My great aunt in Bradford is an amazing individual, and I always look forward to visiting her. Fortunately for us she also happened to live close to Prashad restaurant; and no visit to the West Yorkshire town was complete without consuming a feast of Gujarati snacks such as Khaman Dhokla and Chevdo.
Prashad rose to notoriety in 2010 by coming second in Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. This is the first time I’ve visited the restaurant after it was relocated. As you’ll expect, the premises are now much, much bigger and the level of décor has also improved markedly.
Before leaving for Prashad I was quite apprehensive. I vividly remembered that my last visit to a pure vegetarian eatery resulted in a quick visit to a famous burger joint on the way home!! Also, if you follow my instagram stream you’ll notice that although I’m Gujarati by birth I consume loads of meat. I blame it on my maternal genes. Thanks Mum!!
Our group were seated upstairs after a short wait in reception. Before we ordered we were given a complimentary amuse-bouche; a piping hot potato and coriander cutlet served with a sweet and spicy tamarind sauce. The amuse-bouche was well seasoned with a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It set the tone for a good evening.
We ordered the tasting platter which had a selection of 7 starters; Prashad’s award-winning Kopra pethis, a paneer and pea samosa, Hara bara kebab (spinach kebab), Khanda bhajia, Khuli kachori, Potato vada and a Stuffed pepper bhajia. The starters were served on a bed on pickled red cabbage and accompanied by a cooling coriander chutney.
With vegetarian food there is no hiding behind a big piece of steak or a well marinated chicken breast. The tasting platter was made fresh to order and you could perceive the quality of the fresh ingredients. The undoubted star of the tasting platter was the award-winning Kopra Pethis; a ‘spice infused fresh coconut pâté within a potato casing’; which was an absolute delight. It’s flavours took me back to the street traders in Navsari, Gujarat.
We also ordered the Special chaat and the Dahi Puri. Both are pure Bombay street food dishes with a balance of textures and flavours. Sweet and spicy crispy puris and soft potato, drizzled with fiery chilli, a cool, subtly sweet yoghurt and a tart tamarind chutney. The dahi puri and special chat are very similar in taste and texture, with the main difference being the Dahi Puri has mini crispy puris which are easily shared.
For the mains we ordered Masala Dosa, which is a lentil & rice flour crepe with a spiced potato and onion curry served with daal and coconut chutney. This dish looked very similar to the Dosa found in East Ham’s South Indian eateries, but thankfully the comparisons stopped there. The dosa was light and crisp, the potato filling was smooth, silky and delicately spiced, and the daal was flavoursome, with a chilli kick. Finally the coconut chutney was creamy and indulgent, most unlike the ‘knock your socks off’ chutney found in East Ham.
Our final dish was the South Indian themed Idly. The dish had a steamed rice cake which also comes with daal and coconut chutney. The idly were soft and luxurious, perfectly complimented by the daal and coconut chutney.
No visit to an Indian restaurant is complete without a jug of mango lassi. Like the meal, it was perfectly balanced; not too thin or sweet. The yoghurt lassi we ordered was not sweet enough for our tastes; the waiter kindly had another sweeter lassi made free of charge!!
In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised by my latest vegetarian dining experience. We were so full we had to decline the desserts on offer…….Though I’ll admit I had to have a meat filled BBQ the following day to ensure my maternal genes were satisfied……