Restaurant Review: Haveli, Leicester

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Haveli Restaurant, Leicester
Photo by Harmesh Valley

In 2006 I visited India and went to a place named Haveli India. It was like walking into a funfair or circus. As I walked into the big gates of Haveli, you would see something happening on every corner of the eye, from fortune-tellers to elephants, statues of people and even dancing monkeys. And when it was time to eat, Haveli provided one the most traditional meals in my lifetime. Firstly we were sat down, and not on chairs but on the floor with cushions (just like the traditional way). Food was served in old-fashioned cutlery; it was just like living in the Roman times. It definitely was different which made me fall in love the whole set-up.

But did the food live up to its expectation?

Of course it did, they say you can’t beat your Mums cooking, but Haveli sure can cook for me every night (“Sorry Mum”). Once upon a time Haveli was a place for Kings and Queens only, waiters sure did pass on their skill promptly as service was first class.

Haveli Bar and Restaurant also opened in Leicester in 2007, in the city centre. They have statues in the window just like the ones in India Haveli. So it wasn’t long before I got hungry one evening.

Haveli Restaurant, Leicester
Photo by Harmesh Valley

Obviously as you would imagine, it is a more modernised version than the one in India. The dancing monkeys were definitely missing along with the elephants and fortune-tellers. Tables and chairs were used and food was served in normal cutlery.

In terms of the quality of the food, Haveli is definitely near to the top of the list of restaurants in Leicester. I always order Kheema curry (minced meat) which is not only my favourite dish but also a dish I use to test out the quality of food in general. The Kheema curry itself was drier, it was just perfect for me. Quality all round was great.

Service and atmosphere is so unique with its traditional statues and with the waitress wearing the traditional Indian suit.

I would have no problem taking my date or guests to Haveli.

Have you been there?

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