I’ve found my new favourite restaurant.
It’s not a Michelin-starred palace, and it’s not a big name chain that has monopolised on the UK, either – it’s an Indian street food eatery inside the popular and historic WindMill pub in Beverley.
Yo! Tuk Tuk opened in March, and has already seen reservations stacking up for people to taste this simply stunning food.
Nestled inside the Windmill Pub in Beverley’s Lairgate, which itself is more than 300 years old, Yo! Tuk Tuk is the brainchild of Aminul Choudhury, who instead of opening up his own venue and risk the financial battles so many face in the early stages, has teamed up with the Windmill to take on an unused space in the pub.
We walked through the pub to the back room at about 7.30pm on a Friday evening, and it’s a good job we booked in advance.
There are only about seven tables in the main eating area, with a couple more spilling out into the pub, and all of them had been snapped up with reserved signs.
The tables are all reclaimed from the pub, with mix and matched chairs creating a true rustic feel – not once did I feel I was inside a typical British curry house.
There was no gaudy lighting, no questionable wallpaper and no essay-length menus with too much to choose from.
Instead, the menus are wrapped around cardboard so they stand up in front of you, with ten choices of starter, and then a couple of choices of mains under each subheading, which are all the different states of flavour around India.
There is also a vegan section, honouring the often strict vegetarian rules in Hinduism, and it offers Tiffin box menus for people wanting several smaller courses.
We were brought a cone of homemade Bombay mix each while choosing, and we knew straight away the night was going to be a taste sensation – Bombay mix with red onions, lime juice, coriander and chilli.
We chose a selection of starters to share, which included:
- Poppadums and homemade pickles include smooth mango chutney, yoghurt raita and tamarind.
- Punjabi pyramid samosas, filled with spices, peas and potato.
- Goats cheese and mozzarella parcels with filo pastry and chaat masala
- Sweet chilli chicken infused with mustard, curry leaf and chilli with tomato relish
- Fish and leek bhaji with lemon zest, lemon and cashew nut butter.
The starters were truly stunning and bursting with flavour, with the star of the show being the chicken dish. It was deliciously moist and there was no grease or ghee to be seen.
The dishes were served on metal plates, adorned with banana leaves, and we couldn’t help but state how tasty everything was in between mouthfuls of food and sips of sauvignon blanc.
We were so excited for the main course after the explosion of spice and flavour from the main course, and during the break we were offered little copper cups filled with homemade mango lassi as a palate cleanser.
Two of us opted for the Bengal burner chicken (£9.95), which comes with a warning that it’s not for the faint-hearted, and I went for the gunpowder staff curry of the day (£9.95), which was tender and moist pieces of chicken infused with curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves, alongside chickpeas and minced lamb.
When they said the Bengal burner wasn’t for the faint-hearted, they truly meant it. My fellow diners are big chilli eaters, able to eat vindaloos without a care in the world, and this dish had their noses running and brows sweating.
That didn’t take away from the taste and execution of the curry, though, as I was told it was “truly stunning”, and the best curry they had ever had in a restaurant.
The mains came with literal half pint glasses of perfumed rice, and a miniature shopping basket of homemade Indian breads, and we ordered a side of root vegetable stir-fry.
Again, there was no grease to be seen on any of the plates, and though we were full, we didn’t fill stuffed with ghee and carbs.
The amazing atmosphere in Yo! Tuk Tuk means that you don’t feel pressured into sticking to your own table and own conversations if you don’t want to.
We got talking to the people on our neighbouring tables about their food and what they had ordered, and they all agreed how sublime the food was, and we even got talking with a member of staff and learnt all about his upbringing in rural Chennai.
Finally, three puddings arrived for us to try, and they were just as superb as everything else.
It was akin to a steamed sponge, but instead was made with rice noodles, with homemade vanilla ice cream that tasted like beautiful egg custard melting over the top.
We were truly spoilt at Yo! Tuk Tuk, and you can sense Aminul’s experience working in such places as The Cinnamon Club and in Dubai in the food, but the laidback feel of it all really sets off the restaurant perfectly.
We didn’t leave until almost 11pm because we were having so much fun, and we can’t wait to go back again or try one of their takeaways.
What you need to know about Yo! Tuk Tuk
- The Windmill Pub, Lairgate, Beverley, HU17 8ET
- 01482 881955