[Manchester, city centre] Scene

We came for lunch in June and said we must get back for dinner sometime. So, it’s taken six months. Was it worth the wait? Well, no – not really. It was all OK but with top flight competition in the city centre from the likes of Akbars, EastzEast and Indian Tiffin Room, it all felt a bit average.

There was promise in a really well made dosa, as light and crisp as you’d like. It comes filled with a delicately spiced mix of potato, onion and beans and accompanied with a spicy chutney, a coconut chutney and a pleasant enough vegetable sambar. But this was the best thing either of us ate. The other starter was a pav bhaji – a Mumbai street food classic. Not the best version I’ve eaten. The vegetables should be lightly mashed together but it had been overdone here so it was more like a puree. And I may be wrong but the bread seemed more like a bog standard sesame burger bun than the buttery roll I’ve had before. Tasted OK though.

Getting the texture a bit wrong was something of an issue with one of the main courses. The well known Punjabi dish of aloo gobi again tasted OK but the potato and cauliflower had been cut quite small and were a bit mushy as a consequence. As with everything else that was served, chicken jaipuri was a very generous portion. A nice mix of chicken, mushrooms and green peppers in a thick clingy sauce. Spicing was quite restrained – not just with the chilli but the whole masala mix was well balanced. We ordered a side dish of daal which was excellent – thick and with a much heavier hand with the spices. I’d happily eat that as a main course, along with what was really good fluffy pilau ruice and crisp tandoori roti.

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Was the lunch you ate 6 months ago much better?

I wonder if they are doing those tiny adjustments to adapt to the local taste.

Not really but it’s difficult to make a straight comparision. They only have a very short menu at lunch - just 3 starters and 3 mains. There’s also a thali which is what we both ordered. It was actually having a thali available that impressed us.