If you’re a curry fan and you haven’t been to Prashad yet I’d recommend you drop whatever you’re doing tonight and book a table.
I’ve had hundreds of curries over the years from restaurants all over the country and food at the Gordon Ramsay-approved, Michelin Guide-listed, Prashad, is quite simply some of the best I’ve ever had; curry or otherwise.
The vegetarian restaurant opened in Bradford in 1990 and in 2010 it beat 12,000 other restaurants to the final of Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant.
The success of the show led to operations director Bobby Patel moving the premises to Drighlington near Birstall in 2012.
Memorabilia from the show is proudly displayed in the restaurant, along with two cookery books by Bobby’s mother Kaushy, which reveal some of her delightful culinary secrets.
It’s very prettily decorated and you’re met with wonderful aromatic scents as soon as you open the door.
The menu is entirely vegetarian which suits me as, although I’m a meat eater, I prefer vegetarian curry. But my husband, Liam, who’s faithful to chicken jalfrezi, didn’t miss his usual dish at all.
The four of us who visited chose the tasting platters to start (£11.95 to share between two), made up of seven pieces from the starter menu: khanda bhajia, kopra pethis, samosa, hara bara kebab, hathi chak vada, khuli kachori and sabzi shami. More details of each are available on the website.
They were brought to the table with a complimentary portion of chaat: diced hot samosa, topped with pastry, potato, chickpeas, yoghurt and tamarind dressing.
Our mains were: renghan vaal (£10.55) which is mustard seed and ajwain infused aubergines cooked with fresh beans; dhal khora (£7.75) – lentils and squash infused with toasted cumin seeds and fresh garlic; batsai kichdi (£12.75) – oven-baked mixed vegetable biryani, served with mustard seed infused tomato broth, and paneer capsicum massala (£10.85) – marinated, textured paneer cheese and peppers cooked within a bay leaf infused onion base.
In every dish the ingredients were incredibly fresh, crisp and light; completely free of the oiliness you’re often left with when eating curry.
The flavours are expertly blended but also distinct in a way that, at the risk of sounding pretentious, takes you on a journey from one taste to the next as they develop.
The tasting platter is an excellent way of sampling the different starters on offer. I felt a bit like a child at Christmas opening a raft of presents!
The batsai kichdi came in a small cooking pot and as the first spoonful was lifted out it released the most incredible aroma, which left me wishing I’d chosen it for myself. It’s the top of my list for my next visit.
Cheese lovers will delight in the paneer, which was expertly cooked with plenty of delicious ingredients – enough for everyone to have a taste.
The dhal was savoury, filling and fragrant with a nice balance of spices and flavours. I had not heard of renghan vaal before, but unsurprisingly it was delicious and flavoursome and the ajwain added an extra richness.
The garlic naan (£2.95), jeera fried rice with coriander and peas (£3.45) and rotlis (90p) were all very light, tasty and fresh: no oiliness at all. The pickle tray (£1.50, 85p per papodom) contained four very different dips, one of which was a delicious, fresh carrot mixture I’d not had before but left us all fighting to scrape the last from the pot.
After such a feast it was a tough decision whether to sample the dessert menu but we decided to share the orange infused chocolate ice cream with honeycomb (£6.25), utterly divine, and the shrikand (£6.25), which is creamy yoghurt with mango, pistachio and cardamom, which was passed round the table for everyone to enjoy the delicious aroma before we devoured it.
Having heard so many wonderful things about Prashad I knew I was in for a treat, but I didn’t expect to be so taken by how expertly the dishes had been crafted, and how the flavours developed as you ate each dish.
I’m not much of a foodie – I’m as happy with a frozen pizza as I am with a fillet steak – so you can rest assured when I describe this as a remarkable dining experience, I really mean it.
The bill came to £120.75: £78.90 for food; £12.50 for dessert and £29.40 for drinks (four pints of Kingfisher, half a pint of Coca Cola, one pomegranate mint gin sling and a passionfruit bramble cocktail).
It’s not the cheapest curry I’ve ever had, but it was worth every penny.
137 Whitehall Road East, Drighlington, Bradford, BD11 1AT
Tel: 0113 2852037
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 5pm-11pm, Saturday and Sunday noon-11pm. Monday closed
Disabled access: Yes, and a disabled toilet
The bill: £120.75 for four including drinks
Would you go back? Yes