Wednesday 21 October 2015

The Best Curry in the World

(First up, sorry for the picture quality - as you can tell they were taken rather hurriedly on my phone!)

After visiting the Great Kathmandu in West Didsbury for the first time in 2012 it's been a favourite place of mine to eat (I ate there last Friday, and the one before that, ahem...).

I love the atmosphere; the place is always buzzing and the windows are always steamed up from the delicious sauces hectically (but perfectly) being marched out of the kitchen on to your plate.

It's won loads of awards but don't go there expecting an immaculate, spick and span surrounding - its imperfections are what makes it so charming. The decor is fine, the chairs and tablecloths too; sometimes if dining for two you'll be paired up with another couple you don't know on a table of four but hey, everyone's friends when curry is involved.

My favourite thing about the Kathmandu is the family behind the name - it was set up by Gopal Dangaol and is run by his generations that followed. Gopal is a regular at the restaurant, and often comes in and makes his way round the floor chatting to guests and asking how their food is. You can tell there's so much passion there, which is definitely conveyed in the food.

When we go, there are a number of dishes we can't bear to not order. We always, always start with a mountain of poppadoms and demolish the pickle tray (mint yoghurt, onion relish, mango chutney and chilli lime pickle).

We don't usually do starters but the last couple of times we've ordered the Chicken Chewla and my god, it gives a kick. It's really hot. Like not even a 'ohh-that's-a-bit-spicy-why-don't-i-eat-a-spoonful-of-mint-yoghurt-to-counteract' kind of hot, but very, VEEERY spicy - and absolutely flavoursome too. It's a dry dish 'cooked in Nepalese herbs and spices'.

Without fail we'll order a chicken shak-shu-ka (top dish in the pic) - this is a weird sounding one but it tastes divine. It's essentially chicken cooked in spices and sauce with mince meat and green herbs. We were recommended it on our first trip and haven't gone without it since... 

We were also recommended the 'award winning' makan chara (third dish down in the pic) - I can't even begin to explain this dish to you. It's creamy like a tikka masala, but it's also got this smokey, tomatoey, spicy and a little bit cheesy (but don't let that put you off!) flavour. It's my favourite dish. Mopping up the sauce with a peshwara naan is bloody heaven. 

I love the place so much, when Millennium Hotels asked if I wanted to take part in naming my favourite 'hidden gem' restaurant in Manchester in exchange for a Taste card (thanks!) I had to say this place.

The graphic they created includes a load of other people's hidden gems, so it's worth checking out if you're stuck for food places.

The full infographic can be found here - it's a bit small to read everything below, and it's worth a peruse.

Got any other hidden gems in Manchester I can check out?


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