My recent dining experience at Spice N Ice left me with mixed feelings and a roller coaster of flavours. This Indian restaurant had its highs and lows, making it a memorable yet somewhat inconsistent tasting journey. Here's an honest, detailed review of my dining experience.By Sarnia Nibbles
Appetizer: Tandoori Shrimp
The Tandoori Shrimp appetizer was nothing short of phenomenal. It was a true culinary marvel with its delicious, juicy, and generously sized shrimp. The flavours were on point, offering a delightful combination of spices with a gradual build-up of heat. The vibrant colours of the shrimp added to the visual appeal, and they arrived at our table piping hot. This appetizer was undoubtedly a highlight of the meal.
Mains: Butter Chicken, Chili Paneer, Lamb Palak, Rice and Naan
Butter Chicken: The Butter Chicken was a dish with mixed reviews. While the chicken itself was tender, juicy, and succulent, the dish was mainly sauce, leaving a bit to be desired in terms of chicken quantity. The flavours were good, with a subtle creaminess adding richness to the dish. However, it didn't quite stand out compared to the other offerings on the menu. It did taste a little like Campbell’s tomato soup. But maybe that is my unsophisticated palate talking.
Chili Paneer: The real underdog of the meal was the Chili Paneer. Bursting with flavours, this dish featured a harmonious blend of chiles, onions, and garlic. The heat was well-balanced, offering a satisfying kick without overwhelming the tastebuds. What truly shone was the generous serving of paneer, making it the star of the show. The chili paneer was a delightful surprise and a must-try for those who enjoy bold and rich flavours.
Lamb Palak: The Lamb Palak was a disappointment given the high expectations set by a similar dish (Lamb Saag) at another local Indian restaurant (hint: on Lite St.). The lamb was on the drier side, and the dish lacked the depth of flavours expected from this classic Indian dish. It had an earthy taste, tasting solely like plain ground-up spinach, and the lamb had a gamey flavour that didn't quite hit the mark. This was a letdown, especially when compared to the extraordinary version at another establishment.
Rice and Naan: The unexpected stickiness of the basmati rice was an intriguing surprise. Typically, basmati rice is known for its fluffy and separate grains, but Spice N Ice's version seemed to have a different texture. This unexpected twist might not suit everyone's taste, but it's a reminder that culinary surprises can be found in the smallest details.
On a positive note, the naan bread at Spice N Ice was truly outstanding. Freshly baked and served straight from the oven, it was a sensory delight. The bread was incredibly soft, warm, and dripping with buttery flavour. To fully savour its taste, it had to be enjoyed immediately upon arrival at our table. I couldn't resist taking a bite the moment it was served, and it was an experience well worth relishing.
Regrettably, one aspect that needed significant improvement was the service. Our dining experience was marred by delays in getting our drinks. It took over 30 minutes for us to receive them, a considerable wait for any beverage. This sequence of events was unusual and disrupted the flow of the meal.
While the server was attentive when he was at our table, his lack of promptness in ensuring we had our drinks was a notable shortcoming. We also did not get an opportunity to place our main order until the appetizer was already on the table.
Considering that we were the only diners in the restaurant during our visit, the extended wait for service seemed excessive. It's worth noting that the restaurant appeared busy with take-out orders, which could have contributed to the service delay. I found myself setting a timer on my phone just to see how long it would be to get a glass of ginger-ale.
Spice N Ice offers a diverse range of Indian dishes, and while some aspects of the dining experience were exceptional, others fell short of expectations. The Tandoori Shrimp and the Chili Paneer were standout dishes, impressing with their flavours and generous portions. However, the Lamb Palak was a disappointment, lacking the richness and depth that makes this dish exceptional.
Overall, Spice N Ice is worth a visit, especially if you're in the mood for Indian flair and unique flavours, but be prepared for some inconsistency in the main courses and service.
Sarnia Nibbles is a long-time downtown resident of Sarnia, with an insatiable love for food. They came to life on Instagram as a delicious extension of a personal love affair with food, drink, and the vibrant local community. The creator aims to capture the essence of Sarnia's food scene, showcasing hidden gems, time-honoured favourites, and stories behind the dishes that make this city a gastronomic treasure trove. Sarnia Nibbles prides themselves on honestly, including the good, the bad, the delicious, and the disgusting in their reviews.Bon Appetit! For more, follow Sarnia Nibbles on Instagram.