MyLahore – Manchester

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On my last night in Manchester, the girls took me to Curry Mile. This one street is just full of restaurants and kebab houses specializing in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Apparently there are at least seventy restaurants. They said that there’s so many restaurants that they never really know which one to go to. N had gone to MyLahore before, so off we went.

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Both the interior and exterior are quite modern-looking. The decor is very family-style with booths on the side and everything is very colourful. Friendly service as well.

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Sizzling Combo Platter – Chicken Seekh, Lamb Seekh, Lamp Chop, Chicken Pakora, and Samosa

N had been here before and suggested we get two sets of the Sizzling Combo Platter between the four us to share. This was a good platter since you get to try a variety of Indian appetizers. The Chicken Seekh was my favourite as they flavoured it really well. The Samosa was alright as I wish the wrapping was more flaky. This one was the type of samosas which had a thick outer layer that was more doughy.

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Chicken Karahi

For my main, I went for the Chicken Karahi. The Karahi is a curry made with mainly onions, tomatoes and peppers. The curry was a thin consistency rather than something like butter chicken. An intersesting note is that a karahi actually means the pot or wok that they use to cook this Indian dish. Anyways, the curry wasn’t too spicy as I asked for mild I believe. There were quite a lot of pieces of chicken and I wasn’t even able to finish most of it. I ended up having to wrap it up.

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Roti

None of the curries come with a side of rice so we had to order this ourselves. We ended up getting one Roti, which was huge. This was thin and crisp, but I missed the Malaysian rotis which were flakier.

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Naan

We also ordered one Naan. The naan was a bit oily, but I liked how it was very fluffy inside. I preferred the naan over the roti actually. It’s unusual how you actually need to pay for the naan, since most Indian restaurants provide unlimited naan. I guess their curries were priced a little cheaper, so they didn’t offer this.

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Pilaf Rice

We also got some Pilaf Rice, which we probably shouldn’t have… We had so much rice leftover and it was seriously so filling with all the roti and naan. I guess all of these sides were the right amount to the amount of curry we had, but we just weren’t able to finish most of it!

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And here was our meal! S got the Biryani which is something I wasn’t so familiar with. It’s pilau rice with onions, garlic cardamom, cinnamon and this rice is dry, but already flavoured with those ingredients. Then they give you a side of curry which is very thin in consistency, and you can pour this onto your rice. Pretty good! I believe N got the Masala, which is a curry sauce made from tomatoes, garlic and ginger. This is a common curry we find at most Indian restaurants as well. As for K, she got the Vegetable Karahi, which was also really good and spicy! You can choose how spicy you want the curries, so no worries if you can’t take spice. All in all, MyLahore didn’t disappoint. It was filled with people, and of Indian ethnicity, so that’s always a good sign! A bit of a wait, but not too long. Prices are also quite reasonable.

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Costa Coffee – Manchester

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Since S and N are on exchange at the University of Manchester, S decided to take me there. Funny how it was my first choice of exchange school, but I ended up in Spain. The university is definitely massive compared to ESADE. It reminds me of UBC with much more campus life. Its’ massive, but the buildings are located on a strip called Oxford St., instead of how UBC’s buildings are on a massive plot of land.

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Gingerbread Latte

While on our way to N’s residence, we stopped by Costa Coffee to grab a drink. Costa Coffee is all over UK and some cities in Europe. It’s basically the Starbucks for the UK. During the holiday season, they had all these cute cups with Santa images, but sadly, the shop we were at didn’t have any of the cups… S got the Gingerbread Latte. It was topped with cream and sugar crystals shaped like stars. A gingerbread man was topped on it. Super cute!

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White Chocolate Mocha, Christmas Yule Log

For myself, I got the White Chocolate Mocha, which was only topped with the star shaped crystal sugars. I also found it to be very bland and lacked any chocolate taste. Definitely not as good as the ones at Starbucks. I also got  a Christmas Yule Log. It was a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream filling inside. On top, there was a piece of chocolate toffee and icing sugar on top of everything. Surprisingly, I didn’t find it too sweet. Not bad!

Teacup Kitchen – Manchester

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The next day, S and N took me around Manchester to do some sightseeing. There isn’t that much sightseeing though, and compared to other cities I’ve visited, I would say that the city is mostly locals. I felt sort of silly taking pictures and acting all touristy. One of the more significant attractions was the Manchester Cathedral which is a medieval church located in the city center. It’s a Gothic style church and has undergone restorations various times. The inside was being restored I think, so we weren’t able to go inside. Other than that, we just did some shopping at the huge Primark at Piccadilly Garden!

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After shopping, we met up with their friend C and we went to the Teacup Kitchen. They told me it was for afternoon tea…since we’re in the UK and you have to have a British-style afternoon tea! However, the Teacup Kitchen was quite different from what I had imagined. Most of the afternoon tea spots in Vancouver are all decked out and quiet, but Teacup Kitchen was more like a cafe and very casual.

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They offered a large variety of different cakes. It was more like a cake cafe where people could just lounge and chill here with tea and cakes. Some people were on laptops and working away. I actually really liked this casual environment and the waitress was extremely nice and friendly.

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Although I found most people ordering just a cake and a tea, or some of their lunch menu, which included sandwiches, we still went for the Teacup Special Afternoon Tea. This came with a choice of any loose leaf tea and a selection of savory and sweet snacks. It’s available from 2:30 pm. At first, we were each going to order a set, since that’s what normally happens in Vancouver, but our waitress was a little shocked and suggested us to just order 2 sets between the 4 of us. She said there was quite a lot of food, and good thing we stuck with her on that. However, each of us still got our own individual teapots. I chose the Blue Sky Earl Grey since it seemed to be the most British… The description was “a quality blend of black teas, infused with bergamot but then given a hugely aromatic boost of grapefruit”. I liked how the tea separator was on top of the pot, rather than inside, since it really avoided the tea leaves getting in the tea. They were also very attentive in providing us with hot water refills.

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This was one set of the Teacup Special Afternoon Tea. Instead of having the sweets at the top, like I normally see, they had the savory sandwiches at the top, then moved into some sweets in the middle, and then some sweeter cakes and scones at the bottom layer. This was beyond filling between two people. The only problem was it was a little difficult sharing some of the items.

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The top layer was filled with all savory items. It’s been a while, so I don’t remember exactly what each item was called. There were two Egg Salad Sandwiches, a Cheese Quiche, and a Sausage Roll. There was also this Cheese Twist type of pastry.

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The second layer was already filled with sweets. I believe the cupcake was a Flourless Chocolate Cake. It was a dark chocolate ganache and was gluten-free. Surprisingly not too sweet too. Next was a Lemon Meringue Tart. The pastry case was crisp and sweet, and was filled with lemon curd. On top, it had peaks of meringue. The last was a Flapjack. It was very dense and extremely healthy. It was made with rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, mixed fruit, cinnamon, crunchy pecans, and put together with honey and syrup. It was a little chewy but I really liked the texture and flavours.

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At the very bottom were the sweetest treats! The Hearty Scone is their famous classic English scone but with a twist. It’s baked in a heart shape! They slice it in half and fill it with a raspberry jam and clotted cream. I liked how the scone wasn’t as dense as the typical ones, and the top was crispy. The yellow baked good was a Lemon-Licious. Its a lemon sponge cake with a zesty flavour to it and topped with citrus icing and white chocolate curls. This one was a little too sweet for my liking. Lastly, it came with two mini Battenbergs. Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake and is covered with marzipan. When cut, they show a checkered pattern. This one was a red velvet and vanilla sponge cake.

By the end of our afternoon tea, we were thoroughly full even though we only ordered two sets. I can’t imagine having the whole set alone! I wish I could try some of their other cakes. It seemed like such a cool place to chill after school or on the weekend if the weather isn’t so great.

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Rosso Restaurant and Bar – Manchester

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A week later, I was off on the plane again. This time, I was traveling alone, and it felt sort of weird. At least I was traveling to Manchester where people spoke English, so I wasn’t as worried about getting lost. My plane had delayed, so by the time I got into the city, it was already getting dark. I took a bus from the airport into the city and it took roughly an hour. Luckily, N somehow magically hopped on the same bus I was on, or else I’d probably have some trouble meeting up with them. After meeting up with S, they took me to Rosso Restaurant and Bar.

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The inside is really decked out and I would categorize it as fine-dining. I felt sort of shabby in my backpack and jeans, but they still let us in. It’s an Italian restaurant, and also offers a bar.

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They even had a wall full of pictures of celebrities who have dined here.

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Garlic Bread – Half Tomato, Half Cheese

The waiter suggested the Garlic Bread for us to share and start. When it came, we were sort of confused. Not exactly the garlic bread we were imagining. It was more like a pizza. You can choose tomato sauce or cheese, or half of each, which the latter we chose. The bread was really fluffy and surprisingly was really good. It was a bit plain though since it was only lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. To be honest, I couldn’t really taste any garlic taste to it. It tasted more like a pizza dough with cheese and tomato toppings.

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Risotto Al Funghi Selvatici – Arborio rice cooked with mixed wild mushrooms and fresh cream, finished with a drizzle of truffle oil

For our mains, we all went for pasta. However, their pastas come in two sizes. You can get it as a antipasti or the regular entree size. The waiter said that assuming we didn’t eat too much, the starter size would be enough to get us filled. The plates were definitely a starter size, but by the end of the meal, I was pretty full. I guess if you order an appetizer like bread, you’ll get filled up already. I chose the Risotto al Funghi Selvatici. The rice was cooked perfectly so it was al dente and the mix of mushrooms with cream was really good. It was topped with some Parmesan cheese. The menu says there’s truffle oil, but I didn’t really taste it. It must’ve been a small drizzle!

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Ravioli Con Melanzane – Fresh pasta parcels filled with aubergine, buffalo ricotta and mozzarella, cooked with cherry tomato and basil sauce

N got the Ravioli con Melanzane. There were only 4 or 5 raviolis, but because they were filled with cheese, she said she was quite full by the end. I tried a bit of it, and it was quite good! The sauce really made it tasty, and the pasta was really fresh.

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Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola E Noci – Potato gnocchi with blue cheese and walnuts

S got the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola e Noci. The gnocchi were made well so it wasn’t a bunch of sticky flour. I hate it when gnocchi just tastes like you’re eating dough. I did find the Gorgonzola to be a little powerful, since it’s a blue cheese. However, that’s just because I’m not a fan of blue cheese.

Overall, Rosso was a decent Italian restaurant. I think it would be a great place to have celebrations at, such as birthdays or holidays. The atmosphere is classy so it’s definitely not a casual dining restaurant. Prices were a little expensive, but I guess it would be reasonable when you take into account the whole ambiance. Also, everything in the UK is just expensive in general compared to Spain. The soaring pounds really make everything more expensive than it appears! Lastly, some of the waiters here were extremely friendly, but there was this one waitress who we found really rude. She would continually ask if we were done with our food and when we told her we’re still working on it, she would give us some attitude. Other than her, the other staff gave us good service. Also, a reminder that in the UK, you need to tip!

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