With just over a year under its belt, Asian/Indian restaurant Spicy Affair has quickly gained a reputation for being perhaps the finest of Riga’s Asian restaurants, and rightfully so. The restaurant’s Indian chef puts his cooking skills to great use in preparing some of the best tasting Indian food available in Riga. The Vindaloo is pure spicy bliss, the Madras puts a smile in your belly and the Gyoza starter hints of great things to come.
Spicy Affair is still experimenting, trying to create its own niche, and is not afraid to experiment with the menu and the presentation. Even though I admire that, I can’t help but think that it should settle for good basics rather than venturing too far out into unknown territory. Lately (summer of 2013) the restaurant seems to have its aim set for creating an Asian/European kitchen fusion. This means that some of the more traditional dishes (such as the fantastic Chinese chili chicken) are sadly not on the menu anymore, and have been replaced by albeit innovative, but less interesting dishes for a purist such as myself. Especially since Riga is not flooded with traditional Asian/Indian restaurants, I’d wish that Spicy Affair would focus on the food that I love the most, namely more traditional dishes, but brilliantly executed (which the chef has proven over and over again that he’s capable of). Besides, I have never tried a fusion kitchen that has not been less good than the two separate kitchens.
However, the fact remains that this is the place to go if you’re primarily looking for great Indian food. It’s a fairly pricey place, but you really get your money’s worth. Servings are generous, the staff is very friendly and speaks good English, the restaurant is beautifully situated in Quiet Center and offers a large indoor serving space as well as a spacious sidewalk terrace in the summer. Live long and prosper, Spicy Affair.
UPDATE: Spicy Affair didn't live long nor prosper. Since the writing of this text, Spicy Affair has sadly closed. I chose to publish this text anyway. Think of it as an obituary over one of Riga's best restaurants.