Street food has been one of this year’s big food trends and it’s no longer confined to street markets, festivals and Citroen H vans. A number of local restaurants serve street food-inspired dishes – no bad thing given the weather we get in Manchester. Scene Indian Street Food Kitchen opened to rapturous reviews earlier this year. We sent Jemima Forbes to investigate…
Tucked away down the quieter end of Spinningfields and with views overlooking the River Irwell, Scene Indian Street Kitchen is a cool and atmospheric restaurant to relax in and engage all your senses.
“…the food is far
vibrant than your
The restaurant, which opened in April, has stunning interiors with some detailed Indian-inspired artwork and beautiful antiques, a spacious dining area with several intimate seating booths, and an open plan kitchen so you can see, hear and smell the food as it is being cooked. With their expansive menu featuring takes on Indian classics as well as special regional dishes, Scene has updated Indian food for a contemporary crowd and has a dish to suit everyone.
Most of the dishes are inspired by the street vendors of India, Pakistan and Southern Asia, meaning the food is far more interesting, adventurous and vibrant than your average curry house.
The first section of Scene’s menu focuses on these street food dishes – perfect for sharing around the table as a selection of delicious starters. I sampled a range of these smaller dishes and experienced an explosion of flavour with each one.
The Jingha Til Tinka prawns coated in breadcrumbs and spices were huge and perfectly juicy, while the vegetarian Samosa Chaat was a great combination of tastes and textures. The fish dishes stood out the most in this course with my favourite being the Ravi – a sea bass fillet marinated in ginger, garlic and spices, it was succulent, moreish and a great way of combining East and West ingredients.
For the main course, I tried three of the chicken curries on the menu, all with varying heats and sauces, served with pilau rice and delicious, buttery naan bread. The mildest of the three was the Chef’s Special, Chicken Hyderbadi. With a sauce made of yoghurt and cream mixed with refreshing flavours of coriander, ginger, cardamom and cloves, this dish was perfect to dip in with the naan bread.
The second curry was again mild with a distinct tomato flavour and the third dish was a spicier mix with fresh chillies to give it a bit of a kick. Scene also has a tempting selection of vegetarian dishes (including tasty paneer curries) and fish dishes.
After a leisurely main course, I had my first taste of an Indian dessert with Scene’s version of Gulab Jamun. This sweet dish made of khoya, sugar and ground pistachios is definitely worth making room for and the vanilla ice-cream that accompanied it was wonderful.
Don’t forget to check out Scene’s cocktail list and I’d definitely recommend trying the Pina Colada! Their version was an absolute pleasure to drink and was undoubtedly made with fresh ingredients. I also tried the Masala Chai, a traditional Indian milk drink infused with aromatic spices and the option to add sugar to taste.
My overall experience of scene was highly positive. The décor was attractive, the Indian-style music atmospheric, the service was impeccable and, most of all, the food was everything you want Indian food to be – an interesting mix of fresh dishes full of distinct flavour and as colourful as a work of art. Scene also do deliveries and if you are dining in you can take home any food you don’t eat – a great feature that I think every restaurant should adopt!
Scene also has outdoor dining areas, with a heated shisha lounge towards the front of the building and a terrace facing on to the river which will be open to diners next summer.
4a Leftbank, Irwell Square, Manchester M3 3AN