Ziya certainly stands out on Manchester’s legendary Curry Mile.
The team behind this superb-looking Indian restaurant constantly deliver exciting new food and drink ideas, such as the year-long Festival of India, and now you can experience Ziya’s unique take on afternoon tea, just in time for spring and summer.
Afternoon tea has become hugely popular across the city in recent years, with all kinds of hotels and restaurants offering their version of the Victorian-era meal, but you won’t have tried anything like Ziya’s before.
It’s the classic afternoon tea concept: a tiered stand of savoury and sweet treats plus drinks, but with a next-level Indian twist.
Gone are the predictable sandwiches and scones, and in their place you’ll find a range of delicious flavour-packed delights you won’t find anywhere else.
For example, you can drink something a lot more exciting than a simple pot of tea. Instead, browse through Ziya’s expertly-crafted mocktails menu, which showcases a world of bright fruit aromas and eye-opening extras.
With the sun beaming through the venue’s huge glass windows, we begin with two tempting drinks choices: the Delhi Berry, a tangy concoction of berries, lychee, apple and cardamom; and the Ziya Colada, a luxurious blend of pineapple juice, coconut syrup and ice cold cream.
These satisfying drinks are made from scratch, there and then, using nothing but fresh ingredients. The results easily match up to anything from Manchester’s best cocktail bars.
The same high standards apply to the food, with a freshly-prepared feel to each of the dozen or so items. Astonishing, this is all available for just £24.99 – easily enough for two hungry people.
The selection of chaat items are the ideal place to start, offering up a whirlwind of textures and tastes.
The dahi and sev puris (which you should pop in your mouth whole for the full effect) combine yoghurt, chutney and chaat beautifully, showing exactly how Ziya combine sweet and sour for a match made in heaven.
The Mumbai bhel is probably the highlight of the entire meal, weaving together puffed rice and soft, moreish vegetables with an unforgettable tamarind-based chutney.
Next, the kathi rolls take the traditional sandwich wrap to all new heights. One chicken, one paneer, both come jam-packed with the perfect balance of intoxicating Indian spices.
The masala dosa comes hot from the kitchen, with a delicate paper thin pastry full of tempered spicy potato.
But be sure to save room for desserts. The beetroot halwa is a classic Indian sweet, made from nutritious beetroot but carefully blended with sweet ingredients to give something, deep, rich and memorable.
And last but not least, gulab jamun burgers, which are a cute take on the beloved Indian dessert.
These sticky, aromatic balls come split in two, filled with cream and with half a cherry at each end, in a clever nod to the afternoon tea staple, scones with clotted cream.
Ziya has set an all-new benchmark when it comes to innovative ideas in the city’s food scene.
Not content with showcasing the depth of talent in the kitchen with the monthly thalis, now they’ve taken an English classic and given it an overhaul that’s both respectful and groundbreaking at the same time.