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tapas treats for chutney ivy, leicester.

Award winning Leicester based restaurant Chutney Ivy has never been afraid to try new things. With traditional Bangladeshi style recipes and cooking methods at the heart of the dishes, the modern menu is always featuring seasonal flavours to inspire their guests. Most recently, Chutney Ivy plan to take on the tapas trend for their newest additions. Embracing the idea of small plates to share (yes, share), the restaurant will showcase their best Indian savouries, just that little bit smaller. 

After a warm welcome, refreshing mango daiquiris and their signature cardamom martinis, we scanned through their current menu to make that tricky decision on starters and mains. With praises sung for their king prawns, I had to opt for the Jinga Taweli Tak-e-Tak (£17.95). Cook on the Tawa in with fresh herbs, onions and green peppers, it was set to be a medium tomato based curry with allegedly the largest prawns in Leicester.

Before giving the seasonal Al La Carte a spin, we were treated to some of the tapas creations. As a very new concept, the team are still putting the exciting new menu together. On this occasion, we were to sample paneer and sun dried tomato bites, spiced lamb, fish pakora and Indian potato cakes. 

My particular favourite was the paneer, which went well with the Mediterranean counterpart. The slightly salty and bouncy Indian cheese harmonised with the sweetness of the tomato and fragrant coriander garnish. Indian meets Italian, nailed. Now I realise that tapas is traditionally Spanish but these rules were broken too; Indian spices, naan bread bases and almost Moroccan spiced lamb were both creative and outside the box.

Like I mentioned, the main event came from the usual menu. Although there are the expected seasonal offerings and specials, there are a few dishes that are there to stay. Think popular Chicken Quorma, Tandoori Lamb Chops and indeed these beautiful king prawns. Rightly so, they were thoroughly enjoyed. As was the sauce, which was mopped up with a fresh garlic and coriander naan. Other dishes on the table included Gholmoris Methi Muragh (£10.95) and Salmon Tikka Massala (£16.95), which I'd enjoyed as a starter.

The mouthwatering Scottish salmon had been lightly infused in roasted spices and dill. Being first seared in the Tandoor and then gently simmered in creamed coconut, mustard and curry leaves made for a charred exterior and deliciously flaky fillet. I think the salad could have been more adventurous, with perhaps Asian vegetables or fresh herbs, but it didn't take away from the tasty fish.

To finish, it was tricky not to be tempted by the desserts. Cue creamy Pistachio Kulfi and a sugar soaked portion of Gulab Jamun. Pistachio ice cream is by far my favourite, but I love a true Indian kulfi with hints of cardamom and the distinctive flavour and textures of condensed milk. 

Overall a lovely evening amongst some like minded Leicestershire foodies. I dined alongside a few crisp glasses of Chilean Carta Magna Clásico Sauvignon Blanc (175ml 4.50 / 250ml £5.50 / Bottle £15.50), which was well paired with the Indian spices. A reasonable pricetag, too.

I can't wait to delve into the full tapas menu; perfect for speedy pre-theatre dining or to enjoy alongside their signature cocktails. If you haven't been to Chutney Ivy yet, it really is a must try.

41 Halford St, 

I dined as a guest of Chutney Ivy. All photographs and opinions my own, I was not expected to write a positive review or otherwise.


  1. Oh, my. We don't get up that way very often but will certainly keep this restaurant in mind if we do. Desserts frequently disappoint me when eating out but those you have reviewed here look delicious. It's a well written and well photographed review, too. Thanks.