Trissur Pooram Leeds review: Here’s what I thought of the new south Indian restaurant in Kirkstall Road
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From dipping crisp dosa into a rich sambar stew, to spiced fish that falls apart in your mouth, it’s my go-to cuisine when picking where to dine out.
And much to my delight, there’s now more choice than ever in Leeds - from the long-standing Tharavadu and Kerala Restaurant, to Aarti’s north-south blend and the brand new Ma-Hé in the Merrion Centre.
Newly opened in Kirkstall Road is Trissur Pooram, named after the annual Hindu temple festival in Kerala. A family-run south Indian restaurant, its owners have recently relocated to Leeds from London, taking over the former vegan restaurant Meat Is Dead.
Of course, I was down to try it as soon as I could. Not much has changed to the interior - the decor is simple, with wooden chairs, plain floors and dark green walls that look like a DIY paint job.
Arriving early on a Monday evening, it was just us and a big family in the restaurant to begin. The ambience was lovely and relaxed, until two young children started whacking the keys of a piano, continuously, for around 30 minutes.
Trying to block out the dreadful noise, we perused the menu. Not everything is authentically south Indian, but there are lots of traditional dishes to choose from. And the variety means there is something for everyone to enjoy - from butter chicken to suit a more cautious diner, to pan-fried scallops with traditional Kerala spices.
To drink, my guest and I decided to try the sambaaram - a Keralan spicy buttermilk made with yoghurt, curry leaves, green chilli and ginger. It was tangy and punchy, with a big kick of chilli, and we both loved it. Our server came back to check it was to our taste and offered to make another drink if not, which was thoughtful.
There’s a vast separate menu for vegetarians, which looked so tempting that I decided to share a meat-free feast with my (veggie) guest. To start, we ordered the vegetable samosa chaat - moorish bites of samosa mixed with spicy chole (chickpea curry), fresh salad and lashings of red onion, topped with a tangy chutney and crunchy chickpea noodles. It was the perfect balance of spicy and fresh and we devoured it.
We then shared the oothappam dosa, which neither of us had tried before. It was thicker than a plain dosa, light and fluffy in the middle with a crisp edge, and the batter had been mixed with onion, tomato, chilli and coriander leaves. We couldn’t get enough of it, dipping it into the heavenly samba and fresh coconut chutney.
Finally, we shared the mixed vegetable koruma made with a south Indian korma sauce. It had lashings of coconut, a common ingredient in south Indian cooking, but it was just a little too sweet for our taste. The pilau rice we picked to accompany it was perfectly light, fluffy and aromatic.
Our total bill came to a very reasonable £40. A casual restaurant with tasty home-style food, I’ll certainly be back to try more of the delights. Let’s just hope they cover up that piano.
Address: 231-239 Kirkstall Road, Burley, LS4 2AS
Telephone: 07774 520440
Opening hours: Mon, noon-9pm; Tues, closed; Weds, noon-9pm; Thurs, 12.30pm-9pm; Fri-Sun, noon-9pm.