Any foodie in Bath worth their Maldon sea salt will have heard of Noya’s Kitchen – and will have been jumping for joy when Noya announced that her always-popular, always-sold-out supper clubs would be getting a permanent restaurant home. The supper clubs continue in the evenings whilst at lunchtime, you can stop by for the daily special and a pot of jasmine tea – so on a cold grey day last week, that’s exactly what I did.
The new home of Noya’s Kitchen is a pretty, friendly little space on St James’ Parade, mixing funky wallpaper and fairy lights with plain wooden tables and white-painted chairs, plus plenty of personal touches – when asked about the photos on the walls, Noya jokes that there’s nothing left in her house because all her favourite things are decorating the restaurant. It might be why the whole place feels a bit less like a dining establishment and more like the beautiful home of a fabulous cheffy friend, a feeling reinforced by the cheery, chatty staff and minimal menu. On the day we visited, there were two choices, so it was the work of moments to decide on a large bowl of An’s Chicken Curry. I’ve mentioned before how much I love a chef who tells me what to eat – and when they’re as good as Noya, it’s a deliciously relaxing and enjoyable experience to put your tastebuds in their hands.
|Incredible spring rolls with sweet chilli dipping sauce|
Before we got stuck into the aforementioned curry, we started with pots of fragrant jasmine tea (served with dainty floral teacups) and some incredible spring rolls, wrapped in crunchy lettuce leaves and fresh mint, with sweet chilli sauce for dunking. All the elements come together to create the perfect mouthful, a combination of gorgeous textures and the mix of rich pork, fresh mint and chilli heat. I could have eaten far more than two but I’m glad I restrained myself, because the main course was even better.
I’ll be honest with you, when it comes to chilli I can be a bit wimpy – nothing wrong with a good bit of tingly heat, but once it starts to get properly fiery I’m reaching for a glass of milk. An’s Chicken Curry, a recipe handed down to Noya by her mother, had the perfect level of spice for me (with a sprinkling of jewel-bright red chillies on top to satisfy my dining companion’s more robust tastes), just enough heat to banish the bitterly cold day outside whilst letting the other flavours shine through. The chicken was beautifully tender and juicy, in a creamy, coconutty sauce delightfully soaked up with plenty of sticky rice. I would go back to Noya’s Kitchen tomorrow to have it again.
|An’s Chicken Curry|
I’m dangerously close to overloading on superlatives here, but honestly, it was just that good. Not only that, but it’s extremely affordable – we shared a large bowl of curry, with rice, for £9 – and the menu will be changing all the time so there’ll always be delicious new things to discover. If January’s getting you down, take yourself along to this warm, welcoming space and treat yourself to a bowlful of goodness.