A permanent part of laid-back living on Ecclesall Road since 1967, Ashoka has the city at its heart with its mantra "inspired by India – made in Sheffield".
Step into this independent restaurant and its spicy aromas will tickle your nostrils like a welcome feather duster right away – a sign of good things to come.
At 48 years young, this traditional curry house has proven popular among Sheffielders for years. It was reinvigorated with a rebrand in early 2015, and its modern twist on classic Indian restaurant decor takes visitors by surprise. Crimson painted Hindi inscriptions adorn a white tiled wall, terracotta hanging lamps (that look a bit like chai tea cups) swing from the ceiling, while black-and-white family photos line the walls and retro packaged goods are stacked on shelves.
Owner Rahul Amin has developed and refined the menu over time, squeezing an assortment of both traditional and original dishes onto one double-sided sheet.
Pick and choose among rich and aromatic curry sauces with various fillings: chicken breast, lamb, prawns, mixed vegetables. That made-in-Sheffield feel spreads through the menu, where there's a taxi driver curry alongside Henderson’s house puri – spiced potato spiked with the only Sheffield-made sauce worth having in the kitchen cupboard: Henderson’s Relish.
Dishes that can’t be found on usual Indian takeaway menus tantalise and tease with a smattering of spicy and colourful ingredients. Our top picks are Ashoka's trademark 'karamelised Kashmiri' and the creamy cashew nut laden makhan-wallah. The velvety textures teamed with a charcoal baked butter naan will satisfy any curry lover’s cravings.
Rahul has a real affinity with the people he serves and regular customers can be found here in large parties, even on week nights, which makes for a lively environment and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with thinking you’ve discovered a well kept secret.
The drinks menu salutes Sheffield's love of beer. Whether you go for a classic Cobra, a Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, fruity pale ale Bibble or local favourite Farmer’s Blonde, they'll wash down a curry like an absolute dream.
Opt for this independent establishment over the high street chains that are filtering down this road and you won’t be disappointed. We promise.
Ashoka features in a short film we made with Sheffield Hallam Uni, alongside a bunch of the city's other foodie favourites – watch below.
- Words by
- Lorna Dockerill
- Images by
- Gemma Thorpe