Dhoop, West Didsbury
If you’re after chicken tikka masala and a ghee fix, we recommend you give West Didsbury’s new Dhoop a miss. But if you fancy exploring authentic Indian cuisine as interpreted by an experienced and innovative chef, this new Burton Rd restaurant is the place to be.
Dhoop’s interior is light and airy, with an unassuming modern decor that gives no clues to the imaginative dishes being created behind the scenes by Head Chef and co-owner Atul Lamba. Working from a foundation of traditional Indian home cooking, Atul integrates Western and Chinese influences to produce a menu you won’t find anywhere else. He knows what he’s doing. Before coming to England in 2005, Atul worked in five star hotels in Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai. In the UK, he has cooked modern British food alongside Andy Burton, Master Chef of Great Britain, and in other hotel kitchens around the country.
Meat and fish are all sourced locally; breads are home baked, and every dish is flavoured with fresh dried Indian spices rather than store-bought pastes and marinades.
Starters include hearty stuffed vegetable flatbreads with chutney (£3.50), Bathak ki Chaat – a mild spiced fried duck chaat with orange and pineapple (£6.50) – and a delicate Kali Mirchi Squid, black pepper squid from the clay oven (£5.50).
For the main course, there is a great range of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, some new, others more familiar. Tempting chicken dishes include Murgh Malai Tikka Zafrani – marinated chicken tikka with cream cheese, saffron, coconut, ground cashew nuts, melon seeds and a rich sauce (£10.50). There is melt-in-the-mouth lamb rogan josh (£10.95), simmered gently for three hours; venison bourguignon with orange and ginger, served with saffron rice (£13.95) and Atlantic cod pakora, with sauted chilli flake potatoes, tarka peas, and salad (£8.95). You can also try Atul’s ‘Real Indian Chicken Curry ‘– cooked just as he makes it at home.
Vegetarian choices are no less interesting. Possibilities include Amratsari tea flavoured chickpeas and broad beans, served with yoghurt curry with fenugreek leaves and pilau rice (£8.50), and Paneer Baigan; mustard tempered scrambled paneer on grilled eggplant with stir-fried rice and masala sauce (£9.95).
Unlike many Indian restaurants, Dhoop takes pudding seriously. Treats such as orange sticky toffee pudding (£3.50) and chocolate basil dessert (£3.95) sit alongside home-made rice and saffron pudding (£3.50) and almond ice cream with Amaretto biscotti (£3.50).
Genuinely unique, Dhoop has already attracted rave reviews from critics and public alike. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, you can book online here.
198 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 1LH
Booking available here