The smart, discreet frontage of this appealing restaurant fits in well with the neighbouring row of chi chi boutiques near Malahide marina. Kajjal is a sister restaurant of the highly-regarded Kinara Indian/Pakistani restaurant on Clontarf’s seafront and it offers the same qualities of style, delicious food and friendly, attentive staff.
Billed as ‘Pakistani and Eastern cuisine’, the menu offers an exciting mix of regional cooking, accompanied by a few Indian staples; while ordering, guests are served fresh poppadoms with delicious homemade dips.
This County Dublin restaurants rich colour scheme seems inspired by the exotic spices and organically shaped lampshades, reminiscent of exotic flowers, enhance the interesting, moodily lit room. Circular booths opposite the long bar are great for families, while individual tables are well sized for couples.
Meltingly tender lamb dishes, featuring Irish lamb, are a speciality, perhaps simmered with spinach and garam masala or in a classic rice biryani. Seafood might appear in the guise of tandoori crab claws or piquant tiger prawns, and an appealing selection of vegetarian sides can be ordered as mains.
Expert spicing and attractive presentation ensure each dish is a success, and diners who have visited the sub-continent will be pleased to find paratha (layered wholemeal bread) on offer alongside a choice of naan bread.
A brief selection of appealing-sounding desserts strays from the usual shop-bought items that so often let ethnic restaurants down.
The wine list is interesting, although it could offer more value at the lower end, and coffees are good, as is service, which is attentive and efficient.
Despite Malahide having a good range of eating options, Kajjal was warmly welcomed by savvy northside foodies from the outset, and with good reason.