Our Spicy Lunch Date at Leeds’ New Indian Restaurant

Indian restaurant chain Tamatanga opened its fourth venue at The Light in Leeds last month. Known for its colourful interiors and wholesome home-style Indian food, the much anticipated new opening served a delicious array of spicy treats and refreshing cocktails to local influencers at an exclusive launch party. Having been unable to attend the event, I headed over last week instead to sample the delights with my husband.

Mr Wilson-Barrett was delighted when I told him we’d be visiting tamatanga and spent a good while perusing the menu and drooling at the thought of a creamy Korma-style curry.

When we arrived at tamatanga, the ambience certainly lived up to expectations. The vibrant and funky interior with its rainbow of mood-boosting colours and floral accents are positively uplifting and the tantalising aromas which fill the air are most certainly hunger-inducing!

With tamatanga being an Indian restaurant, I was fully aware that my tomato intolerance would limit my options quite significantly. It really is one of the most frustrating food intolerances and I often find myself apologising profusely whenever I inform a restaurant about my body’s refusal to process one of the most commonly used ingredients.

The homestyle curries were definitely a no-go so I knew I’d be unable to sample tamatanga’s signature thalis which have been the subject of numerous glowing reviews. However, I remained hopeful that there would at least be a couple of dishes for me to choose from.

My husband took little time to decide what he was going to eat and ordered Nee-ma’s Chicken Curry with rice (£15.25) and a small plate of Lamb Samosas (£5.75). Not entirely sure what my options would be, our waitress consulted with the kitchen to see what I could safely consume and returned with a single choice – the Paneer Wrap.

I was pleased that my annoying intolerance had been taken seriously and that there was in fact, something on the menu I could order without causing too much inconvenience. However, whilst deliberating over tamatanga’s excellent array of creative cocktails, our waitress returned to our table again to inform us that the kitchen could amend another two dishes on the menu should I so wish – the First Class Lamb Chops (£14.95) and the Boti Chicken (£6.25) small plate. Both sounded delightful! I opted for those rather than the wrap.

We also ordered Poppadums with Chutneys to nibble on alongside our chosen drinks – Peachy Blinder (a fruity yet aromatic tequila-based number) for me and a Vanilla Velvet (a decadent vodka-based cocktail with guava, mango and vanilla) for Mr Wilson-Barrett.

We’d barely made a dent in the bowl of poppadums when our main courses arrived, piping hot and as vibrant as the restaurant’s interiors! Mr Wilson-Barrett’s korma-style curry was vastly different to the sugar-laden versions he usually orders as an occasional treat from local takeaways. Luxuriously creamy and packed with chunks of chicken, he enjoyed every mouthful and was soon left with an empty plate and a sudden, overwhelming craving for a lamb chop…

Fortunately, the potion of lamb chops I’d been presented with was astonishingly generous. I have ordered lamb chops at Indian restaurants on multiple occasions but never have I received a platter such as this. Marinaded overnight with ginger, garlic and cloves then cooked in a clay oven, these magnificent pieces of were a joy to eat. The flavoursome coating delivered the optimum amount of heat which complemented rather than overpowered the juicy lamb.

Usually the lamb chops are accompanied by fries coated in a selection of spices but my tomato intolerance meant mine came with plain fries instead. This didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever as the meat was already so full of flavour.

My Boti Chicken pieces weren’t too dissimilar in flavour to the lamb, albeit packing a slightly spicier punch. When dipped in the accompanying mint sauce, each succulent chunk of chicken was an absolute joy to eat.

Having consumed vast quantities of protein, neither myself nor my husband had room for dessert so ordered more cocktails instead. After all that spice, the tropical flavours of tamatanga’s exquisite cocktails seemed like the perfect way to finish our delicious experience at Leeds’ new Indian restaurant.

If you’re looking for an Indian restaurant in Leeds city centre offering excellent service, authentic flavours and a vibrant atmosphere, I highly recommend booking a table at tamatanga! I won’t hesitate to return having had such an enjoyable meal despite my inconvenient food intolerance.

This review was published following an invitation to dine at tamatanga. An invitation does not guarantee a published review on our website and the restaurants we visit have no editorial control over our content.

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