I might just be falling out of love with Mumtaz. I’ve been a big fan since my first visit to the original Bradford restaurant 7 or 8 years ago, and have never been disappointed with a meal there or in the Leeds branch.
Not everything they produce is quite so good though. The supermarket ready meals are a mixed bag (although still better than virtually all the store own branded versions) and I’ve had poor food from the Jaldi Jaldi takeaway outlets. There were just a few signs in our Bradford meal over the weekend that all might not be well in mothership of the empire either.
That’s not to say we weren’t well fed though. Some things were very good, like they always have been. The pickle tray has always been a cut above, and still is. The tamarind chutney is gooey and tangy and lovely, there are two varieties of raita both made with proper, thick yoghurt and the lime pickle is fierce. What the hell the cheap pitted black olives are doing there I have no idea but I’m willing to overlook them as a foolish mistake.
A piece of chicken tikka on the bone was even hotter than the lime pickle, surprising but not in a bad way. The heat was tempered by lovely bits of charred marinade, singing with ginger, encasing still tender meat.
It was the curries that let the side down a bit. Both a karahi lamb and a karahi channa tasted a bit mass-produced, a bit like commodity curries made in bulk from a base paste. I could be completely wide of the mark but I have a sneaking suspicion they pre-cook everything in the same kitchen that supplies those ready meals and takeaways.
If I’m right then they still scrub up well after being fried in a good splash of ghee with extra ginger, garlic and coriander. I was merrily scooping away with my roti for ages. Something was slightly lacking though, they didn’t have that vibrancy and depth of flavour I seem to recall from visits past.
Back to the usual high standard with the bread though, each tandoori roti costing 85p a pop was thin, beautifully crisped and absolutely bloody enormous. They know how to cook rice too.
I haven’t fallen out of love with Mumtaz yet, and I hope they don’t give me cause to. A visit here is always a pleasure, the huge, bling, marble clad restaurant is an experience in itself and I like the atmosphere, lively with the chatter of families rather than the clatter of the booze-fuelled. That lack of booze also makes it nigh on impossible to spend over fifteen quid a head. We paid £28 including a tip.
Great Horton Road