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May 1, 2014 06:48 AM

[Manchester, city centre] Yagdar Cafe

One of several “curry cafes” in the Northern Quarter. They originally opened to act as a sort of canteen for the Asian workers in the small garment factories in the area. They’ve now moved but the cafes remain serving a mainly Anglo clientele excellent value lunchtime curries. Think of them as Asian greasy spoons.

Although they now have slightly wider menus, the classic order is for “rice and three” – a generous helping of rice and a choice of three curries from their selection that day (of around a dozen). At the Yagdar, it costs £4.50. No need to buy a drink – jugs of water are already on the tables.

We both went with a veggie selection – chickpeas, a very zingy lentil dish and a third of cauliflower & potato. Yes, the spicing can be a bit mono-dimensional, leaving your selection all tasting a bit samey, except for the amount of chilli used. But this is tasty, bargain food so don’t expect too much – it’s the Asian equivalent of a Hollands steak pudding and chips that you might get in other greasy spoons

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  1. Sounds interesting. Are these places Punjabi?

    Only caveat here is being OK with everything tasting "same-y" because of the price. For 3.50 to 4.50 in East London you will not have that issue.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JFores

      No idea about ethnic background although, as you'll know, most "Indian" restaurants in the UK are owned by Bangladeshis.

      Out here in the cold, wet, poverty-stricken wastelands that form most of the UK, we can only gaze in awe at the food offerings in London, even at a cheap price.

      FWIW, this guy's take on the curry cafes has always been worth a read, although he's no longer maintaining the site - http://flavoursofmanchester.blogspot....