November 15, 2012

I’ve no idea what went on with Endimaj. Due to open around a year ago, the Indian-Italian-Arabic fusion theme set off all sorts of alarm bells, but the restaurant seemed to be well-backed and its location in the late, generallly lamented, site of Watson’s restaurant by the Phoenix Arts Building on Upper Brown St made it an intriguing prospect. But it never actually opened.

Now it seems there are signs of life.  The name is now Q’minn – though the website remains www.endimaj.co.uk and the triple themed menu is there too. It is currently just open for light lunchs and hence you can get yourself samosa or chicken tikka, bruschetta or baked pasta, and baba ghanouj  or pomegranate chicken wings. Or you can try fusion with panninis such as chicken tikka and hummous or paneer and pesto.

Apparantly they will be open for breakfast and evening meals soon.


The Leicestershire Cook-off

October 4, 2011

Just spent an entertaining lunchtime watching the Leicestershire Cook-Off, a project prompted by Leicester City Centre management body Le-One and designed to come up with a signature dish for the county.  Winning submissions in four categories were invited to a cook off at St Martin’s House where a voting system that combined public acclaim with the views of five judges saw Clarendon Park baker Rosie Clark win with her selection of three Leicestershire loaves. As well as winning a range of kitchen goodies, Rosie gets her bread put on the menu at the restaurant at John Lewis Leicester – which must feel like a bit of a result.

Turns out Rosie is a real bread evangelist for Virtuous Bread, a network that is trying to kickstart small scale baking businesses in communities.   As she lives nearby hopefully we’ll fix up something more from her in this blog but for now here’s one of her winning loaves,  billed as Leicestershire Stilton Irish Soda Bread. It looks simple and if you can get it as good as the sample I tried, is well worth trying.

275g Claybrooke strong white stoneground flour

250g buttermilk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp sugar

50g crumbled Stilton cheese.

Mix ingredients in a bowl, kneading to ensure ingredients are well incorporated. With wet hands scoop into a ball  and place on a greased baking tray. Make a cut in a cross shape that is about one third through the bread. Bake at 200 degrees for about 20-25 mins.

Rosie Clark with fellow finalists and chef James Tanner (centre), chair of the judges

Other finalists included a delicious venison curry from Amadeep Singh Amand, inspired he says by a visit to Bradgate Park. This was served to the public as a canape though the published recipe involves a red wine sauce and a Red Leicester-stuffed naan. Amadeep is chef at the soon to open Arabic-Indian-Italian fusion restaurant Endimaj – must say I’m more inclined now to give it a try.  Catering student Coaralie Featherstone had won the aged 16-18 category with a dish of stuffed pork tenderloin with flavours of apple, mustard and honey, while the fourth finalist was Maurice Flynn with a delicately spiced apple and mulberry crumble cake.


Just what we needed?

May 10, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about a big gap being filled with the arrival of a specialist tea and coffee merchant.  Now comes news of the other yawning chasm in Leicester’s culinary scene. Until now we’ve never had a decent Indian/Arabic/Italian fusion restaurant, but Endimaj is about to put that right.

I can’t tell you much more  – the website is still under construction and it’s not actually open just yet – but it is based in the premises of the late, lamented Watson’s in Upper Brown Street, opposite the late, even-more lamented by some, Phoenix Arts.  There’s a little internal square within the old building and that I understand will become a shisha area.  It’s great someone’s using that space again  – unfortunate that it sounds like a gimmick.  But let’s approach it with an open mind  eh?

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