Leeds Indian restaurant Tharavadu launches exclusive house beer Somarasam 'drink of gods' with Kirkstall Brewery
Leeds' only Michelin-recommended Indian restaurant has launched an exclusive house beer in collaboration with Kirkstall Brewery.
Tharavadu, in Mill Hill, unveiled Somarasam - a 4% Pilsner - at an event at the restaurant on bank holiday Monday.
Somarasam, which means 'drink of the gods', was created by Tharavadu chefs and Kirkstall Brewery's managing director, John Kelly, who is a regular at the Keralan restaurant.
It's a light and refreshing Pilsner-style beer which was created to match the restaurant's South Indian cuisine.
Kirkstall Brewery CEO Steve Holt said: “We’re good friends with the restaurant and we’ve been providing them with Virtuous for a while, a session pale ale which works well with spicy food as it’s a hoppy, spicy beer.
“But a lot of people like the smoother, cleaner flavour that you get from a Pilsner-style beer, so we talked about making a Pilsner together.
“The brewery is 10-15 minutes walk from here, it seemed the obvious thing for the chefs to come down and work with us to make the beer.”
“Being recommended by the Michelin Guide says something about the food,” Eshaan Kapoor, Kirkstall Brewery’s marketing manager, added.
“The collaboration was right for us as a brewery, working with locals is really important - it’s two Leeds brands coming together.
“We want to support local people, making sure that everything stays in Yorkshire. And Yorkshire people love that.”
Tharavadu launched the beer as it celebrates its seventh anniversary.
The restaurant, launched by five friends, is a three-time Oliver Awards winner and has been recommended in Michelin's Restaurant Guide every year since it opened in 2014.
It offers creamy South Indian curries, seafood platters and traditional Keralan street food such as pappada vada - deep fried 'donut-style' pappads dipped in rice batter.
Co-owner Sibby Jose said: "From the very first day we opened, the restaurant was full.
"It’s a nice change from the normal curry, there’s no tikka masala or jalfrezi on the menu.
“[Kirkstall Brewery's managing director] John knew about the flavours of the food and believed the Pilsner was the best to compliment it - we tried it and it’s a perfect match.”
Co-owner Prakash Mendonca added: "We were looking for something special; it’s very light and suits our cuisine.
"It’s appetizing too, after a few pints of lager normally you don’t want to eat more food.
"But we tried a few pints at the brewery and it left us hungry!”