Everyone loves a curry. From the extensive range of rice and three shops to the rich mixture of Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern cuisines available on the Curry Mile, not to mention the stylish city centre shisha and tiffin spots in town, Manchester’s curry houses have a truly eclectic and diverse offering that might seem daunting to some.
For anyone who wants to better understand this diverse cuisine, we’ve teamed up with one of our favourite Manchester Indian dining spots, Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, to bring you an exclusive evening of food and entertainment designed to educate your palate and transport you from the rainy streets of Manchester to the bustling streets of Mumbai with a rich, flavourful menu that does justice to the city’s history, too.
Mumbai, or Bombay as it was known until 1995, has always been a melting pot of cultures and ideas. It’s a city of migrants and its cuisine strongly reflects this.
The mini-state of Goa south of Mumbai was part of Portugal until the 1970s, and the food of the city still bears that influence, particularly amongst the state’s meat-eating Catholics.
However, over the past few years, food has become a subject of controversy in the city with ideas connecting vegetarianism and purity causing disagreements between neighbours, resulting in some areas banning the sale of meat entirely.
In spite of this, the dining scene is responsible for bringing together people from all walks of life in the city. Whilst street food is common all over India, it is only in Mumbai that people from all economic classes will eat at the roadside – almost around the clock – and it’s sometimes said that the street food is better than any of the city’s restaurants.
For anyone lucky enough to bag a ticket, this special event offers you a chance to step into the world of Mumbai for one night only.
It will be hosted by Zouk owner and founder Tayub Amjad, who will greet all guests and talk about the food throughout the evening, so get ready to be taken on a real culinary adventure.
To create a fully immersive experience, guests will experience something more with a red carpet entrance, authentic live music, Bollywood dancers and a henna artist.
You will start your evening with drinks on the terrace or the bar – weather permitting – before moving up to the VIP mezzanine dining space to enjoy your five-course Mumbai feast.
You will start the meal with an introduction to Mumbai’s street food tradition, beginning with an appetiser of sev puri – a popular street food of crisp puris with spiced potatoes, tamarind chutney, yoghurt, coriander and mint chutney which originates from the streets of Mumbai and is served both on the street and at upscale locations across the city.
You’ll then enjoy a platter of street food-inspired delights reminiscent of the roadside snacks sold throughout Mumbai from Pav Bhaji, a simple dish of bread and spicy veg relished by 15 million Bombayites every day, to chicken reshmi tikka and batata vada (aka Indian potato fritters)
The second course will feature the iconic Bombay sandwich – served with heaps of cheese, tomato and tasty chutneys – another legendary Mumbai street food.
For your main, you’ll enjoy a mix of famous curries, Bombay potatoes, an assortment of freshly baked bread from the tandoor and jeera rice.
Get ready for some hot curries. Kolhapur gosht, one of the spiciest cuisines of India, is a hot lamb curry made with red chilli and star anise; malvani chicken, another deliciously hot curry, is made with coconut, tamarind and Kashmiri chillies; maharashtrian salmon kaalvan is prepared with salmon fillet steaks cooked in a spiced coconut sauce.
End your evening on a sweet note with melt-in-the-mouth Indian sweet – jalebi and rasmalai, which comes from two Hindi words-ras, meaning “juice”, and malai, meaning “cream”. This dish has been described as “a rich cheesecake without a crust”, and it sounds like something we definitely want to try.
It takes place on Wednesday 13th June, tickets are just £30pp for the five course feast and include two complimentary drinks of your choice.