A giant naan @ Shelford Spice – Great Shelford

‘Advert’ – We were invited by the team at Shelford Spice to join them for the purpose of the review. On this occasion we were not asked to pay to attend but no conditions were given on attending. Everything written is accurate and our unbiased opinion’. In fact, Farhan asked us to be brutally honest in our review in order to aid him with raising standards. For more information on our policy, click here.

Advert – The Brook, Mill Road.

Shelford Spice has not been open long but it is already making quite an impression on the people who have tried it on the Cambridge Curry Community. Sandwiched between some of the most popular Indian restaurants in Cambridgeshire (such as Kaz’s and Zara) the team already has their work cut out for them. It is a takeaway owned by the same family as Renus on Milton Road and will offer the same service that will deliver out to the surrounding villages in the area.

Shelford Spice is located on Woollards Lane in the midst of all the shops. It’s a busy road that at first glance looks like it could be awkward for parking but luckily there is a generous amount around the back. There is also a train station down the road for people who want to visit from further out.

Upon entering you can tell the takeaway is new, as it has a really modern and clean feel to it. It’s great to see a ramp for wheelchair access too. Wheelchair access is something commonly overlooked as frequently mentioned on our sister blog Jim’s Crusade. No alcohol is served but there is a selection of soft drinks available.

I would also like to share my delight in the opening times. Shelford Spice is open every day of the week from 4:30pm. This is unlikely a big deal to most but I am quite an early eater and enjoy picking at a large meal over the evening, so being able to order a little bit earlier is a big deal for me.

We were given a tour of the kitchen while the chefs were cooking. The kitchen doors are always left open here at Shelford Spice as there is absolutely nothing to hide. Make sure to peek through while waiting for your order. The entire place is immaculate and very well organised. The selection of spices was really something to marvel at.

It was great to see the chefs in action. There is nothing like hearing the bustling noise of the frying followed by a big flame lighting up the kitchen.

Mind your eyebrows!

One of the most interesting bits of news from my visit was that they also own the cafe next door. This is soon to be opened up for private dining events in the evenings. The cafe is currently operational during the day time and is a very pleasant place to be. There is lots of light and it is tastefully decorated.

The cafe menu hosted the usual selections that you would expect, such as the English Breakfasts and eggs Benedict but we also noticed a Desi Brunch. This consists of 2 fried Desi eggs, spicy sausage, hash browns, cherry tomatoes, chana masala, all served with paratha.

There is also news of a new menu coming soon for both the cafe and Shelford Spice coming soon 🤫 Watch this space!

Seabass and asparagus

We were brought out a selection of starters. The first dish was a delicious sea bass served with asparagus and salad. I have always loved a Bangladeshi take on fish and this was no exception. The seabass was juicy, succulent, and lightly spiced. Beautiful!

Naturally, we tried the tandoori mixed grill to get an idea of the meat quality. This was also accompanied by a onion bhaji. We were served king prawns, kebabs, tandoori chicken, and a salad.

The onion bhaji was very well received by both Ollie and I. We were both in agreement that it was not only perfectly crisp but it also had a really fresh flavour. Most notably was how light it tasted (along with all the other dishes). Often Bangladeshi restaurants can be accused of being heavy and oily but this is not a problem here (with any of the dishes). Speaking with Farhan, he explained that he has had to adapt his cooking style for the local community who have very different attitudes towards oil than the other family restaurant (Renus), so the team has gone to a lot of effort to use techniques to reduce oil in their dishes.

Chicken curried noodles

I noticed something quite original on the menu that I do not see in many other restaurants – the chicken curried noodles. My son’s two favourite foods are curry and noodles, so I thought it would be worth trying to tell him all about it and make him jealous. This was beautifully presented and was quite a generous portion. Like with the tandoori chicken, the chicken portions were generous and flavourful. The noodle dish as a whole seemed to lack a certain depth in the flavour, almost like it was missing a zing or a pop. The chicken quality does it’s best to carry the dish but the overall the experience felt quite flat on the palette. At risk of sounding like a broken record, a spicy kick would make this more exciting!

Shelford Spice likes to do things a little differently and their saag aloo is no different. Saag aloo can be a dish which is very samey no matter where you visit (after all, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it?). Here you will notice that they keep the skin on their potatoes. This adds flavour and gives the saag aloo a little twist which is very novel and interesting. I did find that it made the potatoes less fluffy which is something I always enjoy about the dish. I would certainly recommend giving this a try and I would love to know what you all think in the Cambridge Curry Community.

Behold, the lamb tawa!

Farhan is well aware that the lamb tawa is one of my favourite dishes, so he decided to give me a South East Indian take on the dish. This is similar to the usual tawa served in the pan but was a lot drier than I am used to. It was beautifully presented with cuts of peppers and onion and came out kicking and screaming sizzling at full volume. It was served extra hot, as Ollie and I are both hot heads, which made the dish as exciting as it was noisy! What-a-dish!

The tawa also came with some absolutely beautiful pieces of lamb which were wonderfully tender. As I cut open the large chunks they were still pink in the middle giving off a wonderful clash of pink and brown. It was so pleasing on the eye that it was photo worthy. This could be one of the best tawas I have had in a long time.


If all this was not enough, the team at Shelford Spice decided to really make sure we left feeling full, with a staggeringly large garlic naan. I have never seen anything quite like it! Even the giant naans at the Regency Club all those years ago didn’t come close to this juggernaut! We didn’t comprehend needing a tape measure for our visit but Ollie guessed it at around 5 naans in size. If I had to guess a length myself, I would say 16-18inches?

I do not often order a naan but it worked very well with the dry lamb tawa. It was easy to wrap up and eat in a mini naan wrap. It really worked! The garlic was bold, very prevalent in the bite, and was incredibly crispy on the outer skin, which added a lovely texture on the bite. We could barely make a dent in this behemoth, so decided to take it home with us to pick at the next day.

Farhan was kind enough to share some dessert with us. This is off the menu as it was left overs from a family event the day before. This is ice cream with fruit and sago seeds. This was a truly unique experience for someone used to western desserts. I really enjoyed the creaminess of the dish which was met with crunchy blocks of apple. It was a very satisfying texture!

I was delighted to finally be able to visit Shelford Spice. It actually makes me a little jealous to see so many top quality Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants on this side of Cambridge. If I lived a little closer there is no doubt I will be popping back more often for a lamb tawa wrapped in a giant naan. I am really looking forward to seeing the new menu and trying out the brunch in the cafe next door.

Thanks for reading!