When we first moved back to the UK in 2013, we found ourselves renting an apartment in Stretford which was convenient for work commutes, however there wasn’t really anywhere local to venture out for food in the local area.
Since then, we have moved into and bought a house in the area and glad to say that over the years things have been changing greatly, with regards to places to go.
We had the sip club and the restaurant pop ups at 1116 Chester Road which were a great start. The later then became Samirs, which until its closure due to lockdown had become a real favorite.
The introduction of Stretford Foodhall, The Hive and The Longford Tap, amongst others, really started to give locals somewhere to head to close by.
1116 Chester Road has now reopened as Bakehouse 32 and BrewChimp have opened a bar where Trading Places once stood. In addition to the bar, they also have an upstairs restaurant known as Indian Social Club, which is located where the Sip Club once was.
Indian food is a real love of ours, as not only have we lived in, working in and visited the country numerous times, but Indias Father was also born there, so as you can imagine, authenticity is really important.
Venturing out in the wind and rain, we took a gentle stroll to check it out. Heading up the stairs I was immediately impressed. The set up has been completely transformed from the sometimes cramped feel of its former life, being converted to a welcoming open space with open kitchen and some fantastic wall art by Digital Creator Adam Astley.
We were greeted with a smile and shown to our table.
Social Distancing measures are still in place and it was easy to order food and drinks via their app, which I would highly recommend downloading. You can book a table for 2 at a cost of £10, which then appears as credits in app to use on food and drink. It’s also worth knowing that you will also get a loyalty card which they stamp digitally.
Having already scanned through the menu before heading down, I knew there were a few dishes that I really wanted to try, but took a moment when we arrived to glance through again. In the meantime we ordered some drinks.
The drinks menu contains a number of beers on tap, a decent selection of wines by the glass, soft drinks as well as a reasonable number of spirit choices.
Their house Gin is Meadows Gin, which is produced a short distance away in Irlam, so I opted for this, while India asked for a lemonade.
Surprisingly we were then told that they were out of lemonade, which as 6:30pm was a little strange as I’m sure many people would order it as a mixer. My gin and tonic turned up and I was disappointed that the tonic was completely flat. I spoke to the server who took it away and came back with another, which wasn’t much better. This was a real shame as I hadn’t tried this gin before and this really didn’t do it any favours.
We were bought some snacks to nibble on while we waited for the food, which although they apologised for the wait, seemed to come in good time.
The kitchen staff were all busy cooking up the tasty treat a short distance from our table so it was all good to watch.
We ordered a small selection of dishes to share, with only one that I had wanted not being available, but that gives an excuse to visit again.
The South Indian chicken curry was exactly what I expected and bursting with flavour.
Mutton Chukka was succulent and the mix of meat, caramelised onions, ginger, garlic and spices was perfect eaten with your fingers using chapati to scoop it up. Britainil, who came from the kitchen to check how everything was however recommended next time to have it with Barotta/Paratha.
India loved the Chilli Paneer, which is tossed in their own homemade chilli sauce, which had a great blend of heat and sweetness.
My only let down was the Lamb Chop, which was a little gristly, so despite having good flavour, wasn’t that enjoyable to eat.
India eagerly ordered some Gulab Jumun for dessert as its one of her favorites, however after ordering we were sheepishly approached again by the kitchen and told they had run out. The staff were all great spirited though and we will just have to have them next time along with some of the other dishes we didn’t get to try.
Despite a couple of small disappointments, the visit was a great success. The staff were lovely and welcoming, the food overall was authentic and full of flavour, the fact that its a 15 min walk from our doorstep is just a massive bonus, lets hope the G&T hits the spot as much as the food next time.
You can visit the BrewChimp website here for more details or visit them at 164a Barton Road, Stretford, Manchester