Zouk Appeal

It looked like being a typical Bank Holiday-rain and beer. Ok, the rain was there, well this is Britain after all, but there was something more exotic on the menu. A gourmet banquet at Zouk in Manchester. But that wasn’t until later, so I had time to prepare myself.

And what better way to prepare oneself for an Asian feast than to help finish off some beers at the Hark To Dandler. Mindful of my later commitments I restricted myself to just four pints before braving the rain and Bank Holiday transport. There was just time for a pint of Cairngorm Howler in the Paramount before it was chow time.

Zouk is a modern, spacious 200-cover restaurant with an impressive mezzanine floor. Service was attentive, without being intrusive. The food itself was impressive-a delicate Palak Tikka starter, accompanied by Marvan Paneer and Alloo Paratha. Main courses also delivered on the taste test, with a mixed vegetable dish of Mili Juli Sabzi and an impressive Bindi Okra. All too often you get old Okra, which is tough and chewy, but this was very tasty.
Ice cream, mango cheesecake and something that resembled a square of cheddar, but certainly wasn’t-Pistachio barfi, brought up the desserts. Gastronomically stuffed, a pint was forced down at Odder, which is just round the corner. Forced being the operative word, as apart from being stuffed, the Hanby Rainbow Chaser tasted of cardboard.

Unfortunately, as there was nothing else to exchange it for, it was a case of drink it and get out. It appears that there are occasions when beer isn’t a good idea. Who’d have thought it?


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