Mother India Restaurant Review
Written by: Deepa & Meera (Instagram: @eavithus)
The owners of Mother India have been involved in the Indian Restaurant scene in Leicester for decades. Having honed his cooking skills in one of Leicester’s OG Desi Pubs, the owner purchased and ran another well-known and successful local restaurant, before selling that business for a bigger premises. Enter Mother India in 2019, mere months before the pandemic hit. Not allowing covid to deter their plans, the family team behind Mother India used the downtime to install an open kitchen into the restaurant, adding a touch of theatre to the dining experience. The family are often seen in the restaurant together, with the owner cheffing and running the kitchen, his wife operating front of house, and their son Trishan, not only managing the restaurant, but also the events space above the restaurant, and coordinating external event catering provided by the restaurant.
-Vegetarian and Vegan Options available
-Allergens to be discussed when placing your order
-One small step to enter, but wide entryway therefore would be wheelchair accessible with assistance to clear the threshold
You are greeted with an ambiently lit ‘namaste / pranama’ essentially welcoming you into the restaurant. The restaurant itself is large and spacious, with brightly coloured chairs. There is plenty of space between tables and Bollywood music can be heard playing gently in the background. Along the back wall, a small but well stocked bar area is visible alongside the larger open kitchen area, offering a view and some insight into how dishes are prepared fresh to order.
The Menu is extensive offering veg and non-veg IndoChinese starters, sizzlers and mixed grills alongside many traditional curry options, and some unique Chef Special dishes.
We tried a range of dishes from the Menu, and here are our thoughts:
Garlic Chilli Mushroom Manchurian (£6.95) This dish was banging. Often when ordering IndoChinese mushrooms they lose their water content into the sauce whilst cooking down causing them to taste a bit soggy and flat. Totally not the case here – the mushrooms are coated in a tempura-like batter prior to cooking in the sauce. This allows them to retain their texture, with an added crunch, and take on all the flavour from that delicious aromatic sauce. This is a winner, and a must-try dish!
Crispy Garlic Chilli Aubergine (£6.95) We all know that aubergines pair beautifully with spices and aromats but it takes some mastery to get the right mouthfeel when using this ingredient. The texture of the aubergines was to die for. We like our crispy IndoChinese style aubergines to have that initial crispy bite but to be soft inside – almost melting in the mouth, and this dish certainly delivered that, with lots of flavour from the sauce to boot.
Veg Manchurian (£6.95) We love a good Veg Manchurian: little balls made of seasoned cauliflower in a spiced batter, deep fried until they are crunchy on the outside but smooth on the inside and then tossed in a sauce made of garlic, ginger, chilli and soy. These Manchurian balls were delicious, achieving the perfect texture and packing a big hit of flavour too.
Garlic Chilli Lamb (£7.50) This dish was also super tasty! The lamb was expertly cooked and so so tender – it just melted in the mouth but was also ferociously spiced. The mint sauce was needed with this one for its cooling effect but the whole dish was gobbled up in its entirety whilst we were there, making it the only dish that didn’t make the left-overs bag that we took home.
Chicken Lollipop (£7.50) I don’t often choose wings, mainly to avoid the sticky fingers, but these lollipops were actually finger-licking good! The garlicky sauce was the ideal viscosity to coat those succulent wings. We’ve not really had non-veg IndoChinese food before, but these chicken lollipops have truly set the bar high!
Sheesh Kebab (£7.50) This was such a generous portion of these well-known minced lamb skewers. They were liberally spiced, albeit slightly dry. They were delivered to the table on a sizzler platter on a bed of onions and paired beautifully with the mint sauce.
Garlic Chilli Paneer Sizzler (£10.95) An Elite dish! We have long been on our search for the best ‘Chilli Paneer’ in Leicester, and this dish has to be a contender for the top spot! The texture of the paneer is perfect – with a bit of bite but spongy in the middle. The sauce is just stunning, with little jewels of finely diced garlic and ginger, a good thwack of chilli, some sweetness and sourness and a touch of soy. The balance of the spicing on this one is just unreal; you just can’t help but go back for another forkful – just one more must order dish to add to the list!
Vegetable Hydrabadi (£7.50) This dish was selected for us by Trishan as a must-try from the veggie options. Served on a tawa to keep the curry at an ideal temperature whilst eating, the dish is visually interesting as it is brought to the table. Its slightly green colour comes from spiced spinach and fenugreek, the bulk of the curry is made up of mixed veg, with some grated paneer for added creaminess. This is a dish that is different from other curries, and well worth a try.
Egg Masala Curry (£6.95) Found in the Chef’s Specials section of the menu, this egg masala did not disappoint. Boiled egg halves can be found nestled in a rich tomato sauce, with layers of spicing and flavour. A great egg curry.
Desi Chicken on the Bone (£8.00) We’ve had many a desi home-style curry in our time and have come to expect a more authentic level of spicing and perhaps more heat from this style of cooking. This rendition was an ode to the original Desi-Pub style curries that we know and love. You won’t just find pieces of chicken breast in this one, with the bone-in chicken adding depth of flavour to the deep layers of spicing. Again, the spice level on this one was HOT, so if you’re not able to take that much chilli I would ask for it to be toned down to suit your tolerance level.
Garlic Naan (£2.95) These did what they said on the tin, with plenty of pieces of minced fresh garlic. Lovely and soft. Perfect for scooping up those curries.
The bar is fully loaded with a range of draught and bottled beers, ciders, soft drinks, and juices. We opted for our favourite fresh passion fruit juice, which is available either by the glass or by jug, in addition to a bottled diet coke.
Value for Money
The portion sizes are generous and so we felt that the pricing was fair for the actual amount of food that you are getting. The dishes labelled as starters would probably be too big for a portion for one (unless you have a mega appetite), and therefore when you look at value, you’re really getting more than one portion for the price. Ideal for getting a few and sharing. The sizzler portion of the paneer was actually pretty huge – definitely for group sharing, and is also available in the smaller starter portion. The mains are all also very reasonably priced (at a similar price point to some of the starters), so really you can’t go wrong here.
If you want to collect your food to eat in the comfort of your own home, you can order through their website and receive 30% off, providing the order is above £25. They are also on the tuck app when dining in, so you can get cashback against the value of your meal if you have the app downloaded and set up, offering further value for money.
We really enjoyed the food and experience at Mother India. Despite several of the starters having similar names, the flavour in each of the sauces was slightly different throughout each dish, which was really appreciated. The IndoChinese offerings stole the show for us in terms of spicing, flavour, and taste. All the dishes arrived piping hot, and in some cases sizzling, which is always a huge plus. We really loved the open kitchen concept and being able to see the dishes being prepared fresh to order, and the theatrics of the wok-cooked dishes (you’ll have to go and see what we mean for yourselves, but if you can’t wait then check out the reel on our Instagram page)! We will most certainly be visiting again – We’re craving the paneer again already!
Don’t forget to check out our Reel on Instagram @eavithus
Deepa & Meera