Maiyango Kitchen Deli

September 6, 2011

By and large, Leicester city centre has struggled to support a really good deli.   Stones in St Martin’s prospered for a while, there’s the market and a couple of Polish enterprises and the revamped Rutland and Derby is an innovative response, but mostly delis survive out in the suburbs and in farmshops. So it’s great to see Maiyango extend their succesful brand with the launch of a Kitchen Deli on 1 October.

Located on Highcross Street round the corner from their restaurant and below their hotel, it promises fresh bread baked with locally produced flour, pastries, petit fours, pasta,  chutneys, pickles, cordials, spice blends and sauces. Much of it will be made in their own kitchens, using local produce and they will be running a veg exchange scheme to encourage local small-scale growers to swap their produce for Maiyango goodies. It will also offer the chance to eat in and to have stuff delivered locally by bike.

I’ve admired owner Aatin Anadkat’s commitment to Leicester and enjoyed Maiyango’s food both at the restaurant and at catered events and am confident this will be a real boon to the city.

Another quick note – the lovely Belgrave Hall Good Food Fair takes place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September. Lots of local suppliers of good food in a charming setting from 11am to 4pm. I’ll be there Sunday.

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More on Market Corner

May 17, 2011

Well the Market Corner launch all seemed to go off with bags of good will.  The presence of the new mayor at his first public function helped and there seemed to be a feel good factor all round.

Look, I know you probably want pictures of creamy cakes or spicy curries but what you've got is Cllr Westley, Mayor Soulsby and Cllr Alfonso and you'll just have to live with it for now.

There was particular satisfaction from Cllr Paul Westley, who’s family has been on the market for over 100 years, and who had had to really battle against some who wanted to resist the change. Chatting with Westley and newly-elected Councillor Dawn Alfonso, a leading figure with the Market Trader’s Federation, there was a clear sense both of their passion for the 2,000 year old market and their relief at reaching this key stage in the regeneration of the area and of a refocussing of the market towards quality. They know, as is obvious, the process doesn’t stop here but must involve other areas of the market along too. There will be different solutions for different aspects  but the market will have to shed any lingering reputation for knocking out cheap poor quality, end of life goods and the meat, game and fish market  must somewhow be revived and reintegrated.

As for Market Corner itself,  there was a buzz on opening day and if the area can be kept clean and tidy I think trade will continue to find its way there. It’s great that businesses like Bobby’s, Pick’s Farm, Woodhouse Farm and Deliflavour now have a regular city centre presence – their coffee is defintely worth a try. There were also  few new people to me  – the cakes at Dessert Island were lovely, and I was even won over by the cupcakes at Viva la Cupcake .  Food stalls will be there Fridays and Saturdays.

The launch comes handily before the latest Summer Food festival  – always an enjoyable event – which takes place on Sunday 29 May and will feature live presentations from people such as Bobby’s, Entropy and the Rutland and Derby deli-pub.

Sadly I’ll be off enjoying choucroute in Alsace, but I do hope to be around for the small  but equally enjoyable  Belgrave Hall Food Fair  which takes place 17 and 18 September  – put in your diaries.

Diary dates

August 23, 2010

In the absence of  restaurant stuff – I’ve not been able to get out much recently – let me remind readers of a couple of upcoming events. Belgrave  Hall Good Food Fair is a lovely little event taking place this year on 18 and 19 September from 11am to 4pm.  It’s a farmer’s market type gethering  in the beautiful gardens of this 18th century gem – a quiet little haven right next to the busy Loughboorugh Road in Leicester.  As well as retail opportunities there’s usually a couple of entertaining little displays put on and it’s well worth a couple of hours visit. Entrance £1/kids free. 

Much bigger in scale is the East Midlands Food Festival, 2-3 October at Brooksby Hall, near Melton Mowbray.   For those who’ve never been, this is the region’s biggest such event attracting  several thousand visitors and hundreds of exhibitors.  I generally come back with sackfulls of chutney because that’s my particular weakness, but those with a penchant for cheeses, rare breed and exotic meats, breads, beers,  kitchen equipment and whatever are well catered for. Must admit I give the kitchen demonstrations a miss but if you have a thing about  c-list TV chefs then that could be the clincher. Entrance this year  has been reduced to £5 when you pre-book.  

The two events bookend Leicestershire  Food Fortnight, which also sees a fair few local producers putting on tasting events or demostrations and tours, while some restaurants are putting on gourmet evenings. For a brochure of events visit   Go Leicestershire .

One final piece of news  – a third branch of Kayal is set to open today in Leamington Spa, bringing its enticing Keralan menu and high standards of service to a new audience in the West Midlands. Good luck to Jaimon Thomas and his team.

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