Over the past four years that I have resided in Manchester, I have, until very recently, been frustrated by the Indian cuisine options I have encountered. Many may say I’m crazy and that my prime location within walking distance of Rusholme’s Curry Mile means I have a plethora of diverse and quality choices close by. However, apart from a select few instances, I have been disappointed by various restaurants that boast of serving fine Indian food.
(Other restaurants that serve grilled meat have actually far out achieved the curries I have tasted – namely Antalya Café’s cheap and succulent chicken kebabs, served in soft bread and with a large, fresh salad.)
Whilst scouring TripAdvisor for any new additions to their ‘best restaurants in Manchester’ section, I realised a name I have increasingly come across – Indique. Situated on the food hub of Burton Road, close to Fallowfield, I thought it was about time I tried this highly rated, talk about curry house.
With a partner in tow, I entered Indique on the Tuesday following the recent bank holiday, I therefore expected it to be somewhat subdued. However, we were met with an impressive half-full restaurant with smiling waiters and a cheery background hum of Indian music. The inside is a fairly strange layout, consisting of a wholly inside section and then a few tables located in the attached conservatory, glass roof section. We sat happily in the latter section and I was facing colourful wall paintings that continued the good impressions.
We quickly chose to order two pints of Cobra, the classic lager to pair with curry and began inspecting the food menu. I’m not a fussy eater, so I normally find it a struggle and toss-up between meal choices, however, this time it was especially hard. Indian cuisine, full of meat, spices, onions and tomatoes, combines many of my favourite ingredients and Indique’s menu seemed to have been created especially to meet my dinner desires.
After a record amount of toing and froing we decided to share three starters consisting of onion dall bhajis, Kathi chicken tikka rolls, and Peshwari lamb chops. We decided a variety of meats and a vegetarian starter would allow us to have the fullest experience.
Whilst we waited for our starters to arrive, our attentive waiter brought over a dish of complimentary poppadums and dips. The smooth sweet mango chutney paired expertly well will the slightly spicy tomato dip and the finely chopped onion mix to create small mouthfuls of flavour-filled enjoyment.
When our starters were brought out we firstly appreciated their simultaneous arrival, something that is becoming less and less common in modern restaurants. Next, we were hit with our first course of Indique’s beautiful presentation. Our kathi roll dish was served on a grey slate tile and was accompanied with slashes of bright green and pink chutneys, and not only was the presentation impressive, but the taste of the sauces were not redundant but added to the overall dish with sweet and minty notes. The Peshwari lamb chops were small, however, packed a powerful tang. The paprika filled coating left us wanting more. Finally, the onion bhajis were satisfactory, they would have benefitted from being slightly crispier, but the tamarind sauce that was squeezed over the plate more than made up for it.
Happy and more than contented by our starters, we eagerly looked forward to our mains. Earlier we had ordered: a chicken tikka makhani curry, a lamb rogan-e-nishaat curry, a garlic naan, a plain naan, and some rice. We had been almost tempted to order a delicious sounding vegetarian option such as Bhindi-do-piaza, however, the amount of food we had order was already enough to feed an army.
Without a long wait, our mains appeared. Two deep pots of oppositely coloured curry and full-to-the-brim wicker baskets full of naan bread made us feel instantly excited. My renowned to be fussy partner commented on the flavour and silkiness of the butter chicken tikka makhani curry being ‘tasty’ and my melt-in-the-mouth lamb was engulfed by rich layers of complimentary spices. We dipped and wiped every last inch of sauce from our dishes and sat back with a quiet sense of achievement.
Indique’s flavours, textures, presentation and waiters impressed me no end, my only question is: when can I go back?
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