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03/10/2013

decided to give it a try

Neither of us had been here before but as we both had heard lots of positive comments we decided to give it a try. Upon entering the restaurant we were immediately impressed, not only were the staff really friendly and welcoming but the décor was incredible. We felt like we had walked onto a glamorous movie set as not only was there someone playing a grand piano but champagne was flowing. Relaxing on the very comfortable sofa we enjoyed a glass of 'champers' each, and caught up on old times. It was a great way to begin our meal, as we had to time to soak up the atmosphere, chill out and relax before heading to the first floor dining room.

Our table gave us a stunning view of High Cross, and the lively nightlife of Leicester city centre. For an appetizer I couldn't resist the Goan steamed mussels with ginger, turmeric, coconut milk and coriander, they were soft and sweet with a lovely kick of spice from the ginger. My friend, who is a vegetarian ordered the paneer pakora, which she said was beautifully light and crispy, and the tamarind chutney served alongside, gave a lovely tang. One dish that seemed quite unusual for Indian restaurants in Leicester was the tandoori ostrich, with pieces of ostrich skewered and roasted in a clay oven, served with salad and mint chutney. As much I love mussels, I think I will give this dish a try the next time I visit MemSaab Restaurant.

My friend can become frustrated with the often-limited vegetarian options that many restaurants provide. MemSaab, however, has an impressive selection of dishes to choose from and eventually she opted for the daal makhani, an extremely popular dish. A combination of lentils and kidney beans are simmered for a total of 12-hours before being finished with garam masala, cream and butter. It was rich and flavourful, and as she likes a bit of heat the chef added some chilli. Keeping with my seafood theme I choose the king prawn palak, which is a curry I had never tried before. The succulent king prawns were cooked with fresh spinach in a ginger and onion based sauce with juicy fresh tomatoes. Not too heavy or cloying it was beautifully spiced with just a touch of heat, but nothing too strong.

Of course we couldn't have an Indian meal without a serving of bread and rice. We ordered pilau rice and two plain butter naan, which were perfect for soaking up all the delicious sauce. Poppadoms are a bit of an obsession of mine and we ordered four along with a tray of chutney and some cucumber raita. Everything about the meal was superb and we both agreed that MemSaab was one of the best restaurants in Leicester we had been to. Although we were stuffed we simply had to try the gajar ke halwa, which is a warm carrot and cardamom pudding served with vanilla ice-cream and crushed pistachio nuts. We shared it while we drank coffee and it really was the perfect way to end a perfect meal. Our server was extremely helpful and attentive throughout making us feel at ease so we could truly relax and enjoy our meal. We are now planning our next get-together and are thinking of planning a lunch date at MemSaab with some shopping at High Cross afterwards!

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