(Cheadle, Greater Manchester) Aamchi Mumbai

We first ate here on its opening night and there have been meals fairly regularly since then, although not since February. Short menus are usually a good sign in my book but, in truth, we’d eaten out way through it and it had started to feel a bit samey. The break has done us good and we can look at things with a sort of fresh eye. In brief, service remains excellent and the food coming out of the kitchen remains excellent.

There were mini pappads, topped with onion and tomato, to nibble on while we looked through the menu. There’s a selection of chutneys to drizzle on them.

Sev puri was one starter – single bite sized discs of puri, topped with chaat salad and chutney and finished off with a sprinkle of crunchy sev. It’s excellent. As is the seekh kebab – one of the few things we’d not previously ordered. It’s a good version – moist, tasty meat, well spiced, with just enough chilli to give it a kick.

Chicken Malvani originates from the Mumbai region, as do many of the dishes on the menu. It’s not too wet and the sauce is well balanced – there’s certainly heat but it’s balanced by coconut. Lamb bhuna is one of only a couple of dishes that you’d recognise from a menu of a high street curry house. But the quality is a world apart. Care has been taken to give a long cooking to the meat and there’s equal care taken to ensure that there’s nothing aggressive in the spicing, although it was hotter than the chicken, it was not overdone. For carbs, there was really good lemon rice – light and fluffy – and a chilli & onion kulcha, similarish to a naan but flatter, with the onion baked into the dough. It’s really good.

(July visit)

Another really good evening. And it was good to see the restaurant included in the just published 2017 Good Food Guide for the second year running. They really are up there with the best of them – both in terms of food quality and standard of service.

There were mini-pappads to nibble on while we looked at the menu. They come topped with onion and tomato and there’s four chutneys to drizzle over. I really liked the coriander and chilli one. For one starter there was bhel puri – crisp rice, soft vegetables and a tangy sauce (albeit one that seemed a little restrained in the use of tamarind). The other starter was a pretty much bang-on masala dosa - crisp pancake, potato filling lightly spiced with mustard seeds, pleasant coconut chutney and a savoury sambar. Good stuff!

We both went with lamb for a main course. We rate the bhuna as the best we’ve tasted anywhere and it was as good as ever. The saagwala was equally good – tender, tasty meat and clingy spinach sauce, with well rounded spicing. Masala rice was lovely – the owner explaining that it’s often served as a breakfast dish in Mumbai – the rice left over from the previous day being fried up with various spices. Roti was as good as it always is here – with just the right amount of crispy charring round the edges.

(September visit)

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold