If you’re a Fallowfield or Withington dweller, these restaurants are for you. Casual dining and quality hangover food when you just can’t face getting on the bus.
Fuzion Noodle Bar, Fallowfield
Fuzion is a classic, but I never get bored of it and it tends to go down well when I introduce it to visitors. Long rows of seating facing the open kitchen area give this place a communal casual dining feel. The menu is a varied affair of Pan-Asian classics and innovations. At this point, I’ve tried plenty of it, but I have my favourites. Start with the spicy prawn crackers, then order the salt and pepper squid. It’s my favourite of its kind – big chunks of squid in a crisp batter with a red and green chilli-pepper garnish. Be sure to ask for sweet chilli sauce, as oddly it doesn’t come by default. For the main event, a favourite of mine is the Malaysian Laksa curry with king prawns. A creamy, coconut curry with plenty of sauce, served with sticky rice. Veggies and vegans are also accommodated for, and the Vietnamese veggie braised rice is tasty. Reasonable prices and good food make Fuzion a Sunday favourite.
Kosmos is a long-established student favourite for its impressive deals. Head in Sunday to Friday for a two-course Greek menu with a glass of wine for just £10.50. The food was so good that we couldn’t resist an extra starter and a dessert, too. A special shout out to the Melintzanes, battered aubergine slices with a creamy tzatziki dip, as well as the deep-fried halloumi. Admittedly the wine is a conservative pour, but with lovely staff and decent food, this offer is not one to be scoffed at.
Family-run Kyotoya might be my favourite inclusion in this list. Tucked away on Copson Street in Withington, this sushi restaurant has all the quality of a city joint, without the inflated prices. Only a stone’s throw from a lot of student housing, it’s well worth a visit. The restaurant and its staff are homely and welcoming. You can watch your sushi being prepared in front of you, assuring its freshness. We ordered the 16-piece mixed sushi, which delightfully comes served in a wooden boat, complete with maki, uramaki, sashimi, nigiri, and the all-important wasabi and ginger. Alongside this we shared the chicken katsu curry and the tempura prawns. I’m not sure I’d rush to order the tempura again but the katsu definitely deserves a special mention. For such good Japanese food, this really won’t set you back much, and I highly recommend it for sushi lovers on a budget.
This rundown is only a nod to some of the casual dining on offer in South Manchester. So, next time you fancy a bite, consider staying a little closer to home.