Leicester’s Chutney Ivy is in a good place

March 10, 2016

ci 4I’ve always enjoyed visits to Chutney Ivy and was pleased to accept a recent invitation to a press night where we had the chance to sample a selection of dishes from the menu chosen by co-owner Shafs Islam

Opening Chutney Ivy in 2010 was a brave move for Shafs.  The recession was threatening the success of the Leicester’s Cultural Quarter and it risked being stuck in a backwater. Things might have improved somewhat but even today some 600 Indian restaurants have closed in the last 18 months. Nonetheless this upmarket venue has increasingly seemed the right restaurant in the right place.

Shafs has a lifetime in restaurants starting from the Shireen on London Road, an old school tandoori in the 80s, and also taking in Shimla Pinks – one of the new breed of Indian restaurants a decade or so later that so took a more modern  approach.  Along with co-owner Simon Postlethwaite he wanted to take  Chutney Ivy a step further and open a smart, stylish restaurant that just happened to serve Indian food.

I think it took a while to find its feet after opening in 2010 but now seems to be performing well – combining a smart a la carte menu woth a popular pre-theatre offering (if you haven’t realised, it’s virtually opposite Curve). It also  has a lovely downstairs bar which is popular for meetings, parties and weddings.  Great Food magazine declared it the best Inidian restaurant in the city,  it’s gained a Michelin listing, and to Shafs’ immense pride was shortlisted in the National Curry Awards last November.

They celebrated that success with this  press evening in conjunction with FU media and from tender chicken kebabs to a stunning lamb shank nihari (below)  and  some ginormous prawns (above),  the food was of high quality and deeply satisfying.  Another standout was the duck samosa – a dish which Shafs himself helped developed after thinking how he could translate a Chinese dish of crispy duck pancakes into an Indian format.

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Chutney Ivy is not the cheapest restaurant in town but you can definitely see where your money is going here. Great ingredients and some flair and imagination in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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