25.07.2017

Spice & Ice Review : Award Winning Chef Brings Indian Fine Dining to Doncaster

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Spice & Ice Doncaster Review – Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster – Written by Sarah Cotterill Follow on Twitter & Instagram @scottnodot

Spice & Ice Review : Award Winning Chef Brings Indian Fine Dining to Doncaster

The busy Wheatley Hall Road leading out of Doncaster is an unlikely spot for a fine dining restaurant. The dual carriageway lined with retail parks and car dealerships, was once home to a popular coaching inn, an impressive red brick Victorian building cornering Church Way and Brooke Street – The Cheshire Cheese Hotel. New owners Ram and Krishna Odedra were inundated with stories from local residents who had fond memories of the premise’s vibrant past. From the doorman at the entrance to the immaculately smart waiting staff, Spice & Ice has certainly maintained that hotel feel, offering a personal level of service that truly puts the customer first.

The area has its fair share of Indian eateries, but Spice & Ice isn’t aiming to be compared to Doncaster’s Pakistani or Bangladeshi alternatives. Having said that, there’s a diverse team on board, a female Latvian pastry chef, tandoor and curry chefs from Nepal, as well as young locals which Spice & Ice are passionate about training. Headed up by General Manager Priya who quit her job as an Operations Manager for HP to join her family in the business, there is a real sense of care in terms of staff welfare and professional development. Priya is totally made for the hospitality industry and her attention to detail coupled with a real desire to please has bred a sense of unique theatricality in everything they do.

Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster    Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster
The initial impression of the space oozes luxury, from the Moet sponsored bar to the flat screen TV’S and S&I’s cleverly gilded into the wrought iron booth partitions. The restaurant is spotless, all suede and velvet decor with mirrored lighting and local art on the walls. Upstairs they have three private dining rooms, each named after a different spice, available for parties and conference hire. Ram and Krishna are bursting with ideas, one of which involves plans to hold chef’s table supper clubs in the Saffron suite, private dining done well. The pair went through a lengthy process to find their head chef, award winning Amardeep Singh, who has appeared on Masterchef The Professionals in 2011, is keen to update the Deli flavours with fresh ingredients and sophisticated innovation.

Instantly, an absolute revelation are his mini poppadoms, served in a wire chip basket – super tasty and super logical. No more confrontation over who’s had their fair share, and no more mess. The majority of the Indian meals I’ve had involve sitting amongst crispy shards that seem to be strewn impressively over the table, floor, your lap, your hair…it’s like a poppadom massacre. Why has no-one thought of this before?

Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster          Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster
Next, order the Pani Puri and you’re in for a treat; five shot glasses of tamarind chilli water, topped with light hollow pockets filled with chickpeas, potato and coriander. You’ll be instructed to pour in the water and pop it in whole – a street food classic with another theatrical twist. Try the Talelaa Kekda Crab starter, served whole in a deliciously crispy shell, with the brown meat forming a cake underneath, and a crunchy julienned apple salad on the side. It’s fun, inventive and beautifully presented.
Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster    Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster
So the menu has all your traditional favourites, Jalfrezi’s, Balti’s, freshly made without the use of unnecessary oils or food colourings – something chef Amardeep prides himself on. But do me a favour and order from their ‘exotic’ choice of mains, you won’t be disappointed. Priya recommends the Masala Fish, a Desi take on the British classic and a dish that really showcases what Spice & Ice are about. Indian tilapia coated in a smoky blend of spices with potato pakora chips, such a perfect blend of cuisines – as is the Tandoori Gosht-E-Pasliyan. Tender Yorkshire Rack of Lamb, seared asparagus and incredible Lyonnaise potatoes with soft melting onions and mustard seeds that pop in your mouth. You can see why Amardeep described his concept as London-Doncaster. Everything is such an interesting, and much lighter take on what you know and love about Indian dining, and if you know and love naan as I do, their naan is out of this world. We went for Peshwari and keema, which were both buttery, flaky, with subtle spicing, heavenly dipped in the lamb’s accompanying roast rogan josh gravy.

Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster          Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster
If you have room for more, they have some elegant takes on Indian sweets, English desserts and a range of Movenpick ice creams and sorbets. Don’t mistake the white little cylinders you’re presented with as mints or marshmallows. Spoiler alert: the staff pour over individual jugs of warm water and dramatically hand towels will grow from the plate, something your table will love. I feel bad for ruining that one actually, but it’s these little touches that Spice & Ice have added to make your evening special, that really set them apart from the crowd. I haven’t forgotten to mention the ice accompanying your spice. Here you’ll find a wonderful list of refreshing cocktails to pair with your food, like the lychee mojito or watermelon Maharaja, all of which can be ‘mocked’ if you’re driving.
Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster          Spice & Ice Doncaster Review - Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster

The restaurant appeared to be doing well on a Wednesday night, but on my way home, the cars lining the A638 indicated that its early days for Spice & Ice to win over Agraah’s another Doncaster restaurants market. If we were American we’d think nothing of driving 45 minutes for dinner, and I highly recommend the perhaps more experimental Leeds crowd do this. Okay so the service is quite full on, and not to everyone’s taste, but this is an experience where you really feel spoilt as soon as the doorman welcomes you in. Spice & Ice would be an ideal place for birthdays, celebrations, or just a mid-week pick me up, as I guarantee you’ll leave with a full stomach and a big smile on your face.

Spice and Ice Dining & Lounge Bar – Church Way, Doncaster DN1 2SD – 01302 552 100

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Spice & Ice Doncaster Review – Indian Restaurant Doncaster – Best Restaurants in Doncaster – Written by Sarah Cotterill Follow on Twitter & Instagram @scottnodot

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