I chose to dine here last night as for me it's very local and came highly recommended by a vegan friend. I eat out one or two times a week and appreciate good food, I also like to praise where appropriate and will politely raise issue when somethings not to my liking.
The restaurant was about half full when we arrived, we were asked where we wanted to sit, we chose window seats looking out onto Liverpool road, though there was a quieter side, screened by high backed booth style seating dividing the dining area in two length ways. I liked the layout, and the furnishings.
There were plenty of attentive waiters on hand, our drinks arrived swiftly, as we were off to meet some friends at a new bowling venue later in the evening we chose the draught Cobra.
Though they appeared to have some decent sounding wines on hand that were really reasonable for what they were. The beer was £3.70 a pint, which is mid market price in Central Manchester or Rusholme.
I probably ordered quicker than I've ever done in an Indian restaurant, really because I wanted to try something different, so I asked the (exceptionally polite) waiter for his recommendation, as I wanted a medium or a bit spicier curry,he didn't faf about and suggested the dileep kumar, I also asked which starter he would advise I try and was pointed to the chicken momo.
My friend ordered meat samosa and a chopra. (I kept the receipt and have just checked the names from it).
We obviously had poppadoms to begin with, were asked if we wanted on or two each, as I like poppadoms you might be able to guess what I went with.
Looking at the bill, we were just charged £2.80 for these served with four standard dips plus lime pickle.
I don't usually bother with many of the dips, though am a sucker for a good lime pickle, and this one was really nice, not quite as hot as I get in some places but really tasty.
I still prefer the poppadoms at the Spicy Hut in Rusholme, one of my favoured curry houses.
Though did eat more of the other dips than I'd normally bother with, we nearly finished the lot.
Our starters arrived, and the presentation was very pleasing, they use modern plain white ceramics for all dips, and other dishes and clearly have taken time over this.
My friend's starter was very good according to him, and came served with very pleasant looking salad. My momo dish, which I've never heard of before looked very enticing four of these steamed dumplings with a surrounding small amount of sauce. apparently it's one of their signature dishes, and one I'd have again. They are chicken based but the nearest thing they reminded me of would be a sui mia with an asian theme. I was at this point thinking I might end up struggling with my main as they were quite filling.
I think next time I'll mix and match those and another starter with my dining companion/s.
We were asked if we had finished and the plates cleared.
I asked, rather than was asked for another cobra, though my friend was only half way through his. The next time we were nearing the end of our drinks, we were asked if we wanted more.
Our main courses arrived after another few minutes, there was some confusion as I thought I'd requested the lamb, yet was presented with the chicken version of my chosen dish. Two waiters immediately apologised and offered to change the dish, stressing it would only take five minutes. I thanked them, but chose to go with the chicken. We tried some of each others dish (as you do) and I found them both palatable, mine had a really good depth of flavour, though I will try something a little more spicy on my next visit. My friends chopra was good to, I wouldn't generally order a minced lamb dish, I found the meat good, very nice potato, though I'm not the biggest fan of (what I assume to be) frozen peas in a dish. My friend was most impressed with his choice however. We both had pillau rice and there was more than enough served, on two separate dishes. The portions of the main dishes were more than adequate with my friends being the larger of the two. Another beer was consumed along the way too! It's not very often I'd have three beers with a curry but I must say by this point I was really enjoying the whole dining experience, in no way were we rushed, oh during the food the original waiter who took the order came to add his apology to the list over my curry mix up, siting confusion when the order was called in the kitchen. To be fair to the guys I can confuse waiters too at times, as I can ask several questions in close succession. We were asked if we'd finished some time later, and I said we were still eating, we had a really nice relaxed time. Finally we gave in and asked them to clear, which was done by two waiters. We spent another twenty minutes or so chatting and finishing our drinks.
Our food bill came to £35.75 and our bar tab to £18.50, we both parted with thirty quid and told them to keep the change.
I'd recommend this restaurant, it's not as hectic a dining experience as Akbars a short walk down the road, where I've always enjoyed the food too. And I'll still be frequenting The Spicy Hut in Rusholme, where the food and service is also very good (their skewer cooked meats are amazing).
I like this place also as it is only a ten (ish) minute walk from my front door.
I will probably return during the school Easter holiday with my daughter, and I'm sure she will be equally impressed with the place.
I see there are a few negative reviews on here, I find the differential between these and my experience hard to fathom. As I said at the beginning of this review, I dine out quite often and can cook too! I've had finer dishes served over the years, and used to be a big fan of The Gaylord in Spring Gardens when it was there. I've also dined in other 'high class Indian establishments' in central Manchester, that I won't name and had bloody terrible service waiting for almost an hour after our reservation and made to feel like cattle being herded around with nowhere to sit, and actually being moved off the seats we had!
So from my point of view if you want an Indian restaurant in central Manchester, give this one a go, I hope you have as good an experience as we did.
I've added a photo of my mate Mark so you can get a look at the place.
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