Being in Leicester we’re absolutely spoilt when it comes to Indian cuisine, but some restaurants still set themselves apart from the rest and that’s certainly the case with Chutney Ivy.
Located opposite Curve in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, Chutney Ivy has built a reputation on offering a somewhat upper class level of cuisine and those roots have remained firmly in place with the launch of their new menu. The stand out difference with Chutney Ivy is simply the freshness of the food. Everything is prepared to order meaning that you can turn the heat up or down depending on your own individuals tastes, with the chefs catering to all individual customer requests. Which for us, being pathetic with spice, certainly makes a huge difference.
Located opposite Curve, Chutney Ivy offers a great pre-dining option as well as full a la carte options and with their downstairs function room you can even hire the space for private events and parties. When we visited there was a ticketed whisky tasting event taking place, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their social media for any other upcoming event announcements.
Pre-dining is all about the cocktails and Chutney Ivy doesn’t disappoint. With an extensive list on offer, you can opt for something refreshing like a Mango Daiquiri or a Days of the Raaj with Tanqueray Gin, fresh mint, raspberries, lemon and soda, or go for something different and creamy with their Chai Martini. The chai spices blended with the Bailey’s, vodka and milk give a really unique twist to the drink, which, along with their Kaala Mahal Espresso Martini, also offer great dessert alternatives.
Now, onto the main menu. Despite the food all being freshly prepared, the menu remains extensive with starters ranging from Crispy Duck Samosas to Shagorer Mis-rito Puree, which is a cocktail of mussels, squid and prawns tempered with lemon juice and chillies in a rich hot and sour sauce, and served with mini purees. On the seafood theme we selected the Jingha Rowshne, which on the menu declares itself as “huge king prawns”. They didn’t disappoint. The prawns, to me, are one of the stars of Chutney Ivy, being so large and succulent. We asked for the starter with no chilli and the prawns came marinated in garlic butter and cooked in cream, spring onions and fresh coriander. The perfect starter for any seafood fan and one that I can see myself ordering many times in the future.
The interesting thing to note with Chutney Ivy is that they’re also careful to offer choices for all diets, including a range of salads for a lighter option or when you’re trying to be good! Their salmon tikka (or paneer alternative), avocado and mango salad is definitely one we’ll be popping in for soon.
The mains offer a wonderful selection of chicken, seafood, lamb and vegetarian options (notable mention here to the slow roasted lamb shank, which we can confirm from a previous visit is superb), but this time we decided to stick with the seafood throughout. Absolutely torn with the Sea Bass Bangla Masala (whole sea bass fillets infused with caramelised onions, tomatoes, garlic and turmeric) sounding so tasty, we decided to road test Chutney Ivy’s spin on the Salmon Tikka Masala.
The dish was served with large portions of salmon fillet in a mild (just a slight kick) sauce of creamed coconut, mustard and curry leaves. The sauce didn’t take over the dish, which is often the case in fish curries, with the taste and flavour of the salmon still coming through. Whilst owner, Shaf, explains to us that the tikka masala sauce that we know so well in the UK is not considered an authentic Indian cuisine, here Chutney Ivy have created their own twist on the dish, which I’d imagine will still remain one of the favourites on their menu.
Sides probably don’t get enough coverage when it comes to Indian dining, but here’s a special mention to the Chutney Ivy mushroom rice, which might just be the best mushroom rice we’ve had.
If you still have room for desserts at the end of the meal you can choose from Kulfi (Indian ice cream), Gulab Jam (milk based dumplings soaked in cardamom and cinnamon syrup), the chef’s special cheesecake or keep it simple with a slice of chocolate cake and ice cream or chunky chocolate brownie. Plus, remember the cocktails we mentioned earlier make an excellent dessert alternative if you’re feeling too full!
The menu at Chutney Ivy is a perfect blend of traditional cuisine with their own unique twists. The care that’s been put into the ingredients and flavour matching is evident throughout, and knowing that you can make individual requests to your dishes makes a huge difference (I mean, I reckon I could even bring my completely spice intolerant mum here). The new additions to their menu contain some fantastic options including Indian Tapas, which includes Aloo Tokki, fish pakora, paneer stacks and lamb stacks on nan squares with sun-dried tomato, and is perfect for an after work sharer over a cocktail or glass of wine.
The menu prices may be a little higher than many curry houses in Leicester, but this isn’t a regular curry house, which is evident from the moment you step through the door. Starters range from £4 – £10 and mains from £11 to £18, which when considering the quality, doesn’t seem over the top. Cocktails are priced at a reasonable £6.95 and they have a summer 2 for 1 cocktail offer on from 5pm, so you don’t really have any excuse not to pop in now!
We’ll be back soon for that sea bass.
Chutney Ivy is located on Halford Street in Leicester City Centre.
We were invited to test Chutney Ivy’s new menu and received the meal free of charge. All opinions are our own.