It’s months since we were last at Indique. It was a stereotypical Manchester evening, with the rain lashing down but, as always, the restaurant was pretty busy.
An old favourite to start for one of us – bhel puri. Usually a fine version but this was very dry, perhaps a tad stale, with an over reliance on vermicelli in the ingredients, with no potato. There was little lift from the squiggles of chutney across the plate. That was followed by another old favourite of aloo gobi. It really is the best version we know, with the well spiced sauce just clinging to the vegetables, which are cooked through but still have a little bite to them.
Across the table, the order was for something new to us – chilli paneer. This isn’t their excellent paneer tikka but a preparation in the Indo-Chinese style. So, small cubes,of paneer, red pepper, slices of green chilli and soy sauce. Really nice. For a main course, a dish we know from elsewhere – lamb dalcha. This is from the city of Hyderabad and features very long cooked lamb in a mainly smooth sauce, with a bit of texture from lentils. It was, perhaps, overly mild in spicing and we’d have preferred it with a bit more oomph but it was pleasant enough in itself. We shared rice and a tandoori roti, which were both fine.
So, a meal that had more issues than we’ve experienced here over several visits. But the main issue was just how long it took for food to come out of the kitchen. With the starters, it was so long that we were on the point of asking if we’d been forgotten. And then there was another very long wait for main courses. Same thing happened on a visit last year and it really does suck the enjoyment out of an evening. It was the sort of meal that, if this was your first experience of Indique, you probably wouldn’t come back. We will come back but, in truth, that might be a “last chance saloon” visit.