I had a stack of places I was intrigued to try that all turned out to be on or along Belgrave Gate Leicester. Sometimes it’s nice to go off the beaten path a little bit and try something new. So next time you’re out that way, perhaps you can duck in to one of these independents?
Whenever I get the bus into town I go down Belgrave Gate and Arthur’s had been lazily catching my eye for some time. Years in fact. At first I had assumed it was just another Nando’s knock-off, but no no no! It is very much something all of its very own.
I was reminded to try Arthur’s when it popped up amongst the options on Just Eat. It does exactly what it says on the tin – rotisserie chicken served with a whole range of delicious savoury sides and sauces. The most popular option by far when I visited was the box – pulled chicken with one side and a sauce. I opted for the roast potatoes and mushy peas (and gravy of course). Sadly my roast potatoes were a little underdone, but it really is a shame as the rosemary and chilli seasoning had a lot of flavour and a pleasant little kick.
Otherwise though I was really pleased. Everything was done fresh and you have lots of relatively wholesome options to pair with your chicken – mashed potato, brown rice, steamed veg, homemade coleslaw and more. Sadly, since I visited it appears that they have stopped doing Yorkshire Pudding Wraps, which I was planning to try upon my return. However, there is still a wide range to choose from. It’s fast and inexpensive for a good feed without the fry!
The only mistake I made was asking for a ‘regular’ box, which I thought was the smaller of two options, but apparently was not – I should have asked for ‘mini’. It was only a pound difference, but I was generally stuffed to the gills and some roast potatoes got left behind so I’ll make sure I get the right terminology next time.
I was also delighted to be given a complimentary salted caramel brownie by (who I presume was) Arthur himself, for no other reason other than he seems to be a very nice guy! 7 out of 10, will be back.
Best Mangal Restaurant
Just opposite the Haymarket Bus Station, they are not holding back on their pride with the name of this place are they? And it’s pretty good you know! I don’t know if I’d say it’s the best, but definitely very tasty. And I do love a bit of Turkish.
I stopped by one lunchtime. My order was for the chicken doner as it is proclaimed to be the house special on the menu. I’m always happy to take the chef’s recommendation! I thought it was excellent value at £6.50. The chicken was flavourful and moist. A really lovely spicing to it – subtle. It was served with a good array of fresh salad and that lovely plump rice that you get at Turkish restaurants. The meal also came with the lightest, fluffiest warm bread and two sauces – a creamy yoghurt and light chilli sauce that even I could handle, but really added another dimension to the dish.
9 out of 10 – hard to find fault and will definitely be back. Very nice lady serving made me feel very welcome even though I was only the second customer in at the time!
Not quite Belgrave Gate, but literally just off it on Gower Street, this Portugese restaurant is another long-standing institution that I have just never made it to before. Again, I was happy to take the chef’s recommendation, and she duly brought us out the Bacalhau com natas that she had sung the praises of.
This creamy gratin of salt cod and potatoes was a delicious winter warmer, and there was no skimping on the portion size so admittedly it did get just a little too salty by the end. We were pleased that the chef said she had made us a salad to go with it. The sharp vegetables and vinaigrette was actually just what the dish needed to cut through all that richness so we were pleased to have it. The dish was really missing an accompaniment. It was a bit of a surprise that we were charged for this little salad though at the end. That wasn’t really the implication when it was brought out, unrequested!! 😂 You live and learn!
There is a really big menu here, with a vast selection of homemade desserts. A bit of a foodie paradise. It also essentially acts as the local Portuguese social club, so it’s a pretty chilled place to hang out too! It’s not the cheapest restaurant compared to the other places on the list. But everything is made from scratch. Next time I’ll make more effort to pick a dish which constitutes a whole meal on its own. But otherwise I enjoyed it very much. The coffee was good. The little complimentary slice of homemade biscuit dessert was a real treat. Although the chocolate and custard pastry I had ordered would have been enough!!
A 7 out of 10 from me. I’m intrigued to return for the Francesinha at some point. And you can get a bacon butty there for £1.50. Handy if you’re passing!
So what other unknown foodie treasure does Belgrave Gate hold?
I visited all of these establishments without prior warning or notice that I would be writing about my experience. I paid for my food in full. Well. Except for the brownie and biscuit dessert sample. They were freely given by the owners as they are nice people and were unsolicited!