But we’ve debated, argued, and I think at one point someone bit me, and we’ve come up with our favourites in the city centre – mostly because as soon as you start venturing outside the centre it’s nigh on impossible to only have 5.
Goan Fish Curry at Mowgli Street Food
I don’t know what it is but if you put tamarind into ANYTHING – it goes from being ‘decent’ to ‘fucking amazing’. This sour-sweet fruit is an outstanding ingredient for any curry, and this Goan Fish number from Mowgli is no exception. It’s tangy and smoky with a slight sweet twinge, all of which pairs perfectly with the fish fillets that make up the bulk of the dish. Even if it doesn’t manage to magically transport you to a beach in Goa, don’t worry – they’re not that nice anyway – there’s too many cows on them.
Mowgli Street Food, 16, Corn Exchange House, 37 Exchange St, Manchester M4 3TR
Vegetable Curry at Simply Delicious
There are a couple of reasons why Simply Delicious (or Auntie as we call it here in the office) have managed to get on to this list. First of all, they turn up every Thursday at the Piccadilly Gardens Market like a shining beacon of Indian goodness – offering up hearty, delicious food for seemingly around 1 million people during the lunch hour rush. Secondly they are in here because the curries are tremendous – simple, flavoursome and filling. Tuck into their Vegetable Curry with a couple of Samosas on the side and you’re in Curry Heaven.
Simply Delicious, Picadilly Gardens Market every Thursday & Friday
2 Veg & 1 Meat at This & That
To choose one favourite dish at This & That is much easier said than done. If it was myself then I’d sit here and talk about their Daal until the cows come home – but they’ve got so many splendid dishes on offer – it’s hard for many to choose a favourite. Added to this is the fact that you can mix & match all of their curries as you see fit – creating a curry cocktail. Personally though, I’d go for their 2 Veg & 1 Meat for a fiver on a Monday with Daal, Cauliflower and Keema Curry. The best way to put a spring in your step for the rest of the week.
This & That, 3 Soap St, Manchester M4 1EW
Duck Vindaloo at Asha’s
A favourite among the kind of bloke you’d find in the pub wearing a vest, drinking Stella and chewing nails, the Vindaloo is famed for its huge levels of heat and low levels of taste. Well, you can completely disregard any preconceptions you have about the Vindaloo when you get to Asha’s – they have forgone stupid levels of heat to concentrate on flavour, and by using duck – this is a fantastic twist on a true classic. It’s still quite hot mind you – but not so hot that you’ll melt your underpants.
Asha’s, 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG
Lamb Nihari at Zouk
They say that you should judge a restaurant by how good their Nihari is – mostly because everyone offers it in some form or another and if it’s shit – so is your chef. But it must be said – if you’re judging Zouk by their Nihari then it’s clearly one of the best Curry Shops in the city – as their version is absolutely bloody fantastic. Slow cooked over 12 hours, this curry is superbly rich, the lamb melts in your mouth and once you’ve had it – you’ll never have anything else again.
Zouk, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS