These are my absolute favourites for a curry - what do you reckon?!
The Zouk menu focuses on authentic cuisine, with individual dishes to showcase their unique style rather than traditional customer favourites you’d expect to see on an Indian menu. There are options for traditional curries including Karahis, Handis, and Biryanis, as well as burgers, steaks and special roasts, where a party could choose to order a whole roast chicken or leg of lamb.
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, Unit 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5QS
Now is the time to get yourself to this great Indian street food and craft ale joint in Piccadilly Gardens. Brave the sights and you are welcomed by a fantastic space with a varied vegetarian menu of traditional Indian street food dishes. They are home to the fabulous Vada Pav, as well as the moorish Okra Fries, which I guarantee you will struggle to just eat one portion of. They also have a fantastic selection of Ales to go with your curry – even sour ones which are perfect with a bit of spice. If you’ve got some mates, or are a greedy bugger, you should get the ‘Combo for 6’ which is every dish on the menu.
Bundobust, 59 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 1RG
Scene Indian Street Kitchen
There’s a lot more to Scene than just meat in spicy sauce, with a selection of street food style favourites, shishas and a heated terrace overlooking the river Irwell. Scene excel at their starters and sides with tandoori grills and delicately spiced chaats prepared in the open plan kitchen. With a selection of street food and smaller Indo-Chinese dishes to choose from, as well as a huge selection of curries and grills, there’s something on the menu for everyone. If you’re feeling adventurous – try their Phall, it’s not on the menu but it’s the hottest curry that money can buy.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4a Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AN
Husband and wife team Raj and Trishna have been creating a buzz down Urmston with their cool curry cafe, which comes complete with regional Indian food alongside craft booze and select wines. There’s a small menu of considered dishes, many of which are unique specials that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere outside of deepest, darkest India. They specialise in curries from the Southern Indian states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. They’re typically spicier than their Northern cousins – but no less tasty of course.
Theru Kadai, 218 Church Rd, Urmston, Manchester M41 9DX
Hitting the city towards the end of 2018, Dishoom have made a massive impact and continue to thrill us Mancunians with their Mumbai style breakfast offering and range of unique Indian dishes. Their Bacon Naan is a thing of legend and everyone should try it, as is their Chilli Chicken. Dishoom also invented a brand-new dish that is unique to their Manchester restaurant – the Nalli Nihari Biryani – a lamb shank encased in pastry with gravy and a chicken liver raita on the side. It’s obviously outstanding.
Dishoom, 32 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT
Located, strangely, right in the middle of a retail park in Walken, don’t let that put you off from visiting The Purple Lounge – a world class Indian restaurant with some truly fantastic food. There’s an extensive range of classics alongside some more exotic signature and house specials – many of which you won’t find anywhere else. Top of the list should be their outstanding Rack of Lamb & Keema or Kamali Duck – a unique offering that comes with stir-fried duck laced with garlic, capsicum and aromatic spices. Their Tandoori Platter is also a must – a huge plate loaded with freshly marinated and charred meats.
Purple Lounge, Ellesmere Retail Park, Worsley, Walkden, M28 3UD
If you’re heading into Rusholme for an Indian feast, then Mughli is definitely one to try. The restaurant has been open for almost 25 years, and manages to still retain a certain level of quality on a stretch of road which has seen a considerable downturn over the past few years. On one side of the menu is a variety of street food and snacks, designed for sharing, including Kati Rolls, Pau and Chaat, while on the second side of the menu, there’s curries and biryanis to choose from, as well as slow cooked stews and grills from the charcoal pit. A real highlight of the menu are the Mughli lamb chops.
Mughli, 30 Wilmslow Road, Curry Mile, Manchester, M14 5TQ
This & That
Legendary Northern Quarter curry house This & That every day offers punters a choice of a wide range of meat & veggie friendly curries to go with their lovely, fluffy rice. Expect plenty of lamb, beef, chicken, chick peas, lentils and potato getting thrown around to create some of the best curry in the city. It’s cheap as chips too, which is always a good thing now that pints cost around £6 and you struggle to get the bus for a week and still have change from a £20 note.
This & That, 3 Soap St, M4 1EW
Asha’s opened their doors on Peter Street a couple of years back, and it has to be said the place feels a lot different to your usual curry house. Not only does it look stunning, both upstairs and down, but the food here is very special – with many contemporary twists on traditional Indian classics. Variations on the usual favourites include Guinea Fowl Tikka, Duck Seekh Kebab, and Venison Samosas, alongside some of the more classic curries served with naans and truffle oil. If you like the sound of enjoying dishes using some quality local meats you might not be used to, tasty cocktails and homemade chutneys all in ornately decorative setting, Asha’s might just be the one for you.
Asha’s, 47 Peter Street, Manchester
An NQ hidden gem, you could be forgiven for not noticing Yadgars as you walk past on your way to some of the trendier venues located nearby. This place has been open for years and there’s a clear reason for it – a reliance on top quality curries at a low price. The guy who runs this place is a bit of a character, and he has a certain set of rules for anyone that comes through the doors. First of all – don’t ask any questions, secondly – know what you want before approaching and thirdly – hold your bloody plate with 2 hands. You get these right – you’ll be tucking into easily some of the city’s best curries.
Yadgar Cafe, 71 Thomas St, Manchester
0161 831 7753
Indian Tiffin Rooms
When it first opened up in Cheadle, getting a table at Indian Tiffin Rooms was quite difficult – not only is it so small that it would struggle to seat a family of Borrowers, but it was also so good that everyone wanted to get involved and enjoy some top-class Indian street food dishes. Made to represent the many different cuisines throughout the country, you get dosas, curries, puris and even kebabs with about 90% of it either vegan or vegetarian. Luckily for everyone not living in or near Cheadle Village, they’ve opened up a newer, bigger restaurant on First Street, so you won’t have to get on the dreaded X57 to enjoy yourself.
Indian Tiffin Rooms, Chapel St, Cheadle SK8 1BR
also First Street, 4RL, 1 First St, Manchester M15.
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant
Apart from Ikea, I cannot think of any other reason to head to Ashton than to go to Lily’s Vegetarian Restaurant that offers home cooked Indian dishes without making you have to re-mortgage your house or sell a kidney. The food here is about as authentic as you can get this side of the Suez Canal with many specialities including dosas, chaats and those vibrant, lovely looking sweets that you’re too afraid to try as you walk past on the Curry Mile. It’s number 1 on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Ashton, and for the only time ever, I agree with Trip Advisor.
Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Restaurant, 75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton OL6 7DF
0161 339 4774
I once went here with my mate Barry Singh and had one of the best curry shop experiences ever. Located in Heaton Moor, this is a no frills, proper Curry House that pulls no punches in their selection of classic dishes alongside a few more unique creations. The menu is massive and there’s something for everyone and it’s the perfect place to tuck into a few courses, a few ice cold pints of Cobra and finish sucking a Vimto lolly on the way home.
Heaton’s Tandoori, 33A Shaw Rd, Stockport SK4 4AG
Situated in the middle of Manchester’s curry mile, Ziya is more modern and clean looking than some of the other venues alongside it with an open plan kitchen, and more of a special event feel than your traditional curry. The food focuses on good quality meats and curries served fresh, with a real cosmopolitan feel. The Tandoori Badshah – what Ziya describe as the king of kebabs, is a solid starter choice, as well as the Peshwari lamb chops. Ziya aren’t afraid of showing that the traditional English favourites such as Chicken Tikka Masala don’t have to be so bland, and actively show what a good Indian should really taste like. If you like hot curries, the Chennai Murgh, chicken in a rich hot sauce flavoured with aromatic spices and a hint of coconut is well worth a try.
Ziya, 65-67 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 5TB
Legends of street food events, Chaat Cart have been peddling their fantastic Indian cuisines for a few years now and have even won a MFDF Award for their efforts. They’ve now managed to get themselves some permanent property over in lovely Marple, so you won’t need to sign up to their Twitter or look out for smoke signals to find out where they’ll be on a weekend. With a new, permanent menu in place, you can still find some absolute corkers including their melt-in-the-mouth Sindhi Seyal Gosht mutton, Venison croquettes that will make you weep for more and their always welcome Gunpowder Fries.
Chaat Cart, 13-15 Derby Way, Marple, SK6 7AH
Anyone who lives in West Didsbury should have been to Namaste at least once, and in fact I believe anyone looking to buy or rent in the area must provide proof that they’ve tucked into a Bhuna in here at some point in their life before they can sign a contract. Technically serving up Nepalese grub, there’s a great mix of unique Himalayan dishes alongside the more traditional Indian favourites. You’re always guaranteed a good atmosphere in here, and the food is always flawless.
Namaste Nepal, 164-166 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 1LH