"We paid a visit to the Curry Mile last night, as we had a friend in town, and every visitor wants to see Rusholme, as part of the experience of seeing town, and I can see why, as it's unique, and is indeed an experience.
In anticipation of this visit, I looked on Restaurants Of Manchester to see which was the most suggested curry house, and the small , Spicy Mint, right at the start of the Manchester end of the curry mile, was the chosen one, and had very few bad reviews on here.
However, from the off, there was indeed nothing bad, but also, nothing particularly good either . That's the story here, as with pretty much every place on the curry mile these days. Reliant on location, not food .
We were given poppadoms and dips without ordering, which is fine, although I didn't see the bill, so I'm not sure if we were billed for these. If so, they shouldnt be given to you without being asked. If they are freebies, then that's great, and brings back the good old days of Rusholme, where everywhere did this, before the students cottoned on and started going for the free poppadoms and then leaving!
Anyway, the decor is very DIY , tidy but a tad tacky , complete with fish tank, and cheesily patterned crockery and really is a throwback to curry houses of the mid 90's . If traditional, old school Indians is what you like, then this fits the bill in terms of appearance. Personally, I find it like being in a time warp, and is semi comical.
Our starters of Chicken Shashlick and Fish Tandoori were fine, well cooked, tasty enough, and no problems at all. Nothing notable or special, but fine enough . One point is that the mushrooms in the shashlick seemed tinned, which was disappointing.
The mains of jalfrezi, samber and bhuna were a similar story. All OK but nothing to note of. My jalfrezi had a lot of peppers and onion, which was nice as a lot are just very saucy, and the fresh chillis were good aswell. The Samber was OK, but very saucy, tomatoey, and the chef clearly got carried away witih the tomato puree, to the point that it almost tasted like half Indian, and half Italian. Finally, the bhuna was nice enough, very saucy, again a just a little tomamtoey, but no real issues.
We didnt order the 'trademark' sizzlers, but saw a couple, and whilst it drawed attention, seeing your meat and veg being flambeed at your table, whilst being a novelty, surely won't really add to the flavour, and the sauces to go with it will be the same as the other curries in there. Perhaps I shouldn't comment on somthing I only saw, and didnt taste, but novelty does come to mind, a bit like the fish tank.
The whole bill for 3, including drink each, was £45, which is cheap, but no cheaper than anywhere else really . The staff were attentive, very friendly , and overall, no problems at all and a nice bunch of lads.
So, across the board, this place really is very average, like everywhere on the mile . The only reason to go to Rusholme these days, is for the experience of the Asian culture, and the bright lights, not for the food. A very average, but acceptable 3 our of 5." -
Chris Handley, Salford ~ TRUSTED REVIEWER (30/8/08 ~ visited on a friday evening)