When I was invited to dine at Ziya Asian Grill in Rushomle, I was delighted. I wouldn’t say that I am a huge fan of Indian cuisine, but I wanted to give this restaurant a try to educate my palette with a variety of different dishes. Rusholme is the Mecca for Asian cuisine, also known as ‘The Curry Mile’ due to housing so many different restaurants on a two mile strip. The location of the venue is quite discrete, there are no neon lights or gigantic sign posts, in fact its quite easy to miss if you are a first time diner. I liked the discretion of this venue, this connoted to me that they don’t need to shout about who they are, as I was sure the food would do the talking.
We arrived at the restaurant with a warm welcome from the front of house staff, and promptly taken to our table on the top floor. Seating was spacious, the lighting was moody and candle lit, and the interior was soft, rustic and authentic. After being handed our menus, I opted for a mango mojito (£4.75) while Paul chose a glass of Argentine Finca La Vistosa Malbec (£5.25) whilst reading through the starters and main dishes. Our waitress was bubbly, warm and welcoming and seemed to know her way around the menu with precision.
We nibbled on some poppodoms and dips (£2.95) whilst waiting for our starters and having a good old catch up on our working week so far. The poppodoms was so light and not at all greasy like some I’ve tried in the past, and the sweet chilli and yoghurt & mint dips tasted fresh and flavoursome. I am a lover of seafood so I decided to order a starter of Tandoori King Prawns (£7.95). The starters are priced from a very reasonable £4.95, so they are great to order in trios as tapitizers to share, but I wanted my prawns all to myself! They arrived beautifully presented and covered in aromatic flavours.
The service was steadily paced, without feeling too rushed, which made our dining experience relaxing and enjoyable. Our mains arrived approximately 15 minutes after our starters, I chose the Lamb Shank Rogan Josh (£11.95) Paul ordered the Chicken Chettinad (£7.95) and we both decided to share a portion of garlic naan bread (£2.50) and mushroom rice (£2.95).
My lamb dish was something that I wouldn’t normally order, but I wanted to experience some new dishes, so this was the prefect alternative to my usual beef, chicken and prawn dishes. The lamb fell of the bone with ease, and was marinated in a silky yet spicy Rogan josh sauce. Lamb can be a little fatty at times, so if you love a rib eye steak, you will love this lamb dish. It is definitely for serious meat-lovers. I actually preferred Pauls chicken dish, it was so full of flavour with a judicious blend of spices which was perfect combined with the mushroom rice. The naan I always leave until last to tear off piece by piece to dip into the remaining sauces. It was light, fluffy and the prefect roti to finish off our main course.
After ordering another cocktail, this time the Delhi Berry which was a blend of muddle berries shaken with lycee, apple and cardamom (£4.95), I noticed that all the tables in the restaurant were full. Most definitely a popular place with the locals.
We had just about let our tummy’s settle before deciding on a dessert to complete our meal. I’m not usually a three course kind of girl, but after our waitress described the array of ice cream based desserts on the menu, it was a unanimous decision to share one of the creamy dishes. The pistachio and chocolate ice cream arrived with two spoons and got devoured. It wasn’t too rich, just the right marriage of nutty, praline and crunchy pistachio with smooth dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
For a three course dining experience including beverages at £30-£35 per head, this restaurant is not only great value for money, but the food is authentic, fresh, fragrant and exactly how Asian food should taste. Paul and I loved it so much, we have booked to take our parents who are avid Asian cuisine lovers. Upon leaving the restaurant the Restaurant Manager made himself known, and asked how our dining experience was, which is always a great touch to an evening out. My first and last impressions of this venue was great friendly and attentive service and exceptional food.
Ziya Asian Grill, 65-66 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 5TB.
T: 0161 257 2012