Dinner with Dad- Yukti ISF
I have many things to thank my dad for. Raising me, helping me with my homework, taking me on holiday and many, many years of being my taxi to and from various events (even now that I'm 26). But mostly, for raising me to appreciate good food and drink. As a rather fussy child he was the first person to make me eat a pizza, we were in Orlando and I was starving so I scoffed it down and never looked back. Likewise, in my later years I've picked up his insatiable red wine habit alongside his passion for a bit of spice.
Yukti already own a really successful restaurant on Prescot Road. That's why, despite never having been, I already had them on my radar as a good place to recommend along side my favourites Holdi, Rumi and, of course, Mowgli. The new Yukti restaurant on Renshaw Street takes a leaf from the Mowgli side of Indian Food and is more experimental than it's flagship restaurant. Head chef Usman Ali has started to flex his culinary muscles and has sacked off the basic curry house staples for more of a street-food selection served tapas style. I took my dad out for dinner to celebrate the end of his Dry January (mine was rather wet) and to see what he thought of this new way of eating Indian.
Among the selection on offer, some real winners:
|Poppadoms with Chutneys- Tomato, Peanut, Mango and Mint|
|Aloo Bonda- Spiced potato balls fried in chickpea batter, tamarind dip.|
|Shimla Mirch Bhajji- Fried peppers with pickle|
|Crispy Fried Squid with spices and curry leaves|
|Tandoori Lamb Chops|
|Ragda Patties- a real winner! Spiced Potato with chickpeas, onion, coriander|
and spicy chutney. I'd never order this usually but it was packed with flavour.
The fusion doesn't just come through the food here. The restaurant is...wait for it... Beatles themed! There are guitars and pictures adorning the walls just like an Indian/Scouse equivalent of the Hard Rock Cafe. The staff will welcome you in like members of their own family and explain the concept and the menu if you're feeling a little confused.
Indian Street Fusion might not be for everyone but I certainly prefer it to it's more traditional counterpart. If you'd still rather have a korma than a kati roll then give the original Yukti a visit to get a flavour of their style before you dive in at the deep end.Now, more importantly, here's Dad's verdict:
'Being of an older generation, I’m more used to eating my Indian food in the old style curry houses so coming to Yukti was going to be new experience for me. I found the surroundings rather surreal as I wasn’t expecting to be surrounded by Beatle’s memorabilia. Despite that I found the restaurant welcoming and comfortable. The menu only has 2 pages of options and focusses mainly on smaller Tapas type dishes. There are some larger meals for those who would feel bereft at not being able to have their normal Korma and Madras type dishes. We decided to sample the small tapas dishes and chose several which we wouldn’t ordinarily opt for. The chutney tray had different flavours to what you normally get with 3 of the 4 dips being a hit. The green peppers were a little bland and needed to be dipped in the minty sauce to boost their flavour. This was the only downside to the meal with everything else being full of flavour. I particularly liked the Ragda Patties, they tasted divine and were the highlight of the evening. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and with the attentive service from the staff I will certainly be visiting again some time soon.'