[Ladybarn, Manchester] Sanskruti

Wednesday night is thali night at Sanskruti, so there was no debate over when we were going. We’ve not been since late 2019 and, in the intervening period, they’ve remodelled this vegetarian Indian restaurant. They’ve added internal walls and partitioning, effectively creating three rooms to replace the single large open space, with its serried ranks of tables which always reminded me of a works canteen. Now it looks every bit the nice casual restaurant. Times are tough in the hospitality industry and, presumably, it was staff shortages in the kitchen that led to a delay in the food arriving, by which time, we’d hit the finger-tapping stage.

So, back to the thali – that’s a hard “th”, as in “talk” – named after the stainless steel platter on which the small dishes of food are set. You won’t find thalis in that many Asian restaurants but, as it’s a complete meal, it’s usually a good bet. Everything was fine, although a couple of items were no better than OK.

There was an onion bhaji to start. Overly dense and not that flavoursome. Then, moving clockwise round the platter, there’s a dish of mint and onion raita. Chopped salad – onion, tomato, etc – the sort you get with chutney if you order poppadums. Paneer in a nice mild creamy sauce. Chickpea and spinach in fairly spicy aubergine “gravy”. And a well made daal.

There’s a range of carbs – fluffy rice, pappad and roti. And two desserts – gulab jamun which was nicely sweet but not cloyingly so and a more cake like one that didn’t taste of much and which neither of us were keen on.


John, is there a large South Indian population in the UK?

@sck I don’t know about the rest of the UK, but in London, the South Indian, mainly Tamil community, can be found in Tooting. Consequently, one finds quite a number of places offering South Indian foods in that neighborhood, e.g. Saravanaa Bhavan, Sree Krishna, Radha Krishna Bhavan, Chennai Dosa and Vijaya Krishna.

sck - I’m afraid I don’t know. The census only records an ethnic heritage as “Indian” without breaking it down further. FWIW, that’s nearly 1.5 million (England & Wales only) whihc is some 2% of the total population. They are the largest non-white ethnic group, followed by those of Pakistani heritage and those of Black African heritage.