Kerala Restaurant Review: Been to one of the top rated South Indian restaurants in Leeds and this is what I thought

With a less than glamorous sign pinned to the top of a narrow doorway, it would be easy to miss this restaurant if it weren’t for the rave reviews left online.

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Rated four or five stars across the board, my partner and I marked this place as our next stop for a hearty curry, considering we must have passed it once a week for years.

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Inside, rows of dark wood tables spanned a surprisingly large dining room. Photo: Bruce Rollinson

Inside, rows of dark wood tables spanned a surprisingly large dining room, a slightly rustic feel to the restaurant immediately making us giddy with excitement.

We perused the menu and realized the selection on offer was considerably smaller than what we had seen on the Kerala website earlier in the day, and breathed a sigh of relief.

Often overwhelmed with choices, the few curries, thalis and starters listed gave us just enough room to satisfy all cravings, but not enough to get that ‘deer in the headlights’ moment when deciding.

After careful consideration, I opted for a fish thali; a plate combining their signature fish curry with a range of other sides and various menu items.

Kerala Restaurant is located on Eastgate in the city center. Photo: Bruce Rollinson

We sat and waited for our food to arrive, watching eagerly as the door opened and closed and platters of aromatic starters and main courses were brought to the tables.

Plates started arriving at our table in as little as 20 minutes, and we were immediately immersed in what we already knew was a delicious feast.

The fish crumbled beautifully into the specialty Keralan curry, tart in tomato sauce and balanced with spices, but it was the creamy parippu curry that stole my heart.

The traditional Sri Lankan dish combines tender red lentils with saffron, cumin and turmeric to create a flavorful and appetizing dhal, best eaten when scooped into a kal-appam pancake.

Equally delicious was the sambar stew and rice, another lentil-based broth filled with tamarind and masala.

As we filled our bellies with some of the best South Indian food we’ve ever eaten and finished things off with a creamy and sweet payasam, we reflected on the overwhelmingly positive reviews we had seen of Kerala.

It’s no wonder this restaurant ranks so high with food as good as this.

Address: 2 Eastgate, Leeds LS2 7JL

Opening hours: Mon: Closed, Tue – Sat: 12.30pm-11pm, Sun: 12.30pm-10pm

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