Asha’s, a stylish contemporary Indian restaurant, is situated a few doors down from Albert’s Schloss and Brew Dog. Winner of City Restaurant of the Year 2017 at the Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards, Asha’s has established itself as one of the best restaurants in town.
By offering a different take on your average Rusholme curry home, Asha aims to sidestep the competition. The team invited down to try out the new menu and our honest feedback.
Asha’s is named after co-owner and Bollywood star Asha Bhosle. She has been Bollywood royalty for over seven decades and has collaborated with the likes of Michael Stipe to Boy George and Manchester’s own Simply Red.
Taking inspiration from her life the team at Asha’s have set up Asha’s Restaurants with one in Manchester and Birmingham.
Small Plates Menu at Asha’s Manchester
New for this year, the small plates menu is designed for groups who love to share. If you’re grabbing a quick drink during the day I’d recommend one dish to accompany your drinks. If you’re hungry either go for two dishes with a side or three dishes.
In the interest of reviewing the menu fully, we opted to try every veggie option on the menu. Here is how we got on…..
Starters at Asha
The Asha difference is noticeable before you even take the first bite of a popadom. Instead of the usual mint yoghurt and sad mango chutneys we’ve all been eating for aeons, we were presented with a vivid selection of relishes that looked as good as they tasted. We were treated to pineapple chutney, green apple and blueberry and a red tomato and chill. Fantastically flavoured, these home-made chutneys are the ideal start to your meal. Do not skip them!
First to arrive from the kitchen was the Pumpkin soup. Served alongside a goat’s cheese kofta ( a savoury ball cooked with onions and spices),. Soup isn’t usually my first thought when eating Indian Cuisine, but this dish worked and looked great too.
Main Dishes at Asha’s Manchester
Onto our main dishes, with the Aloo Chat arriving first. Aloo Chat is a classic North Indian street food made by frying potatoes in oil before adding spices and chutney.
The Asha twist on this dish adds sweet yoghurt, tamarind, chickpeas and apple with the fried potatoes. It was arguably my choice dish on the menu. Make sure to try it when you visit!
For those looking for something lighter and healthier, they’ve got you covered too with their Protein bowl. A quinoa based bowl stuffed full of great healthy ingredients such as avocado, chickpeas quails egg and peas topped with homemade paneer. Zesty and full of flavour, this makes the perfect brunch dish.
Kati Rolls are another popular street food dish originating from Kolkata, India. Originally, a skewer-roasted kebab wrapped in a paratha bread, Katki Rolls have come in many variants as their popularity has spread.
The kati roll at Asha’s came with sweet peppers and onions in jalfrezi sauce and served with home-made paneer, some of the best I’ve tried in Manchester.
For sides I’d recommend the Okra fries, otherwise known as ladyfingers. Lightly battered, they are very similar to how they are cooked at Zouk rather than the deep-fried version served up at Bundobust.
We also got to try some of the Naan bread cooked up with chickpeas, pomegranate and onions with lashings of minted yoghurt paneer. Another top dish!
Cocktails at Asha’s Manchester
Indian Restaurants are generally not known for their Drinks menu but Asha’s breaks the mould here again by offering a fantastic cocktail menu that beats a lot of the bars in town. A trip to Asha’s would not be complete without sampling at least one.
Pictured above is the Manchester Tart, a Signature cocktail unique to the Manchester restaurant. It includes vanilla vodka, Chambord, coconut and pineapple are shaken before being topped with a prosecco and passion fruit foam. It’s finished off with a miniature Tart to accompany your drink.
Overall it was great to finally get the chance to try out Asha’s Restaurant. If you are looking for something different from your usual curry house this is the place to go.
We hope to be back soon!
Asha’s Indian Restaurant
Address: 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG