EAT, DRINK, INDIAN AT TAMATANGA, LEICESTER
With a self-professed tag line of Eat, Drink, Indian, who can resist a visit to Tamatanga, Leicester City Centre’s newest dining experience celebrating the diverse cuisine of the Indian sub-continent!
‘Tamatanga’ is an English Indianism meaning ‘do the needful’ and with that let me take you on my dining wanderings. Tamatanga pride themselves on making fresh food, all from local ingredients, freshly ground spices daily with the added benefit of not using any nasty additives! A winning concept in my opinion!
Located in the Highcross Shopping centre, entered via Shires Lane, Tamatanga (Other Midlands-based branched are in Birmingham and Nottingham) boasts a prime location amongst the ‘eatery mile’ and its façade is complimented with bright outdoor seating options surrounded by a partition of green foliage.
The inscription artwork on the windows and bright orange and green exteriors call you in to investigate beyond and enter a fun technicolour creation of interiors, food and drink.
Bright, bold and not afraid to be seen! That’s how I’m describing the fun and fresh splashes of colour at Tamatanga!
A lovely bar area that hits you as you walk in, grab a stool and sip the night away. Take note of the neon lettering above the bar that reads, ‘take me to the Weekend’ the motto to live by (if only, I hear you scream!). Look to your right and be charmed by the great big hand painted mural of a north Indian gent in a turban!
En route to the restrooms via a very on-trend flower wall, keep your eyes peeled for the other mural of a tiger, before you ogle the fancy wallpaper in the loos!
Multi colour wheels are hung strategically from the ceiling with lampshades in part, which complement the steel heating system. Seating is in the form of large benches and stools, cosy tables with comfy rests, and the occasional uplifting jazzy neon badges, which reads, ‘Nameste’,’These are the good times’ and ‘Live what you love!’
LETS TALK FOOD & DRINK
With an impressive list of beverages including gins, beers and crafts, hair of the dog and many more non-alcoholic versions, we kicked off the evening with a cocktail!
Cocktails are two for the price of one everyday form 12 pm to 7 pm and are an Indian twist on the classics. We went for the very popular, Mango and Chilli Mojito, which combined white rum, sugar, lime and mint; muddled the Cuban way with chilli flakes and mango puree, being topped with mango juice!
It was a hit and worthy of fitting into the streets of Havana! Stay tuned to hear of the other beverages we consumed during dinner.
Once seated and perusing the menu, it was great to see it was split up into sections such as small plates, street food, salad bowls, curry bowls, clay oven and with plenty of non-veg, veggie, vegan and Gluten Free options. I was particularly impressed with the little ‘eating kits’ pockets, which contained our cutlery and napkins!
To start Dr C and I ordered the Gunpowder paneer, accompanied with a mint and coriander chutney, veggie samosas and the lamb tikka. The paneer was nicely coated in the marinade and Dr C reports the lamb was moist, and went well with the mint and coriander chutney. Additional extra sauces can be requested if you fancy things a little hotter!
We washed this down with a Pistacchio Lassi, which was almost like a delicious, smooth but creamy light yoghurt based drink. Lassi’s are a favourite in our household, especially when they’re served in a little milk bottle accompanied by a paper straw!
Mains was a veggie biryani bowl for me, spices and onions combined with slow cooked rice with broccoli, carrots and potatoes served with a side bowl of refreshing raitha. The rice was nicely flavoured and the vegetables were cooked beautifully and not over done.
Dr C had the Tandoori chik-chicken, marinated and roasted in the clay oven with a mint and coriander chutney, a fluffy naan and a small bowl of tarka daal! The tarka daal was an interesting partner to the chicken and Dr C enjoyed the moist chicken with subtle flavours, which could be enhanced by dipped into the vibrant green chutney.
It was time to exchange our lassi and swap with a cocktail recommended to us by our lovely waitress, Andrea! We went with her suggestion of Bananarama (basically because I used to like the group of the same name, back in the day!!), which was a refreshing blend of Malibu, banana syrup, pineapple juice topped with some fresh mint and glacier cherries!
Andrea also convinced us that we couldn’t leave without trying the Tamatanga fries and I’m glad we did. Crispy french fries, topped with chilli flakes, fresh coriander, salt and a secret sprinkling of masala gives a beautiful spicy, almost tangy flavour!
OK, so it was inevitable, we couldn’t leave without having dessert! Just to note portions are on the larger side (by no means is this a criticism) so Dr C and I thought we would share one of our favourites, Rasmalai. If you’re unfamiliar with this, it’s a type of cottage cheese dumplings (seriously they taste way better than this sounds!), soaked and infused in sweet whole milk containing cardomoms. You have to try it to know it brings back childhood memories of Indian sweet treats!
Obviously being of Indian descent, a Masala chai was always going to be the finale accompaniment! Tamatanga’s own chai blend served just how Indian tea should be served, in a small glass cup, almost reminiscent of the railway chai that can be enjoyed in the hill stations of the motherland.
If the review and photography are not testament that I loved it here, then seriously, I don’t know what would! The fact that elements of the dishes reminded me of ‘home’ style cooking is just emotionally phenomenal to a foodie and Dr C and I can vouch that both veggie and non-veggie dishes seemed to be on a par. Additionally I was impressed by the Gluten Free and Vegan selections too.
Family friendly, date friendly, solo friendly, a dish to suit every palate, yep I understand why Tamatanga sports the tagline, Eat, Drink, Indian.
So now’s your turn, get booked in and let me know what you think of LE1’s newest Indian
1 Shires Lane
Leicester. LE1 4AN
Tel. 0116 444 3434
More information on Tamatanga’s Website
Disclaimer: I was invited with a guest as part of the media launch to Tamatanga and therefore our food and drink was complimentary. All views, opinions and photography are my own and remain a copyright of be-lavie.