MOREISH . . . . . . . . . . Living deliciously in England\'s North West

Going underground in the Northern Quarter | June 14, 2006


Sometimes there are restaurants so good that you just don’t want to tell other people about them. Especially when they’re in Manchester’s oversubscribed Northern Quarter. This is how I feel about This n’ That, but that hasn’t stopped me from (selflessly) taking a number of people there. It’s on Soap Street, a tiny little alley just across the road from the Chinese Arts Centre, and buried back in a dark corner next to an abandoned builidng, with such an inobtrusive sign that you would never, ever find it if you didn’t know where to look. It’s a good place to hide out if you’re trying to elude the authorities, or a mental ex.

The place is a hotplate-style curry buffet, with different offerings depending on what day of the week it is, both meat and vegetarian. It’s damn good food, and it’s extremely cheap. I’ve never spent more than four quid for lunch there. And the men who work there are all quite sweet, despite their hazy command of the English language – once you’ve been in a few times, they will remember you and treat you like an old friend.

It gets busy at lunch, but there’s plenty of plastic seating, even a mysterious second floor dining room that I’ve never seen anyone go up to. The onion bhajis aren’t great, but they do have one of those bubbling juice fountain things filled with delicious mango lassi. And they have jugs of cold water for every table – which you’ll be thankful for if you’re too liberal with the green chiles.

It’s only open for lunch – or early tea – as it closes at half five. It’s closed Monday, I think, and Sunday. Getting there early is recommended, because they tend to run out of the good dishes (like the lamb and spinach curry) quickly. If it’s closed when you go, don’t despair. Take a short trip around the corner to Shudehill, where the Abergeldie Cafe serves up tasty fried halloumi and all-day breakfast. It’s the closest thing to a diner you’ll find in Manchester.


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1 Comment »

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