When I first moved to Manchester I had many an ‘argument’ with my wife as I claimed that London’s own “Curry Mile” in Brick Lane was far superior to its more famous Northern counterpart.
Over the first couple of years of living here, I’m pretty certain that we sampled every curry house on the Rusholme stretch.
Thanks mainly to their Masala Dosa, my favourite soon became the Punjab but we soon stopped going after a couple of so-so meals, and eventually seemed to avoid the area altogether – favouring my local Seven Spices (see here), Lily’s (here), home cooking or the curry cafes of Cheetham Hill.
The sad (perhaps good*) news, reported in The Mirror (Oct, 2012) is that the Curry Mile is ‘in decline’. They report, “Once home to dozens of curry houses, there are just 12 left - compared with 28 bars where people smoke shisha pipes.”
*Maybe we now have less quantity but greater quality? In my opinion, one of a new generation of 'Indian restaurants', Mughli certainly seems to suggest this. (I was prompted to try Mughli after reading the Where To Feed review (here).
What they say: ‘Set around the culinary theatre of the open 'angithi' charcoal pit & 'tandoori' clay oven, the Restaurant & Charcoal Pit is celebrating its 22nd anniversary in the heart of Manchester's 'Curry Mile' by showcasing a great selection of authentic street food, char-grilled meats & rustic home-style Mughlai cuisine.’
What we ate:
Poppadoms with chutney dip / tray - mango chutney, chilli tamarind sauce, mint yoghurt, red onions, garlic pickle and Rajasthani salad.
Samosa Chaat - deconstructed vegetable samosa topped with sweetened yoghurt, chilli tamarind sauce, potato, onion, chickpeas & crispy ‘aloo bhujia’.
Mughlai Lamb Chops – marinated for 24 hours in a traditional spiced masala seved with a mint onion salad.
Tava Roll - a Pakistani street food speciality of spiced lamb kebab basted in a chilli mango sauce & wrapped in a roti strip.
Paneer Cheese & Vegetable Sizzler with a Mughli side sauce.
Karahi Masala Fish with pickled red onions & spinach.
Lamb Korma - sweet, creamy coconut dish
Gunpowder Chips with garlic, red chilli flakes & coriander. Wild Mushroom & Tamarind Rice
Peshwari Naan with cherries, raisins & coconut, Roti, Okra
Food high points: The Tava Roll & fiery Gunpowder Chips were excellent… I can see myself ordering these on every visit. Retaining a little pinkness, the Lamb Chops were also very good. Decent drinks too.
Food low points: By quartering the breads and stacking them on spikes the lowers slices steamed each other and went a little soggy – in future, I’ll request mine to be served whole.
Décor / ambience: The décor is modern and clean. There is a definite Asian vibe without being overly hackneyed – I liked the wall of old film posters, carved elephants and giant mural of a ‘beautiful Bollywood starlet’. One point of criticism, and a personal bug bear… grubby menus!
Service: Swift and friendly.
Verdict (Would I return?): Will do and have done! The best meal I’ve had on the Curry Mile… ever!