Looks like Leicester is set to have an Indian summer and we don't mean the weather! We're talking about the Indian food invasion that's hitting our shores and coming faster than your freshly baked chapati.
Three new Indian restaurants, one city. Leicester – can you handle the heat?
We’ve just seen the arrival of Tamtanga – the third ambitious opening of this little chain of restaurants following Nottingham and Birmingham. Their mantra is ‘Eat. Drink. Indian’ and it really sums things up. Bright, vibrant, quirky and that’s just the decor. Think Wagamamas but Indian – freshly prepared dishes that reach the table before you know it.
The menu here include small plates, curry, biryani and salad bowls, Indian wraps (kathi rolls) and they’re really making a big song and dance about their vegan and gluten-free menus too. Read the review here.
On Aug 12 sees the opening of Indian street food chain, Mowgli founded by Nisha Katona in St Martin’s Square. Rewind a few years ago and the British chef, food writer and TV presenter decided to open up a restaurant that served tasty and traditional street food with a contemporary spin. Food served here will be as far as you can get from the ones you’ll find on the Golden Mile – think treacle tamarind fries, Mowgli chip butty, the holy chow – vegan showstopper, Mowgli sticky wings as well as freshly made puri (soft, fried, flat breads), traditional rotis and rice just like you’d have in an Indian home.
The cherry on top for me though, is Tandem. Exclusive to Leicester, this brand new indie restaurant sees award-winning chef Cyrus Todiwala at the helm.
Often seen on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and having run Café Spice Namasté in London for more than 22 years with his wife, Pervin, Cyrus trained at the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces chain, India so you know he’s not messing when it comes to delivering great tasting Indian food.
Known for his creative flavours (I’ll never forget his beetroot samosas), he’ll no doubt be combining his flair with traditional flavours and putting amazing British produce at the forefront.
Where as Mowgli and Tamatanga already have cemented their popularity in other UK cities, this will be Todiwala’s first foray outside of London. Being plugged as a restaurant and cocktail bar, Tandem will focus on both Portuguese and Goan influence and will also include an exclusive chef’s table and a stunning rooftop terrace. With Birmingham and Nottingham quickly becoming ‘proper’ food cities because of its fantastic gastronomic scene, it’s about time Leicester followed suit – hopefully Tandem will set the wheels in motion. Watch this space.