[Rusholme, Manchester] Lal Qila
Lal Qila wasn’t our first or second choice for somewhere to eat but both of those were absolutely rammed with a long queues waiting for tables. I’ve never known queues in Rusholme before, so it was a bit of a surprise. We knew Lal Qila wouldn’t be bad and it turned out to be better than “not bad”. Pretty much gone is the standard curry house “any protein with any sauce” menu (although it remains tucked away on a back page) to be replaced with a “proper” menu of individual descriptions of the dishes. That said, we went with pretty standard dishes for starters – seekh kebab and vegetable pakora. Both decent offerings – well made, well spiced.
Aloo gobi was also a well known standard. And rightly so. Waxy potatoes that held their shape. Cauliflower still with a little bite to it. Nice clingy sauce. All that you want from it.
Gosht dhal came from the desi apna section of the menu. Now, I’m not in a position to judge how authentically homestyle the dish was, but I am in position to know whether I liked it. And I did. Basically a wettish dhal with tomato, onion and small cubes of chicken. It was warm and comforting – just the thing you’d like to eat in the middle of winter, and it wasn’t too bad in early spring. I might have been even happier if there’d been a more assertive kick from chilli.
Carbs were good. Pilau rice nice and fluffy. Naan and tandoori roti doing what you expect of them.