I love meat.
I really do.
Roasted, fried, baked, poached, grilled and especially barbecued.
It all works for me and all you have to do is follow me on Twitter or take a look back through some recent posts on here to realise that meat is my food master, for sure.
So when someone mentions to me ‘vegetarian restaurant’, I go cold. I start to worry. I think I’m going to miss my beloved flesh. Earlier this year we ate at the fantastic Terre A Terre in Brighton which was the first really, really good vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been to and that was thanks to the persistence of my long-suffering vegetarian sister Gill and do you know what? It was the first non meat meal where I didn’t miss the meat.
Prashad is a vegetarian Indian restaurant that has been successfully ploughing a high quality food furrow in Bradford for years and rocketed to fame as runners-up in Ramsay’s Best restaurant TV show in 2010. Recently opening a spacious new restaurant on the Leeds/Bradford border, this smart move will open their pretty unique style of cooking to a much wider catchment area.
A large party of us booked on their opening night last week, which in hindsight was probably not the wisest move in the world – there were a few glitches with timings and service yet to be resolved – but we had a really enjoyable evening.
And I didn’t miss the meat.
I’m not a huge connoisseur of Indian food but it seems like Prashad serves a kind of Indian continent fusion food. having visited India earlier this year, it really came home to me that india is a bit like Europe with the cultural diversity of many countries and cuisines to match. the food on offer ranges from hot and cold street food (Special Chaat is the very addictive signature dish of which Ramsay was particularly fond and ) to more traditional curries. We ordered a mixed starter plate for two that contained all the starter options – the textures and flavours were superb. It was a plate of food working its socks off I can tell you. the rest of the plates we all shared were all of the highest standard with punchy, shiny flavours at every turn.
Special mention has to go to the Chinese/Indian crossover Chilli Paneer, the Masala Dosa and the seasonal vegetable Handi – all served with a delicately light coriander rice and satisfyingly stodgy garlic naan.
The service is cheerful and made us all smile. It was opening night and it was a little laboured with new staff and systems clearly being bedded in. But Prashad is the kind of place that you readily forgive this because the food easily outweighs any negatives. You get the sense that the issues will be quickly resolved – the family clearly know how to run restaurants.
I predict Prashad will become as popular with the people of Leeds and move from its status of Bradford’s best kept secret to the go-to restaurant for non meat eaters and meat eaters alike. On top of all that, it’s only 5 minutes by car from where we live so very convenient for us!
Note: The pictures used in this post come from the Prashad cookbook, from which other Globetroffers have cooked extensively – and they swear by it. My shots from the night look a little haphazard, it could have been the wine…