Sunday Lunch at Asha's
Sunday Lunch Ashas style..
Sunday lunch… How is the very concept of a gathering of friends and/or family supposed to work in these covid-19 times? Answer: assuming the people who are gathering can fulfil the latest requirements, head to Asha’s on Peter Street in Manchester, where Sunday lunch has been re-interpreted.
A recent innovation at Asha’s is to try and draw in the Sunday lunch crowd, whilst differentiating themselves from the meat and (overcooked) two veg offerings. It really works.
First, you have the fabulous dining area upstairs. Social distancing hasn’t actually made a lot of difference as this has never been a venue that crams people in, or that imposes a time limit on table occupancy – although we can all understand why this might yet happen.
Second, why go? Well, with restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi amongst other locations, you could be forgiven for thinking Asha’s caters mainly to those of a Halal diet. You’d be wrong. Given the Indian heritage, beef and pork – which would normally be the staple of a Sunday lunch – are obviously absent, but that leaves lamb and chicken, as well as vegetarian options.
So…. how was the food? In a word, it was 'great'.
The shared starter comprised a trio of small bites including, lightly battered Stonebass, deep fried stuffed Mushrooms with cheese and peppers, as well as spiced Potato cutlets with green peas.
All three were delicious and just enough to enjoy ahead of the culinary feast yet to follow.
The Sunday lunch menu is a set format – and even includes a glass of fizz on arrival.. Starters are served as a mixed platter for everyone to share. On this visit the offerings were bread-crumbed mushrooms with cheese, battered stone bass and some delicious potato bits with curried chickpeas topped with pomegranate seeds (always a bonus).
Mains are also served as sharing platters, where everything is served in a shallow serving dish, ready to decant onto diners’ plates. Be warned: There is a lot of food. We also ordered Asha’s take on Cauliflower Cheese (see pictures) and some Cheesy Chips (ditto).
Reader, we were defeated.
We couldn’t manage a dessert, but a neighbouring table had no such qualms, and allowed us to take a picture of the cheesecake.
Service here is sharp, friendly and knowledgeable. Even chef appeared, in order to check on our experience and was delighted to hear that all had been thoroughly enjoyed.
In a word, GO. You will not be disappointed.
Published: 8-Oct-2020 (6015)