Tapasya is on a mission to provide Indian food like no other, by building up relationships with local suppliers of the finest Yorkshire produce.
On an early, rather packed train heading from Yorkshire to London I recently got chatting to a gentleman who shared a similar love of food to me, whilst we sipped coffee I was asked the same stock question often presented to me when I reveal my love of food “What’s the best restaurant in Yorkshire?”
An almost impossible question, to which, using classic spin tactics, I often answer with the question “for what cuisine” usually it buys me time to consider the type of place stereotypically the type of individual asking the question may enjoy.
On this occasion the conversation progresses rather quickly and we begin to talk about Southern Asian cuisine, in the quest to satisfy his curiosity I reel off my usual haunts, but then comes the question that stumbles me, Why? Why do I recommend them, and to be honest I don’t know, other than the obvious that the food and service are ok.
But is ok enough? What I’ve really craved for some time is a restaurant in Yorkshire that could compete with the likes of Benares in London or Lasan in Birmimgham, a restaurant that takes the basic principles of Southern Asian cuisine and propels them to a whole new level.
Capital of Culture!
Fast forward 2 weeks and we’re on our way to Tapasya in Hull, one of 2 Indian restaurant in the recently crowned Capital of Culture.
We head to their restaurant on Beverley Road, where I’m told my cravings will be satisfied largely down to their incredibly popular 5 course tasting menu.
Whilst their not situated in an area I’d normally associate with a restaurant serving a 5 course tasting menu, what is immediately obvious is the level of detail that Tapasya are preparted to go to, to ensure quality.
The car park, the exterior, the amazing bar area inside this restaurant is giving me the impression of grandeur. The array of wines incased in vast wooden cabinets together with a well thought out selection of gins tell me not only is quality but trend important to them.
can Tapasya deliver on taste?
So is this a case of mutton dressed as lamb? or can Tapasya deliver on taste too? The tasting menu is indeed what we opt for together with the superb list of matching wines.
To get us underway is a Jerusalem Artichike Chat, a combination of artichoke, chickpea, chat masala, sweet yogurt and tamarind. This is a dish completely new to me, whilst I may have experienced all the elements at one time or another I’ve never had them as a classic indian dish.
I’m totally in love, it’s clear that the chef as designed a menu that intends to tantalize your taste buds, it leaves me wanting more and indeed needing the recipe, albeit could I pull it off like Tapasya just did? Probably not!
Sarso Wali Kukad, any idea’s? No me neither, so let me translate for you; tender grilled North Yorkshire chicken tikka in English mustard with textures of onion and apple chutney, when they say tender they really do mean tender, for me the best chicken tikka I’ve ever tasted, it’s refined it’s succulently juicy and incredibly tasty.
The fish course is Kale Machali, Hake and crispy kale with kale chutney, chickpea and peanut and for me is just about the best dish of the night, cooking fish is a real skill, matching spices that allows the for the delicate taste of the fish to be present is incredibly difficult but has been accomplished perfectly, with the other flavours present on the plate only elevating the taste of this wonderful dish.
Our main course is Yorkshire Lamb shoulder shank with a turnip and caramilsed onion sauce with black cardamom and cinnamon, it’s a well balanced dish in taste but for me lacks the consistency I’d expect from a rich sauce that’s been used to braise the lamb shank, it’s more soup like and doesn’t stick to my accompanying naan bread the way I would like it to, that being said, it tastes great.
Desert is a carrot & blueberry pudding with pistachio soil and vanilla ice cream, a dessert that ends the meal the same we started it, with splendor.
One element away from perfection is the way I’d sum up Tapasya, a thicker sauce with the lamb is all it would have taken, although what we must consider is that to my mind there are no restaurants in Yorkshire that are competing at this level, fine Indian dinning in a restaurant that would’nt look out of place amongst London’s elite but at northern prices, highly recommended!
Tapasya | 580 – 582 Beverley Rd | Hull | HU6 7LH
Tel. 01482 242606