Indian Tapas at the Bollibar: Asha’s Restaurant Manchester

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Have you ever heard of Indian Tapas before? Nah, me neither. Well, that was until I visited Asha’s Restaurant Manchester to give their new selection of Indian style tapas a try at their Bollibar. Located right in the city centre of Manchester on Peter Street, Asha’s serves contemporary Indian cuisine in a sophisticated, low-lit venue with plush drapes and gold finishings. Having never visited before, I wasn’t sure what to expect; outside Asha’s Manchester looks unassuming, but the inside is true Indian luxury.

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Asha’s has a full restaurant upstairs, but they also have a downstairs which is a beautiful low-lit bar, fondly named the Bollibar. Filled with ornate Indian style décor, exotic lamps and scented candles, it feels like stepping into another world. With a warm greeting from Asha’s staff, we were made to feel totally at home as we looked over the bar menu. As a group of four, it was a great start to our night out.

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Whilst at Asha’s we tried a couple of cocktails each (and shared a sip of each other’s just to make sure we had made the right choice). We chose from Asha’s Manchester’s own cocktail menu created especially for the local area, drinking concoctions with appropriate names such as Manchester Tart (literally me) and Butterfly’s in the city. All of the drinks were incredible and all tasted so different. They were beautifully presented and almost too pretty to drink. Almost. But we just about managed it(!).

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As for food, we chose from a wide selection of tasters which were all delicious, and so different to any Indian cuisine I had experience before. And trust me, I love Indian food so I have tried a lot! Some particular stand outs were the Venison Cocktail Samosas (£5) which contained venison mince, green peas, raisins, cashew nuts and spices wrapped and fried, and Chicken Malai (£6) which were consisted of mini chicken malai kebab, cashew nuts, cream, cheese and flavoured with green cardamom.

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Although there was so much to choose from – including vegetarian, fish and meat options – my favourites had to be the Aloo Tiki (£5), which were incredibly detailed creations of mini potato cutlets, green peas served with tangy chick peas. The whole group’s favourite were the Kheema Fries (£6), which contained mince meat cooked with spices and served on a bed of hand cut chips and topped with mild Cheddar. So delish!

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Over all, we had an incredible time at Asha’s Manchester Restaurant. It is the perfect setting for a luxurious yet informal dinner and somewhere totally different to meet friends and family for special drinks and bar snacks. The staff were all so welcoming, the food was incredible and the drinks were made with attention to detail – the perfect combination for a special night out.

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