Looking for the best Asian restaurants in Cardiff? Of course you are. It's not like you decided to read this article in the hopes of finding the worst Asian restaurants - that would just be crazy. No, you came to Wriggle for our discerning palate and to discover the best Asian food the capital has to offer. And oh boy do we have some tremendous Asian offerings here in Cardiff. 

Fun fact: did you know that Cardiff has been twinned with the city of Xiamen, China since 1983? That's the sort of education you get once you become a Wriggler. But look, you're here for some tasty recommendations, not a history lesson, so let's get to it.

Below this lengthy introduction, you'll find nine restaurants that guarantee the following: food that will blow your mind, and cuisine authentic to Asia. No soulless chains here, just great food from establishments we believe in. So dive in and let us know how you get on.

P.S. Cardiff is also twinned with Nantes, France. But we'll save that for our French-themed feature.

The fish at Yakitori #1 is so fresh, you’ll swear it’s still moving. However, Cardiff’s Japanese powerhouse goes far beyond the sea. The sustainable restaurant offers everything from zeitgeist classic Katsu Curry (tofu and tori) to beef fillet with flat rice noodles, and duck ramen. Regardless of your preference, if you head down to the bay, you’d be foolish not to give the avocado and mango temaki rolls a go. We go to bed dreaming of those nori-wrapped creations, and we’re pretty sure you will too once you give them a go. Best sushi in Cardiff? It’s certainly up there.

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You probably guessed it from the descriptive title that the Thai House serves Thai food, but did you know that it was the first ever Thai restaurant in Wales? Established in 1985 by Noi Ramasut and Arlene Thomas, Thai House is all about family-style dining - both in the flavours they produce and in their approach to consumption (think ‘sharing’). While the entire menu is worth checking out, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you in the direction of the Pad Thai, which features the softest, most delicious ribbon noodles you’ll ever taste, stir fried with prawns and ground peanuts. Is it dinner time yet?

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From the outside, the Vegetarian Food Studio - situated on the border between Grangetown and the city centre - is a pretty unassuming place. But once you step inside, it’s an entirely different story. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d gatecrashed someone’s living room given the intimate family setting they’ve created. When we’re not chowing down on the Channa Bhatura, which is somehow described as a ’smaller plate’, we always head straight to the Northern India section of their menu for the Dum Aloo Banarasi and Desi Channa. If you’re looking for five-star vegetarian food at reasonable prices, then the Vegetarian Food Studio is the place to go.

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Moksh is an award-winning Indian restaurant (did someone say, ‘AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence?’), and a veritable Cardiff Bay institution - offering up authentic spices and dishes that warm the soul. As far as we’re concerned, the best Indian food should be fresh, colourful and transform you to the lands from which they came from - something Chef Stephen Gomes, along with his incredible team, pull off with aplomb. But don’t take our word for it, head down to the bay and give the extravagant tasting menu a go, or if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, how about the Royal Lamb Warq?

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We’d rather not go into that one time we needed a dose of milk to get over the intense heat of the Gang Kio Warn Kai at Bangkok Cafe in Canton. Instead, let’s discuss the Kwidieow Khi Maw Bet, which is lovingly referred to as ‘Drunken Noodles’ on the restaurant’s menu. It features ribbon noodles (a staple here at Wriggle) pan fried with duck, chillies, fresh peppercorns and holy basil. Separately, all of those things are great, but when combined… just wow. Thailand has never felt so close.

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No list of the best Asian restaurants in Cardiff would be complete without the multi-award winning Purple Poppadom, located in Canton on Cowbridge Road East. Mixing old and new, Anand George’s Michelin Guide and Good Food Guide-listed Indian restaurant is unlike anything else we’ve tried in Cardiff. While the à la carte menu features gems such as the Seabass Polichathu and the Tiger Prawns Alleppey, the 6-course Summer Gin Festival Taster Menu is the perfect way to sample a wide array of flavours, while also getting a bit tipsy. Once you’ve finished devouring your meal and downed your gin, we recommend checking out George’s 2016 book, The 5000-Mile Journey, which reveals the inspirations behind his food, as well as documenting his journey from Kerala to Cardiff.

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Established the year Forrest Gump won Best Picture at the Oscars (1999, if you’re playing along), Tenkaichi Sushi and Noodle Bar on City Road is all about health-conscious Japanese food, served in an authentic setting that you’d expect to see in the Togoshi Ginza district of Tokyo rather than Cardiff’s bustling thoroughfare. When we’re not diving face first into the Cha Siew Ramen, you can find us buried in the chef’s mixed nigiri sushi with a belly full of cold sake. Why not join us?

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The Crispy Duck is a Pan-Asian restaurant, which sort of makes it the ideal candidate for this list. Combining flavours from the likes of Japan, Malaysia, China, and Thailand, this Heath-based restaurant is the perfect choice if you’re looking for an all-encompassing Asian experience. If their famous Aromatic Crispy Duck doesn’t do it for you, then what about the Stir Fried Soba (thin buckwheat noodles)? Or how about the Soft Shell Crab Karaage with the Ponzu Sauce that we’d buy by the bucket-load if we could? Can’t decide? Have it all! That’s what we usually do.

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Founded in 2009 by the legendary Mr Zaman, Mowgli’s is an award-winning - seriously, the number of awards they’ve garnered warrants its own feature - Indian restaurant found on Crwys Road. While the delightful Shagor Jhinga (king prawns marinated and barbequed in their shells) is considered the feather in their culinary cap, the Beef Xacutti - featuring dazzling colours and spices that pop in every corner of your mouth - is our personal favourite. It’s also the only restaurant in Cardiff- Asian or otherwise - that takes its name from a character featured in the Jungle Book.

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As well as being the number one destination in Cardiff for kimchi, this Cowbridge Rd establishment, also titled 'Kimchi' (it's starting to make sense now, right?), happens to sell the most exquisite dumplings you'll ever taste. And much like Thai House, this Korean restaurant is all about family-style dining. I suppose you could say that about most Asian food really, but it feels especially true here. So grab a few of your friends and head down to Kimchi right now - just make sure you save some dumplings for us.

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Published -22nd August 2018