Bengal Brasserie: Meet one of the founding chefs behind the best-rated Indian restaurant in Leeds

Customers have described dining at Bengal Brasserie as like “being welcomed into a home”.

With two of its sites ranked the best Indian restaurants in Leeds for a number of years, the family-run chain takes pride in its glowing reputation.

Chef Mohan Miah was one of the founding members of Bengal Brasserie in York in the 1990s.

Born in Bangladesh, he learnt his skills at restaurants across the UK - before heading up the Bengal kitchens.

Mohan Miah was one of the founding members of Bengal Brasserie, a family-run restaurant chain with four sites in Leeds (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Haddon Road, Burley, was the family’s first Leeds restaurant and they now boast sites in Wetherby, Roundhay and a flagship restaurant in Merrion Way.

While Mohan is now retired, his son, Shakeel, said he is never far from the kitchen.

“All the chefs were trained under my dad,” Shakeel told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Many of our chefs learnt their cooking from Bangladesh and every chef will have their own tricks. But all our chefs know the menu inside and out.

Shakeel pictured after winning the Best Restaurant of the Year 2021 in the Curry Life Awards (Photo: Curry Life Awards)

“He still goes round to all the restaurants. He observes things and makes sure everything is running well. He’ll look at every curry that comes out of the kitchen.”

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The vast Bengal Brasserie menus include all the curry house favourites, as well as specialities and regional dishes from Bangladesh.

Each restaurant has its own identity, but it’s a real family affair - and Shakeel believes that’s why the business has been such a success.

He added: “We’ve got the traditional dishes, but you can get a chicken korma in any Indian restaurant.

“My dad has added quite a few dishes of his own - like Murg Mohoni Pan, fried chicken tikka or lamb with fresh tomatoes, peppers, garlic and coriander, served in a special pan.

“It’s one of our favourite dishes.”

Shakeel now runs the Haddon Road restaurant, ranked the second best Indian restaurant in Leeds on Tripadvisor - behind Bengal’s city centre site.

Reviews praise Shakeel’s front-of-house operation and he said customers are treated like family.

“Our restaurant has always been busy,” Shakeel said.

“There are kids that I served when I was 15 years old, who are now all grown up and still come back.

“I’ve got a few customers who come weekly, every single week because they love it so much. Some customers have eaten the whole menu.

“The support from locals is amazing and our reviews speak for themselves.”

The Haddon Road restaurant has just been crowned Best Restaurant of the Year 2021 at the Curry Life Awards.

The Awards recognise the individuals who represent the very best of the British curry industry and have shown innovation in their work.

“It was shocking,” Shakeel said.

“I didn’t expect to win. Next thing you know, they were shouting out our restaurant name. It was a big thing for me and the restaurant.

“Our restaurant is like a little goldmine. I love my job, it’s my bread and butter and I put all my 100 per cent into it.

“If you’ve got good food and good service, your restaurant will always be a success.”