‘Fusion’ is still a thing, isn’t it?
I ask only because there have been a few sightings locally of unlikely culinary marriages, of cuisines you wouldn’t normally associate. The most intriguing of these is a recent opening in Splott, with its head-spinning offer of Hungarian, Indian and peri-peri chicken all across the same threshold.
Perhaps less expected were certain elements on the La’Shish menu: it bills itself a Middle Eastern restaurant, and is well placed near the foot (I’m counting from the old Infirmary end, like any right-thinking person) of City Road. Sometimes it seems impossible to traverse said road without wading through a deluge of shish kebab, a welter of kofte: Those are on the menu here, of course, but so are fajitas…
The accompanying flatbread was much more as expected and a fine illustration of how something so simple can be so addictive. A portion of chicken wings (£3.95)- so often, the yardstick of this style of cooking- did not disappoint in the least. With the addition of a halloumi and olive salad simply dressed with olive oil, lemon and parsley (£3.95), we were already suspecting the three of us had fallen foul of what my gran meant when she’d mock-scold me, ‘Your eyes are bigger than your belly’.
If she could see me now, eh.
Falafel (£2.95) had a crisp segue into creamy warmingly-spiced centres. Anything which marries these two is A Good Thing. But there are unexpected elements here, too: a Spicy Chicken starter (£3.75) did what it said on the tin, thick with onion, red peppers and kidney beans and decidedly more South American than Middle Eastern.
The charcoal grill is front and centre at La’Shish, taking pride of serried ranks of marinated meat waiting on their skewers. A mixed grill (£9.95) would seem the quickest way to get to the heart of what they do here, it would seem.
Pretty good it was, too: excellent buttered saffron rice with a side salad, a mildly spiced lamb kufta (sic) and some excellent chicken shish which bore clear marks of cooking over charcoal. The only let-down was the lamb shish, which had been left on the bars a mite too long for my liking and was a tad dry as a result. A shame, as the other meats were very, very accurately grilled, juicy and smoky.
A chicken mixed grill (£9.95)- no skimping on portion size, here- was a better all-rounder. Chicken shish, kufta and a boned-out thigh were all deftly done, with none of the dryness of the lamb and all the char you’d want from that grill. A garlic paste and a pulpy chilli sauce to accompany were just the job.
Save that (slightly) overcooked lamb, then, a pretty solid showing here. Even among the numerous and capable competitors on this pilgrimage route, La’Shish can hold up its head.
A word of warning, though- loosen your belt before you begin…
17-19 City Rd,
Tel: 029 2049 3337
Monday – Sunday: 12:00pm – till late
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.