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The growing list of new restaurants opening in Leicestershire

A Pan-Asian noodle chain is set to open in Leicester city centre on Monday, October 4 – joining a growing number of new restaurants and take-aways opening up in Leicester and Leicestershire post-lockdown.

Chopstix is opening in Gallowtree Gate, with a design that the company says includes a ‘living wall’ and the chain’s “now famous decor reflecting the quirky and fun ethos”.

Chopstix marketing director Rob Burns said: “Leicester has always been a target for us.

“It’s a massive city and we’re really excited about the chance to bring our brand to the masses.

“The people of Leicester love a business that engages with them and that’s what we’re all about!

“We’ve always seen ourselves as hardworking, we listen to our customers and we challenge the norm; a little bit like the football club of this wonderful city, so we can’t wait to open and see the customers streaming in!”

Fresh Chopstix dishes, served directly from a “wok station” include salt ‘n’ pepper chicken, chicken katsu curry and caramel drizzle chicken.

The brand already has 60 locations and the Leicester store is the latest in the expansion plans of the group with more store launches to be announced in the upcoming months.

Other food outlets that have recently opened in Leicestershire include:

Wok Indo: The family-run Leicester business has just opened its new Highcross restaurant.

Located in Shires Lane, Wok Indo focuses on Indo-Chinese food, and already has a branch in Belgrave Road in the city which was launched by husband and wife duo Illesh and Reenku Amlani in March 2017.

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and offers an a la carte menu in addition to newly introduced wok boxes.

Popular dishes, created by Reenku, include garlic chilli prawns, chilli paneer, salt and pepper chicken wings and veg hakka noodles.

Wok Indo in Highcross, Leicester

Itsu: Another new addition to Fosse Park’s Food Central is Itsu, the Asian-inspired restaurant chain, which has launched its first Midlands branch inside the shopping park’s revamped food court.

The restaurant, which has created more than 20 jobs, has a bright and inviting decor, which, according to the company, has been inspired by Japanese architecture.

This is also the chain’s second franchise store – and is owned by Ghanshyam Ramparia (Sham) who was born and raised in Leicester.

He said: “The two things I really like about Itsu is the food and the people. The food is healthy and affordable, and the care and attention to detail that goes into all of the food is exceptional.

“With the people, every one of them is an asset. We want this to be a career, not just a job. We want to grow our team members to become future store managers – that’s why we make such a huge investment in training.”

Bombay Burger: The new takeaway has just opened in Belvoir Street, serving up an array of burgers with an Indian twist – including burgers topped with onion bhajis and with samosas.

It has been set up in a unit formerly occupied by Bombay Bites, and gives customers the chance to enjoy one of the ‘Bombay Select’ burgers or build their own burger.

Owner Farhad Ahmed told LeicestershireLive: “Leicester has a variety of burger locations, so the idea of another one sounds crazy, but I have tried gourmet burgers in several locations and I always thought it was missing something.

“You can add all types of sauces and salad but that will never change the taste of a basic meat patty.

“That’s when I thought ‘how about a patty mixed with spices used in curries?’ But then why stop at just spices, why not add an onion bhaji or even a samosa inside the burger?”

Grounded Kitchen: This is another new addition to the recently extended Fosse Park shopping centre and is the sixth Grounded Kitchen site across the Midlands, following Leicester Queens Road, Market Harborough, Loughborough, West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire and Moseley in Birmingham.

Throughout its menu, Grounded Kitchen aims to champion independent thinking and balance between the mind, body and its fuel.

Home of the nourish bowl, Grounded Kitchen offers Korean-inspired, nutrient-rich food, organic Japanese teas, freshly prepared quenchers and smoothie bowls.

There are also frappes made with coconut milk and Movenpick ice cream, and Grounded’s pancake stack bowls.

The new venture has created 20 jobs.

Afrikana: The African-inspired restaurant group originally intended to open the doors to its Charles Street branch in April this year, but following delays caused by the pandemic, it finally launched on August 27.

It aims to offer an array of food with an African twist, along with African culture, music and art as part of the experience.

Leicester’s Afrikana is the seventh restaurant in the group – which was established in the small Midlands town of Aldridge in 2018, by entrepreneur Omair Ali.

The growing list of new restaurants opening in Leicestershire
Food from African-inspired restaurant group Afrikana

He felt there was a gap in the hospitality market for an African-inspired restaurant offering high-end quality food infused with African flavours.

The original Aldridge restaurant has since been joined by branches in Derby, Birmingham, Blackburn, Dalston, Cardiff, and now Leicester.

Starbucks: A new Leicestershire branch of the coffee chain has opened its doors at Fosse Park.

The new branch – which has created 20 new jobs – has opened in one of the units in the new car park in the Fosse Park West development.

Karen Barrett, Fosse Park district manager, said: “We are excited to open our new store in Fosse Park, Leicester, and become a part of the local community. The team are closely following the latest guidance from both the government and health authorities to keep everyone safe.”

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