CARLISLE'S MK Spice is a must-try for anyone who is looking for an introduction to quality, home-cooked South Asian food. 

That is of course only my opinion but it is backed up by my experience of meeting the man behind the counter and sampling the delicious food on offer.

MK Spice is an Indian, African, and Continental grocery and food store that aims to cater for all of Carlisle's different communities. 

The shop on the intersection of Brook Street and Bowman Street is owned by Bijoy Rodriguez and his father who took over the shop in August 2020. 

News and Star: I had the pleasure of speaking to Bijoy at the end of February and after learning all about him and his business he very kindly invited me to come down to his shop to try some of the home-cooked food they also sell. 

Upon arrival on Wednesday, February 28, and after a quick catch-up Bijoy presented me with a bag containing vegetable samosas, pastry parcels that contained a boiled egg, a chicken and onion roll, and MK Spice's popular chicken dum biriyani. 

After just about containing my excitement I tucked in and I was not disappointed in the slightest. 

The roll, which was made out of crispy and flaky pastry, contained a pile of delicious curried chicken and onions.

News and Star: The boiled egg pastry parcel was next and I must admit that I was not sure what to expect with this one but as a scotch egg enjoyer I approached it with optimism and I am glad I did because the crispy pastry wrapped itself around a spice-stained egg which went down a treat. 

The vegetable samosa was up next. The pastry used for this looked more robust than the previous morsels but held up just as well with its crisp factor and inside a lovely medley of peas and potatoes.

Finally, I tucked into the Chicken Dum Biriyani which is available for £5 on Sundays. Inside the plastic tub I found a mountain of aromatic rice, crispy onions, and a generous portion of chicken which had had a warming spice to it.

News and Star: Before I started stuffing my face Bijoy had explained to me that this portion size was not the work of a heavy-handed spoon wielder but was intentional to ensure that anyone who purchases a portion gets their money's worth. 

Overall, I was very impressed with MK Spice. The food was amazing coupled with the enthusiasm of Bijoy to supply Carlisle with flavours from all over the world.