Wednesday, May 15, 2013


We've been swept up in a bit of a whirlwind of adoration for South Indian food of late. It all started with a single episode of Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation followed closely by the delicious Dosa Xpress becoming one of our favourite cheap eats in Manchester. After hearing a few shoddy reviews of Chennai Dosa, there remained just one South Indian eatery on our list to try out and that was Sindhoor.

While technically I'd eaten Sindhoor's food before at Indy-Man-Beer-Con, I'd had a fair few beers on this occasion and, while I remember it being delicious, the curry I'd sampled had served as more of an injection of much needed stodge to my belly than a delectable treat that I'd truly appreciated. I wanted to pay them a proper visit, especially after respectable foodie and all round super person @hansyquirk recommended them. 

If there was one fellow who was going to be digging a visit to Sindhoor it was my dear old dad, Roy Morris, so one weekend when he and my mum were visiting we decided to introduce them to the delights of South Indian food. This was a bit of a role reversal as it was Roy himself who first introduced me to the wonders of going out for a good curry - a pleasure I'll readily admit it took me a good few years to get into.

We thought we could get the ball rolling for starters with a round of different South Indian bits and bobs that we'd tasted at Dosa Xpress and we knew my parents would love. The Plain Dosa was light, tasty and absolutely huge. There was quite a lot of frenzied tearing at the dosa and it disappeared in minutes as we all started to frantically break off bigger and bigger bits. My parents describing it as "amazing". We were particularly impressed with the sambar and coconutty chutnies.

The Vada we liked better than the Dosa Xpress version as they were super crispy on the outside but not at all overdone in the middle.

The Sambar Idly were quite different to ones we'd tried before. The menu described them as being "soaked" in sambar which was absolutely true - there was a whole bowlful of the stuff with the idly hiding away inside. We loved the soft, sticky consistency of these lovely rice cakes.

When it came to ordering our mains I was delighted to see the menu set out with the veggie mains first followed by a section entitled "Non Vegetarian". Not often you see that. Bailey was giving zero hoots about the fact he'd already eaten a dosa and went for the Chicken Dosa. While the dosa was once again crisp and bang on, he felt the masala filling was a bit dry for his tastes. Thankfully he had some more of those excellent chutnies to see him through.

My mum picked the waiter's brains about what would be a healthy option for her. I was somewhat confused when he suggested a Chicken Biriyani - something I'd normally advise slimmers to steer clear of. Sure enough, Aída's biriyani arrived looking as healthy as anything with a gorgeous pile of perfectly cooked rice, boiled eggs, chicken and a nice pot of thick yoghurt. She absolutely loved this.

Both me and Roy couldn't choose from the mouth watering selection of curries so decided to share a couple - the very light, starchy and mildly spiced Dal Tadka. This was gorgeous and very flavoursome and was beautiful with a bit of perfectly cooked Plain Rice. The Plain Rice paled in comparison to the taste sensation which was the Lemon Rice which Roy simply could not get enough of. My favourite curry of the evening was however the Palak Paneer. It tasted rich with the distinct flavours of ginger, garlic and cumin. The paneer was light and not chewy or squeaky like you sometimes get. The entire dish had a beautiful range of textures in fact.

The mains had done the job of blowing Roy away, who kept referring to the meal as "very special" and expressing his disappointment that he himself didn't have a local South Indian gaff to go to in Sheffield. This was great, I love seeing my dad enthused about a meal (the last time it happened was at our other favourite, Mughli - he is a man of taste!). Even more heartwarming than this though was the unlikely friendship Roy struck up with our excellent waiter. He couldn't have been happier to tell Roy all about South Indian food and its origins, and even showed Roy a selection of photographs of Kerala (I now want to go on holiday there). I really think this guy was the best waiter we've come across in years, he put us at ease and looked after us and we ended up having so much fun and spending so much of the evening laughing our heads off that we didn't even notice any of the negatives like the slightly tired décor and tatty menus.

So if you were to ask me if you should go to Sindhoor, the answer would be a resounding yes yes yes! Great food, great service, great times to be had and most importantly, a real dad pleaser.

Sindhoor South Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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