We weren’t supposed to be having a curry but ended up in East after an aborted attempt to finally visit Diva Italiana in Booth’s Yard, Pudsey (It was still closed for the Easter holidays). East is a modern Indian restaurant on Richardshaw Lane that we have visited several times before. It is spread out over two floors, with three “lounges” for drinking and a good outdoor raised terrace out back, with seating and umbrellas.
On arrival, we headed straight upstairs to one of the lounges for a drink. Although not technically open yet (it was 6.30pm) the barman happily served us our drinks and we took a seat on the terrace. After ten minutes of looking at the sky and trying to establish whether it would rain, we went down to the restaurant to get a table.
We were quickly seated and menus provided. The East menu contains the familiar dishes – Bhuna, Korma etc – and some house specialities. Popadoms and pickles were brought to the table as we made our selections.
Starters were very traditional – I had mushroom bhajis (£2.95) and A had seekh kebab (£2.60). Both very good.
We decided to get two mains – Chicken Biryani (£7.95) and Hydrabadi (chicken and lamb in a medium sauce - £7.95)). We had two keema nan breads on the side (£3.20 each).
Main dishes came in bowl-style plates and because we wanted to share them, we asked for additional plates to eat from. These were swiftly provided. Chicken Biriyani was a new one for me and was our alternative to ordering rice. It is a tasty rice dish with a sauce that comes separately and is poured on the dish at the table.
The keema in the nan is more like a lamb spread which I have come across before, but I prefer the minced filling you get elsewhere which I believe has more flavour.
Two nans were clearly too much and we were offered a doggy bag for the one we didn’t eat.
We weren’t offered the hot towels at the end of the meal which I believe I saw other diners using.
East is quite a buzzy restaurant and it can get quite loud on a weekend. It seems to do parties and celebrations very well and there is always a large table of people having a “do” whenever I have visited. There is a pianist in the corner who provides background music and also a round of “happy birthday to you” when required.
The food and service are very good. Strong competition for the ubiquitous Aagrah.