Only a couple of weeks ago we looked at the best Indian restaurants that the city has to offer and compiled this handy guide to what’s hot. Things move pretty fast round here these day though, and we might just have a new contender for that list. Open but three months and already causing a bit of stir, Indique is West Didsbury’s newest curry house, and they know their curry down on Burton rd, so I thought I’d better go find out what all the fuss was about.
In a crowded curry market place it can be hard to stand out whilst still trying to remain traditional and free of gimmicky dishes. It’s a cuisine so close to British hearts that everyone thinks they know best too. Indique owner Dinesh Maheshwari has a better claim than most though, growing up in Rajasthan, and having seen Indian chefs in his home country expand their repertoires in recent years he was keen to bring some of these exciting inventive dishes to our shores and offer something a little bit different.
Presentation is certainly something not too high on the agenda at your standard curry house, but our starters in particular were certainly there to be enjoyed by the eyes first. The ajwaini salmon tikka was probably the closest I’ve had to a kebab served on slate. It was lightly seasoned with tandoori spices and nicely moist. Scallops jumped off the menu as a must try, not being your usual Indian seafood, subtle hints of star anise, fennel and turmeric stained the pan fried morsels with colour and flavour.
When choosing my main course it was hard to see past the masala lamb shank, it’s the sort of cut you order with giddy excitement at the prospect of having it all to yourself. The braised hunk of meat was perfectly tender and deliciously enveloped in a rich tomato gravy. Perhaps there could have been a few vegetables present to add texture to the sauce but as a pure indulgence I’m struggling to recall nicer curries I’ve tried. Something a little simpler, my companion chose the chicken tikka makhani which was buttery sweet and tangy. A classic dish cooked as it should be, rather than being anything to amaze, I was happy with my lamb anyway and didn’t really fancy sharing it. We shared garlic naan and pilau rice which were similarly well executed, light, slightly crisp naan and fragrant fluffy rice.
Desserts, so often a let down to English palates, were actually stand out dishes in their own right I felt. I had tried gulab jamun on a number of occasions but never really enjoyed it. I’ve always had it served to me cold and found it to taste a bit stale, here it arrived steaming hot, reminiscent of treacle sponge. The gajar halwa also exceeded expectations; a warm moist cake of carrot, cashew nuts and raisins that finished off my meal quite nicely.
A menu then with a real capacity to surprise, and you get the feeling there is plenty more to come from the team as they get their feet under the table over the coming months. They have more than enough rivals to keep them on their toes of course, even on the doorstep, but certainly in town too. You can see a genuine desire to create exciting dishes without using shortcuts though, everything is done from scratch, there are no standard base curry sauces here and the presentation is all immaculate. If you’re after trying something done a bit different, or even just something done a bit better, look no further.