It may surprise you to know that there are a small number of Indian restaurants in the Cambridge area which I’ve never visited.
I know, it’s hard to believe!
Classic Spice in Bottisham is one of them and it’s a place which has a very good reputation on the Cambridge Curry Community, so I’ve been itching to go for some time now.
Upon arriving we were off to a good start. During this age of inflation (especially with beer) it was great to see that Classic Spice is BYOB. This alone can shave off anything between £10-20 on a meal and is a real plus for customers trying to keep costs down.
The restaurant is very clean and stylish. You will notice modern table lights found in other restaurants such as Lalbagh and Teversham Tandoori which add a real nice atmosphere, especially as it gets darker.
The restaurant is (quite rightly) very proud of winning the British Catering Awards and has it plastered on everything…even their plates!
I can see why they have earned such an award. The team are very friendly and chatty but also attentive and engaging. They really make you feel welcome which makes you want to keep coming back again and again. We were even graced with a dad joke during our time there 😂
Looking at the menu there is no getting around it, prices are high. This is obviously not down to the restaurant themselves but the unfortunate inflationary times we live in. It would have been a miracle to see the old prices we have come to expect over the years, so this is not something I can’t hold against them.
We ordered some papdums while we waited. The chutney tray came with the classics but was missing lime pickle. I asked the waiter who was more than happy to bring some out for us, though did mention it was “mixed pickle” rather than lime pickle. This was no problem.
I was very impressed with the onion salad. This was some of the best I’ve ever had. It was chopped very finely and you could tell a lot of effort had been put into it.
The yogurt was also fantastic quality. The mango chutney was good, though not too exciting. The mixed pickle was fantastic. It was so fresh and the texture was absolutely perfect. It might not cater to the people who enjoy a really sour lime pickle but we loved it!
My wife ordered the chicken tikka masala. This was a visual feast, well presented, and absolutely delicious. They knocked this dish right out the park and I found myself picking at it throughout the meal. Top marks!
I ordered the chicken vindaloo. This is my usual benchmark when trying out a new Indian restaurant. The portion was generous, it was well presented, and tasted very nice. It lacked a certain x-factor but will leave nobody feeling unsatisfied. The vindaloo was quite mild but the staff were more than happy to give me a jar of naga chilies to mitigate this. I recommend asking for it extra hot if you like your curry spicy.
We also had a saag aloo which was superb. I honestly couldn’t fault it. Not only was it one of the best examples of a saag aloo I have had this year but the portions for a side dish were very generous.
Thinking about it, the portions were good all round, especially the chicken tikka masala which makes these new inflationary prices a little easier to bear. There was enough left over between us for a meal for one person tomorrow (that’s breakfast sorted!).
The mushroom rice was described by my wife as “very tasty and not too greasy”, which is a common problem with a lot of Indian restaurants. Portions were also good. My pilau rice was inoffensive but executed well.
My wife and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at Classic Spice. The hype is entirely justified from The Cambridge Curry Community (as usual!) and I can safely say that I was not disappointed myself.
I’m a big fan of Classic Spice! Everything is done to a good standard and the customer service is simply excellent. The place is small but they’ve done really well with the space and given it a real pleasant and modern atmosphere with some snappy interior decorating.
The BYOB is a real winner as it gives customers the opportunity to bring exactly the type of drink they want with their meal and also helps them fight off inflation. For anyone itching to get out for a meal but is worried about rising costs then Classic Spice is an excellent choice.
Bottisham is very lucky to have such a well rounded high quality Indian in the village.
Thanks for reading!