The British people love a good curry. It’s actually said that chicken tikka masala is the nation’s favourite dish. Over the years, we have become more adventurous with our taste, donning a vindaloo or even a spicy Dhansak. Manchester is famous for its curry mile, but I was invited to a curry house where they make your dining experience a bit more refined.
Opening its doors on Peter Street a three years ago, Asha’s is not your ordinary curry house. Gorgeous gold chandeliers adorn the ceilings above the purple velvet booths creates a unique and stylish experience.
The pre-theatre dining menu is either a two (£17.95) or three courses (£19.95), with a glass of house wine, beer or soft drink. The menu is served Monday to Friday 5:30 pm – 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 3pm – 7 pm.
It might be a step up from the standard curry house, but it’s not too posh for poppadums, and that’s where we started. Served with a selection home-made chutneys, my favourite was the mint and coriander sauce, and of course, mango chutney!
Being recommended to try the starters with the sauces, the waitress brought us over a new selection and our starters.
For the starters, we chose one vegetarian speciality platter and one meat one. The speciality platter included a gosht seekh kebab, murg malai kebab and seafood seekh kebab. The gosht was a gorgeous lamb kebab and seasoned well. The seafood kebab was a bit of an odd texture and sadly didn’t have much flavour to it. But the murg malai chicken kebab was a winner for me, as the chicken was oozing with flavour and moisture!
The vegetarian speciality platter included paneer ka soola, tandoori broccoli and Aloo Matar ki Tikki. All full of flavour and punch, you wouldn’t even know you were eating vegetables and baked cheese! My guest clearly loved the starter as she wouldn’t let me even try all the selection, but she finished them all and had a clean plate, so I guess she liked them.
For our main course, I wanted the classic chicken tikka to see if it reached my high expectations for it. It certainly did. Named the Murg Makhani, the chicken tikka in a tomato and cream gravy, delicately flavoured with dried fenugreek leaves. The chicken was cooked spot on, and the sauce wasn’t too tomatoey and had just the right amount of spice. Served with a bowl of rice and naan bread, I could not fault my main course.
My guest went for the Murg Tikka Salad, with corn-fed chicken tikka cooked in a tandoor oven. Served on a bed of salad, drizzled with fresh coriander and olive oil dressing. There was too much dressing on top, leaving the whole dish very oily. The flavour of the chicken was delightful and had a good kick of heat to it.
It is hard not to like and have a good time in a curry house, even when there’s only a small amount of people sat down during the early evening. Manchester is swimming with places for a good curry, but you should definitely try Asha’s for the fantastic service from all the staff and the gorgeous and tasty food that the talented chefs create. It’s one to check out while you’re here!
Asha’s, 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG / ashasmanchester.co.uk