Around West Yorkshire, there are a couple of really very successful Asian restaurant empires. The Mumtaz group are one of them, with two restaurants – a huge place in Bradford and an impressive new dining room on Clarence Dock in Leeds – and a reputation for first rate food. Their bold claim to be ‘world famous’ probably isn’t far off the mark.
Companies like this often start to branch out a little. The arrival of Mumtaz cook – chill curries in local supermarkets took nobody by surprise, but the introduction of a baby food range probably did.
With Jaldi Jaldi, a chain of franchised fast food outlets, Mumtaz is taking on the take away market from a slightly different direction. Jaldi Jaldi carries a range of curries and main dishes -kormas, rogan josh, dopiaza, matter paneer, daals, aloo palak and the like alongside the usual naans, bhajis and pakoras. Food is packaged from a counter, much like at a supermarket deli, and sold to you either hot, ready to eat, or cold, for you to heat up later.
It’s a pretty good way of doing things. There’s nothing worse than a lukewarm takeaway that’s been sat on the passenger seat of some bloke’s car for a bit too long…why not just take care of the heating up part yourself.
The food itself is fresh and vibrant – the chain is clearly taking advantage of Mumtaz’s significant production muscle – and it’s very good indeed. We had a mixed starter of pakoras, onion bhajis, chicken wings and spicy seekh kebabs, loaded with chilli. A lamb and spinach curry was packed with garlic, ginger and big pieces of meat and a karahi chicken curry, described as ‘medium’ was nothing of the sort, with it’s significant hit of flavour and heat but no worse for that.
The take away dinner is one angle, but there’s another market that your normal curry houses usually overlook. Lunch
All of the curries can be had with rice as a ‘J-tub’, a box like the ones in the picture, for the bargain price of £3.95.
That, my friends, is a proper lunch.
There’s also a range of naan paninis, which are essentially naan breads stuffed with all manner of spicy fillings for £3.75.
The J-tub and naan panini concepts are very strong, and they’re strengthened further by the chain’s canny choice of locations…Headingley, Leeds University Union, Bradford’s main retail park. A lot of students or passing trade around each of those spots, and a proper curry from Jaldi Jaldi stands up very well against, say, a four quid sandwich from Starbucks.
The whole Jaldi Jaldi concept is very appealing. The food is up to the normal Mumtaz standard (i.e good enough for the Queen), and the stores are bright, fresh, modern and inviting, as well as convenient. The packaging is well designed and attractive…quite fashionable, dare I say? It’s practical, too – no spills on opening, and everything stacks up nicely in a paper bag.
Definitely worth a try.
There’s more information and details of the various outlets at www.mumtaz.co.uk/jaldijaldi/