At the till you are greeted by a bowl of fresh chillies and coriander and a home-made yoghurt which is perfumed with mint and chilli. They’re like the salt and vinegar at the chippy – and no Indian meal should be complete without adding these to taste.
This and That has long had the moniker of “Manchester’s Hidden Gem”. Situated down some derelict, abandoned side street, hidden from sight maybe, but hidden from mind? I think not. Everybody who knows Manchester, knows This and That. And everybody who knows This and That, loves This and That. It’s a diamond.
I am no exception. A great wordsmith/philosopher, whose name escapes me, once said: “We found love in a hopeless place”. She was probably talking about This and That. Hopeless location, hopeless décor, hopeless old school canteen tables and chairs, but food, service and a bustling ambience that evokes the strongest of all emotions: love.
The curries at This and That are so special that you cannot help but spread the word about your undying love for their famous rice and three. Keema, chicken, and lamb with pumpkin (they change the menu daily) dished out with expert precision by an old hand. The same old hand that has no doubt made them to recipes passed down through generations – authentic but with a lightness that you rarely get with restaurant or take-away curries. The meat was succulent and soft, the rice perfectly cooked, and for the first time in my life I’m looking forward to Halloween and cooking pumpkin in something other than a soup or a pie.
A chapati and a customary jug of water and I found love in a hopeless place. For £6.
Not only does This and That serve the best lunch in Manchester, it serves the best curry too. And I wouldn’t change my stance on that…..not for love nor money.