We welcome Zouk to Manchester

Zouk elephant

Over the weekend of Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, a new Indian restaurant opened in Manchester. So what’s new about that, I hear you ask, when Manchester is full of curry houses? Well, a good question indeed, especially after my last two blog posts which noted THREE curry restaurants on the curry mile that have been fined for a truly disgusting lack of food hygiene.

Firstly, Zouk Tea Bar and Grill is in a great location with no other curry restaurants around. Secondly, it’s a sleek and sharp modern curry restaurant – and there aren’t many of these in Manchester. And thirdly, there is an open kitchen and I can tell you it looked absolutely spotless.

So are you on board now?

Zouk is based in the Quadrangle building on Chester Street, which is just off Oxford Road. Last week I wrote that I went to the opening of Rice, which is next door and I was really glad to see these units filling up after most of them have been empty for almost three years now.
Zouk view from balcony

Zouk Tea Bar and Grill is impressive from the outset with a double height ceiling, and balconied upstairs bit. With booth seats throughout the 200-cover area, a rather hip shade of grey on the walls and cool lighting, it couldn’t be further in design and ambiance from the rather-dated curry mile. Its website claims that the owner and his sons wanted to create a “next-generation restaurant that fused Lahore cuisine with healthy eating and a stylish setting” – and they certainly have achieved this.

Curry at Zouk
There was an open kitchen buffet, with a queue of people eager to pile their plates up. We tried a couple of dishes, but I don’t know their exact names. A lamb curry was a truly melt-in-the-mouth experience with a strong flavour of fresh tomatoes, while the spicy lamp chops were eye-wateringly hot but not particularly tender. A chicken curry also had a full fresh flavour, which I’m keen to try more of very soon.

There was an even longer queue for the desserts and I found out why. Mr Manchester Is Ace came back with an individually cooked pear tart, with blackberry coulis and strawberry ice-cream, which involvedĀ Pear tart at Zouk

little chunks of chocolate. Wow! The pastry had that flaky flavour of freshly made pastry, while the pear and blackberry flavours did a merry little dance together on my tongue.

Zouk has been launched by Amjad (known as Peter) Bashir, with his sons Mudassar and Tayub, who run a restaurant of the same name in Bradford. They says they offer an innovative menu of Asian dishes, as well as North African, Arabian, plus specialist fish dishes and traditional steaks.

They have won many awards, but I don’t have room to list them here so check them out on the Zouk website here. So, Manchester Is Ace welcomes Zouk to our city, from its home across the Pennines. I’ll be back for seconds soon!

Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, Chester Road (off Oxford Road), Manchester.
Email: info@zoukmanchester.co.uk
Tel: I can’t find the Manchester number – will add it in asap!
Web: www.zoukmanchester.co.uk

Open seven days a week from 10am to 12midnight.


  • Damien Kent
    March 24, 2009 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    We had a fantastic meal. Great! really enjoyed it. The Russian Waitress was very, very friendly and helpfull. The music was right out of Castro in San Francisco during gay pride week. Go Guys!

  • Felicity
    March 25, 2009 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    This is just what manchester needed, somthing so unique and original. Had the best Indian meal of my life at Zouk in such a great atmosphere felt like i was on holiday dining in an exquisite restaurant with these fabulous dishes felt like the bill was going to be scary but we were surprised what great value for money!!! zzouk ticks all the boxes for me. the lamb Nihari was wow..and deserts by far exceeded our expectations. Great job keep it up guys !

  • Elliot Wheelden
    March 25, 2009 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Went to Zouk on Mothers Day with my family, quite a bif group of us 15 all together. Every single one of us was astonished by the extreme proffesionalism of the whole place, the food, the staff, the theme for mothers day. they agve all the mums a beautiful pink rose and a box of choclates, my mum loved it!!! Zouk has a bright future ahead of them i can see it! event though they were extremely busy they looked after us amazingky. cant fault a thing, best chicken and lamb handi ive ever eaten. booked in for Friday and i cant wait!!!

  • sarah king
    March 27, 2009 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Been to zouk a few days ago as i had been recommended by many people and had to try it out myself. i loved it couldnt fault a thing the food, desserts, service was all perfect five stars and a must for everyone.
    Its not the usual indian restaurant at all

  • shivin milan
    June 29, 2009 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    service was excellant , food was great, full of flavour, an easy and laid back atmosphere. very nice!!!

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