...And Seven Pints of Cobra Please.

Monday 3/1/2005

Back to noshblog site (click here)

Diary and Notes

I know it's Monday and curry is usually reserved for a Friday night, but when I'm in Manchester I like to eat as much curry as I can to recharge my batteries for the unpleasant trip back down South. Today we went to what I believe is the best general purpose Indian restaurant anywhere in Britain, the Sanam Sweet Centre in Rusholme.

There are quite a few of us off out to eat, my brother Des included (being American he's not really a curry eater but I try to force him every time he comes to Britain), but the rest are devoted fans of the spicy treats of the sub-continent and are only too willing to join me for dinner whenever I'm in town.

So why the Sanam Sweet Centre and not one of the other fifty or so restaurants in Rusholme? Why do I think the food is so good?

The Sanam Sweet Centre (not to be confused with the Sanam Sweet House) has been in Rusholme for over 30 years. I first ate there in 1988 (or thereabouts) and as far as I can tell the place is exactly the same. It's a parculiar restaurant in that in addition to not having an alcohol license they don't even let you bring your own booze. It's a completely dry establishment, you have to drink water, lassi or Mecca Cola . (I'm not sure if they actually sell Mecca Cola, I always have lassi and they, just like all the restaurants in Rusholme, bring you jugs of water without you having to ask). But apart from their lack of beer the food is always superb.

There is one particular reason above all that I love the Sanam and that's the Sanam Mix, quite one of the greatest inventions of all mankind. Order a Sanam Mix and you get all the tandoori treats of the world, plus they have the common sense to give you some curry sauce as well. Many restaurants do a mixed tandoori meal but this is the only one I know where you get sauce.

In addition to the mix (which my brother Des ordered on my advice) I had a fish masala. Curried fish isn't that popular in Britain but every now and again makes a change, this one was mighty fine. We had some rice and aloo paratha (paratha stuffed with potato) and as usual it was a case of me stealing bits from everybody else's meals as well (I think there was some keema, a chicken dish or two, some lamb and a vegetable thingy). All in all quite superb.

One other advantage is that as they don't sell alcohol you never spend too much. Even with the mounds of food, some mango lassi, dessert etc... I think it was less than 15 pounds a head, and we ordered quite a bit of food. I'll be back in Manchester later in January to give a talk, I might pop back here again insh'Allah.


Cake Blog

Mango Kulfi: I wanted pistachio but they'd run out.


  • Fish Masala
  • Sanam Mixed Grill (tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, lamb tikka, sheek kebab, salad, curry sauce)
  • Aloo Paratha
  • Rice etc...