Mumtaz is a small restaurant chain providing Asian cuisine, they currently operate in Leeds, Bradford and London. They have just opened in Manchester, so we thought we would take a look !
The Mumtaz story is one of hard work and dedication to quality and service, as their website reports :
Back in 1979 Farzand Begum, mother of the Mumtaz Family opened a tiny shop just four square meters on Great Horton road in Bradford, and quickly became famous for its authentic Kashmiri Cuisine. Little did she know then, that from these humble beginings was to grow a multi-national food operation that spans the globe, with prestigious restaurants in Bradford and Leeds.
The restaurant is new, so the decor and furniture all look great. Its on the lower ground floor of a hotel, near Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester. It has plenty of parking, there are a set of steps to get in, so if you require disabled access you need to let the staff know and they can let you in a back way.
The staff are all attentive, we were seated straight away, and offered poppadoms to start whilst we ordered. They were not the usual big style ones, but small Pringle size ones. The chutneys were the usual affair, except the yogurt one. This was surprisingly spicy for me, I thought it was going to be a cool minty taste, but it definitely had a kick to it.
The menus are labelled as “introductory”. I expect it will probably be printed on some different material and made to look a little fancier. The content is classic Asian cuisine, so please do not expect some Chinese – Mexican fusion dishes here, this is a traditional Asian restaurant with modern decor.
The inclusion of Mocktails was a pleasant surprise. We ordered the comically named Lime Lust and Mango Mixer, they were nice, tasted fresh, and they seemed popular with our guests. We also ordered the Mango Lussi which was predictably nice, and I wouldn’t expect less.
We ordered two mixed grills and some naan bread as a starter. It took about 15 minutes to arrive, which I felt was about right. Any quicker and you wonder how fresh it is, and slower and you may start to clock watch, not good if your sat with a load of kids.
The mixed grill was nice. I would say that its never going to be possible to get the spice levels to everyone’s tastes, its so subjective, but this was nicely spiced. A little too much for me and generally my guests felt the same, but it was still comfortable to eat. The meats were well cooked, soft and tender with a smokey flame grilled surface.
Naans were freshly made and tasted nice, again, these are items that you would never expect a prominent Asian restaurant to get wrong, in my experience its often service levels and hygiene that can let Asian restaurants down. I did have a sneaky peak in the preparation area, it all seemed clean, floors were clear and surfaces clean. The toilets were also clean, which is a good sign, if a restaurant can’t keep areas clean which you can see, God knows what they are doing in areas the public can’t see.
With the starter done, we waited another 15-20 minutes for mains, we ordered several curry dishes. We asked for “mild” spicing levels, and 3 out of the 4 dishes were what we considered mild, the 4th dish was noticeably more spicy. All of the curry dishes were nicely flavored though, boneless tender meat in a thick, rich sauce. As you can see from the pictures, there is not too much oil. One of my pet hates in Asian food is the amount of oil used. I have been given curries were there is honestly more oil than sauce. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case in Mumtaz Manchester.
Mumtaz Manchester Review Conclusion
We enjoyed our evening, but just like any restaurant it has its place. Mumtaz in Manchester has some issues, for example, because its on the lower ground floor, there is little natural light in the seating areas, it feels a little busier and nosier because of this. Its also not cheap. It seems to be aiming for the middle to upper price bracket, we paid £100 for 6 adults and 3 kids. With all things considered though, it is a good restaurant and I suspect it will be popular. If you want to take your friends or family where you know parking is not going to be a problem and the food will be at least “good”, then this is a safe bet. The staff all spoke clear English, which may sound trivial, but to me as a non Asian person, I have found it difficult to communicate in Asian restaurants in the past. They are very keen to ensure you have what you want and attentive. On our menu they did not appear to have any alcohol, and all food was said to be halal.
To conclude, Mumtaz are not re-inventing Asian cuisine, but delivering predictable, high quality food in a modern, relaxing environment.
What are your thoughts? Have you been? Did you agree or disagree? Recommend a restaurant that you think is better?