Anyone that knows me, is well aware that I have an amazing love of Indian food plus having lived and worked in India, I’m very fussy about it.
There are certainly a few Indian restaurants that I do adore however (Dishoom, Mowgli, Mugli to name a few), but this doesn’t stop me from keeping my eyes open for somewhere new to dine, which may also give an authentic experience. Therefore when I was asked by Royal Nawaab in Manchester if I would like to go along to find out what their buffet style dining was all about, I couldn’t refuse.
Royal Nawaab restaurant is housed in an old cinema hall on Stockport Road, Levenshulme and serves Pakistani and Indian food buffet style. I have to admit to the fact that even as I drove in, I really had no idea what to expect. I had read however that it was the winner of best buffet restaurant at the 2018 Asian Curry Awards, so I was excited to find out for myself.
The restaurant definitely stood out as we drove past, its a very grand building indeed, plus it has parking around the back for plenty of cars, which was a huge added benefit.
We walked into the main foyer with its waterfall and Indian art on the walls and we were then greeted by a doorman, this felt more like a luxury hotel in India/Pakistan rather than a restaurant, a great start to the experience, or was this style over substance, I was about to find out.
We were directed around the side of the waterfall and to the entrance of the main restaurant. Through these doors there was a huge dining hall that welcomed us. It really is huge even by buffet standards, plus even at 17:30 on a Saturday, it was already getting busy, surely a good sign!
We were shown to our table and a member of staff explained how it all worked. The Buffet which includes Starters, Mains and Desserts costs just £17.95 per person (Discounted to £8.45 for children 4-10), with drinks and poppadoms being extra. Simply help yourself and order your drinks/poppadoms with the waiters, then pay as you leave.
I ordered a Mocktail based on a Mojito (No alcohol is served at the restaurant) and I have to say it was gorgeous.
We also had a few poppadoms (available for 50p each), which were served with a number of condiments, these are the perfect start to the meal.
With senses heightened from the smell of spices, we can’t wait to get started on the abundance of starters that are laid out on the buffet.
From Pakoras to Samosas, Kebabs to Chicken Pieces. There is plenty for both Meat and Veg eaters, with everything clearly labelled. They also have signed regarding food allergies, which the staff can assist with.
We had a selection of succulent and spicy lamb chops from the Grill, Crispy Chicken Pieces, Veg Samosas, Lamb Kebabs and spicy Chicken Wings.
To be honest I could have sat and dined for an hour or so on just the starters, there is so much choice that I didn’t even manage to try everything.
We moved onto some of the main dishes, again trying a small selection to share. For those that aren’t keen on hot spicy food, there are a few dishes available such as Korma or Chicken Tikka Masala, which while these are not my idea of a decent curry, and are far from what you would find in a restaurant in India or Pakistan, they are popular to some and so therefore available.
The curry’s are all made in house with fresh spices, nothing is brought in premixed, instead they order their spices whole and then mix and grind them for each individual dish. This means that every dish has a unique flavour, unlike some curry houses that use just. one or two base sauces for all their curries. For those that are looking for something really authentic there is plenty to choose from here as well, with one of my favorites of the night being a Nihari which was full of flavour and the meat melting in the mouth.
I was stuffed already, but I still needed to have a look at the desserts. India had already said she wass not leaving without one of her favorites, Gulab Jamun. A sweet indian dessert of deep fried balls soaked in a sweet and sticky syrup.
For me something different, as I spotted some Om Ali, an Egyptian Bread and Butter Style pudding that I used to eat in local restaurants during my time living in Egypt. This was as good as any I have had in Egypt itself, so a double thumbs up from me.
For those wanting something less sweet, there are a number of Ice Creams and other cakes available as well.
Throughout the evening the staff were attentive and friendly with a member of Management named Mousimali working the restaurant floor, chatting to diners and welcoming lots of regulars, this was great to see. We also chatted and discovered that he was originally from Goa and we knew some of the same people there. The food was varied with everything from korma and pasta for young diners, to hot and spicy authentic dishes like the Nihari which I enjoyed so much.
We both left totally stuffed having loved this authentic experience, vowing to go back, possible before we actually head back to India itself in a just over 6 weeks time.
Before leaving we were also shown the upstairs area which is used for functions including weddings. With a grand setting and such great food, its probably the only buffet I’ve ever wanted to recommend.
To make a booking or to check out the Royal Nawaab for yourself, head over to their website here.
We were invited to dine at Royal Nawaab as guests on a complimentary basis in return for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions within are those of Manchester Food Tourist.