The Hilal restaurant offers Indian cuisine in the centre of Timperley, South Manchester. Parking was available right outside the restaurant and another public car park is on the other side of the road behind the Co-op store.
We arrived without having made a reservation and were shown to a table near the back of the restaurant. The decor was modern, open and well lit, but the restaurant is not overly large and if you are planning to go on a busy night a reservation may be a good idea. The table was a good size and the placemats and cutlery were of a good quality. The crockery all had a 'square' theme with all the plates, dishes and cruet sets being square in shape and all in a matching milky white ceramic.
The menu offered a smaller range of dishes than some competing restaurants but all the 'standard' indian dishes such as Bhuna, Madras, Rogan Josh were available. Other dishes which I was not familiar with were listed too, but since this was my first visit to the Hilal I decided to stick to what I knew. Two of my friends were more adventurous and ordered a 'dry curry' and an aloo dish. A dozen starters offered choices such as lamb tikka, chicken tikka, fish tikka, onion bahjess, pakoras, samosas and kebabs.
We were given poppadoms and four sauces served in a square dish with four ceramic square dishes - one per sauce. Once again standard fare with mango, mint raitha, lime pickle and chilied onions but it was pleasant to have with some Indian beer whilst choosing from the menu.
I started with a lamb tikka and this was served on a square, white dish with side salad and lemon. The lamb was nicely done and just cooked through leaving it juicy and tender. The others ordered onion bhajis, lamb tikka and fish tikka and all were very good.
For the main course I ordered chicken madras and the others ordered chicken rogan josh, a 'dry curry' and an aloo dish whose name I cannot recall. We also had plain rice, pilau rice and a naan bread. The rice was nicely done and did not stick in lumps. The meat dishes were nicely cooked and full of flavour with the rogan josh having a strong, but pleasant, flavour from the green peppers. The quantity provided was enough to make you feel full without making you feel heavy or bloated. Indeed, we were full enough that we decided to skip pudding.
The bill came to £21 per person which I thought was on the expensive side for an indian in an out of the way town like Tmperley, but the food was of nice quality and the bill did include two rounds of beer (one pint and 3 half pints, twice)
It was a nice night and we enjoyed it.
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