By some miracle, on a blustery winters evening I found myself transported to a Middle Eastern paradise. Pasha is a delightful little restaurant in Withington, within easy reach of the main student area. Having been only open for nine months, Pasha is ranked as the #10 restaurant on Tripadvisor in Manchester, so I felt it would be foolish not to go and sample what it has to offer when it lies a stone’s throw from my doorstep.Photos: Pasha
We were greeted by kind and attentive staff on arrival, and ushered to a table laid with some of the prettiest crockery I have ever seen. The room was impeccably decorated with wall hangings, candles and beautiful lampshades; heavenly smells wafted through the room, making us confident that we had come to quite a special place. As we were only two, we only ordered a few bits from the extensive mezze menu. While we eagerly anticipated the arrival of our food, we were brought olives and pickles to whet our appetite. Then came the glorious dishes we had ordered. The houmous was the silkiest one could imagine, dressed with olive oil and spices, and served with flatbreads warm from the oven to scoop it up.
An old friend of mine named halloumi made an appearance, served in fat, salty slices, lightly grilled and delicious as ever. Spinach bourek were beautifully crisp and plump filo cigars filled with spinach and heady with sweet and spicy cardamom—I’m not sure if the spicing was entirely to my taste but the textures were gorgeous. Chicken skewers from the charcoal pit were fat and juicy; flavoursome yet mildly spiced, and given a good kick by the accompanying chilli sauce which really brought them to life. The star of the show was undoubtedly the mousakah, consisting of meaty aubergines cooked in a richly spiced tomatoes, chickpeas and onions which really complimented everything else that we ate.
A wonderful pro of this restaurant is the fact that it is BYOB and doesn’t charge corkage, making it a perfect place to eat out on the cheap with your tipple of choice. My advice would be to come here with a large group of friends and order a wide breadth of items from the menu so that you can sample as much as possible for an even cheaper price. We left stuffed, but were sad to have only tried a small portion of what they had to offer. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. The top class staff serve up some spectacular food, and they thoroughly deserve the high Tripadvisor standing that they have gained.