedral or Hog roasts at Hampton Court, he’s always smiling. Currently, Head Chef of an award-winning West London gastropub, his influences and passion are irresistible whether on a plate or being read.

Jerry Mullan

Three is the magic number, and for my 3rd review for the Havering Daily, this really was magic.

I thought every food column should have a Ruby house on there somewhere, and with so many to choose from in the area, sometimes it’s difficult to find a good one.

So after hitting up the beautiful people of Havering on Facebook, and a bit of research from TripAdvisor I chose to eat at Asian Spice on Victoria Road in Romford.

I walk past this restaurant every time I come down to see the folks and have no idea why I haven’t ever eaten there before, probably because the old girl doesn’t like curries bless her.

I decided to order on a collection, as I’m only around the corner and like to see what the restaurant feels like in person.

The website is super easy to use, very well laid out. I did feel sorry for the chef though, as they must have 100 different dishes to choose from, which is amazing for me. As it shows the level of skill from the kitchen, if they can pull it off, and only time will tell.

Once the order is confirmed, it sends you to the checkout, where a discount is automatically applied, happy days, and you have the option of delivery or collection plus card or cash. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

20 minutes later I received a confirmation email my food was ready, so sanitiser in one hand, gas mask in the other, I popped down.

As I walk in, the waiters there, mask on and keeping his distance, years ago I would have got offended and thought I must smell or something, but how things change.

The restaurant although isn’t laid for service has an amazingly comfortable feel inside, clean, tidy and with a couple of candles on the table, would be an amazing place for a nice little romantic dinner.

All paid up, and ready to leave, the absolute gentleman of the waiter even got the door for me, whether that’s because he didn’t want to sanitize the handle again if I did it, or the fact he was a true host, and he even wished me a great evening. It’s the little things in life that do it, people.

So happy days, keeping my mask on as it keeps my nose warm now, I head back indoors and within five minutes, I can smell the amazing aromas coming from the bag already.

My order contained…

The Asia grill, which is chicken, lamb and sheesh kebab (more like a lamb kofta) and comes in a spicy tomato sauce. And wow was I not disappointed. The sauce was really thick and just packed with so much flavour, the mint yoghurt that comes with it, balances and gives an amazing sweetness to the big powerful flavour you get from the spices. The chicken was not pre-boiled as so many places do, and the lamb chunk melted in your mouth.

I also ordered the veggie samosa, as it’s always the easiest one to get wrong, and happy days indeed guys. First time I’ve seen sweetcorn used in it but the potatoes were Bombay, and wasn’t dry at all. The pastry was thin with crisp layers all the way through, and I couldn’t see through the paper bag they came in, when unpacking it so not greasy either. With a little salad and a squeeze of lemon, was a great way to reset the palette, after the flavours from the Asia grill. Only thing I did was add a little salt, probably a personal preference, but I always find potato needs a little bit, but apart from that all, happy days so far.

For mains I ordered the salmon, which is described as “2 fillets of salmon coated with masala & crushed dry red chillies and slowly cooked  in the clay oven served with sauce”

After reading it, I thought let’s see as salmon can be overcooked so quickly, and can go as dry as a muffin if not done properly.

Plus cooking it in a clay oven, should also give it a little Smokey flavour to it, and when I opened it up you could smell it straight away. A big healthy portion of two salmon fillets, and roasted with pepper, chillies, fennel and onions. All amazing flavours and so juicy when you bit into them, and not a drop of oil in sight. The sauce was almost like a tomato based korma, and I didn’t need much but really compliments the smokiness of the salmon, with the sweetness from the sauce and the peppers, the roasted chilli just gives a sweet spice running on your tongue.I had this with egg fried rice, and was beautiful, nice and moist. The egg freshly done and not rubbery, which you get when places make big batches of it, and re heat in a microwave to order.

All of this plus the discount came to £18.05, and would easily feed two people, starters and mains.
For me that is an amazing price, as some places work out super expensive as you have to order things individually, such as rice and things. But for what I got, it was an absolute bargain, and cannot wait to try something different next time I pop to see the parents.

Thanks again Asia Spice and thanks again to the waiter, I really did have a great night!

Much love from the Cockney Critic!

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