A few weeks ago Mo and I were treated to a meal in an area that is very close to us. Our first home together was a fabulous duplex flat in Old Trafford, right opposite the tram stop. Big on entertaining guests, the flat was huge and allowed us to constantly host dinners and parties for our friends and families. The location was perfect for us to get to work and also to hop into the city, where we spent most of our spare time.
This was a few years ago now and we hardly ever drive past, but when we do we’re always surprised at all the new developments that seem to crop up.
Amongst those new developments, is a new addition to the restaurant scene. Not new to me mind, Mumtaz Manchester is an institution amongst Asians in Bradford. With most of my finally tucked away in Yorkshire, Mumtaz is a name we have been familiar with for many, many years. So big, their produce even graces supermarket shelves.
Known for their homely traditional curries, I was excited to see what the Manchester site had in store.
Location wise, well it’s not all that special if I’m honest. BUT it definitely beats having to navigate the city centre in an evening. There’s onsite parking and no time limit. And again, round the corner from Trafford Bar tram stop for those who don’t fancy the drive.
The restaurant interiors are really nice! Simple and modern, very comfortable too.
We got straight onto mocktails, which brings me to my next observation… just like the Braford restaurant – there is no booze! hallelulajah. For once Mo and I could peruse the drinks menu and not have to search for our small selection of mocktails. Everything goes on this one. Success.
Drinks in hand, a mini couples argument (it happens, usually when one of us is hungry) and we flipped the menus open to analyse.
Woah, not what I was expecting. It’s been a while since I visited Bradford, so I was surprised to see a number of Indian food ‘twist’ options. We tried to mix it up – few traditional, few new looking things… see how it went.
In light of yesterdays post on how I am trying to keep things a lot more ‘real,’ all the pics here have only had the brightness altered – nothing else. The starters served were promising – I ordered popcorn style chicken, something a bit different and really easy to eat, great starter. We had mixed views on the chaat, Mo wasn’t overly keen but I loved it, had a bit more of a tangy taste which I thought worked well, I scoffed the lot.
Mains… ok you know what. I’m not going to do this. I’m sorry but I just can’t. I have to be honest with you.
My close friends and family know that when it comes to eating out, choosing an Indian restaurant is never, ever something I choose to venture to. I grew up with a mother who happens to be pretty gifted in the kitchen and the curries and dishes she created at home are fantastic (really they are). I do still eat out at Indian restaurants every so often but I have two gauges to judge it by – it’s either good enough for me to go back without pulling a face, or rubbish and I will never choose to go back (fyi – there are many in Manchester that fall into the latter category). So rather than go into the ins and outs of every dish I’m just going to tell you that Mumtaz is a place I would quite happily go back to. Just go in, order those dishes you know and love – maybe throw in a karahi or two if you’ve never tried it before.
I will however, single out the dessert. I mean, we couldn’t leave without dessert. It was Friday after all! Mo and I had been discussing how even though I have a serious love affair with rasmalai, I never ever order it in a restaurant. Why? Because once again, no one makes it like mum. NOONE. Anyway Mo quite rightly pointed out that I wouldn’t know that unless I had tried every other one, a sensible thought (he has those sometimes). I risked it. Mo ordered his favourite, gulab jamun, which was delicious – and guess what – so too was my rasmalai BUT I’m afraid I have to be truthful and say it still did not live up to Mrs Younus’s version, her rasmalai still reigns as the best. This comes in at a close second though, which is a pretty mean feat.
So one of the problems with blogger visits is that if they know you’re coming, you are sometimes treated to service which may be over exaggerated to make a place look better than it actually is. The service we received at Mumtaz was really fab, so I was under the impression they may all have been prepped to be on their best behaviour. Everyone smiled as they wandered round and we had an exceptional young waitress.
My favourite moment though was when we were having a very friendly chat with said waitress, she was from Rotterdam, a city Mo and I love, so we were happy to gush about the city with her. She was attentive and polite the whole evening and when I mentioned that I was a blogger and I’d been invited to review, her face was genuinely shocked. She was very excited at the prospect and she’s either a great waitress and actress or she really did have no idea – which was such a relief to Mo and I because it just meant that all the wonderful service she had provided us with was just her way – a credit to Mumtaz for sure!!
(Gosh isn’t it great, that sometimes you visit places and it’s the people that can truly make a difference?? Isn’t that wonderful??)
We left – very full. Very satisfied. I’m glad Mumtaz has finally ventured over the Pennines to join us here in Manchester. It’s nice to have something of such calibre in Old Trafford too, there’s not much else around so it’s nice to have a decent restaurant close by, that doesn’t require a trip to the Trafford Centre (although we do love a trip to the Trafford Centre ?).
Rumour has it, they are set to launch a new menu in the near future… so we’ll be carefully watching this space to see what new things they bring to the table, but I hope they keep some of those traditional favourites on there too! No Indian meal out is complete in my eyes without a decent chaat.
Have you been to Mumtaz yet? Have you tried the one in Bradford?
*** Thank you to Mumtaz Manchester for inviting Mo and I to sample their food and mocktail menu. As usual all opinions and thoughts are my own ***