Monday, March 30, 2009


Wed 25 March 2009

Despite economic gloom and doom, Mumtaz at Clarence Dock is finally open! Originally slated to open before Christmas last year we've sat in our office waiting patiently. We headed off on Wednesday to investigate - we had no option but to go in person because the Mumtaz website hasn't quite caught up with the restaurant.

The restaurant is massive and the décor is ... um ... less than subtle. As you enter the body of the restaurant is straight ahead of you and to your left you have a raft of refrigerators selling various takeaway foods, as well as a vast array of puddings and sweets.

You may, or may not, at this point notice the large (and, in my opinion, somewhat unwelcoming) sign informing you that Mumtaz is an alcohol free zone. We managed to miss this ...

We settled ourselves down, and, between admiring the massive black and red chandeliers and feeling rather daunted by the scale of the room, inspected the menu.

As this was a quick work lunch, things were relatively simple: tarka dahl for me, a palak paneer, lamb karahi and chicken tikka masala. Mopped up with paratha and rice. And washed down with Mumtaz branded bottled water (hmmm).

The menu didn't strike me as being particularly innovative and, while the food was pretty good, I wouldn't rate it as outstanding. Portion size is on the generous side, but so are the prices and at least one person has found the food oversalted.

I really enjoyed my dahl - it was topped with crispy onions and hadn't been cooked to a pulp. I was a little surprised by how mild the dish was. At Mumtaz you can choose between mild, medium and hot - so I'd erred on the side of caution and opted for medium and was expecting it a lot spicier than it was. In our group there were no complaints about the food at all: all the dishes were demolished and everyone was well fed and happy. However, given that a one course lunch time curry turned into £10 a head we all felt that the meal was on the pricey side.

Cost aside, my main gripe is that everything took a bit long. The restaurant would have been lucky to be a tenth full and I'm guessing we didn't look like ladies who lunch (or I hope not, as I was the only lady there!): a snappy meal was in order. I appreciate that the restaurant is newly open and so service is probably taking a little time to bed down, however I'd have real concerns about eating there on a busy evening.

While the décor is over the top I'm not sure how much consideration has been given to diner comfort and acoustics. Hard flat surfaces about (although at least the chairs are well upholstered!) and tables are set very close together. I get the impression that on a busy evening things could be very noisy indeed.

I left feeling ambivalent ... I don't think I'd put up a fight about going again, but I don't think I'd be rushing back either. Let's face it, Clarence Dock is just that bit far to go ...

1. Mumtaz, Clarence Dock, Leeds, LS10 1PJ, phone: 0113 242 4211, map.
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Blogger Jon Nettleton said...

I would agree pretty much all round there. I went on the opening night and although I don't think it's that over priced for what I paid I would expect more. It's main problem I think is that even out of the Clarence Dock Indian restaurants (now three!) it is at best second, and way off the quality and value of The Bird.

5:26 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

I was going to go to the opening night of this, then I was told I couldn't as it was over subscribed. You haven't convinced me that I want to pay for a meal there, especially when Bird, is 2 min walk away in the casino.

8:02 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Katie - Jon is so right. Stay going to The Bird!

8:46 pm  

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