As an Indian street food restaurant with a focus on craft beer, this new addition to Headingley will always be subject to the lazy comparisons with Bundobust, one of my favourite places to eat in Leeds. But the the only similarity between them is that they both sell okra fries (to everyone’s relief)!
The focus of Bundobust is sharing. You’ll fill your boots with a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and split the bill at the end. The Cat’s Pyjamas is more akin to your Friday night curry house, starter, main, beer, with some unfamiliar names thrown in the mix. You’ll find Onion Bhajis next to Kolkata Chaat. Rogan Josh next to Punjabi Chole. Cobra next to Bad Seed Brewery.
Me and Alison went on a Tuesday night around 8 o’clock after a drink in a nearby bar called Whites , which is definitely worth a visit. There was a queue for a table but we got rushed to the front because we’re organised beavers and booked (TIP: ALWAYS BOOK).
The Paneer Tacos are definitely one to try as a starter and I’ve heard great things about the Chicken 65. For main course, me and Alison shared the Pepper Chicken, the Lamb Rogan Josh and a couple of naan breads. As the name suggests, the Pepper Chicken is a rich sauce that’s heavy on pepper and different to any Indian dish I’ve tried in the past. You’ll need a break after a few mouthfuls but it definitely keeps you coming back for more. The Rogan Josh was on the spicier end of the spectrum, but again, a solid choice. I was very tempted by the Nariyal Jhinga, advertised as a coconut chilli prawn curry with lime leaves and lemon grass, but we were told that they had changed the sauce to be tomato, pepper and chilli based! A bit different!
The selection of beers was impressive, with a variety of Trappist beers, session pales and dark ales to chose from at a pretty reasonable price. I’m not sure how frequently they change the line up, but I’d like to see them switch it up from time to time.
To top it off, the service was a treat – quick, friendly and helpful. The interior was good, but not overly creative, but the food distracts you from this.
Overall, I would definitely recommend checking this place out, but do not expect Bundobust!