By Damon Cooper
From flashy contemporaries with plush furnishings to laid-back street food spots, South Asian food is served in abundance throughout West Leeds.
Celebrating its 45th birthday this year, Aagrah is a Kashmiri restaurant that serves delicious balti as well as cheese and onions that are kept in a pizza box if delivered. Its center suite is stunning and serves buffets in the evenings too!
From chain to chain, Lala’s restaurant has grabbed headlines lately, having been named Best asian restaurant in the north Two years on the trot. The owner, Junior Rashid, has transformed an old pub into the most amazing place, the food comes alive and collectively offers an unforgettable dining experience that you just can’t embrace.
The last stop on this stretch of Bradford Road is Desi Sweet Centre, a small Indian café serving vegetarian food such as paneer rolls and a wide selection of Indian sweets. Places like this are a much more common sight in Bradford, but we are fortunate to have a great mall on our doorstep too.
Shezzaan at Galloway Lane in Pudsey serve up an excellent delicacy – and mixing that with their Pilau rice takes the gastronomic experience to another level. Besides Aagrah and Lala’s, we are very spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants to eat in this small area.
Paneer korma at East on Richardshaw Lane in Pudsey boasts the best korma sauce in town and it’s hard to disagree because of its uniqueness. Fresh double cream with a coconut-infused bonus, it’s a pampering you won’t forget anytime soon.
Funky Indian is a relative newcomer to the area with NAAN’IZZA, a mix of naan bread and pizza with South Asian ingredients. I highly recommend the stone baked pizza from the pepper and cilantro paneer to the feta cheese and caramelized onions.
Stanningley Road is a fast-food hub where shalmar serves up a korma sauce just as palatable as its more prominent neighbour, east all the way. Khan has always been a favorite after a night out for locals, having achieved 5.1 out of six ratings from over 1,000 customers on JustEat.
Depending on where you live in West Leeds, South Asian cuisine from far and wide to your home via Deliveryoo, ubereats or foodhub, so explore your options!
Faiza Tandoori Takeaway Restaurant is the predecessor of Abids Restaurant, which has been transformed into an ice cream parlor and has enjoyed Palak Paneer with Egg Rice over the years. In Rupyal you have the last Indian restaurant standing on this street with many options for vegetarians too.
At Farsley we have Deeva as an independent South Asian restaurant in Town Street which has joined forces with Headingley based Cat’s Pajamas and now serves street food alongside its state-of-the-art offerings in an elegant environment.
From a street food standpoint, I think you should still venture to Kirkstall to get Vada Pav in West Leeds via Mangets Kitchen.
We’re in a cost-of-living crisis, so I hope Zulfi, the owner of Deeva’s restaurant, wouldn’t mind reminding anyone to reach out if you’re hungry, can’t stand eating, and would be happy to feed you, not ask questions. Find it on social media or ask around.
Bramley is the home of the sturdy blue tiger found tucked away in Ganners Hill and I can confirm that the Paneer Veran Bhuna is lush. There are other non-cheesy dishes too!
The final stop will be Kirkstall’s Manjit’s Kitchen, which serves up a wonderful mango lassi, delicious vada (a rudely Indian potato burger dish..) and an array of great appetizers.
I miss places in Armley, Burley, Calverley, Farnley, Rodley and Wortley – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth exploring. It also means I have plenty of adventures ahead and a heap of discoveries in all of West Leeds!
What local business serves your favorite South Indian dish?