Scene (Indian Street Kitchen) – Manchester
Uniquely set in Spinningfields, Scene Indian Street Kitchen is located in the heart of Manchester.
With a riverside view and terrace, it’s perfect for those days when the sun’s out and you fancy something slightly different.
With a stylish and classy interior, this place certainly has that fine dining look about it. The dim lighting, created by the many contemporary glass ball pendant lights hanging throughout the restaurant, along with the sumptuous dark wooden furnishing and the soft upholstered seating, offers a relaxed atmosphere.
Scene’s wall art definitely captures the attention too, with the artwork extending across the corridors and down towards the bathrooms.
And don’t forget the option for an outdoor dine either. With a beautiful Indian swing and classic sub-continent furnishings, the terrace is a fantastic opportunity to experience India without leaving Manchester.
According to their website:
We intend every visit to Scene will [sic] truly engaging experience, from the smell of the spices, the look of the decor and the sounds of the kitchen every sense will be tantalised in our open plan restaurant.
We’ll admit, they certainly sold it to us!
With a limited selection of drinks, we went for the mocktails.
The Tutti Frutti was a perfect mix of mandarin, apple and raspberry. It was sweet, but not overly so. But, had it had more ice, and perhaps a garnish to make it more appealing, we would have included this in our good books.
A mix of fruit tea, elderflower cordial, cranberry, honey and pomegranate syrup, made this Elderflower Power quite a strong drink. Though tending towards the sweet side, the overpowering pomegranate flavour drowned out the rest of the flavours. We’d also add that despite being a berry twist, it tasted and looked more like a standard drink than a mocktail. If you like yours simple yet sweet, then this could be an option.
The Blue Banana was an exotic mix of tropical flavours, including apple, pineapple juice, banana and coconut syrup, lime juice along with a hint of blue Curacao. But, it was the coconut that was the dominant flavour here, with a hint of the banana coming through later, and that too with only the first sip. However, with the syrups being quite concentrated, this drink was very sweet, didn’t taste as fresh as it could have, and, once again, wasn’t as cold as it should have been. A good sweet drink to go with the food.
We were later presented, and only at the request of the customer, with the ‘Special’ mocktails, expertly made by their specialist mixer Edward.
The Sweet and Simple arrived as requested – refreshingly chilled and well presented – wherein you could taste the sharp fresh mintiness against the tanginess of the apples.
The sweet and refreshing Tropical Sensation consisted of pineapples and passion fruit. What made this uniquely different were the crunchy little passion fruit seeds that came through with each and every sip, making this a perfect summer beverage.
The Fruity mocktail’s presentation and taste were phenomenal. A blend of Sharon fruit, strawberries and Kiwis, this was extremely refreshing and cooling.
All three of the specials were far better presented than their non-special cousins.
The street food began with this Pani Puri – a crispy, hollow shell filled with pani and chickpeas which is then meant to be topped up, to your liking, with the accompanying tamarind sauce and yoghurt.
And in case you don’t know, a Pani Puri is small enough to be eaten in one go in order for you to properly experience and appreciate the great explosion of flavours this quintessential combo creates.
The Chicken Shashlik was composed of succulent pieces of well cooked chicken which, given the strongly spiced marination, was full of flavour.
Served on a skewer and separated by slices of bell peppers and onions, it was also accompanied with yoghurt and salad, making this a well balanced eat.
This Samosa Chaat is a must!
Equivalent to a savoury sundae, this little dish’s sweet and spicy samosa filling, neatly encased by the savoury pastry bowl, was topped with additional chickpeas, yoghurt, chutney and a few herbs.
With such mouth-watering flavours, this had us coming back for one spoon after another.
One of the best dishes of the evening, and one that was uniquely presented.
This was recommended as one of Scenes more popular dishes. And a great recommendation it was too since this was one of the best lamb chops we’ve had.
Very nicely cooked and with that perfect chew, the meat was tender and juicy, coming as it did with a tangy yoghurt dip that positively enhanced the flavour of the dish.
Kachay Gosht ki Hyderabadi is the only meat-based biryani dish on the menu, and one that was simply presented.
In spite of the meat being tender and flavoursome, the overall dish, in comparison to the others we had, lacked in spice. Nonetheless, this was made up somewhat by the fresh spices and coriander.
Mushy rice, however, ruined what would have been a decent biryani. Perhaps it would have been better to present it in a larger plate or bowl, rather than cramming it into such a small container.
As a vegetarian option, we opted for Pindi Choley. The best way to describe this would be to say that it’s a drier version of a curry, made up mainly of chickpeas and cubes of tofu in a thick sauce.
Sadly, this was, for us, quite bland. It was also a fairly small dish, and therefore more a starter than a main.
Hence, it may not be to everyone taste; but, nonetheless, ideal for those who prefer their dishes lightly spiced.
The Chicken Makhani was highly recommended as an option for a chicken curry.
And even before this was placed before us, we knew, by the way in which this extremely aromatic dish had heads turning as it was brought out, that this would be a good one; and it was!
We’re fairly certain that the term Makhani derives from the Punjabi word ‘makhan’, or butter, which is precisely what this was: Butter Chicken, and one that was large enough to comfortably satiate two.
The curry, thus, had a sweet buttery undertone, was beautifully thick, creamy and luscious, and delicately spiced. What’s more, it contained the softest, most tender chicken pieces you could hope for.
Eaten with the well cooked rice, neither was this heavy, nor oily, but just right in terms of consistency.
We were left quite disappointed by this traditional mix grill.
Considering its price (one of the most expensive dishes on the menu), not only was this a small portion, with only a single King Prawn and Sheesh Kebab, but it also lacked in flavour.
The Lamb Chops were exactly the same, re size and marination, as those presented in the Starter, except that these weren’t as succulent, while the Tandoori Chicken, though nice, also turned out slightly drier than their Starter counterparts.
Another shortcoming was that it wasn’t hot enough, despite being presented in a sizzling plate!
This Raspberry White Chocolate Cheese Cake Brûlée was insanely smooth and creamy, with a strong cheesy taste that was neither sickening nor overpowering, but perfectly balanced by the slightly tart raspberry sauce and the sweet white chocolate.
Texturally, this was heavenly and literally melted in the mouth. Combine that with a thin crispy biscuit base, and what you have here is by far the best of the trio of desserts had on the evening.
With that all-important liquid center gushing forth as we cut through its middle, this Chocolate Fondant was divine – the chocolate sauce just right without being too rich; the exterior ever so soft; the cold ice cream a good contrast – and culminated in a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
This would easily satiate any chocolate craving.
While this triple chocolate layered cake was fresh, it was incredibly rich, particularly after a heavy meal. Hence, we barely managed a spoon or two.
In all honesty though, this was a standard chocolate cake which paled in significance to the above two.
And finally, to round things off, we opted for the well-known Indian Karak Tea – an extremely soothing and silky textured hot drink that been heavily brewed. This was an extremely milky concoction infused with the rich flavour of cardamom, and one to be enjoyed with the aforementioned desserts.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- BABY CHANGING ROOM
- OUTSIDE CATERING
- PRIVILEGE CARD: 15%
Facilitating for a diverse range of customers, and with around 200 covers, this is an ideal place for a family, a date, or even a special celebration courtesy of their VIP dining section.
Although not everything had us gushing in praise, there were a number of outstanding dishes. Couple that with the eye-catching decor and relaxed ambience, and Scene is certainly worth a visit.
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