The chef and owner, Sundaramoorthy Krishnasam has previously worked in both restaurants, the food is a high-end take on southern Indian cuisine with a few other influences thrown in, and a few of the dishes are very very familiar.
It’s most certainly not a bad thing, in fact it’s fantastic that Cardiff has so many Indian eateries which steer away from the uninspired path of onion bhajis and chicken tikka masalas.
Crisp poppadom shards (£2.50) were served with a very good chutney selection - refreshing pineapple with a good spike of chilli, cleansing mint, and decent mango and date varieties.
Tender, perfectly pink lamb chops (£7) were coated in a potently spiced crust. I picked every last scrap from the bones. However, a pedestrian mustard vinaigrette coating the side salad felt like a missed opportunity.
A trio of soft, flame-licked paneer pieces (£4.75) were delicately sweet and fragranced with saffron.
Onto mains, and a Karuveppilai chicken curry (£9) saw plenty of tender meat in a sauce fragranced with curry leaf, coconut and chilli. It was a good dish but the spicing lacked a little complexity.
In contrast, there was a huge depth of flavour to a Malabar fish curry (£10.99). Meaty swordfish was bathed in a sauce heady with coconut, curry leaf, ginger, slightly sour kokum and chilli.
A side of paragi parrapu curry (£4) was on the nail - the fragrant lentil dhal was flecked with pieces of butternut squash.
A peshawari naan (£2.50) was as good as they get - crisp, soft and stuffed with a not too sweet nut paste.
Coconut rice (£2.75) was light and beautifully aromatic.
Desserts were no afterthought. Perfumed sugar syrup soaked gulab jamun (£3.99) were served with first rate vanilla ice cream.
Honey infused pineapple (£4.50) was balanced by a lick of smoke from the tandoor oven. It’s a dish familiar from the menu of Purple Poppadom and Mint and Mustard but it’s an absolute beauty.
We had a lovely meal at Dill Jeera and I’d be chuffed if I was able to call it my local curry house. There’s also a friendly family feel to the place as we were enthusiastically served by the chef’s daughter.
It’s worth noting that when we visited Dill Jeera they were getting ready for a menu switchover. As such a number of items were unavailable - perhaps their new menu will be a little more concise as the current selection is slightly too expansive.
Address - Dill Jeera, 125 Station Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff CF14 2FE
Web - http://dilljeera.co.uk/
Telephone - 02921 321 290