Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Aarti - Roundhay, Leeds

Once upon a time Aarti used to be a restaurant in the old police station of Chapel Allerton but last year they closed and then a moth later moved to Roundhay. Admittedly I never visited their previous restaurant but it appears that many have, and they had quite a following. A short conversation with a lovely woman in the Roundhay restaurant we found her disappointment that the delay and move had unfortunately lost them some loyal customers who were not aware of their new premises. I myself only found out recently that there was an Indian restaurant on Street Lane and I've lived here a year now. In fact when I first noticed it I thought it was just a takeaway and it was only after going to collect my takeaway last weekend that I found out there was a tiny restaurant inside! 

Aarti has a relatively small menu featuring Punjabi and South Indian food, this appealed to me as too many Indian restaurants/takeawats serve too wide a choice, it makes it impossible to choose and you're left wondering how they can keep up the quality for over 40 dishes. They also sell dosas, chat and a large range of vegetarian options. This is not your standard Indian restaurant/takeaway. 

On a wild wet and windy Friday evening we decided to stay in and collect an Indian takeaway. Having found out that our previous favourite Saffron has a barely there hygiene rating we decided to try somewhere different. 

We perused the menu online before giving them a call, the woman on the phone apologised that they were busy that night and it would be around 35 minutes before we could collect our food. 

We ordered one portion of Bhel Chat, something I have never seen on a takeaway menu before and first came across in Bundobust. It's is a mixture of puffed rice, onions, tomato and coriander served with a spiced paste and a tangy and spicy sauce. (£4.50). The portion was much larger than I was expecting, probably because the portions in Bundobust are much smaller for a similar price, filled up on curry from the rest of the meal we even managed to save some for the next day. Definitely on par with Bundobust too. 

With this being a new place for us to try I ordered my staple curry chicken Karahi, it helps me compare against other places and once satisfied they can make this well I move on to other dishes.

A relatively dry curry it was packed full of flavour, and at my request it came medium spiced. Not too hot not too mild, it left a warm after feeling dancing around my tongue and inner cheeks. (£7.95) Not the best Karahi I've had (you'll find that in a takeaway in Saltaire) but it's close. 

D opted for the chicken Hariyali, a curry I've never heard of before, it comes with spices, mint, coriander herbs and ginger. Curry is definitely a hard dish to make look pretty... although D's presentation doesn't help either. (£7.95)

I assure you it is was nicer than it looks. Ordered medium like my own I found it to be slightly spicier in taste, but in terms of flavour I preferred my own.

We ordered some pilau rice to share. Apparently this isn't as a good as D recalled from when they were located in Chapel Allerton. (£2.50), I'm not sure what kind of rice he was ordering for him to rave on about it for half an hour. We also ordered a naan to mop up the sauce (£1.75) which came in a handy foil lined bag that for once didn't make the naan soggy and it maintained it's crispiness.

Our takeaway came complete with soggy salad this time served in a foil container.

We received a 10% discount for being local, or perhaps just collecting I'm not sure. The total price came to just over £20. You could probably find cheaper elsewhere but you'd be sacrificing on quality. The prices are the same to eat in as they are to takeaway if you don't get he mysterious 10% discount. Although you might feel as if you are sat eating in someone's flat rather than a restaurant I think that price is fairly reasonable. We also had a bit leftover for Sunday night supper.

I'm looking forward to trying more of their dishes, their considerably sized vegetarian options intrigue me. I'm a stickler for Dal (their spelling) but at £6.50 I fell shy of ordering it last time. They also offer a range of paneer dishes which my house-mate has fallen in love with (this comes from the girl who invented poppadom pizzas so I hold judgement until I try it myself). I'm also keen to try out their dosas and see how they compare to those in Tharavadu (review pending).

90 Street Lane
LS8 2AL 

Aarti on Urbanspoon

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