Home of the curry mile, you’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to a good bhuna in Manchester. The curry capital of the North has a lot to offer in terms of great food so we’ve put together a rundown of five great places to devour a dhansak.
A high end Indian dining experience, this chain (EastZEast has two branches in Manchester city centre as well as Whitefield, Liverpool, Preston and Birmingham) prides itself on its Punjabi cuisine; an award winning eatery EastZEast’s gallery of famous faces who have dined here include Sir Tom Jones and Hollywood actor Willem DaFoe. With modern décor and valet parking you can feel like a celebrity in your own right here. There is a marvellous selection of pickles as well as an extensive vegetarian menu and dietary requirements are dealt with carefully.
If you’re searching for authentic Indian street food in Manchester look no further than the Indian Tiffin Room. Inspired by the bustling streets of India the Indian Tiffin Room is far from your average curry house. Offering authentic dishes like ‘Dosa’ (rice pancakes) and ‘Thali’ (a beautiful mini buffet on a plate) ITF specializes in healthy Asian dining and is less influenced by heavily flavoured spices than most restaurants but is still filled with the authentic flavours of India. Due to ITF’s immense popularity it can be challenging to make a reservation due to it being extremely busy so booking in advance is a must.
Inspired by Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle, (the very same Asha that inspired Cornershop’s 1997 hit Brimful of Asha) this restaurant is the company’s tenth venue with others as far away as Qatar and Abu Dhabi so you know they’re doing something right. A multi-award winning business Asha’s feels like a boutique restaurant only thankfully without the boutique price tag. Serving modern pan Asian cuisine this restaurant offers not only style but substance too and you can tuck into any number of delicious dishes (all very poetically described on the hard back menu) and wash it down with such liquid delights as the Watermelon (Sipsmith Sipping vodka shaken with sweetened fresh watermelon) and the Spice Route (Opihr gin, cardamom infused Cointreau, house-made saffron syrup, fresh lemon juice and egg white)
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill has seen the likes of Rhianna and rapper Drake walk through its doors and you can’t help wonder if that is due to the sense of theatre the kitchen has. You know you’re in for good food when you hear that the menu is the result of travels and first-hand experience. Owners Mudassar and Tayub have travelled far afield and have carefully selected the finest ideas from both Morocco and the Indian subcontinent and brought them back to the UK as a mouth-watering mix of authentic food served with a modern twist. The restaurant itself is thoroughly modern and this venue not only offers flavour but also food which suits the health conscious as well as the flavour driven diner. A great venue to eat and wind down from the days pressures Zouk is exactly what contemporary Asian dining should be.
Heading into its 25th year Mughli is a stalwart of the Manchester curry scene. Specializing in the karchi style cooking used in Delhi and Punjab Mughli is a family business; started by Mohammad ‘Uncle Peter’ Arshad it is now run by his sons Sax, Haz, Was and Shaz following Uncle Peters death shortly before the 20th anniversary of the restaurant. Declared one of the best restaurants in Manchester by the Telegraph the Mughli experience is based around the theatre of the charcoal pit. The way the chefs handle the spicing of their dishes is probably the most impressive thing of all – the complex ingredients are handled with great care. The restaurant itself is contemporary and stylish and is brimming with the smell of traditional and family recipes. Mughli offers an exceptional wine and cocktail list and with the family continuing to improve upon and modernize the restaurant and build upon its success it looks like Mughli will easily be around for another 20 years to come.