First-class Indian food that looks, feels and tastes like a celebration
NOT in the mood for a traditional turkey dinner at this year's Christmas party? Most of Manchester's Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants offer their own festive menus so you won't be short of choice. The trick is to book one which feels suitably special and celebratory for your end-of-year knees-up – and we think we've found that with Scene Indian Street Kitchen.
This dramatically-styled Indian restaurant in Spinningfields makes an impression as soon as you step inside. Oversized murals and vintage signs combine with luxurious textures and designer lighting to create an eclectic look that's both glamorous and uplifting.
The attention to detail impressed us throughout – from the warm, just-cooked naan bread, to the fresh ginger on the curries, to the delicate spicing in the dhal.
It's spacious enough to avoid feeling over-crowded even in peak Christmas party season, with separate areas for groups, and booth seating for smaller gatherings. And the service is friendly, fast and efficient even when the pressure's on.
As for the food...Scene recently won the Best Street Food category in the English Curry Awards, seeing off tough competition from all over the country. For Christmas it is offering three extra-special festive menus which will be available from mid November onwards.
So take a seat, order one of their crafted cocktails or a glass of prosecco, and let them fill your table with one of the most fragrant, zingy and flavourful festive feasts we've had.
Download Scene's Christmas menus
Lunchtime Grand Thalis at Scene
Price: £17.95 or £17.50 for the vegetarian option, both including a glass of wine or half of lager
For a daytime Christmas meal at under £20, this will be hard to beat. It's a 'grand thali' – your own personal Indian buffet presented in little bowls on a silver tray for you to devour at your leisure.
This thali features Scene's superb take on classic dishes, and includes poppadom, naan bread, coriander salad, yoghurt dip, Gujarati samosa, onion bhaji, daal maharani, chicken makhani, and lamb karahi (or paneer butter masala and Bombay aloo for vegetarians).
It's perfect for those of us who like to try a bit of everything but also don't want to share. And it ends with a slice of rich chocolate fudge cake. Good luck finding room for it after all that.
Evening Festive Feasts at Scene
Price: £26 or £30 depending on menu choice
While the thalis are perfect if you like your feast to be for you and you only, the evening menus are ideal for a communal-style meal.
Your celebration has a real family-feel when everyone's dipping in to try a bit of this and a bit of that. And you can't beat the excitement of a table covered with ten or so different dishes, each with a beautiful aroma of its own.
This feast comes in stages. After a poppadom and pickle tray, you're served a starter platter, complete with lamb chops, onion bhaji, fish amritsari, chaat, and more.
Then the mains arrive; familiar dishes such as chicken jalfrezi sit alongside more unusual dishes such as macher johl – a traditional Bengali dish of fish cooked in a mustard sauce. Each feast includes vegetarian options, or you can ask for an entirely vegetarian feast if you prefer.
The range of dishes is designed to suit all tastes: some spicy and some mild, with fish, lamb, chicken and vegetarian options. The vegetarian malaikofta – soft, plump dumplings of paneer and potato in a rich sauce – was one of the highlights.
None of the curries disappointed. They're all made from scratch using lots of fresh vegetables, spices and herbs, so each dish tastes distinct. (No generic spicy gravy here.) The attention to detail impressed us throughout – from the warm, just-cooked naan bread, to the slices of ginger on the curries, to the delicate spicing in the dhal.
Book your Christmas party
Scene's Christmas menus make organising your party easy as it's a set price for everyone, and you don't each have to make individual food choices.
Simply choose your menu, get a rough idea of numbers, and call them on 0161 839 3929
or email email@example.com to book. They're looking forward to hosting you this Christmas.
Download Scene's Christmas menus