Lakshami Chowk

Bury New Road, Strangeways.
Lamb, Chicken and Chickpeas
No sign as yet - early 2011
Now with a sign
September 2011
Pretty bizarre really, no curries ready, no lamb tikka available, bad start. SO in the end I ordered chicken tikka and seekh kebab mix - fancying a good bit meat. However I received, as pictured below, one of the strangest kebabs I've ever encountered. The chicken, rather than tikka was pakora - presumably yesterdays refried. The seekh kebab was anaemic and didn't taste fresh either. The bread was good - being fresh tandoor naan, but the meaty content was pretty odd and pretty poor. The bright red mango chutney was a bit weird too. £3 for hot food is something I suppose but this was a let down.

We gave them 2 months to get a sign up - and they have. And gained a vowel in the process. It's now Lakshami Chowk - at least externally. I had much the same as the time before - lamb on the bone, chicken on the bone and chickpeas with 2 chapatti - he made up the price of £5, which seemed OK - though 20p more than last time. I don't think this is an actauly rise, just an arbitrary figure. I like it here. The reason I went was due to it being the only place open at 11.20 and it wasn't full of teenagers, as can be the case. This might sound a bit arsey but I don't particularly like sitting and eating quietly in a room full of teenagers shouting about their burgers and calling each other bummers - which has been enough to stop me entering the establishment in the past. Lakshami Chowk has pretty stiff competition in the form of Qila Khyber and Moghuls Taste, very near by. The younger clientele aren't an attraction to us at Flavours of Manchester, so I can only guess that our visits will be infrequent - however if it stays good and it's looking quiet we're sure to come back.

A complete surprise for us – we’d never even seen it before. It has only been been for 6 weeks and there is currently no sign naming the establishment, though the pictures of food in the window were a bit a of a clue as to the nature of their business.
Not until we entered did we find out that 'Lakshmi Chowk' was more or less a curry cafe. It was quiet on this wet Wednesday, due to many of their usual customers watching the cricket (we were told). They offer all the usual stuff: a few curries (5 or 6 today) and kebabs and a few eccentricities - how many menus have you seen with Spaghetti Special directly above Karahi Gosht £15/Kg? Not many we’d guess. Add in pizzas, fried chicken and the odd Chinese dish (odd being the operative word) and you're getting the picture. Slight side issue - 'Manchunian' with egg fried rice, in the Chinese section of the menu? - is this Manchurian food for Mancunians? God knows. Karahi by the Kilo? Sounds good. As with so many new ventures menu writers often get carried away and within 6 months don't serve half the things advertised. Not a bad thing.
One of us went for a classic chicken tikka kebab at £3.50. The other ordered curries with 2 chapatti & salad for £4.80.
Chicken Tikka on Naan

The curries were rather good, both meat dishes being on the bone. Not tons of meat - but that’s not really the idea. The two excellent chapatti handled mopping up duties very well. Getting 2 chapatti instead of rice was decent of the guy in charge – as the advertised deal is rice&4 for £4.80. Other establishments have not allowed the substitution of a plate of rice for even one chapatti, as chapatti flour is more expensive than rice, apparently. He was a friendly and accommodating fella, without trying too hard – perfect. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the curries  - just good, solid ‘proper’ dishes. The sort you could eat every day (I wish). The kebab was tasty, with a very substantial naan (the chapatti were just the same) and plenty of well cooked chicken. The marinade was a bit lacking, but the salad was pretty fresh and the sauces were decent. The thick bread meal very filling for both of us. The salad and sauces were a nice touch with the curry and complemented the kebab in the tried and tested way.
The interior is a bit garish – bright red and a bit space agey, like a bad sci fi set, but we really didn’t care. Other things affect atmosphere more – the people (good), TVs (none - very good) and music (none or very quiet) – so the experience was relaxing and enjoyable overall.

We wish Lakshmi Chowk all the best and will return soon. We'll be interested to see how much spaghetti they shift, if nothing else. Bury New Road already has 2 big hitters on the curry café scene: Qila Khyber and Moghuls Taste, hopefully Lakshmi Chowk can benefit from this mini-curry-Mecca rather than be beaten into submission by the competition.

We’ll be back to find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment