It’s easy to forget how excited I get when there’s a few curries put in front of me, but it’s safe to say I definitely shouldn’t have worn a white t-shirt for this one. There’s a lot more to Scene than meat in spicy sauce though, with a selection of street food style favourites, shishas and a terrace overlooking the Irwell. So with their 1st anniversary of opening over in Spinningfields passing just last week, it seemed the perfect time to go and check the place out.
Like I said we got a bit excited so there’s plenty to get through here. We asked our waiter to bring us a selection of popular dishes and he didn’t disappoint, first up lamb chops with deep tandoori style spices and a smokey flavour from the grill. I need to get the recipe for these with BBQ season on its way. Amritsari was marinated and deep fried cod, really deliciously but delicately spiced so as not to overpower the fish.
We went a little off menu with the delicious Dubai roll, a soft chapati wrapped tightly round juicy kofta style kebab and a spicy tomato sauce. Then it was back to basics with a classic, crisp onion bhajis and tasty yoghurt dip.
The chilli chicken is a nice stir fried bowl of crispy chicken and peppers, well worth a try if you fancy something a bit lighter. Definitely the prettiest, and quite possibly the tastiest, thing we ate was the samosa chaat. The pastry snacks filled were filled with potato and chickpeas then topped with yoghurt, pomegranate and tamarind.
Another mainstay of Indian street corners that’s made a real splash in the UK over the last few years is pani puri, the crispy balls are a single bite with a burst of flavour, here they were brimming with chickpeas, chutney and coriander.
All that food and we hadn’t even seen a curry yet! And to be honest we probably could’ve left it there as well, but having been well impressed with the small plates we were more than keen to see what else was on offer. We enjoyed the dhaba murgh, a tangy chicken dish livened up with spring onions. We also chose the kalimirch aur methiwala with lamb, it’s cooked with black peppercorns, fresh fenugreek leaves and whole red chillies for a rich deep spicy flavour. Finally punjabi masala is a proper traditional home cooking style curry with chicken thighs in a ginger and garlic tomato sauce. We had all this with boiled rice and garlic naan.
There’s undoubtedly a trend at the moment for trying to offer Indian food that’s a little more like what you might find if you visited the country yourself, rather what it has evolved in to here in the UK. Simplistically speaking, probably the main difference would be less curries and more different dishes, and I think that’s where Scene excel, with their starters and sides. There’s more than enough to tempt on the menu before you even get to the mains, and if you order everything you fancy I doubt there will be any room left for curry. So my advice would be get a table full, you won’t regret it!