I’d heard of this small chain before and seen that it had some decent reviews, with the combination of Indian street food and craft beer being rather tempting. It wasn’t entirely clear what to do when entering, but fortunately the others had blazed a trail so I could just go and join their table. On the positive side, this will be the first post in several days where I don’t complain that it was too hot as there was sufficient air conditioning to meet my temperature needs.
The food menu which is vegetarian and vegan based, with the suggestion that individuals should order around two or three items each.
The beer menu which is also available on Untappd, although it wasn’t quite up-to-date on there. The atmosphere in the restaurant was chilled in terms of both the temperature and the ambience, with seating similar to the wagamama set-up.
I had ordered three beers as a flight and so was given this discount without asking, but others in the group had ordered two beers and the team member hadn’t though to tell them about the 10% off offer.
If I’m being honest, I found this a little shoddy which was giving me the three beers without telling me which was which. Oddly, the member of bar staff must have felt they looked sufficiently different for me to be able to easily tell, but I was less convinced. I worked them out by taste, but it’s rare for no effort to be made in situations such as this.
The Mango Lassi from Northern Monk was the best of the three beers, a drink I had to order given for my preference for mango lassi when eating at Indian restaurants. The East is East brewed by Bundobust Brewery themselves was though also a juicy and hazy IPA which was smooth for a 6.5% ABV beer, and the Dhoop also from Bundobust was a fruity wheat beer.
I went for four different items from the menu and I liked the presentation of the food, although the waiting staff had got muddled up with who ordered what, despite them taking our names at the till to prevent such a problem. The ‘Smacked Khakri’ is cucumber with lemon, garlic, chilli and black salt, all combining to be about as good as cucumber is likely to get. I had thought they might do something slightly more decadent with it, but they intend it to be a palate cleanser.
The ‘onion bhajis’ at the back left had a crispy exterior and a depth of taste, whilst the ‘bhel puri’ was pieces of puffed rice and broken samosa pastry, with pomengranates adding some texture. Finally, on the right are the ‘aloo and dhal kachori’, which are fried potato patties. All the food was enjoyable with a range of tastes and textures, so I can see the popularity of the concept. The portion sizes aren’t substantial, but they’re sufficient and I like the opportunity to have a number of different dishes. Indian food is my favourite cuisine, so this was a different take on the food and it was positive to try some dishes that I hadn’t previously heard of.
For those in Liverpool during the week, there are lunchtime offers. The on-line reviews for this restaurant are very positive and they seem to have quite an efficient service going on in terms of the food service timings.
Overall, I liked the concept of the restaurant, but wasn’t entirely sure about the delivery and the engagement from the team members. It was formulaic without always having a formula if that’s possible. Anyway, the beer choices were interesting, the prices weren’t unreasonable and the food did taste of a decent quality. I’d likely visit another one of the restaurants in the chain, there’s one in Manchester and another in Leeds at the moment.