January can be tough. Christmas and New Year celebrations are long gone, we’re all back at work, and it’s a few dark, cold months before spring and summer come around.
But clued-in foodies will be aware of one key benefit of the first month of the year – namely that a host of top restaurants offer impressively pocket-friendly deals, as a helping hand for all of us who spent wildly over the festive period.
And Turkish restaurant Kai has one of the best offers in the city, with a whopping 50% off your food bill every weekday throughout January.
You’re no doubt familiar with this excellent eatery, thanks to their locally-famed in-house barbecue grill which treats passers-by on Deansgate to a variety of delicious charcoal-infused flavours.
Inside, the vibe is upmarket and stylish – all dark mood lighting, glittering lights and purple leather, ideal for anything from date night to a get-together with a group of food-loving friends.
The menu covers all bases, so whether you’re a fully signed-up meat-eater, vegetarian, vegan or sensitive to gluten, you’ll find something to fill your belly.
But with a menu as comprehensive and mouth-watering as this, where should you begin?
Fear not, we’re here to help. Every dish has been carefully crafted by the expert kitchen team, but some are absolute must-tries.
First up, from the hot mezze section, the halloumi fritters. These are one of Kai’s most popular dishes, and one bite explains exactly why.
You’ll get a plate of four thick cylinders of soft, squeaky sheep’s cheese, coated with hot, golden-brown breadcrumbs and, most importantly, scattered with pomegranate seeds.
It’s these bright red superfoods that elevate a good dish into something truly magical – they add a tangy sweetness that serves as a perfect match for the halloumi. This is as moreish as halloumi gets.
Also from the hot mezze section, consider sampling the borek. Impossibly delicate bundles of filo pastry, containing an inspired blend of spinach, cheese and nutmeg – it’s an ideal starter, particularly for vegetarians, or as part of a tapas-style combination of small plates.
When it comes to more substantial dishes, meat-eaters should go straight for the mixed grill, cooked there and then on that smoky mangal grill.
It’s easily enough for two, a huge platter of various meats, plus a huge hot green chilli pepper and some sweet onions, strips of mouth-cooling cucumber and other brightly-coloured veg.
When it comes to the meat, you’ll get two plump lamb chops, some thick chunks of lightly-spiced chicken, soft hunks of salty lamb, and best of all, a long piece of Adana kebab – taken from the tailbone of a lamb, gluten-free and impossibly tender with a fantastic array of spices.
It’s an exhilarating platter and the perfect way to sample the very best of what Kai has to offer.
Pair all this with the Eastern couscous – a hearty and entirely vegan bowl of gently-spiced herbs, nuts and seeds, it’s an ideal match for the meat but a great healthy option by itself.
Kai is one of Manchester’s best Middle Eastern restaurants, with an exciting menu full of unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else.
And with half-price food from Monday to Friday throughout January, there’s no better time to pop in and check out the source of those intoxicating, chargrilled aromas.