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Review: Moshan Island Grill

Rum punch in hand, TGtS sent food blogger; Mel Hutchfield down to the Mohan Island Grill for an evening of laid back, Caribbean delights.

I’d started to think that the Moshan Island Grill didn’t want me as a customer. The first time I visited with my friend Kat, we turned up to find no record of our booking and a bit of an argument about whether I had actually booked. So this time I decided to book online on their website. More than 24 hours later with no confirmation, I phoned to find that no, they didn’t have my booking.

So Husband and I turned up on the Saturday night fully expecting some kerfuffle. Happily though we received a friendly welcome and were quickly shown to our table. The waitress even asked us if we’d like the music turned down a bit as we were close to the speaker.

You could be forgiven for driving by the dark building on Newport Street without realising a little bit of Caribbean delight is hidden inside. The interior is bright and modern, with pictures of palm beaches and laid back Caribbean music to make you forget you’re in Swindon on a cold evening.

Before I knew it, I had a rum punch in my hand, which is a good start to any evening. My husband was pleased he hadn’t ordered one, when it turned up Barbie pink with an umbrella. The sweet taste of that first glass lulled me into a false sense of security, as its brother turned up later in the evening and nearly melted my face with the amount of rum in it. Maybe they were easing me in gently.

I was ready for food and happy to see my starter of Trinidad Roti arrive. The folded paratha bread was filled with mashed sweet potato and lentils, spicy but not too hot, served with coleslaw and side salad. Delicious. Husband also made a very good choice of Stamp and Go – crispy battered salt codfish fritters with peppers and chilli. I’d have gladly eaten his as well, though just as well I didn’t, as the best was yet to come.

The menu was full of things we wanted to try – curried goat, rum steak, vegetable curry to name a few. Husband finally settled on the Jerk Chicken. It was beautifully spiced and he chose the fries seasoned with paprika and thyme to go with it. It’s not for the fainthearted though, as the heat built the more he ate.

I chose the Brown Stew Chicken – tiny drumsticks of chicken slow cooked in a luscious shiny sauce, flecked with peppers and sweet potato. The balance of spices and heat were bang on and the gravy was rich and unctuous. Unable to narrow down my choice of side, I ended up with rice and peas [seasoned rice with kidney beans] and mashed sweet potato. A meal can never have too much sweet potato for me and this was buttery and really well seasoned.

To finish we both had the best rum and raisin ice cream we’ve had [and we’ve tasted quite a lot of rum and raisin ice cream]. Creamy and soft as butter with rum soaked raisins plus more rum in the ice cream. A perfect end to the meal after the spice of the savoury dishes.

I’m definitely looking forward to my next visit and the chance to try some of the other things on offer. If you want beautifully spiced food and warm hospitality in Swindon you couldn’t do better than the Moshan Island Grill. 

Moshan Island Grill

33-34 Newport Street, Swindon, SN1 3DP

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