Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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Tamatanga, Leicester

AD – This meal was gifted in return for this review.

There's a new restaurant in town and boy is it good! Tamatanga, known for capturing the roots of traditionally cooked goodness of Indian food has recently arrived in Leicester. The brand is very Midlands based as it's other two branches are located in Nottingham and Birmingham, Leicester being the new addition to its expansion. I'm really excited about it's introduction to Leicester's food scene! 

The style of the restaurant definitely hits the nail on the head with funky and fresh interiors, bold colours and vibrant murals dressing the walls, "these are the good times" being my favourite. However, the ceiling is industrial steel making for a welcoming atmosphere to dine in. I enjoyed how light and spacious the place felt from the moment we arrived.

This new Leicester restaurant has loads of different areas where you can enjoy your food. There's  comfortablebooths by the bar, long benches with stools, or cosy tables depending on where you feel most comfortable. Although the restaurant is very large, the tables are placed in smaller sections which help bring some intimacy to your meal. Especially if you are looking for a spot to enjoy a more romantic or special occasion. The restaurant is located in the Highcross Shopping Centre and opposite Bill's restaurant. This location is perfect for shopping and parking acceas in the city centre. I think the people of Leicester will really enjoy what Tamatanga has to offer - the food and drinks are definitely something to try for yourselves!

The first thing we did when we got to Tamatanga, other than take in all of the delicious aromas from the food was be seated and get our nose into the cocktail menu. Tamatanga offer two-for-one cocktails on a daily basis between 12-7pm, fantastic for those who enjoy a cocktail or two with their friends on a lunch date. 

After exploring the Drinks and Tipples menu, with an exstenive choice of 14 cocktails to choose from I opted to try out the Delycheeous (£7.95) which I had to try after seeing a photo of it on their Instagram page ahead of the opening! The combination of gin, lychee juice, passionfruit and pomegranate was gorgeous - a perfect refreshing tipple to go with the flavours of the Indian food I ordered. For a second drink during dinner I decided to try one of their gin's. I opted for the Greenalls Wild Berry gin, a sublime combination of blackberries and raspberries infused with Greenalls original London dry gin. I went for a Indian tonic water and lime to finish off my gin. It was a really tasty drink and I definitely want to add that gin to my own home collection. 

Moving on to the main reason for our visit, the food! The amount of options for vegetarian, vegans and gluten free dishes available on the Tamatanga main menu are fantastic and they really cater for a lot of dietary needs. My boyfriend has a nut allergy and the team ensured he was able to enjoy some Tamatanga's fantastic food! 

To begin with we munched on some Poppadoms and Chutneys (£2.95) which for me are the perfect snack whilst mulling over what to have from the menu. From the small plates to get us started I decided on trying the Prawn Tempura (£6.95). I'm really enjoying prawn dishes at the moment and these were delicious! The prawns are marinated in tamatanga spices and batter fried with their inhouse chutney. Jordan opted for the Bang Bang Chicken (£5.95) - crispy fried keralan fried chicken marinated with curry leaves, ginger and garlic and served with a lightly spiced tama mayo. The chicken was definitely tender and delivered a light kick - they were tastier than I expected! 

For main dishes we decided to both have something from the Curry Bowls section of the menu. This selection of hearty and wholesome bowls of curry come on a plate with your choice of either rice or naan. I went for my all time favourite, a Chicken Tikka Masala (£11.95). It's the nation's favourite and it goes down a treat - the flavour is very hearty and I loved dipping my garlic naan into the contents of the curry. It went down an absolute treat! 

Jordan decided to sample the Delhi Lamb Curry (£12.45). A aromatic lamb rogan josh cooked just like they do on the back streets of Delhi. This curry was definitely packed full of the flavour expected and he enjoyed the punch of spices with the tenderness of the lamb. 

We were so impressed with the flavours in the curry, the portion sizes and how well they were both presented. Our lovely waitress Kylie was so knowledgeable and able to assist us with the dietary needs my partner had.

It's important to note that in this restaurant food is brought out as and when it's ready. It's a great idea in order to get the full dining experience at Tamatanga as it comes served piping hot and fresh from the kitchen, rather than one dish sitting under a hot lamp whilst the rest of your order is being served. This setup isn't to everyone's preference (I know this from working in restaurants myself) as they'd prefer to eat everything at the same time but it's not too much of a distraction and you can always sample your friends food whilst you wait for yours.

To finish off our meal we decided to sample something from their dessert menu. Tamatanga understand that sweets are a huge part of Indian culture and know it's the perfect way to finish off a meal. Jordan couldn't have a lot of the desserts due to his nut allergy and went for a Really Raspberry Sorbet (£4.45) which he said was really refreshing after the spicier flavours from his curry. I decided to try something more traditional and went for the Gulab Jamun (£4.95). This popular Indian dessert is two mini sponge puddings in a treacle type sauce, served warm with ice cream. It was delicious and I eat it very quickly! I'd visit again alone to eat more of it. 

I was exceptionally impressed with the food at Tamatanga and have definitely added it to my list of places to dine next time we're in town for a date night. 

If you enjoyed reading this post why not read about another restaurant in Leicester, The Cosy Club


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