Saturday, 12 September 2015

Tharavadu, Leeds

Last Monday, D and I found ourselves in the centre of town for a work event.  It was one of those ghastly, corporate things that requires an administration of alcohol straight afterwards and so we decided that we might as well make a bit of an evening of it.  This was originally supposed to be another example of a Leeds Cheap Night Out but when my mother very kindly put some money in my bank account as an early wedding anniversary gift we decided to do some pushing of the boat.  And I'm very glad we did so because the meal I had at Tharavadu is one of the finest examples of Indian food that I've had in a long time.

It is, more specifically, a Keralan restaurant, Kerala being a state in South West India situated on the coast - which probably explains the prevalence of seafood dishes on the menu.  The spicing, in general, seemed to be on the milder end of the spectrum and coconut was widely used.  Oh, and everything was utterly delicious.

We started with pre-meal snacks and pickles, which were slightly more varied than the usual poppadoms.  I'm not entirely sure what they all were but they were crunchy and salty and not in the least bit greasy as can be the way of such things.

The white chutney on the right was some sort of coconut dip which was seriously good - think a savoury Bounty bar and you wouldn't be far wrong (although you might be slightly freaked out).

We usually avoid starters in Indian restaurants as they can spoil you for the main event.  However, in this instance we opted to share a portion of chilli paneer.

Beautifully presented, just the right level of warmth from the chilli and lots of crunchy vegetables.  Yum.  Oh, and wouldn't you have thought that after all these years I would have gained at least some food photography skills?  Useless I tell you, useless.  It's a good job I can paint a picture with words...(insert rolling eyes emoticon here).

The main event though, and the dish that had me practically swooning was this:

A whole boned sea bass with a lightly spiced prawn and vegetable filling served with Masala potatoes.  This was good.  This was lick the plate awesomeness.  I couldn't stop eating it.  I was full but I had to keep shovelling it in until it was all gone.  D went for the seafood curry which he also seemed to enjoy and we also ordered some gorgeous little coconutty pancakes called "appam" in lieu of the usual naan bread (purely for research purposes you understand).

All in all, if you like curry and find yourself in Leeds, I can't recommend this place highly enough.  It is right next door to Bundobust which is another little gem of a place that you could check out for a pre-dinner pint of real ale and a nibble.  I'm already keen to go back and have that sea bass again (looks forlornly at picture).  It's places like this that making dieting so very, very hard.

7-8 Mill Hill
0113 244 0500


  1. Looks fantastic, I would have picked the paneer to start too - great choice!

  2. Mmmm there used to be a keralan curry house in old town Hemel Hempstead which did a sea bass to die for. Sadly it changed hands and branding and lost all the things it had going for it. Such is life!

  3. I'm going to try and research Keralan food a bit more so I can have a go at recreating this. It is always sad to lose good local restaurants - we're still in mourning for our favourite York place that closed years ago!!