I have previously blogged about Bollywood in Manchester, talking about the rivalry between colleagues pro there and pro nearby Khan Ba Ba. I believe I reminisced about Akbar’s which is a stone’s through further down the Liverpool Road.
It’s a chain – around 10 from memory, but like Blueprint Cafe it is more of a chain of independents. You don’t feel like it’s deliberately uniform. Anyway, it’s busy – ten minute wait in the anteroom housing the bar before we got a table (you’re handed a pager for when it’s ready). Prompt and efficient service and a decent wide ranging menu awaits – and epic sized naans on vertical skewers! I vaguely recall that Gordon Ramsay once chastised an Indian restaurant for serving Naan in this way; given it is the size of a table, I wonder how else he would propose to handle it here.
The starters are good portions and incredibly well priced (and the Shami kebab particularly well spiced), but the Balti-style main I had was one of the best I have had outside of Birmingham in a long while; so much so I really don’t mind their mediocre attempt at tarka dhall.
Problem though is the spontaneity of going out with work colleagues staying over; Akbar’s only really works when there’s 2-4 of you (hence 2 of us this night chose it). More, it would be a struggle I think – so return visits are going to be a rarity alas.