Wanasah Cafe

Wilmslow Rd. Rusholme

Wanasah is one of the new breed of standard Rusholme 'hang-outs' - and I mean hang-outs as that's what people do there, seemingly all day, drinking little cups of sweet tea and smoking shisha pipes. However that world offers little to the likes of me - until, of course, I see two huge masses of rotating (real) meat and the magic word - 'shawarma'.
For those who don't know, shawarma is Arabic for the Turkish Doner, but in the UK at least this has come to mean a bit more than a like for like translation - at best it means the difference between in-house made, marinaded slices of lamb, stacked on to a spit, slow roasted till dripping, juicy and just a bit crispy on the outside - and frozen elephant's foot bought from a factory and warmed up.  Processed Doners are what have (wrongly) given kebabs as a whole a bad image in Britain, where as Sharwarmas are an ancient and delicious dish, far removed from the fast-food, after pub, stereo type  ........I  digress. (Incidentally not all Turkish places sell factory bought, perfectly shaped, processed stuff either - so this distinction is a tricky one - but in non-Turkish places the use of the word Shawarma instead of Doner is usually the indicator)

Wanasah does both lamb and chicken sharwarma for a mere £2.50, with fresh clay-oven bread (or tandoor naan, if you prefer). This is a steal. In an interesting twist I think it was my first kebab+gherkin experience too, which actually cut through the fatty lamb nicely. The lamb itself was delicious and tender and not over-powered with additional flavourings. Fresh clay oven bread is always a winner - no need to go into that really - suffice to say it's infinitely superior to freshly unwrapped and warmed up bread.

The place was fine, if a bit modern for my taste - big TV etc (but I say this all the time). It was a hot day and we sat out in the sun, with the exotic smell of the shisha and loud Arabian music it was a little like being on holiday, though I'm not sure where.

The service was pretty quick, the guy didn't ask us to specify which salad or sauces we wanted but I'm sure we could have. He didn't put on any chilli - so I went up and was treated to one of the best fresh chilli sauces I've had in a while.  If you're up for this sort of food (with the usual suspects accompanying - humous, falafel etc) I'd recommend Wanasah. If you want kobeda or tikka or whatever then probably not.... You've got brains, so I'll leave that decision to you.


  1. Do NOT go. I called in the last night & as I was eating my shawarma I noticed small insects running around my salad. They made some excuse about the salad been kept near the door & flies had got on it. They were not flies they weren't flying. They still charged me for the cans of cola
    Made me feel very sick

  2. Dear Lynn,

    I am writing this message as part of the Wanasah Staff. I was working that night when the incident occurred and, as far as I recall, one of my colleagues, working in the Shawarma section, was more than happy to change the portion for you and you refused. I do want to make it clear though that this was the first time when we faced this type of issue and I personally checked the salad to see if there are any flies in it and there weren't. The thing is that no matter how hard we are trying to keep the place clean(and believe me, our kitchen and bar are among the cleanest ones in Rusholme) there are some factors we can not influence. Insects in one's food can and have been found in many of the top restaurants in Manchester but, in my opinion, as long as they offer a dish change and they don't charge you for the whole meal(not the drinks, you didn't find any insects floating in your coke, did you?) it seems more than enough for me.

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your experience at Wanasah Cafe but, on the other side, I think you are overreacting.

    1. haha that is funny im still going their to see the flies for myself hahahaha

  3. I went last night, i loved every single detail, the food was a wonderful as the shisha and tea and cofé

    I love you Delkar go and come back quickly

  4. Wannasah cafe is the best shisha place in all UK...best food..best service. ..best staff....believe me. ..when you go there...you enjoy every moment...some time you feel lije you never wanna go home...wow....i adore the place....lovely people...traditional decoration.....everything there make you feel you are in a different world....allllllll regards and respect to everyone there....

  5. We went to Rusholme to have Shisha for the first time and this place is the best. Family oriented, Calm, very good service and yummy ice creams. Staff were very helpful and polite, better than many places like Zouk that charge very high and have rubbish services