Hankering for veggie and vegan Indian food but not sure which Lily's to head to first? Here's what to expect at both their venues
WHEN Lily's opened their Chorlton Deli last autumn, our curry-loving soul did a little jig of joy. This award-winning Indian restaurant has fans right across the city (and further afield) so a South Manchester version of the East Manchester favourite was very welcome indeed.
But location aside, there are some big differences between the two Lily's. If you're thinking of going to see what all the fuss is about, here's the key things to know first.
Location: Manchester Road, Chorlton. (Next door to Unicorn Grocery, opposite Barbakan.)
Good for: Fresh veggie and vegan street food to eat on the hoof or at home, or if there's space, in their small seating area. Stock up on all your Indian groceries while you're there.
On the menu: The deli's chef cooks up a daily supply of savoury Indian snacky-snacks such as puri, chaat, samosas, masala chips, and so on. Plus homemade Indian sweets and desserts such as halwa and fresh mango shrikand. They also do a curry of the day (see specials and deals). Drinks include coffee, chai masala, teas and mango lassis (vegan ones, too). It's not licensed.
Eat-in or takeaway? Most of their custom is takeaway but there's a small, pleasant seating area for eating-in. It's suited to a quick bite to eat and a coffee with a friend.
Specials and deals: They do an eat-in only curry of the day with pilau rice from 12pm-6pm, currently at an introductory price of £5.99. There's also a 'grab and go' deal: it's a vegan curry or daal plus a pack of four chapati for £7.99.
Book ahead? No, it's walk-ins only for the seating area. There are four tables for you to fight over.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm.
Lily's Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Location: Oldham Road, Ashton-under-Lyne. (Near the Metrolink station)
Good for: Head here for a full sit-down lunch or dinner with family and friends, and pick up some treats from the deli counter in the entrance foyer to take home. The original Lily's expanded into this smart, spacious restaurant in 2018 to cope with their growing popularity after winning a whole stack of awards.
On the menu: The food offering is much more extensive here than at the deli - this is the one to choose if you want the complete Lily's experience. Unlike the deli, it serves alcohol. See the menu.
Specials and deals: They do a fantastic vegetarian thali for £9.99. This month's includes (deep breath) vegetable samosas, cauliflower tikki, shahi paneer, vegetable kohlapuri, jeera rice, tadka dall, naan, carrot halwa, papad/farfar, and chutney - all for under £10. You have to book the thali in advance: call them on 0161 339 4774.
Book ahead? Yes - it gets busy. Book a table at Lily's. Walk-ins are available if you want to take a chance.
Opening hours: Wednesday and Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.