Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum had: Fried okra; Tandoori mixed grill; Chicken 65; Kerala beef fry; Chili-garlic naan
West Yorkshire is well known as the best place in Britain to come for Indian food, but that doesn’t necessarily hold true for our little part of it.
I like living in Headingley for lots of reasons – it’s good walking distance from the centre of Leeds, it’s easy to get to the University, and to Professor Plum’s job, but far enough out to feel like it’s own community, with its own shops, bars, two historic cinemas – but a decent Indian restaurant is one thing that has definitely been lacking. Sure, there’s plenty in the heart of the city, but it would be nice to get food that good on our doorstep. So, of course, when a new Indian street food place opened just up the road last month, we were excited at the possibility of finally getting a decent curry in Headingley.
The Cat’s Pyjamas is obviously designed to appeal to Headingley’s predominantly young, white, student-hipster demographic, with its combination of Indian street food and craft beer clearly seeking to mirror and/or challenge Leeds favourite Bundobust. Unlike that ever-popular veggie eatery, however, The Cat’s PJs has a bunch of enticing meaty options. Its menu has been designed by Alfred Prasad, who held a Michelin star for many years at Tamarind, something that promises much of the quality of the food, which offers a mix of Anglo-Indian classics and more modern fare inspired by cuisine from across the sub-continent.
We decided to share a number of the smaller plates, rather than opting for a main course, both because that felt more in keeping with the street food ethos of the restaurant and because those dishes offered the most appealing sounding flavours and combinations.
It’s unusual, for example, to get beef in an Indian restaurant, with Kerala being the only region of the country where this meat is acceptable to eat, and this beef and coconut dish was a pleasure. It was, however, perhaps not as good as the lamb and toasted coconut that we had at the Kerala Restaurant in Leeds itself. (The appalling service at that restaurant does count against it though, with the quality of service at The Cat’s Pyjamas being friendly and attentive).
The tandoori chicken was the right mix of juicy with a smoky, crusty outside, but perhaps the star dish was the okra, which was delicious crispy, battered and deep fried.
A cute, cosy, and cool little pan-Indian restaurant just up the road is something that is definitely worth a few more re-visits. In fact, you might almost say that The Cat’s Pyjamas is… the bee’s knees!