Zouk is a restaurant following the trend of bench seating, dim lighting and modern décor. The menu follows a somewhat more modern theme as well, although it remains very much in line with what one would expect from an Indian restaurant trying to set itself apart from others and yet failing entirely to do so. The standard collection of meals are available, with just a sprinkling of unique curries and the option of an Indian shawarma or an entire leg of lamb setting it apart slightly.
It must be said that potentially the overwhelming point that stuck in the mind after dining at Zouk was the poor service received, possibly due to a small number of staff serving a very large restaurant. I ordered poppadoms which sadly never arrived, and starters which arrived cold. The flavour of both starters, chicken imlee and tava lamb, was very good, but their temperature was a real shame. The plum and tamarind chutney accompanying the chicken imlee was a particular highlight at this stage though, and it being cool didn’t detract from it flavour.
Fortunately the main courses, a lamb “railway” curry and a chicken saag, were fantastic. The chicken saag was brilliant, with the delicious flavour of fresh fenugreek coming through alongside a slight spice. The railway curry, slow-cooked lamb shanks in a rich tomato sauce, fell from the bone just using the back of a spoon, and the sauce carried an excellent level of spice expertly blended with yoghurt. Both curries complimented one another perfectly, particularly with the addition of a couple of bottles of cobra and a very good peshwari naan.
I may go as far as to say that the curries on offer at Zouk could well be the best I have had in Manchester, however the service received may well be the worst. The staff were cold and blunt, bordering on rude, which left a slightly sour taste in the mouth; a real shame given that the main course left such a fantastic one! As a result of this, recommending Zouk is a funny one. One can expect a remarkably good curry, but do not expect it to be served with a smile.