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Scene Indian Street Food Kitchen Reviews
4 stars

4a Leftbank, Irwell Square, Manchester, M3 3AN

Telephone 0161 839 3929

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Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen
Scene Spinningfields Reviews
Setting The Scene!

Now it's fair to say that Indian cuisine in the UK has come on leaps and bounds over the last 15 years.  London started to see the rise of places such as Cinnamon Club and more recently places like Benares, and then the movement started to spread, so now we have Lasan in Birmingham, but to name a few Indian places which have moved way beyond the traditional 'curry house' format.  Sure, everybody still loves a Lamb Bhuna or Chicken Tikka Masala on a Friday night with a few pints, but still, in 2016, customers tend to demand more when eating out, and generally more food savvy punters demand something different, something unique, something that they've not experienced before, something to get them excited.  For many, a good curry and naan bread no longer measure up.

Anyway, Manchester has started to go down a similar route over the last 6 months or so, with a handful of quality modern Indian eateries and an increasing number of street food venues now gracing our city centre.  Last year, Scene Indian Street Kitchen landed in Spinningfields, becoming the first Indian restaurant in what is now arguably the city's foodie hotspot area.  Situated in a prime waterside location, Scene offers great views, a stunning outside terrace, and sumptuous decor.  It's a real sight for the eyes as you arrive, with the decor resembling a movie set with nods to street food vending, all with a stunningly rustic yet slick finish.  A true Scene indeed. 

Menu wise, the bar is indeed raised from your local curry house, with authentic Indian dishes and techniques new to experience.  The inclusion of North Indian dishes such as Khatti Rolls and Momos took us right back to memories of a recent trip to New Delhi and Agra, along with a dedicated Chaat section on the menu, which for us, is the king of all 'street food', as it's referred to in the west.  Indeed 'street food' is the heart and soul of all Asian food, whether it be in India, Pakistan, China, Thailand, wherever.  The street is indeed traditionally the restaurant itself in that part of the world.  The street-side dining room is simply intrinsic.

Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen

Our Indian food adventure began with a selection of street food dishes, inspired by flavours and memories from all over India.  It's a big place, so naturally we had to sample a fair few dishes.  The Fish Amitsari was a stunning start. Perfectly flaky cod goujons, in lovely crunchy, well-seasoned batter.  The Lamb Chops were without question some of the best which we've ever had in the city.   Perfectly sweet cutlets of juicy lamb with layered spicing, triggering every part of the palate.  This was masterful work, and spicing of this precision takes years of experience. 

The outstanding dish though for me was the off-menu Dubai Roll; a perfectly cooked seekh kebab, wrapped in a light as air paratha bread, seasoned and spiced to absolute perfection.  The Samosa Chaat was also excellent.  A basket formed from a poppadom, filled with potato and chickpea, finished with yoghurt, mint and some tamarind chutney to bring the dish together well.  Rounding things off was the superb Pani Puri, a true Indian street food staple of crispy shell, filled with chickpeas and pomegranate seeds.  Again, it was a flavour explosion and a true visual treat.  All in all the starters were a smell, colour, texture and taste sensation, and it's very rare that we experience such an array of dishes with absolutely no cooking errors, no seasoning issues, nothing at all. Everything was spot on.

Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen

By this point, our drinks were also going down a treat.  Kris, the resident bar maestro really looked after us, guiding us through his comprehensive cocktail menu, and even concocting a bespoke cherry and coconut creation.  You can be sure of drinking well at Scene.  We were also pleased to see the excellent and seldom known Lal Toofan beer available on tap.  It's a great lager and is a shame that more places don't sell it, as its ideal for eating with Indian food, being less gassy then most lagers, with a lovely background sweetness to complement spicy food.  All you Cobra and Kingfisher lovers, be sure to check it out, as for us it's a better lager than both of those popular choices.  Also, at £3.30 a pint, it's an incredibly well priced pint in the city centre, especially Spinningfields.

Anyway, the main courses landed, and we dived into the Bhindi Gosht.  Textbook cooked lamb on the bone, whilst not for some peoples tastes, undoubtedly delivers the most flavour, in a rich curry sauce, topped with ginger slices for garnish.  The excellent vegetable Biryani which we ordered to go with it was again spot on.  Well spiced, giving off an amazing aroma as you lifted off its lid, with a lovely curry sauce on the side.  Finally we ordered the Chicken Makhani/Butter Chicken.   It was a very rich curry indeed, with butter and cream, yet again spiced to perfection, with the layers of flavour present in dishes which are crafted by chefs who know their trade inside out.  It hand's down bettered the famous dish of the same name which we ate at Karim's in New Delhi, where this dish is thought to have originated.  Praise doesn't really get much higher than that.
Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen

We rounded off the evening with the staples of Indian pudding; Gulab Jamun and Kulfi.  Now I'm not usually a massive fan of Gulab Jamun to be honest, or indeed Indian desserts as a whole.  Gulab Jamun dough is often heavy and claggy, and the syrup way too sweet and totally overwhelming.  It usually stacks up to creating a very heavy and sickly way to end a meal, but not here.  The dough balls were light and fluffy, and the syrup, yes it was sweet, but still balanced and enjoyable, with just the right amount to go with the balls.   A tradition-breaking ball of ice cream helped to ease the syrup's sweetness too.  The final dish which we had was a very traditional Kulfi; Indian style ice cream, which was a lovely, light way to end such a rich, fiery, indulgent meal.

So, Spinningfields now has a serious hit of spice which can without question more than hold its own alongside the areas big hitting foodie haunts, which is high praise in Spinningfields.  I'm not going to refer to it as a 'curry house', as it is indeed much more than that, even if you do only fancy a good old fashioned Lamb Bhuna, which no doubt Scene will make a great job of should you wish.  But it was without question one of the best Indian dining experiences which we've had in the city centre, or indeed anywhere, in an awfully long time.  You owe it to yourself to check out Scene. ~ Restaurants Of Manchester (visited on a Thursday Evening)
Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen Manchester Restaurants - Scene Street Food Kitchen
4 stars
4 stars
4 stars
4 stars
4 stars
"Expert Spicing"
"Friendly charm"
"Rustic yet slick"
"Spicy Sensation"

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Disclaimer: All information correct 29/2/2016. and can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed.

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