“We believe sharing great food is one of the best ways to spend time with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and even new acquaintances,” say the team at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, a contemporary Pakistani and Indian restaurant nestled in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, the Oxford Road Corridor. Suffice to say, they know what they’re talking about.
Hemmed by world-leading universities and scientific research organisations, the spacious Chester Street establishment may be rooted in the subcontinent’s culinary traditions, but offers a truly 21st Century experience 365 days a year.
The menu is extensive without being overbearing, with small plates a specialty. Pulled Lamb Nihari Calzone, Butter Chicken Bao, Mango Salad, and the Punjabi Lollipop — complete with spiced pomegranate marinade — give some idea of what to expect on that front. This barely scratches the surface, though. Zouk’s homemade gourmet burgers and selection of steaks cater to those looking for more British bites, while the full sized curry options are truly impressive, as is the seafood.
For a unique lunch or dinner, it’s worth looking into the huge BBQ sharing platter, which, among other things, includes now rather famous shawarmas, which are also available as standalone dishes. All of which is before we come to the vegan and vegetarian choices, or the Zouk Special Roast, which ranges from whole chicken and leg of lamb, to an entire stuffed lamb which must be ordered two days in advance. In addition to eating in, customers are invited to a range of masterclasses taught by the restaurant’s own crack team. Each focuses on a different aspect of the menu and individual cooking styles. Better yet, those taking the courses also get to polish off their creations before leaving. Finally, pre-theatre (the Palace and HOME are just around the corner) and bottomless brunch packages are on offer at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, too.