Indian and South Asian
We visited the new branch, and can report that our experience was a joy from start to finish. The attentive and highly knowledgeable staff greet every customer warmly as they enter, leading them into the light, modern bar area where the menu can be perused over a cold bottle of Cobra or perhaps a glass of wine from the extensive wine list.
Kipling's has a longstanding reputation for the diversity of its menu, which encompasses all of the traditional Indian favourites, interspersed with their own array of special dishes. In fact, such is the variety of dishes on offer, that you should consider allowing extra time during your visit for studying the menu and making that all-important right choice. We opted for machli pakora and seekh kebabs as our starters and both were superb. The fish was cooked to perfection and served on a sizzling platter with tomatoes and onions, and the kebabs were beautifully spiced and flavoured. Good use was also made of the pickle tray which, as well as the traditional raita and mango chutney, featured a delightful cabbage pickle.
Shortly after the waiting staff had removed our now spotless starter plates and checked that everything had been to our satisfaction, the main courses arrived. We both decided to try different versions of Kipling's shashlik-style chicken, which is succulent chicken breast meat skewered and cooked in the tandoori oven before being added to your curry of choice. In this case we ordered the shashlik chicken makhani and the shashlik chicken and keema from the specials section of the menu. The makhani was textbook: huge chunks of chicken submerged in a gorgeous rich and creamy tomato-based sauce with ground cashew nuts. Across the table, the chicken and keema was equally well received. Medium-spiced, this is a drier curry that's similar in texture to a tikka masala, but with the shashlik chicken and keema adding extra flavour. We shared a portion of pilau rice which ticked all the boxes, and a gorgeous peshwari naan which added a nice sweet touch to the meal.
Curry lovers with all manner of palates are catered for here, from those who like it hot with a fiery vindaloo, to the more conservative but extremely popular special korma which is billed on the menu as 'the king of kormas'. Competitively priced, this 74-cover restaurant is a welcome addition to Ilkley; and based on this visit it is one which will thrive and more than uphold the Kipling's reputation for a long time to come.