[Manchester, city centre] Little Aladdin

Of late, it’s rare that I’m in the city centre during the day. Which means I’ve sort of lost touch with the curry cafes in the Northern Quarter. There’s been some changes since I last went for a nosy. The Al Faisal has moved across the road into larger premises. This & That has new furniture – uncomfortable benches in place of the manky plastic chairs. And the Little Aladdin has gone entirely vegan. That said, they all seem to retain their place as a sort of Asian equivalent of the greasy spoon.

The Aladdin was always my favourite. I liked its tiny nature – maybe just eight seats – as well as the food. It’s also had something of a refurb since I was last there. But, like most of the cafes, they still offer what has become the traditional Manc fayre of “rice & three”. That’s a plate of rice topped with your choice of three curries from their selection on the day of around six. I choose daal, a potato & aubergine curry and a spinach one. All three pleasant enough with quite mild spicing. Decent enough lunch for a fiver – which is also what it cost me much later for a bratwurst at the Christmas market. I know which is the better value – and it’ll be here year round.


Have never had the time to pop into one of these tempting little curry houses, always in Manchester for just a day or two. Is it worthwhile, John? One of my favourite curries in London is a dhal with aubergine dish from Needoo Grill. Such a warming, comfortable dish! As for food at Christmas markets, no thank you! I’ll stick to the mulled wine and junk food there!

If you’re in the Northern Quarter at lunchtime, then yes. But not worth a schlep. The creators of the “rice & three” is the “This & That”, which is where I’d suggest for you. I was a tad disappointed with the Aladdin and Hunters BBQ has stopped doing its game curries, so the T & T or the Yadgar are probably best bets.