You might recall Bonnie Tyler’s song Lost in France from years ago. On a wet and windy autumnal evening we found ourselves lost in Barnsley! Admittedly it does not have the same ring to it as being lost in France, though lost we were, arriving in Barnsley after a one-hour journey down the M1 from Bradford.
We were trying to locate the Cardamom Lounge – reportedly one of the best Asian restaurants in South Yorkshire, though as my car does not have satellite navigation and my partner’s phone had packed up, the choice of using Google maps had also been lost on the way.
Spotting a welcoming pub I thought I would try my luck with directions from some of the locals. The early evening rush has not arrived yet leaving just the landlord and two friendly souls to come to my aid: “Cardamom Lounge, can’t miss it, just down the road and you will be there, can’t say I’ve been but I hear the food is nearly as good as mine!“ joked the helpful landlord.
As we drove down the road there it stood – Cardamom Lounge all brightly lit yet somehow unassuming.
Bringing the fusion revolution to Barnsley
The family owned business was practically empty upon our arrival but within 30 minutes the restaurant was full – our fellow diners certainly had not got lost!
Upon chatting to Anwar, one of the owners, it transpired that the family are from Bradford and still live there – pity we did not know that earlier, maybe they could have given us a lift!
Apparently, before the restaurant opened, the Asian restaurants In Barnsley were stuck in a time-warp, the owners of the Cardamom Lounge have tried to bring the dining experience up to another level – and they have definitely succeeded.
Fusion cooking is a hybrid cooking style; a perfect balance of complex spices and textures that results in bringing something unique to the dining experience.
Having eaten in too many Asian restaurants than I care to remember, I have to say that the quality and taste along with attention to detail of the food at the Cardamom Lounge is some of the best I have experienced.
“A reyt good curry”
My onion bhajis (£3.95) were larger than normal but tasted so fresh with a good blend of spices that highlighted we were in for a treat with the main course. My partner tried the generously filled vegetable samosas (£3.95).
My main of coal miners’ curry (£10.95) seemed aptly dedicated to the hard-working people of Barnsley. Cooked with spring chicken, seasoned potatoes, fresh cumin, curry leaves with hints of chilli, herbs and spices, the promise of a “reyt good curry” was definitely fulfilled.
My partner choose the chicken tikka masala (£9.95) which was mild, sweet and creamy – one of their best sellers – the chef’s secret red sauce gave the dish an extra bite.
Desserts seemed to be bought in, unlike all the other options on the menu which are freshly made on the premises. Think of classic puddings from you schooldays such as cornflake tart (£5.95) and sticky toffee pudding (£4.95) and you will get an idea of what is on offer.
If you are watching the calories there is a Slimming World menu which includes a range of dishes made using zero-calorie Frylight oil.
As a large group of locals sat at the table opposite us drinking their own alcohol, a mix of couples young and old mingled in with the friendly and helpful staff, adding to the homely atmosphere.
From being lost we had found a restaurant where everyone was made to feel as if they were part of one big family, serving some of the best Asian food we have tried.
Worth discovering – just remember to set your satnav or make sure your phone is charged up before you leave home!