−−−−− BY LINZI DAVIES −−−−−
The highly popular Sheesh Mahal on Kirkstall Road is now back in business following the Boxing Day floods of 2015 and the food is as superb as ever!
Customers are flocking back after waiting 15 months for their favourite restaurant to reopen, and members of the Yorkshire Reporter team were amongst those who couldn’t wait to visit.
Owner Azram Chaudhry was overjoyed to once again welcome customers to his beloved restaurant. On the opening night, he said “It has taken a long time and lots of hard work to be able to open again, I have shed many tears of sadness over the last year or so, and at times it has been physically exhausting. Tonight though, my tears are of joy to welcome back my customers – many are like family to me.”
One such customer is Jeannine Sudworth who along with family members and friends Eric and Joan Preston have been going to the Sheesh Mahal for 27 years. She told me “We have been very regular customers for many years, so much so that Azram is like part of our family. Eric was in hospital when the floods came on Boxing Day, and Azram was planning to visit him and take him a meal, unfortunately devastation struck and we were very saddened when we heard about how much damage had been done. We have kept in touch during the closure and we have really missed the place. It is lovely that they are open again and to see all the same staff back offering the fantastic service and food we have enjoyed for years. We will be back as often as possible!”
The Yorkshire Reporter team are also thrilled they are back in business and couldn’t wait to go to enjoy the delights on offer. Three members of our team attended on a busy mid-week evening where tables were filling all evening with families, couples and groups of friends. The atmosphere was buzzing! Azram, as always, was welcoming and the front of house staff quickly brought poppadoms and yoghurt sauce to enjoy while they perused the menu.
The trio opted to begin with a mixed starter of onion bhaji, samosa, pakora, chicken Balti, shami kebab, seekh kebab, and mushroom bhaji. There was plenty for the whole party and it was a very tasty platter indeed!
All three main courses were also delicious and didn’t disappoint. The Karahi Gosht was tender meat specially cooked in fresh ginger and tomatoes with highly spiced herbs. The Chicken and Prawn Murgh Balti was equally well received. A medium strength with freshly ground spices and enhanced with ginger, garlic, fried onions, tomatoes and aromatic fresh coriander. The third member of our team enjoyed a Chicken Boti Sizzler, which as the name suggests arrived temptingly sizzling on a hot plate along with stir fried onion, peppers, tomatoes and lemon. This was served with a refreshing and crisp salad. A pickle tray and the accompaniments of mushroom pilau and keema paratha rounded off these fantastic dishes perfectly.
Everyone was stuffed after such a delicious meal but the two men in attendance managed to make room for dessert! Cookie and Cream Pie was a rich and sweet combination of cookie, milk and white chocolate cream and chocolate sauce. The Flute Limoncello was a more refreshing option of sorbet and limoncello sauce.
The licenced restaurant served the team glasses of Cobra to wash down their meals which was “chilled to perfection,” according to the discerning female of the group. The driver of the party was offered the non-alcoholic version of the same drink so he did not miss out either!
The service was excellent throughout, attentive but not overpowering, and our diners did not have to wait too long between courses. They thoroughly enjoyed their evening, and the newly refurbished restaurant is both traditional and stylish – a perfect setting to enjoy fantastic food with good friends and family!
Sheesh Mahal Restaurant
346-348 Kirkstall Road, Leeds LS4 2DS
Tel: 0113 230 4161