Our pick of the menu at Bradford's tea bar & grill
What with its officially recognised status as the curry capital of the UK, you’re never too far from a tandoori in Bradford. One of our favourite places is Zouk.
Marketing itself as a “tea bar and grill” rather than a straight-up curry house, Zouk’s menu takes on Indian and Pakistani curries, as well as Middle Eastern and North African-tinged dishes from their charcoal grill, seafood, shawarmas, and a few surprises.
Naturally, you’re going to be spoilt for choice, so we’ve picked a few of our favourites from the menu to help you get started
A fillet of bright white, slightly sweet, fall-apart-tender haddock with an ever-so-slight boot up the arse from a marinade of garlic and coriander, with a slight char from the tandoor oven (more on that, later), with bright, tart pops of pomegranate seeds. Who says Indian starters have to be deep-fried and dark brown?
Big fat lads the size of a trawlers thumb, dressed in a touch of olive oil and cumin to give them a bit of earth, then whacked over the charcoal grill to give them inimitable char. One taste and you’ll be praying for barbecue weather to you can try and make them yourself
Nope, not a dessert - juicy filleted chicken wings (to help you get all the meat off the bone without having to nibble at tiny crevices) with crispy skin and a pomegranate marinade, caramelised from the searing heat of the charcoal grill.
Talk about tender - we’d be surprised if the fish was this moist even while it was swimming around the ocean. The trick is to cook it on their special “pani sigri” - a water grill that steams as it grills.
A big burst of flavour but not too much spice from its herby marinade, and served with pan-fried lemon-pepper vegetables, this is a dish that marks Zouk out as more than just a curry house.
...That’s not to say they can’t cook a mean curry, of course. Cross-cut shanks of lamb served on the bone, so that the super-rich marrow leaks into the lively curry sauce, boistrous with ginger, green chillies, and red Kashmiri chillis. Traditionally a lunchtime favourite of Rajasthan railway workers, the steam coming out of your ears after eating this could power you all the way to Mumbai before teatime.
Railway curry a bit hot for you? No shame in that. Don’t be put off by the name of this one though, chilli paneer is actually a rich, tomatoey curry with onions, peppers, and plenty of bouncy paneer - fresh cheese similar to halloumi, but made with cow’s milk and a bit lighter. Don’t tell Zouk we said this, but the sauce tastes like really moreish beef & tomato pot noodle - we wanted to pick up the bowl and drink it, but we compromised by getting a big, pillowy naan fresh from their oven to scoop it up with instead. You should probably do the same...