14 reviews of Lal Qila in English
Went here Aug 2010 and there’s been a lot of mixed reviews. However, we arrived and were seated quickly. The decor was nice and all the staff were really friendly. We ordered a veggie dansak or pathia and it definately wasn’t that, more like a veggie korma. We’d just travelled 4 hours and were so hungry we didn’t complain, it was yummy though. Liked the way we were given a hot flannel, thought it was a sweet at first!
Went for a meal tonight, waited 50mins for food to arrive and was told this was due to parties. Sauces were all the same and tasted similar. Small portions. Ended up with cheese in potato and onion nan and have a dairy allergy. The manager pulled it apart and said there was only a little cheese in there and the rest was ok. Dispite not eating the nan, was still charged. Not recommended.
Lal Qila (The Red Fort, if you’ve ever wondered) is located in the middle of Manchester’s Curry Mile.
I’ve been here a few times and I feel it is a VERY inconsistent place. The food can vary between some of the best curry you’ve had (the butter chicken is excellent) and downright awful (a garlic naan does NOT have to be literally stuffed with garlic thankyouverymuch!). The waiters aren’t particularly attentive, its sometimes a struggle to get another drink, even if you ask numerous times and the place isn’t that busy.
Rusholme has plenty of other curry houses better than this one, approach with extreme caution!
I’ve been away from the area for some time and so was looking forward to eating in the curry capital of the north. On getting into Rusholme, I asked the taxi driver for a recommendation and he took us to the Lal Qila.
On first impression the place seemed ok. Nothing special but I’ve often been surprised by restaurants that “don’t look like much”. The waiters were polite if a little uninterested.
The popadums arrived (with being ordered) with the usual array of condiments. The onions had a rather curious dressing that was reminiscent of tomato ketchup. The mango chutney was of very low quality (those little sachets one gets in Pot Noodle are better).
My main course (Lamb Dansak - usually a safe option) arrive in good time (not too long or short a wait). The sauce had a very smooth and glue like consistency - no obvious signs of any vegetables or lentils. The meat was acceptable if a little over stewed. On tasting came the biggest disappointment of all. No freshnes or vibrancy whatsoever. The chunks of tinned pineapple got me laughing. Without wishing to insult the Supermarkets - I had much better offering from a jar. How the Lal Qila gets away with such poor quality product is shocking. If it was located on a typical high street anywhere else in the UK then it would not survive! Come on Rusholme - your reputation is at stake.
Lal Qila is situated on Wilmslow Road Manchester and as i went to University in Manchester it seems I have tried every place on the curry mile but this is by far the best. House wine £7 a bottle and gorgeous! Food never greasy and always hot, can recommend the chefs special traditional lamb karahi, lamb chops in tomato sauce with freshly chopped corriander. Great place for kids too, last time me and my daughter went she was given free ice-cream!!
I have eaten at Lal Qila about 5 times now, and the thing that keeps me coming back are their lovely Peshwari Naans and the Lamb Ginger curry. Although the waiters are not as overly friendly as those at similar restaurants, I do appreciate (and once again, this is coming from the point of view of another waitress) that you are left alone to eat your meal with no interruptions, rather than being bothered every 5 minutes with waiters making sure you’re okay.
The nice thing about Lal Qila, then, is the fact that as soon as you arrive, you’re given the poppadoms and chutney to munch on as you peruse the menu, just to whet the appetite. I do feel strongly how much I need to stress that the food does NOT, in fact, take 45 minutes to come; my food has always arrived within 20 minutes and is always of a great quality.
I have always enjoyed my meals at Lal Qila, and now always seek it out as I particularly enjoy the lamb ginger curry which is not offered at its competitors. The food is of good quality and the staff just attentive enough. A solid all-rounder.
My experience was almost identical to that of saralouise. Two friends and I went on a Friday night around 8:30pm, which shouldn’t have made any difference. As with the others, our popodoms and chutneys were on the table immediately. I knew what I going to order even before I opened the menu…panir tikka masala with garlic naan, so we were ready to order within five or ten minutes and did. Our drinks came right away. However, our food did not arrive for 45 MINUTES. There were many empty tables by this point and most of the dinner crowd had waned away. When my food finally arrived, I was very disappointed in the curry. Firstly, it looked awful. Every panir tikka I’ve ever eaten has been orange. This was bright red. Ok, so it means they added a ton of chili powder right? That could be fine. When I tasted it, it turned out to be just food colouring. There was hardly any flavor at all, besides a slight bitterness.
The naan was good, however, and the server was very nice during out interactions. For me, it ultimately comes down to the main course, though.
Must admit that although the Curry Mile get’s a kicking for being average at best, Lal Qila is amongst a handful that stands out for service and food. Mostly old school restaurants in Rusholme offering decent fare at very decent prices, it nevertheless is worth a trip there once in a while - just for the shear spectacle of it all. They say real Mancunians don’t eat here, but come night time (and into the early hours of the following day) the place has a vibrancy of it’s own.
Lal Qila do a very good Jal Freza (and you can ask to make it hotter should you wish). Like most restaurants along the mile, the moment you’ve sat down you’ll find a 4 foot high plate of poppadums and associated dips. Add a pint of Cobra to that and you’re away.
Also it has to be noted they are absolutely fantastic with kids (of all ages). Some restaurants (mainly the chains it has to be said) treat young children like Victorian street urchins, but here they’re made a fuss of (and of course the obligatory mints/lollipops help).
I went to ‘Lal Qila’ for the first time last night and I thought although the Curries weren’t the best I’ve had but the service was best I’ve ever had. The popadoms and chutneys were put on the table as soon as we arrived and drinks orders taken. We were in and out within 45mins.
All round a good experience.
Lal Qila is one of my favourite restaurants of the curry mile. I always had good experiences there, the food was always great and the service attentive. Prices were pretty reasonable too. I guess at this point I should note that i'm talking about experiences from a good 6 or so years ago.
One particular time I remember bringing my parents. No sooner had we sat down than they had placed a pile of poppadoms and some chuntneys on the table. They then asked for our drinks order, and promptly came back with the drinks - this was well within 5 minutes of entering the place.
We ordered food, it came in about 10 minutes, we finished, payed the bill and we ready to leave within about 30 minutes of entering. Now while this may be a little too fast for a nice sit-down meal, we could have been slower. It was our choice to be in and out so fast, and it's nice to find a place with service good enough to allow the option...
Comment 2 comments on this review
Sumaiya, 20 December 2007: Sounds good. Now I know where to take my friends if they mention Indian curry
aLii, 20 December 2007: to be honest, you can't go too wrong along the curry mile. Even the very worst (e.g. Royal Naz) isn't that bad. Anyway, you should try them all :)
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