Cats Pyjamas (Leeds)
Up until now all our veggie reviews have been for places in the Midlands. We are going to change that up this week with a visit to Gods county (Yorkshire) oooop naaarf. Leeds has seen a massive boom in terms of big companies setting up bases in the city, and unlike its football team it is definitely top league.
We know there’s been an explosion of street food places recently, and we are going to check out Scottish entrepreneur Alison White’s Cat’s Pyjamas. They claim they are bringing the best Indian street food this side of Delhi to Leeds…well did they deliver?
We had booked for 12 people in advance and were asked to choose our food prior to attending so that the food would be prepared in advance for us and help thing go smoothly on the night.
Cat’s Pyjamas is based in Leeds city center, which is about 10 minutes from Elland road. It is about five minutes from the train station. Being in the city center means there’s plenty of pay and display car parks around the venue.
Appearance & Entry:
Cat’s Pyjamas is a fairly new venue in the City Centre. The Décor is fresh and inviting and keeps in mind the Indian street food vibe. The walls are decorated with paintings of Bollywood actors; even the cutlery pots have a Bollywood theme. The seating is split between two floors. The atmosphere is buzzing, it’s really busy. Be prepared for long waits if you haven’t booked as this seems a popular joint. There is Indian and Punjabi music in the background but it’s fairly low volume so you can have a decent conversation. The owner Alison is very hands on and is very friendly to ensure you have a true street food experience. Another big plus is you can see the kitchen from the downstairs seating area and it’s always a good sign to see the food being prepared. The staffs are helpful and courteous throughout our visit, they regularly check up to see everything is ok. The tables and cutlery are clean. Please note the venue caters for both veg and non veg diets.
Draught and bottled alcohol is available at this venue (maybe they could have zero alcohol beer for that market?). There are all the usual soft drinks along with a selection of Lassi’s available.
Paneer Taco: The paneer taco is a twist on a Paris dish called the Akuri, which is found in Iranian cafes in India. It consists of scrambled paneer wrapped in Tacos (very much like mini chapatti’s), with mint and chilli chutney. It’s a great starter and the scrambled paneer is spot on with its spice and texture. The portion size is just right too for a starter.
Others in the group tried the Kolkata Chaat, which looked amazing too. The presentation of all the food was great. The menu has been crafted by the youngest ever Indian chef to receive a Michelin Star, and you can see the fruits of the labour here.
Saag paneer: Now as a Punjabi I like my saag a bit thicker than what we had here. However the saag tasted great and the paneer cubes were spot on. The spice level was just right too.
Punjabi Chole: We also tried the Chole, and just as with the saag paneer we were impressed. Accompanied with some pillau rice the dish hits the spot.
Gulaab Jamun: We finished off with some traditional Punjabi sweets, and these are as we expected, great stuff.
You can’t beat a city centre location, the atmosphere is great, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. The food is great and my only point would be that the saag could have been a little thicker. For the above reasons we give it an 8.5 – definitely worth a visit if up these neck of the woods.