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Best Curry In Manchester?


artal
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My husband has one night in Manchester tomorrow night (Tuesday December 12) and because we live in Barcelona with its lamentable Indian restaurants, he has this one chance to get his curry fix. Thom, or anyone knowledgeable, can you help??? The most important factor is authentic. Ambiance is not important as long as it's delicious. We've been reading about Rusholme but customer reviews of most of the restaurants on http://www.rusholmecurry.co.uk are dismal to say the least. Any help would be much appreciated!

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Thank you very much for your help so far! I'm glad we actually looked into it, he probably would've returned with food poisoning had he gone to Rusholme (judging from the reviews I had read). Keep the recommendations coming!

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There are a few reasonable places in Rusholme, but they are few and far between.

Love Hunter's. It is the most rediculously cheap place and where else can you get quail and venison curry?

My recommendation would be the Nawaab, which is in Failsworth and about a 5 min drive out of the city centre. Used to be down the road from my flat, but they've gone and moved. Otherwise, although it's a chain, the Rajdoot on Albert Square does good food.

Adam

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The Kathmandu mini-chain in West Disbury (two branches within a hundred yards of each other) on Burton Road received my custom last night (and very pleased I'm sure they were). Lovely Nepalese (as you'd expect from the name).

But HUnters if he wants a proper curry-cafe experience and is in the city centre. Otherwise as Bapi says, EastZEast, despite the awful name, is a great much more upmarket place.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Was in Hunters on Monday night after the Kasabian gig (they also turned up at socio Rehab, just as it the bar was closing :biggrin: ) . I agree it's not the best looking place in town, but the chicken tikka kebab (wrapped in naan) we had was superb as were the samosas.

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Ah... Manchester curries... Let me see.

My personal vote for best curry in Manchester? The Katmadu in Didsbury - Nepalese rather than Indian or Pakistani. Very, very good, well spiced, loads of depth to the flavour and nans to die for. The only downside is that they put funny coloured grains in the rice which I thought died out in the 80's. Not a pretty place, but cosy and just kind of 'right'.

I rate the place so highly that on discovering it whilst living just down the other end of Burton Road my girlfriend and I ate there virtually every single Friday for two years. And, once we moved to the city centre we drove there most Fridays (15 mins back out of town) to still get our fix. We now live in Derbyshire, 30 mins and 15 miles away, and if ever I find myself in Manchester with the car I still get one and drive home.

Bertie, has the other Nepalese place rebranded? It used to be the Gurkha Grill and although it has it's advocates I always found the currries too salty. I think someone related to one of the Katmandu guys did open his own restaurant in Burnage called the Third Eye but as far as I know each stands alone.

Rusholme? Grub, it's really not that good. Not the worst thing ever, but just mediocre like many restaurants are mediocre. There is not one place that stands out. I lived 2 mins from Rusholme for years and ate there a couple of times a week. In my additional seven years of living in Didsbury and then the city centre Rusholme was the place that we always seemed to end at for our late night (or up to 5am) curry fix.

Why did we still go if it ain't that good? Because it always gets the vote if you're in a mob, it's open (and you can often get a beer) when the clubs shut, and often at that stage you're too drunk to care. Convience and critical mass I reckon.

I must have eaten in Rusholme 300-500 times over the years, and the vast majority of those visits were at the late, great Tandoori Kitchen which closed after about twenty years on the strip. Owned by an Iranian family it actually cooked Persian style curries with yellow sweet nans and it was really very, very good. When it shut I have drifted from one joint to another (everyone has their favourite and will swear to you it's different) but I have not found one that would make me seek it out again.

The only exception is the chicken tikka kebabs at The Sajaan. Cheap, unrefined, huge, tasty. Kind of hits the spot when you have the need upon you.

Now the curry cafes of Picadilly are a very different thing. My mate introduced me to these about ten years ago and since then I have spent most of my life living and/or working around the area and they have become somewhat of an addiction of mine. A period of two years working on Hilton St where I had a curry for lunch about four times a week put on the weight like you wouldn't believe...

Again everyone has there favourite, but to me I find the ones down High Street generally pretty poor, and the Al Faisal, The Kabana and the New Yagdar just 'ok'. Aside from that Hunters is worth seeking out for the (ironically) seek kebabs, the weird game curries (venison bhuna) and the fact it is the only one to stay open late (all the others are 9-5-ish). This and That gets press but only because it is cheap. It's claim to fame is for the 3 (veggie) curries and rice for £2:50.

On to my favourites: The scourge of Piccadilly curry cafes is the microwaved or grilled nan breads. I'm a bread man, and it pains me to eat such stuff. For that reason I return again and again to the Mahabra which has a tandoor and does outstanding fresh nans (and very nice kebabs too). The other stand-out is The Kebabish. Slightly pricier than most but I think the best curry cafe in town. The curries are excellent (seek out the tandoori chops on Monday) and the samosas are are top-notch with crisp pastry as they sit in hot boxes rather than getting microwaved on request.

Just to stress to those not familiar with the curry cafes they are all small, pokey back street sites. They can seem a little rough and ready and food is served from canteen style cans with a every changing set of different curry specials each day. Think Pakistani greasy spoons (complete with fixed formica seating and possibly grubby cutlery) for all-day dining for the local workers and you're pretty much there.

Aside from that there are the 'posh' curry places in the city centre. The Radjoot, Shimla Pinks and so on are all fine, and Akbars which recently opened in Castlefield is decent and incredibly cheap. The head and shoulders one for me though is EastZEast. Terrible name, and a terrible attempt at a 'posh' environment (too much mock black marble) but the curries and breads are actually very good indeed. Even the pickles with the poppadoms (including a wonderful home-made garlic pickle) are worth seeking out.

Phew... I think that pretty much rounds it up. I realise this is actually a day late (so I hope you found a good place) but hey it's a pet subject of mine and I just like the sound of my own typing...

Cheers

Thom

Edit: Dammit you specifically said 'authentic not best' and yet I yakked on about best the whole time... Hopefully you can pick out the authentic places from my descriptions. In short places like Katmandu and EastZEast have great authentic food (though the decor is late-70's anglicised curry house in the former and small town 90's wine bar in the latter) and the food is maybe more authentic still (rough and ready Pakistani style curries so heavy on the ghee) in the curry cafes where the feel and bustle make the whole experience feel more authentic.

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Bertie, has the other Nepalese place rebranded? It used to be the Gurkha Grill and although it has it's advocates I always found the currries too salty. I think someone related to one of the Katmandu guys did open his own restaurant in Burnage called the Third Eye but as far as I know each stands alone.

The Gurkha is still there, but there's also a Little Katmandu as well as the Great Katmandu. KNown as Great Kat and Little Kat for obvious reasons. Those running them are related.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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