Ma-Hé Leeds: New South Indian 'hidden kitchen' restaurant set to open at Merrion Centre

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A new restaurant bringing a “revolutionary style” of South Indian coastal cookery is soon opening in Leeds’ Arena Quarter.

Located in the heart of Leeds, Ma-Hé will let customers discover India’s “hidden kitchen” with five “exquisite” cuisines from the country’s southern coastlines.

The meticulously crafted menu will contain an array of small plates from five main regions including Goa, Mangalore, Kerela, Tamil Nadu and Andhra.

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The restaurant is the brainchild of a partnership between its founders Shyam Sundar Bhaskaran, a fine dining chef who has previously worked at five-star hotel chains in India, Manoj Varma, who has more than 20 years of experience working in the hospitality industry, and local entrepreneur Mason Asgha.

The new restaurant, serving meals from India's "hidden kitchen", will open in Leeds Merrion Centre this summer.The new restaurant, serving meals from India's "hidden kitchen", will open in Leeds Merrion Centre this summer.
The new restaurant, serving meals from India's "hidden kitchen", will open in Leeds Merrion Centre this summer.

The restaurant, which offers 80 seats, will welcome guests later this summer in a dining room designed with “the essence of the botanical waters” of coastal India.

Founding partner Manoj Varma said: “This is a passion project for the whole team at Ma-Hé. Shyam is a first-class chef with his knowledge of the Indian peninsula spanning more than 20 years meaning he is a true pioneer in this style of food. 

“We conceptualised this restaurant a couple of years ago and we were waiting for the right time and location, as well as our local partner to launch. 

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“Thanks to Mason, we found the perfect location in the Leeds Merrion Centre and with its fantastic infrastructure, we knew this would be ideal for our first restaurant venture.

“I consider myself a very passionate foodie with a vast knowledge of Indian peninsula food. 

“I’ve been eating and cooking this style of cuisine for more than 35 years and have visited some of the top restaurants within the region.

“ I am excited to bring the very best selection from all five places onto our menu and relish introducing to the people of Leeds and beyond to this unique culinary experience.”

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Mr Varma added that he plans to donate a portion of his personal profits from the restaurant to the homeless in a commitment to give back to the wider Leeds community.

The restaurant will also offer a 15% NHS discount and a 10% student discount to its customers.

Charles Newman, Associate Director, Estates at Town Centre Securities PLC, owners of the Merrion Centre, added: “Indian cuisine is a much-loved part of the British food scene. 

“Whilst there are many popular North Indian restaurants across Leeds, only a handful serve diverse regional cuisines. 

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“We are delighted to work with the team at Ma-Hé to bring something new and completely unique to the Merrion Centre.

“This new brand will complement our international restaurants within the Arena Quarter and further enhance the food offering for discerning diners in the city.”

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