A few nights ago, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at All Spice Restaurant in San Mateo.
We heard about the restaurant’s opening about 3 months ago from a friend, and given that we LOVE modern twists on Indian food, thought we should give it a try. The chef at All Spice used to be the chef at another one of our favorite Indian Fusion restaurants in the Bay – Sakoon. So we figured we’d be in for a treat at All Spice as well. We were not disappointed!
The service was excellent: each of the waiters were extremely knowledgeable about the dishes and ingredients, and were very friendly and welcoming. Since All Spice had just opened, they didn’t have their wine list completed – and only had non-alcoholic drinks. We started with a Tangerine Soda and a Pomegrate Apple Cider.
Both were excellent! We didn’t miss the alcohol at all. Soon after our drinks came out we were served an Amuse-bouche: a treat from the chef – a cauliflower and mushroom gratin.
We had a hard time deciding on which appetizers to get – everything on the menu looked so good! Eventually we decided on the Indian Bread Fritter “Ma Mere”
It was stuffed with mushrooms, potatoes, and Indian spices, served over stewed chickpeas. It reminded me of a much fancier, elegant version of the samosas you often get in traditional Indian restaurants, and had the perfect blend of spiciness and sweetness. We also ordered the Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, which was absolutely divine.
It was served with minted spaghetti squash “noodles,” that the soup was then poured over at the table – very cool presentation. The soup itself might have been the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever had. Every bite enveloped my palate with flavor, and the warmth of the soup was a perfect balance to the cold weather outside. If you get a chance to visit All Spice, you MUST order this dish!
Our entrees were equally inventive and satisfying – rounding out the meal perfectly. We ordered the Pumpkin Dosa
Which was basically a crisp rice and lentil crepe, stuffed with a nigella seed-flavored pumpkin and creamy goat cheese filling. It was served with a roasted garlic tomato chutney which provided the perfect sweet balance to the spiciness of the dosa filling. I’ve had a lot of dosas before in my life, and nothing compares to the experience I had at All Spice!
I loved the addition of pumpkin and goat cheese to the filling, stewed with Indian spices. It was a wonderful balance of flavors: rich and delicious. Our last entree was the Khaman Chickpea Flour Pasta, sauteed with mustard seed, curry leaves, baby tomatoes and artichokes.
Again, this dish provided a very modern take on meals that my husband and I ate growing up. I loved the addition of artichokes to this dish, and the chickpea “pasta” just melted in my mouth. After this amazing journey through the menu at All Spice, we were stuffed and had no room for dessert – although the Chili-Mango Bread Pudding with ginger creme anglais was tempting. We’ll definitely be visiting this restaurant again and will be sure to try the desserts next time.