IT could be argued Warwick does not need another Indian restaurant. Anyone of that opinion is sure to think twice on dining at
Vivaanta. And the reason can be summed up in one word – quality.
The restaurant, open less than a month, can be found on West Street in what used to be the Wheatsheaf public house. Former patrons of said watering hole would probably struggle to recognise the place though. It has undergone a contemporary makeover but importantly has retained the building’s historic charm. It makes for an extremely comfortable dining experience. All too often restaurants get the simple things wrong – glaring lighting, music too loud – but not at Vivaanta. Nothing appears to have been overlooked. Waiting staff even put on white gloves to re-lay the tables. And on the staff – they are attentive, without being overbearing, and also reassuringly knowledgeable.
Sitting comfortably then it’s time to begin. The only real problem diners face at Vivaanta is choosing what to have. The menu features no less than 65 curries. A case of quantity over quality? Not a bit.
This is the fourth venture for Ali Ahmed, who grew up in the restaurant trade, and who started work in the family business straight from school. To say Ali is passionate is in itself something of an understatement.
Ali said: “I’m always coming up with new ideas trying to mix Indian spices with western ingredients and developing fusion dishes.
“All of our ingredients are sourced locally, we only use the best and freshest ingredients, hence you will always find me in the vegetable markets in the early hours of most mornings.”
Ali’s passion is reflected in every dish which leaves the kitchen, manned by three experienced chefs, and four when Ali himself lends a hand.
Vivaanta’s team pride themselves on creating unique recipes, with distinctive flavours and a blend of aromas, textures and spices.
Even the most dedicated of Indian food lovers are guaranteed to find something new to their palate. Vivaanta’s specialities include Duck 65 (whole breast of duck lightly marinated in crushed ginger, garlic and ground pepper, slowly grilled and then served on a bed of Indian sweet and spicy veg); Lime Ginger Seabass (pan fried fillets of seabass served on a bed of sauteed spinach, potatoes and red juicy pepper with a hint of lime and ginger); and Ali’s Special (boneless strips of chicken tikka cooked with strips of onion, pepper, green chillies, fresh spinach and roasted garlic in a thick fairly spicy sauce served on a sizzling skillet).
The latter is genuinely one of the most memorable Indian dishes I have ever eaten (and I have eaten a few in my 53 years).
Vivaanta also does tradition with equal aplomb – nation’s favourites such as rogan josh, jalfrezi and biryani – my good lady’s madrasi biryani was perfectly spiced and full of flavour.
Both our mains needed to be good. They had a lot to live up to after the King’s Platter starter for two we shared – the vegetable samosa, shish kebab, tandoori chicken and salmon was nothing short of stunning.
There is a full range of accompaniments – breads to rices – and drinks selection including a specialist gin menu.
The last word I’ll leave to Ali who perfectly encapsulates the Vivaanta experience.
“Vivaanta specialises in serving an extensive range of new exotic fusion delights combined with the traditional dishes you have grown to love.”
Visit www.vivaanta.co.uk to book, and for further details, including special three-course Sunday banquet.