November 30, 2011

Scientific research reveals the best* curry house in Manchester!

This and ThatCurryology, the branch of science that deals with curry, is an established discipline with a long and distinguished history. The myriad ingredients of curry, such as curcumin (in turmeric), capsaicin (in chilli pepper), cumin, coriander and many others have been a topic of considerable scientific research [1,2,3,4,5].

Like many large British cities, Manchester is blessed with a large population of people from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. All this means there is a bewildering array restaurants and eateries serving delicious curry, and Mancunians are spoilt for choice when it comes to spicy food.

Visitors to, and residents of the city often ask:

“Where can I get the best curry in Manchester?”

After more than fifteen years of extensive and exhaustive scientific research in restaurants around Manchester I’m pleased to report on what, in my humble opinion, is the best* curry house….

Conventional wisdom dictates that some of the finest curries can be found on the curry mile, a mile long strip of neon and spice in Rusholme, South Manchester. While Rusholme curries are good, you’ll find it hard to beat This and That Indian Cafe on Soap Street, Shudehill, Manchester M4 1EW. Tucked away in a humble side street, this place really is a hidden gem. What makes it so good?

  • Excellent value for money (see menu), a crucial factor in these economically challenging times
  • No nonsense service from friendly staff (see picture above)
  • There is a charm to This and That which comes from being hidden down a dodgy looking side street, off the beaten track. Somehow, if it were in a more obvious location, it wouldn’t be quite as appealing.
  • Delicious curry (omnomnom) gorge yourself on gorgeous gargantuan ghee dishes
  • A diverse clientele, you’ll rub shoulders with anyone and everyone from elite BBC hacks like Justin Rowlatt, policemen, taxi drivers and Joe the sparky from the local building site, who are all regulars.

What more could you ask for from a curry house?


  1. Parthasarathy, V. A., Chempakam, B., and Zachariah, T. J. (2008). Chemistry of Spices (Cabi), ISBN:1845934059. Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International , first edition.
  2. Bettaieb, I., Bourgou, S., Wannes, W., Hamrouni, I., Limam, F., & Marzouk, B. (2010). Essential Oils, Phenolics, and Antioxidant Activities of Different Parts of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58 (19), 10410-10418 DOI: 10.1021/jf102248j
  3. Silva, F., Ferreira, S., Queiroz, J., & Domingues, F. (2011). Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) essential oil: its antibacterial activity and mode of action evaluated by flow cytometry Journal of Medical Microbiology, 60 (10), 1479-1486 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.034157-0
  4. Ringman JM, Frautschy SA, Cole GM, Masterman DL, & Cummings JL (2005). A potential role of the curry spice curcumin in Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer research, 2 (2), 131-6 PMID: 15974909
  5. Bode, A., & Dong, Z. (2011). The Two Faces of Capsaicin Cancer Research, 71 (8), 2809-2814 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3756

*Your Mileage May Vary


  1. Apparently in 1990 there were 25 restaurants in the “curry quarter”. There’s still a small selection of curry cafes; Yadgar and Kebabish are pretty good, but This and That remains my fave.

    Comment by kieran — November 30, 2011 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

    • The “curry quarter” eh? That’s got a certain ring to it. Never tried Yadgar or Kebabish, but will have to now. Al Faisal is pretty good too.

      Comment by Duncan — November 30, 2011 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  2. I agree – This and That is a mecca for all right thinking people! And they have a Facebook Appreciation Society! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=30952981784 too!

    Comment by Simon Harper — December 1, 2011 @ 9:53 am | Reply

    • aye …”right thinking people” like you and me… 🙂

      Comment by Duncan — December 2, 2011 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  3. I like this and that but I’d go with Al Medina. Their chicken keema kari with vegetable paratha are excellent.

    Comment by michaelbarton — December 6, 2011 @ 1:27 am | Reply

    • Hi Michael, never tried Al Medina, will have to now. When it comes to Rusholme, the dosas in the Punjab are pretty damn good too!

      Comment by Duncan — December 6, 2011 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

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