Delhi House Café launched just after 2020’s first national lockdown following three years of planning and 15 months of on-site development.
The family behind the brand, the Lambas, working tirelessly to appoint experts in Indian food, source interior dressing from the country (which was reupholstered in Manchester to perfectly marry the two areas’ cultures) all of which was made especially challenging by the national lockdown due to the pandemic.
Despite the lockdowns, the family-run restaurant has had rave reviews since opening, including a glowing write-up from The Observer food writer Jay Rayner.
The national critic praised the “verve and enthusiasm” of Delhi House Café, as well as “some of the best trained, and most cheery staff I have come across in a long while”.
And now the restaurant, situated at Manchester’s Corn Exchange, has opened a new al fresco dining area serving hearty Indian meals.
The restaurant’s new terrace overlooks Cathedral Gardens and its new al fresco menu includes everything from quick bites through to starter sized dishes, hearty mains and quirky breads to eat in or grab and go.
There’s street food treats such as lentil fritters with shredded radish and mint chutney, or starters including tandoori dishes, kebabs and even homemade fish fingers and chips.
Bread dishes, baked fresh on-site, include a naan bread burger and nizami kathi rolls.
Those who fancy something more substantial can choose from a butter chicken tikka masala or a kadhai paneer, with butter or garlic naans, tandoori roti and the restaurant’s signature chips when it comes to sides.
It all adds up to a comfort food dining experience perfect for sharing in the sunshine.
We loved the dahi puri, little flavour bombs made with whole wheat, potato and chickpeas that burst in the mouth, and the A.A.C – fried avocado with potato, fresh mint and tamarind chutney – almost like a modern Indian take on a brunch dish.
Palak patta chaat sees battered spinach leaf served with mint, tamarind and creamy yoghurt – and it’s absolutely sensational, crisp and deeply delicious.
And a clever spin on a comfort food favourite is the JFC – or jama masjid fried chicken.
The crunchy, juicy masala spiced drumsticks come with a fenugreek mayo, and fat golden chips.
The drinks menu, meanwhile, includes a selection of options sourced from India to complement the cuisine, with syrups such as sandalwood made on-site for some interesting cocktails in addition to wines, fizz and their own Delhi House beer on draught.
With fresh, modern dishes and friendly service, it’s well worth checking out for a terrace dining experience with a difference.