On Wednesday Jake and I headed into Manchester to visit Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, which is just off Oxford Rd and incidentally, right near to my old digs from my fresher year at University. Zouk Manchester offers Pakistani and Indian authentic cuisine in modern and comfortable surroundings, upon arrival we were both impressed by the size and decor of the restaurant. A stylish, yet cool space means you can indulge in delicious food while relaxing with your friends and family. There is also a wonderfully spacious terrace area, for drinks and dining too if you like!
I have actually visited Zouk previously, but at their Bradford branch. It was however quite a few years ago now and so I was keen to see how they have grown, developed and what their Spring Menu Showcase would entail. On arrival we were treated to arrival cocktails and some interesting and tasty Indian canapes then once all the bloggers had arrived we were shown upstairs and seated, ready for our meals and of course, more cocktails!
The Spring cocktails included a variety of choice, including vodka, gin, Prosecco and tequila all mixed with interesting Spring-based flavours such as elderflower, mango, pineapple and strawberries. We may have tried a few of them and were pretty impressed!
As a vegetarian, I was pleased to see that for starter I was to receive Channa (chickpea) Masala and vegetable pakoras. I really love chickpeas and I’m also a huge fan of pakoras too, washed down with poppadoms, dips and chutneys. Seasonal vegetables are chosen and coated in a spicy gram flour batter, think Indian tempura! It was really good. Jake isn’t veggie and so had traditionally spiced lamb kebabs in breadcrumbs served with a cooling mint chutney and Bengali style marinated chicken with fresh mint and aromatic spices.
The mains arrived and Jake and I were immediately over-faced with all the dishes!! We did manage to try everything however. I ate Aloo Gobi and Bindi Dupiaza whilst Jake had a North Indian lamb curry cooked with sweet potato and flaked almonds and Qasuri Methi Murgh, which included chicken spiced with fenugreek . All the mains were served with rice subtly flavoured with cinnamon and naan bread slices, which were delicious and not too heavy. Personally, the Aloo Gobi was not for me, (cauliflower and potatoes in a Punjabi style sauce) however the Bindi (Orka or Ladies’ Fingers) was delicious! I was a little saddened not to see any paneer or perhaps aubergines in the mains, but that’s just my personal preference of flavour and texture in Indian cuisine.
We then enjoyed a few more cocktails, and we served a selection of desserts. I especially liked the ‘Mumbai Mess’ which was a ‘deconstructed cheesecake’ essentially, but it was creamy, fruity and had good biscuit texture topping. The perfect dessert after a spicy main! Also served as part of the desserts were chocolate brownies (these were nice and not too sweet!) and cinnamon topped ‘Churro’ donut style fingers served with chocolate sauce dip. I am not a fan of donuts, so you will have to try these for yourselves!
Special thanks to Zouk Manchester for inviting us to sample their Spring Menu Showcase, to book a table or find out more for yourself, you can call the restaurants; Bradford 01274 258 025 & Manchester 0161 2331 090
Some enjoy Zouk food so much, the restaurant is often asked about how it’s cooked. Ever keen to share their passion for the very best in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, you can also arrange for private, group or corporate cookery classes! Each course only takes half a day and teaches you to prepare and cook two starters, two main courses a rice side dish and either a naan or roti bread. Vegetarian classes are available too.
For further information on this email ManchesterManager@ZoukTeaBar.co.uk