For a fantastic curry in a sleek setting with excellent presentation, look no further than Zouk. It literally took my breath away (due mainly to immense portion sizes, thankfully not spiciness).
I was reliably informed that they were generous dishes, so decided against a starter and just enjoyed destroying a few poppadoms and the pickle tray first.
For mains, it was the somewhat plainly entitled 'Chicken & Spinach' (aka Saag) with a sizeable peshwari naan. Both of which were the tastiest I'd had in a hell of a long time. The sweetness of the naan went really well with the not-so-sweet spinach and nuttiness of the fenugreek in the curry.
All this was washed down with a bottle of Black Sheep Ale. Perfick.
The place is huge and was pretty busy for a Wednesday night, but we at no point felt rushed to finish and the staff were very warm and friendly.
A curry restaurant which is firmly on my bookmark list for repeat visits.
Tip: unless you want to be 'serenaded' by one of the staff with an interesting (and immensely loud) rendition of Happy Birthday, perhaps don't mention it's your special day :)
I had a great time at Zouk with the Yelp curry club. I thought the service was very friendly and welcoming and generally well organised (much better than Mughli although we had a bigger group there).
Food wise I though the chicken handi had an excellent flavour although the meat itself was just a little on the dry side. Peshwari naan crumbled very easily to reveal a shocking pink interior so if you want bread to eat with I'd go with something else, the quality of the bread seemed good though. Pilau rice was brown rice I think, totally fine although not very memorable. Everybody else's food looked good too and in general the restaurant is very well presented (although PLEASE turn down the music/random beats - why are some Manchester Indian restaurants weirdly like discos? I don't understand.) Mango lassi was good, as were the poppadoms which were extra fancy with seeds.
Good place for a group as it's a very big space, there's a nice outdoor area out front too. I'd safe this is a safe bet for Indian in the city centre, it's not mega cheap but nor is it outrageous and the food is good quality.
Visited here previously 3 years ago for a friends birthday. Looking at my review, the food was good but nothing "special". The thing which let it down a bit was the service. It was busy and it was a large group of us so possible excuse/reason.
Anyway, I went last night and it was great! Being a Wednesday, it was not crazy busy. In fact, the top level didn't appear to have anyone there (until later on in the evening).
A waiter came pretty quickly to ask if we wanted any drinks and if we wanted poppadoms/pickle tray - which of course we did.
I was the only one to have a starter and was asked if it was OK if it came at the same time as everything else - no problem. The starter I had was Punjabi Lollipops - have a look at the photo I uploaded. Its basically chicken wings marinated in pomegranite and cooked over charcoal. It was lovely and sweet.
For the mains I chose the Lamb Karahi (with some pilau rice). It tasted really good and a pretty big portion. I actually couldn't finish it after the combination of my starter and a couple large drinks. In hindsight, I didn't need the starter (and probably should have been sensible with smaller drinks). I was happy but completely stuffed!
Can't believe I had never been to Zouk until last night. What an amazing place. The curry was the best I have had in a long time. The restaurant itself is smart and much more upmarket than the ones in nearby Rusholme. The service was swift and efficient. I ordered the mutter paneer and dahl makani both were delicious. The mutter panner had the right amount of spice and I can't wait to go back and have the dahl makani again, it was that good. The nan bread and rice were also of a high quality. I also liked the decking and seating outside and think it would be perfect to sit out there with one of Zouk's amazing curries and a glass of wine on a Summer's day.
People of Manchester, hear ye, hear ye - if you want the best Indian curry house in town make sure you visit Zouk.
I've lost track of the amount of times I've been now, but the quality of the food is the real bonus that keeps drawing us back time and time again. Set just off of Oxford road - Font is a great bar to have a couple of pre-dinner drinks before heading around the corner to fill up (and believe me, you'll struggle to walk when leaving due to over indulgence!)
My tops tips for Zouk are:
1. It's busy every night but try to go early to mid week, or early on the weekend - the service and speed of delivery drop due to large parties so make sure you go when you can actually enjoy all their is to offer.
2. It's all about the Lamb Nihari - I mean it is so good and spicy that you will literally want to meet the chef afterwards and ask him for the mystical secret sauce that he creates to take home!
3. Load up on extras - Cheese naans and rhoomali rotis are both as good as each other and great for mopping up all the sauce.
4. The pre dinner pickle trays (although not free like most average curry houses) are definitely worth buying as the homemade chutneys and sauces are on a different level.
5. If you're going to Zouk, please send me an invite and I'll be there in a flash to join you :-)
We went here on a Tuesday night on a recommendation from Manchester CM Jonny Q. It's in a great location in town so really handy if you're shopping or visiting the city like we were.
It has a lovely outdoor space where you can get shisha for £10, although we went straight inside for our meal as we didn't have too much time before our gig. The space is huge - inside is very modern and open plan, there is a slightly raised level of seating on the ground floor that looked nice but was full, so were were seated in front of the open kitchen. Always reassuring to be able to see the kitchen! Also that it was busy at 6pm on a Tuesday night is a good sign.
We ordered a poppadoms and chutneys to start with, followed by chicken kerahi (prob not spelt that way) for me, and a lamb thing for scott, which I helpfully can't remember the name of. We shared pilau rice and peshwari naan, both of which were delicious. The curries were fabulously cooked, and really flavoursome. I'm really glad we didn't get a bigger starter, because the portions are really generous. I'm not really a huge lamb fan so I only tried the sauce of the other dish, which was really tasty and I'm told the lamb was cooked to perfection. If you're more of an adventurous type, they serve things like sheep's brain and sheep's trotters, although there are also the usual kormas etc. for those who like to be safe. I am unashamedly a huge korma fan, although I am glad I tried something different this time, and I'd really recommend the kerahi. You can choose how spicy you want it also.
The only reason it doesn't get a 5 star review is that another table of 2 came in and were seated right next to us, at a table about a foot away, despite there being lots of room on the downstairs level. Also the large space makes for a slightly weird atmosphere, but overall, a great find, and really reasonable. Our bill came to £20 each including drinks.
I should really stop reviewing Indian restaurants or should I say Asian restaurants because I can never give most of them more than 3 stars. I have been to Zouk a few times over the span of 3 years that I have been living in Manchester. They have a sister cafe Kukoo's and to be fair I prefer that more.
Things to look out for:
Outdoor Sheesha-- The only one on Oxford Road, though it could be not the best idea during winters or when its pouring down (which is most of the time, we live in Manchester love)
Mango Lassi - They definitely know how to make a good and fresh Mango lassi and thank god they don't use pulps!
Aloo Paratha - They nailed this one as well and it was well tasty and I don't usually say that.
Things to beware of:
Extremely slow service - omg I am not kidding when I say this, we had to wait for 50 minutes to get our food on a weekday afternoon when it was not even busy!
Not so friendly staff - Firstly they are under staffed, and on top of that the staff think they own the world so they have this attitude where they couldn't care less.
Burning Tongue - I am Indian and I can handle my spices but even then I was in tears after having a few bites of the chicken we ordered *phew*. Yes the food is supremely spicy here and that is not exactly my thing. I like my spices just enough so that I can enjoy the flavors and the taste!
Verdict : Good in terms of British standards but not for people who have tasted the real deal!
Tasty Indian food, but at a bit of a price. You can find better deals in Curry Mile, but if you want to stay further up north, I'd suggest Zouk as a good place to eat.
The food is very flavourful, and the atmosphere is nice/modern. They have a full bar, but of course everyone at our table got a Cobra to pair with the food. Staff is welcoming and friendly.
This is a nice enough restaurant, and I would return here without a question to get another meal. I'll check it out again in particular if they have some lunch or happy hour specials, but there are lots of curry places within a couple of miles and competition is tough.
This place is really good. If you are a lover of Indian food, I think thats the place you need to be! All my Indian friends love it, so I guess that this says everything. But also for me, who I am not Indian, is a really good choice! The only disadvantage if you sit inside is that when you leave all your clothes will smell like cumin and colliander, since the kitchen is open and there are many times that there is too much smoke. During warmer days, try to sit outside and have a nice meal and a shisha!!
Verdict: Try it for sure, if you havent already!
I've been here on two separate occasions, most recently last Thursday, and I have to say I have to say this is now my favourite place for a curry (it was previously Akbar's) in Manchester City Centre.
The staff are really helpful and polite - the first time I booked here there was a mix up with our booking, and although we did have to wait for some time, the staff did everything they could to get us a table (it was an extremely busy Friday night) and even gave us free wine and poppadoms when we sat down.
My boyfriend's mother loved the food here, and also prefers it to Akbar's - I do think the service and atmosphere are better. I also like the open kitchens. The curries are really tasty - hot but with real depth of flavour - not just hot for the sake of being hot. I also love that they have Peshwari Naan!!
The only downside is the food is a little more expensive than Akbar's - but then you can't argue with the quality of the food.
I was not impressed with this weird little place.
It's a relatively new addition to the already crowded Indian restaurant scene in Manchester.
We went one night because me and my boyfriend both love curry. Mmmmmmmmm curry. We were also going to the Dancehouse theatre which is just around the corner.
Anyway, we booked but we needn't have, it wasn't very busy even for a Friday at peak time. We were seated at an incredibly small table but we didn't complain as most tables either seemed to be for 2 of twenty. We were jumped on by a waiter as soon as we sat down to order drinks. Within about 30 seconds of ordering drinks we were pounced on by another waiter asking if we wanted poppadoms. We ordered those to be pounced on by another, third waiter, asking if we were ready to order. We weren't, but you can't fault the service.
The menu was vast, a huge amount of choice. The pudding menu was amazing!!!! Which is really unusual for an Indian restaurant but we were impressed...at first.
Anyway, within a minute we were asked to order again so we did, my boyfriend had his usual of chicken tikka masala that he has EVERYTIME but he loves it, I had a fish curry.
The poppadoms came as soon as our menus were taken away (before our drinks had come) so we dived straight in to find them the greasiest things ever. Bleugh. They were coated in a weird film of oil...not very good. And there was no onion chutney...the one dip everyone seems to fight over. But hey-ho, we'd heard great things so we thought it'd just get better.
We were brought our main courses within 10 minutes of ordering them...impressive...except they weren't our main courses. Our the table next to ours. Our the next nearest one. We watched as the waiters offered this food to six separate tables before heading back to the kitchen and checking where they were supposed to go.
Our actual food came within 15 minutes which was good. I have to say, mine was amazing. The flavour, the spices and the fish was perfect. It was gorgeous. Expertly cooked. However, my boyfriend's was not. He get's chicken tikka masala because...and he'll beat me up for this...he's a wuss. He doesn't like anything too hot. At Zouk, the chicken tikka masala was as hot as a vindaloo. Stupidly hot. And pretty oily again. It was a shame because you almost feel guilty for enjoying your meal when the person you with isn't enjoying theirs. A real shame.
We then moved onto the eagerly anticipated dessert. I love pudding, it's my favourite and I had pretty much already decided I wanted the chocolate roulade I'd seen on the menu earlier but I was contemplating getting the cheesecake too...! Imagine my dismay when we were told by the waiter that they weren't serving those desserts!
He instead read some out of the back of his pad, none of which sounded particularly interesting. He must have noticed my crestfallen face as he then decided we had to follow him, we were taken to the kitchen and introduced to an American girl who would talk us through the desserts available...this really was as weird as it sounds. Especially as the American girl was completely blunt and honest about whether each pudding was good or not. A very weird experience.
Anyway, all in all it wasn't half as good as Akbar's and I will never be able to get my boyfriend to come back with me but the fish was very very good.
Having lived near by I first went into Zouk in it's opening week, and then went back three times in the second week. I've been to Zouk practically every week since, have tried pretty much everything on the menu and have never been dissapointed. In my opinion anybody eating at Zouk should definately order the Lamb Nihari (and make sure they give you the little dishes of ginger, chilli, corriander and garam masala).
This place is the best indian restaurant in the North West; you'll soon forget about Akbars and EastZEast once you've been to Zouk.
I used to live right next to the quadrangle and was excited when all these new places kept opening. For chinese, there was already the amazing Blue Ginger and the OK-ish Nando's, but then Rice and ZoUK opened and gave us more flavours to try.
The food on my first visit was far above what I was expecting. I had heard it was expensive, though it seemed quite fairly priced and was amazing quality, at similar prices to some of the Rusholme/Curry Mile restaurants that are no where near as good as this.
If Indian isn't your thing, you are spoiled for choice in terms of styles. I've tried Moroccan and traditionally British style items already from here, and they are just as fantastic.
The bad sides to Zouk are mainly due to its success. In the evenings, particular at weekends, the place is overbooked, with the outside seating all taken by the Shisha bar users, and the bar area taken up by those waiting for a table. The size of the place and the open kitchen make this a very noisy restaurant.
The service is a further issue. Although everyone is very friendly, due to its busyness, staff can seem overrun and stressed and takeaway order waiting times vary considerably (15 minutes on one occasion to 1 & 1/4 hours when they forgot about my order). The food is worth the wait however, and the staff and owner quite often will talk to you and genuinely seem to value your custom.
+Fusion of variety of styles, so suits groups very well
+10% Takeaway discount
+Full bar for drinks/starters whilst waiting
+Friendly service and makes you feel valued
+Stylish, modern interior
-Maybe some more staff would help at busy times
-Greater care could be taken with takeaway orders
-They don't deliver yet :(
Beautiful restaurant and good food but that's not enough the service is a disgrace and the waiting time is even worse and to top it off the owner is an absolute idiot with no customer service skills at all the saying that the customer is always right doesn't work at this establishment and to be honest other places like East is east in the city centre offer amazing service I would avoid this place due to the attitude of the owner he only wants your money and doesn't care what and how you are treated while you are there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No decency to listen either I will post this on all sites as I think it's a disgrace being treated like this in what's supposed to be a luxury environment oh and if u order food it arrives in stages what's the point have things to accompany your meal if they arrive ten minutes later avoid spend your money else where u will get better service
You know what my opinion of Zouk has evolved much like the restaurant and bloomed into something rather special!! Infact it is fast becoming something of an establishment, being ushered into a very special company of word of mouth jewels in Manchester. You see these are the true. Word of mouth restaurants destroy those who spend tons of money on advertising.
Amongst the cool kids in Manchester these days this place is topsy turvy. Chester street for me as become a golden goose of a street!! Nandos, Rice and now Zouk!!! The quadrangle is a rich conveyor belt of custom which is making this street flourish. With Odder, Font and a plethora of other bars nestled around the place this particular spot is fast becoming a beehive!!!! Funny thing is it is fantastic for Manchester, I mean can you imagine people coming into Manchester from oxford road will hit this spot first and think.....wow this is just the start????? INfact five minutes from Zouk there is everything you need for a quality night out...Happy days for all those living in the Quadrangle or all the other shmoozy town flats around the place.
The place was absolutely teaming tonight, and no its wasn't Friday or Saturday, it was Thursday!!!!!!
I used to live down the road from here and I would come in if I ever felt like having a curry. The food in there is really good. I've always had a good meal in here. However, I find the staff rather intimidating because they constantly badger me about food/drinks or whatever else. I know I shouldn't complain about it but it's extremely annoying when I've come in with friends/family and I expect to enjoy my meal without being disturbed all the time plus I swear they do it on purpose because whenever I have spoken to one member of staff, another one is watching and they come over to ask for my order. I've stopped coming here now because of it and go elsewhere or have a take away from the Indian down the road from me.
Zouk is a lovely place with a lovely feel to it! It is Indian food with a restaurant that looks very unlike the places on Curry Mile. Its more posh and has a modern feel to it.
The starters and main course are amazing, and alongside don't forget to order the Mango lassi, which is like Mango yougurt shake, cool and refreshing. A perfect add-on to your food. The mains aren't that spicy and has the perfect blend od herbs and spices.
The location on Oxford road, is right beside Rice and Nandos and thus faces no competition since all are different cuisines! A good place to have a quite dinner though it gets very busy during weekends!
I've been wanting to try Zouk for a while now, mainly after hearing a fair few rave reviews from some of my friends who were there on its opening night. I'd also heard rumours that they served curried sheep's brains and pigs trotters - something which I was desperate to see for myself!
Situated just off Oxford Road (around the corner from Odder), Zouk is chic, atmospheric and serves up some truly delectable modern Indian cuisine. I had the Chicken Livers as a starter, and they just melted in my mouth - so much so in fact, that I almost didn't have to chew any of them, they just fell apart like pieces of solidified paté. I followed this up with the Lamb Nahari which was possibly one of the best Indian dishes I'd ever eaten. The lamb was soft and deliciously tender, just falling apart as soon as you put your fork to the plate. I also loved the small dishes of spices that accompanied the dish, meaning I could add a little bit more heat and zing to my curry if I wished to do so. Add to this a side dish of warm, soft, flaky, naan bread and pilau rice seasoned with cinnamon and flaked almonds and (for me at least) it was love at first bite.
Add to this considerate service, and a cracking wine list, and I'm already thinking of excuses to go back again in the very near future. Although I have to admit, I probably won't be trying the curried sheep's brains any time soon!
Zouk is possibly the best Indian restaurant that I have been to outside if Bradford (Mumtaz being the best). My wife found out about it a bit by accident whilst checking out Indian places to take her parents and it appeared in the top 10 indian restaurants list somwhere or other.
My wife always gets in a bit of a flap when it comes to choosing where to eat when her parents are involved,especially when choosing an Indian meal (My Father-in-law is Indian and thus she always panics a bit that he wont like where she chooses). Now as it turned out he wasn't overly impressed with Zouk,but this was a good thing,mainly because he found the place a bit too modern and lively (which if you ask me is a good thing). No problems with the food though he was mightily impressed,as were we all.
Bad memory hinders me from remembering what we all had : ( .But i had a lamb curry that was absolutly beautiful it consisted of two shanks of lamb in a really really rich and spicy sauce and i'm annoyed that the real name escapes me...that is unless it was actually called two shanks of lamb in a really really rich and spicy sauce : ) . As it happens my Wife has just come in from work an reliably informs me it was called Lamb Nehari (good memory although she can't remember what she had!!!).
It was so nice in fact that I bought a portion to take home. And they validated the parking too. I thing the next time i'm going to The Academy I'll pop in for a plate full of really really rich and spicy sauce : )
Went for a friends birthday. Actually sat here writing a review after waiting an hour and a half for our food. Let alone getting our starters before our drinks. The steak I ordered was cold and the chips were like bricks!! Just felt really disorganised. Got £50 pound off the bill though :)
Passing this place on my run home from work everyday for six months, I'd built up a huge amount of curriosity about it. It may have been the contrast between its discrete and modest position- just off Oxford road, adjacent to a Nandos and opposite one of the university buildings- and, from what I could make out, its extremely plush interior. It doesn't really matter, the important thing is that I was not disappointed, in fact it probably exceeded anything that I was expecting.
I'm told it cost a million to build and kit out and I've no reason to be suspicious of this informantion- any restaurant that can afford to lose a massive area of potential seating just so it can greet its guests with a triple height ceiling lobby that's lit up like Christmas has obviously put a lot of emphasis on getting the look just right.
Amazingly decorated as Zouk was, the food refused to be outdone- the top rate chefs at Zouk use only the very freshest Halal ingredients, assuring you get the highest possible quality in authentic Indian Cuisine- my meal was certainly evidence of this.
Zouk are currently offering the novelty offer off dinner on them should you correctly guess the toss of a coin. My tip? take a detour past the joke shop on your way and pick up your tails/tails 10p and feast till you've given yourself an outie!
I think this is a relatively new place, or I just haven't noticed before now. Came here on a friend's recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. These guys know a thing or two about cooking, and cooking with the freshest ingredients. It reminds me a little of the quality of East Z East and the decor too is tasteful and modern. There are a variety of dishes on offer here from the usual Indian fare to incredible fish dishes and steaks using halal meat. The service is second to none and the music is well chosen. From what I hear there are also sometimes djs and live instruments such as percussion. This is authentic Indian cuisine at its best. No wonder it's winning all these awards, I can't really fault it.
I'd heard great things about Zouk (if you're not sure where it is, it's round the corner from Odder near the BBC) and was initially impressed by the venue - brightly lit with high ceilings and an open kitchen.
However, we were booked in for 8pm and they took 45 minutes to seat us which is pretty unacceptable. Our starters came fairly quickly, a few of us had poppadoms and pickle trays (which were a bit stingy) although one or two went for full starters, such as the tandoori haddock or the chicken imlee, which were light and tasty.
We then had to wait another 45 minutes for the main course - I think they may have been short staffed in the kitchen but that's not our problem really, the waiting staff were polite but mostly ineffectual.
However, I would recommend the Lamb Nahari - I'm not a big curry eater but this was really good, a tasty thick sauce and big pieces of lamb, plus they give you a plate of spices in case you want a bit more heat in your meal.
We did complain about the slow service and were given some free cake which is nice, but it did take away a lot from what was otherwise a good meal. Maybe it's better if you go when its quieter, as opposed to a Friday night...
one of the best places for indian food around the university...service is a bit slow..but its worth the wait for the food...not exactly easy on the pocket but if you wana have a good square meal its worth it! the sheesha section is in the open and freezing so not a good option...@foodies -its a must go!
This new Indian is a gem. The food is fresh and on the money. Great range of moktails too. Service was really friendly and helpful. Dal of the day and fresh naan really tasty and perfect for my lunchtime visit. I took my 4 month old daughter in with me and she was made really welcome by staff. Décor and feng shui is also great - modern and relaxing, not OTT Bollywood kitsch like new East Z East although food v good there too. They even made something not on the menu for me - Dal Makhani - Punjab's classic dal dish. Nice music (Cafe Del Mar 9 playing when I was in there). Menu not radically different from many other Indians but just done to very high standard. GO!
Everything here has always been excellent just dont have desert
The food was delicious at Zouk. The paneer is the best in Manchester!!
excellent service and friendly atmosphere. The juice was great too.
Visited Zouk las night and again it didn't leave us disappointed: exellent sea food special and dall, mili juli sabzi was very hot tonight but nice, very nice chicken korma. Greatly appreciated music being turned down when we asked. Fantastic service and we loved the toothpicks.
Once again greate experience!
I'm generally not a big fan of eating out as I'm quite fussy, and the thought of spending a fortune on a meal I can cook a lot better at home, rather than be squashed into an overcrowded noisy restaurant is a right turn off! The first time we went to celebrate a friend's birthday and immediately I loved the layout...huge, spacious, massive windows, very open plan. The food is cooked literally in front of you. The staff are courteous and service was prompt. They don't have a huge menu but I prefer that, as I take an age to make up my mind! The prices are very reasonable and you can specify how you want things cooked and seasoned. If you want dessert, you need to go and see what you would like....I stayed put, LOL! I rate them 10/10 for their lattes, the best latte I've ever had! Also their fruity non alcoholic drinks are absolutely delicious. I also like the fact you can go in at lunchtime and get something small like a shawarma or kebab, or a Zouk soup for literally under a fiver.
I went to the Friday opening night and had a great time, sampled some fantastic food, cooked right in front of us by helpful and friendly staff and thought the DJ with percussionist combination was amazing.
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