Purple Poppadom, Canton – review

Purple Poppadom has a well established reputation, so I don’t need to tell you how great it is, but I’m going to anyway.

Anyone expecting the Purple Poppadom to have a stiff-upper-lipped atmosphere characterised by its ‘fine dining’ status will be pleasantly surprised. It’s unapologetically busy and hectic just like any popular Indian restaurant, which adds to its charm.

Naturally, we started with some poppadoms served with a side of chutney’s of the chef’s own creations – a sweet date mix as a substitute for the usual dry coconut, green mint and coriander chutney instead of mint yoghurt, and tangy lemon pickle as opposed to lime pickle.

My duck starter was pretty special and unlike anything I’ve had at any other Indian restaurant – little spiced bites of duck in a coconut sauce with mini rice dumplings, topped with crispy duck confit.

While not the sexiest dish on the menu, I ordered the lamb roganjosh. I have sampled some of the Purple Poppadom’s more creative dishes on previous visits, but I was keen to see how the chefs handled a bog-standard curry without hiding behind the fluff and fancy. Chunks of tender lamb, balanced spicing and a wonderful depth of flavour made it a curry to remember, delicious for dipping your naan bread.

To end the meal I opted for the chocomosa dessert with caramelised banana and vanilla ice cream, just enough to finish off after a big fill.

Purple Poppadom isn’t your standard Friday night takeaway – this is reflected in the quality of its food, attention to detail and, unfortunately for diners, its pricing. But if you can afford to pop there for the occasional treat, it is definitely worth it.

My eat of the week

  • Poppadom and chutney – £3.95
  • Pidi with Tharavu, duck Kottayam style served with steamed rice dumplings poached in a spiced coconut sauce topped with duck supreme cooked with spices, crispy confit legs – £8.50
  • Kashmiri roganjosh, slow cooked lamb, Kashmiri style with onions and spices, with fennel seeds and saffron – £13.95
  • Steamed rice – £3.95
  • Naan – £2.50
  • Chocomosa Anand, light crispy pastry parcel filled with a melted Belgian chocolate ganache, served with homemade vanilla ice cream – £7

Cheapest main

  • Tiger prawns Alleppey, tiger prawns cooked in a clever blend of raw mango, fresh ginger and coconut milk – £12.95

Most expensive main

  • Raan Akbari, slow braised lamb shank marinated with spices and finished in the tandoor, served with a curried butternut squash mash, sauce reduction and mint sorbet  – £18.95

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