Mirch Masala (Leicester)

I've been to Mirch a few times over the past six years. A short walk from one of my favourite vegetarian Indian restaurants in the UK however; it's difficult not to compare the two and always choose Shivalli. Still, choice is good, so whilst in the area recently we checked it out again.

Mirch is large and well located. Interior decor is pleasant and the menu huge. By far the most vegan options area from the Indian menu, but they also offer vegetarian Italian, Chinese and Mexican dishes.

The only thing that lets to place down is the food, which has always been in my opinion slightly underwhelming. They're not afraid to make food that's spicy, but it lacks complex flavours and is more average than fantastic.

As we hadn't planned to go; pictures are off my iphone. On advice of the waiter, we ordered a "Mirch Masala Special Sizzler" to share:

It tasted reasonably good, but was more of a vegetable side dish than a starter! With a good curry it'd have been a worthy accompaniment, but a little odd on its own with 2 forks.

For mains @cherrivalentine had an uttapam, which was actually pretty good:

One of the sides it came with wasn't vegan. We're always skeptical of anything creamy looking, so asked the waiter if it was suitable. He said he thought it was, but went to check, then returned and took it away.

I had a vegetable keema curry and rice:

The rice was good, the curry dreadful. It was TVP in oily spicey soup. I tried to eat it, but didn't make it past a few mouthfuls.

Luckily I also ordered some naan bread:

I remember hearing that certain items marked as vegan on the menu are typos, but the waiter insisted the naan was vegan. The plain was pretty good (it wasn't naan in the traditional sense, but pleasantly edible), but the masala naan far too spicy for my liking.

Like many Indian restaurants they've a big selection of bought in desserts, with limited vegan choice. They sell egg free cupcakes, but not dairy free (a missing opportunity?).

Pricing is good, but it's difficult to get excited about returning - especially when there's such a good alternative a 2 minute walk away.