Manchester’s Indian restaurants are up there with the best around, but they’re usually associated with the Curry Mile on the south of the city. Up in the north, one can find a superb standard of subcontinental cooking, as Bury, Rochdale and Oldham are home to huge Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities: on Rochdale Road in Bury lies the Asia Lounge, one of the best places around to taste authentic Indian food.
The Curry Mile may dominate the Indian eating scene in Manchester, but those who jump a Met out to the less-celebrated suburbs will not return disappointed. North Manchester is home to massive local populations with family backgrounds in Kashmir and Bangladesh – the ‘Indian’ restaurants are often not as Indian as advertised – and thus their food is as authentic as it gets. Asia Lounge on Rochdale Road in Bury is a prime example of this, and their menu is quite unlike those of the standard curry houses in the North of England.
This properly Pakistani restaurant offers a range of curries that are a cut above the usual. The speciality here is a wedding favourite: a full roasted lamb. Book for a party – you’ll need a minimum of 15 people to stand a chance of finishing it – and head down to Rochdale Road in Bury for a real feast. They don’t serve alcohol – this is down-at-home Indian and Pakistani place, after all – but their balti, karahi and nihari selections more than make up for it: head out of Manchester city centre on the tram to Bury and find yourself a tiny corner of Kashmir.