Guest post: Arnero Restaurant

You may have seen that the number of blog posts has dropped off in recent weeks. That is because Amy is going through the hell that is the end of 3rd year, with the delightful examinations and hand-ins that it brings. Unfortunately that means she doesn’t have time to blog, so you’re stuck with Rory this week. Feels weird writing a sentence in the 3rd person….. anyway.

This week, as an attempt to take Amy’s mind off revision, we decided to go out for tea on Saturday, and we opted for a curry at Arnero, which is just off Canal Street. I’m yet to find my Indian in Manchester. Everywhere I’ve ever lived I’ve always had an Indian which I could go to to stuff my face full of Naan bread, and assault my insides with lovely curry (The Ahad in Newcastle is still my all-time favourite), but in Manchester I’m yet to find one that quite hits the spot.

Arnero looked promising. It’s been around for a long time, is extremely well rated on google, and appears to sell good food, at a reasonable price. When we walked in it all looked good. It was full (always a good sign), and smelt fabulous (which is one of my favourite things about a good Indian).

We were quickly shown to our table, were given water (which I swear is the standard by which Amy judges the quality of a restaurant… seriously, go back and look at how often water on the table is mentioned!) and ordered ourselves a bottle of Prosecco (£17.95, What do you mean Prosecco and curry don’t go???). The menu itself was small, which I like (in contrast to some places which have massive menus, and you wonder if they can actually cook it all / has it been made fresh), and it was very reasonably priced, especially when you consider it’s in Manchester city centre (A starter is £5 and mains around £7.50, with rice and naans on top). They also offer a 15% student discount during the week.

Poppadoms

To start with, we opted for Aloo Poori Masala, and some onion Bhajis. The Aloo Poori Masala (£4.50) is a curried potato dish, served with little Indian fried breads. I would have to say it was my favourite dish of the night. The potatoes were served in a tomato based sauce, which was absolutely divine, and the fried breads were cooked beautifully. I could have eaten it all day. The Onion Bhaji (£3.50) was also well cooked, and was very good. However you can’t rave about an Onion Bhaji… It is after all, an Onion Bhaji; very difficult to get wrong.

Aloo Poori Masala
Aloo Poori Masala – £4.50
Onion Bahji
Onion Bahji – £3.50
The starters were swiftly followed by the mains (the service was excellent all evening). Amy opted for a Chicken Makhani (£7.25), whereas I went for the Lamb Banjara (£8.25), as well as rices and Naans. The Chicken Makhani is a classic Amy choice. Her favourite curry is Butter Chicken, and the Makhani was in many ways very similar, cooked in a creamy, buttery tomato sauce. It was very well spiced, with nothing overpowering it, and was excellent for dipping (Always a good judge of how good a curry is, is how much Naan is dipped in it). Unfortunately, it was somewhat let down by the chicken in it. It was very rubbery. We couldn’t work out if this was because it was poor quality chicken, or if it had been nuked in a microwave, which tends to give chicken that texture.

Chicken Makhani
Chicken Makhani – £7.25
The Lamb Banjara also resembles a favourite dish of mine (I love a spicy lamb curry). It is a curry with garlic and ginger, cooked in yoghurt based sauce, and a healthy amount of chilli. Again, like Amy’s it was well spiced, with nothing overpowering anything else, but it was just missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it, but I preferred Amy’s.

Lamb Banjara
Lamb Banjara – £8.25
All in all, a good Indian, but not the amazing one I was hoping for. It does a decent plate of food, for a reasonable price, and is definitely worth a go. Unfortunately, it’s missing that X factor you look for in an awesome Indian. I hope you liked my attempt at blogging. Normal service will be resumed soon.

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