Business Spotlight - The Verandah, Leicester
Updated: May 11, 2021
Time for another blog, this time we caught Jaskaran Dutta who is the owner of ‘The Verandah’ - this stunning restaurant situated in Leicester, Queens road is nothing short of a labour of love. Their anglo-Indian concept is a result of travels across India coupled with some exciting dishes across the world. We recently caught up with them...
What does the Verandah stand for?
"A safe haven. We wanted this to be a safe space for everyone, where they can come and enjoy the food and feel like they are a part of our community hub"
What is the inspiration behind the name?
"We wanted to create a space that showcases Indian and British history in all its forms - whether it be the British Raj to or the lives of indian civilians from before the empire.
It felt only fitting to chose a name that was indian in origin but had made its way to the English Dictionary. We picked a name that would transport guests when they entered our cafe, to a different time and place. Thus, The Verandah was born! Walking in to our cafe, you might feel like you’re in the home of an Indian migrant in 20th century Britain, or the home of a British general is bustling Indian."
Tell us a little about yourself, why did you decide to set up shop here?
"The birth of Verandah came at a pretty pivotal point – We had just recently become parents and I was unfortunately made redundant as a result of the Covid pandemic. So for us, it was almost a what do we do now moment!? I looked towards family, my dad owns a small business on this road and I know the area really well. In that sense, it seemed like a no-brainer!"
How did you come up with the concept for this place?
"Having gone for drinks and food in the area we knew what we didn’t want e.g., a run of the mill curry house or a bar. Instead, we wanted to be concept driven. My wife is the Creative Director and she came up with the whole concept. Everything from the pictures, books, and ornaments has some form of meaning. This road is super special as it caters to all types of people, from the working class, elderly and even students. This is why in the day it’s more of a breakfast and brunch and in the evenings it’s a sit-down meal with tapas style sharing plates and some really lovely cocktails."
What has struck out to you most about Queen’s road?
"It’s not a street in a big town but a small village! – One of the things I’ve experienced in the 5/6 months since opening is everyone really lives and breathes the idea of ‘live local, shop local'. We have really valued and appreciated every single individual that has come through our doors because times are tough and money has been tighter than ever before."
What are some of the best dishes?
"For us, it has to be the OG Mumbai Melt or the Chowki Chips. Even people who aren’t avid vegetarians give it a go and come back for more. But our menu is constantly changing and evolving but the one thing that doesn’t change is the fact that everything is made in-house. My mother is the Head Chef and in total control of all dishes and flavours. If she doesn’t like it then it won’t go on the menu!"
Any special spirits you have?
"Well, there’s 2 – we import Amrut which is an incredible whiskey that packs a punch at 46%. The other fan favourite, is the Jaisalmer Indian craft gin, and as far as I am aware, we are the only bar in the Midlands that has it"
Make sure you check them out. I have a funny feeling that this place will be one of the busiest spots on the high street!
Happy reading :)