Chutney Ivy has been at the centre of the Indian dining scene in Leicester city centre for over 10 years.
Throughout lockdown they continued to do takeaways and were even awarded with a special award at the Leicester Curry Awards for their incredible community work in delivering free meals to keyworkers. Now, as normal life returns they’ve introduced a new lunchtime menu and are back to doing what they do best.
We caught up with owner, Shaf, to find out more for this week’s BID Spotlight feature.
How would you describe Chutney Ivy to someone who’s never been?
“Dine at our contemporary restaurant. A DESTINATION. An exquisite, contemporary dining space, Asian culinary magic, combined with classic Indian hospitality.”
What are some of your standout dishes?
Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Makhni, Jinga Rowshne & Crispy Duck Samosa
Tell us about your new set lunch offer…
The menu is designed to offer a two course meal that caters for business clients and shoppers with limited time and on a budget. The vegan option has become very popular. The full a la carte menu is also available during the daytime.
Does the restaurant have a different feel in the daytime to that of an evening meal?
Yes I would say so. The large French windows allow a lot of natural sunlight and when the weather is warm the windows can be opened for a very “alfresco” type of dining experience. Weather permitting we also have outdoor dining available.
How has life been post-lockdown at Chutney Ivy?
Where do I start? At the beginning we were overwhelmed with the small wedding party bookings. A very welcome source of income after 18 months of very tough times. Gradually more and more diners started to visit the restaurant as people felt more confident going out. I think our very spacious restaurant with socially distanced tables and screens, hand sanitisers stationed around the restaurant, large French windows that could be opened, an open plan kitchen that helped to circulate the air played a huge factor in this.
Leicester has such an incredible curry and Indian dining scene, how difficult is it to keep evolving and offering something new and exciting?
Leicester is THE curry capital of the UK. We have so many quality restaurants & takeaways that offer food from so many different regions. Indian cuisine goes back thousands of years. A lot of the classic recipes date back to the Moghul empire. These dishes are timeless and will always be popular. I have introduced some fusion dishes like the Crispy Duck Samosa and the Jingha Rowshne ( garlic chilli butter prawns) which have been inspired by Chinese and French styles of cooking.
If we were coming to Chutney Ivy for the first time, what should we order?
Definitely the butter prawns or crispy duck samosa. Followed by the lamb rogan josh or butter chicken. Our fish dishes are amazing too.
What’s the secret to Chutney Ivy’s longevity?
We have now been open for 11 years. Last year was our 10th anniversary and I had planned a big celebration but a certain pandemic scuppered those plans. The secret to our longevity is simple; hard work, customer service is of paramount importance, good honest home cooked style of food!
What’s your favourite thing about your position in the Cultural Quarter?
Over the years the Cultural Quarter has become a thriving and dynamic part of the city centre. The huge investment made in the Quarter has greatly helped. Being located only a stone’s throw away from the amazing and very popular Curve theatre is probably my favourite thing about the position of my restaurant in the Cultural Quarter and I am an active participant in group(s) that help to develop, enhance and promote the Cultural Quarter.
Our BID Spotlight features are brought to you in collaboration with BID Leicester.