Saturday, August 1, 2009

Food, glorious food!

One of the many highlights of my recent trip to Manchester was food, and lots and lots of them. Manchester had a large population of Muslim, so finding halal food was not a problem. South Asian, Arabian and Mediterranean food was abundant, so much so that a one-mile stretch along Wilmslow Road in Rusholme was dubbed the Curry Mile, where there was a large concentration of South Asian restaurants anywhere in the world outide the Indian Subcontinent. There were
also halal branches of well-established food outlets, such as Subway Sandwich bar (which we missed) and Nando's (which we went to at the magnificent Trafford Centre). I was also glad to see that one of the big names in supermarket now sells halal meat, which were certified by the National Halal Board. A special counter, manned by Muslims, was available, where one could get fresh and marinated meat, which would be ideal if you fancy cooking your own chicken tandoori
at home for example.

It was a delight to be able to try the many Indian, Arabian and Pakistani dishes. And the portions of meat that came along were normally very generous. If you go to Jazeera, go for the Chicken rice, which comes with half a chicken; at Afghan, go for the kabuli rice, which comes with half a chicken; at Nando's, go for this meal, which comes with a half a chicken and at Saajan, go for the lamb briyani; it was a good thing it did not come with half a sheep!

It was also a time to take a trip down the memory lane with fast food places, such as Kansas, Krunchy and Pizza & Co, where you could feast on spicy wings, bbq ribs, and chicken and chips. These were the staple food during those years where money were scarce while studying for that piece of paper called the university degree.

Jester also took me to this Indian restaurant, where a lavish buffet spread was available every evening. Seats were always difficult to get hold of, and you would need to wait for a table. We did for more than half an hour. No reservations can be made. We went on a Saturday and the place was packed to the brim. The whole place belonged to the restaurant and it also had two halls, which could be used for weddings; there was one when we were there. The crowd came out in the Saturday evening best; teenagers came out in groups, wearing their fancy dresses, which were glittering from all those sequins. I went for the appatisers more than once; how would I be able to resist roasted chicken wings, sesame fried chicken wings, various other varieties of chicken wings and lamb cutlets? The main dishes consisted of many varieties of curry; korma, jalfriezi, tikka masala and balti. At the end of the evening, my tummy felt bloated and I could not sleep well with that inflated tummy!

And no trip to the UK would be complete without a visit to the fish and chips. Strangely enough, we could not find a decent place for it, so we went to Harry Ramsden's instead. It was pricey, but not necessary as good as the chippy down the road.

After all those times spent indulging during that 8-day trip to Manchester, it was not surprising that I was taking some excess luggage back home. No, I am not talking about that the extra weight above the 30-kg baggage allowance! I am getting porky and it is not helped either with the fact that Ramadhan is in three weeks' time. How am I going to lose this 'kitil'??


Jester said...

Food! Glorious Food!

Glad Manchester's Best didn't disappoint.

Now to work on the 'Kitil' after-effects.

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