If you prefer your Valentine’s or Mother’s Day meal to be a stay at home affair, then you could do worse than use one of our local takeaways. MOOR asked Suze Howell to check out Mhariam on Shaw Rd.
One of the great things about living in The Heatons isn’t just the array of cuisines on offer but the variation of menus within each one. The choice at Mhariam Indian Takeaway mixes the traditional with dishes they describe as ‘exquisite,’ adding to the hotbed of culinary talent in our area.
I asked head chef Almas to broaden my mind beyond my usual Rogan Josh. After enquiring about how spicy I like my food he suggested the Balti Exotica and the Chicken Tikka Korola with a side dish of Bombay Chana Aloo. These dishes are the epitome of what Mhariam stands for: beautifully fresh ingredients cooked in homemade spices and sauces.
Our food was amazing. My husband now has a whole new respect for chickpeas! The quality of the meat and king prawns was excellent and the spices really hit the taste buds with an array of different flavours in every mouthful.
There were nine variations of rice to choose from; I picked a garlic rice infused with lemon – something I’d never tried before but now I’ll never be able to have plain rice again!
If you are a lover of TV cookery programmes you should go to Mhariam to watch them at work in their open kitchen. It’s a fast-paced, sensory explosion, beating anything James Martin does on a Saturday morning. Chef Almas has over 20 years’ experience, learning from his dad who started in the restaurant business back in the 1940s. Watching Almas prepare the dishes was an absolute delight, his skill and enthusiasm as he talked me through his spice mix recipes.
According to Almas and his colleague Mohsin, if you like it hot go for the vindaloo or try the Sabji Bahar. Or if you sweat at the thought of chillies, there’s a whole section of Tandoori Masala dishes. If you’ve something specific in mind, just talk to the chefs who are more than happy to tailor any dishes.
The guys in Mhariam love the ‘nice and friendly’ local customers. Some come from further afield too: there’s a Spanish chap who puts his order in as soon as he lands at Manchester Airport whilst on a business trip and a former Heatons’ resident who travels over from Derbyshire to stock up on Madras and Kormas for her freezer. I can see already that Mhariam is going to become a firm favourite in our household.
Mhariam is at 7 Shaw Rd. Heaton Moor. Tel: 0161 433 1161. www.mhariam.com