Eat up, our kid. Eat up. These are words that may as well be the city-wide mantra of Manchester when it comes to Indian food. No other city in the UK loves curry like Manchester. Curry to Manchester is as important as football, as important as Joy Division and as important as not being scared of a little rain, and it goes without saying that Indian restaurants in Manchester are the flagbearers. They’re the institutions that make the special relationship between Mancunians and Indian food possible. They have standards to keep and criteria to fill. Quite simply, they have to be outstanding. Indian restaurants in Manchester are everywhere and not one of them would last a day if it was failing to cut the mustard.
Central or suburbs? Does it matter? Nah, not round these parts. Didsbury or Chorlton, Ancoats or The Gay Village, Stockport or Levenshulme, wherever you are, Manchester will have an Indian restaurant to blow your socks off. In them you’ll find authentic Indian cuisine, it’s true, but we’d be fibbing if we said authentic is the preference. More popular not just in Manchester’s Indian restaurants but the ones peppered across the UK as well, are the British Indian dishes – the Brindian dishes, if you will. What are we on about? We’re on about baltis, we’re on about jalfrezis, we’re on about chicken tikka masalas. These are the dishes people love and these are the dishes the Indian restaurants of Manchester serve proudly by the bucket load.
Indian cuisine is one of the biggest industries in the UK and is reported to be worth five billion a year. Yes, you read that correctly. An Indian meal out is no longer a treat or a once-a-month thing if folk are feeling flush, in fact, Indian food has become so entwined with British life that a curry is arguably now as much of a comforter and social aid as a cup of tea. Trying to define whether this entwinement came before or after the birth of the Brindian dishes we just talked about is rather like trying to define what came first out of the chicken and the egg, but the only thing that matters is that the Indian restaurants of Manchester keep absolutely all of this in mind. The result is fantastic food and heartwarming hospitality.
As legendary Mancunian Tony Wilson once said: “This is Manchester, we do things differently here.” This, we think, is perhaps one reason why Indian food and Indian restaurants are so loved in Manchester. By its very nature, curry doesn’t conform. No one curry has one set list of ingredients. One man’s rogan josh can differ from his neighbour’s but the odds are that they’ll both be a delight. Recipes can change and evolve and move with the times and these are things that have always been very much a part of Manchester’s psyche anyway. For another example just look at Manchester’s Indian restaurants themselves. These days they’re starting to move away from dimly-lit haunts with sticky carpets and more towards contemporary places of rather fine dining, complete with leather-backed chairs and all the trimmings.
Yeah, we know, you’re probably wondering how we got this far into talking about Manchester’s Indian restaurants without mentioning the curry mile, but relax. Since way back in the 80’s, Rusholme’s Wilmslow Road has been known by all in Greater Manchester as the place to go and get involved with some of the best Indian food in the country. It’s a mile-long curry paradise that has literally changed the demographic of this entire area of Manchester to make it one of the most buzzing communities around. Some restaurants here have gone gourmet while others are all about curry in a hurry, serving their food off of paper plates that diners chuck in the bin before they leave. Whatever type of Indian experience you’re after, this part of Manchester has Indian restaurants that will have drool running down your chin.
As you may be able to tell, Quandoo is rather fond of Manchester’s Indian restaurants. This food scene is one our favourites and we can’t urge you enough to go and start filling your boots. As we said, you’ll find an Indian restaurant in Manchester that suits you down to the ground whether you’re in the market for a Wednesday night curry club, a Friday night post-work fill or a Saturday tea time out with the family. Set aside a couple of minutes and have a butchers on the Quandoo app or website to find which takes your fancy the most, then reserve a table and be off. Don’t forget to order poppadoms...