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EastzEast, Blackfriars Street

Gordo, clearly on some form of medication, dispenses wisdom whilst reviewing Salford's top-notch new Indian restaurant

Written by . Published on April 14th 2008.

EastzEast, Blackfriars Street

It's fair to say that there is no love lost between Akbars and EastZEast in Manchester city centre. What is certain is that both of them are head and shoulders above the Curry Mile in Rusholme, which in Gordo's mind should be burnt to the ground. Rushome looks and feels tired at the moment, more of a tourist attraction than a place for locals-in-the-know – in other words Confidential readers. Oh and it's a permanent traffic jam as well.

Puddings: Gulab Jamun (£2.45) good, Rasmalai (£2.45) great and Jam Roly Poly (yes, JAM ROLY POLY! £1.95), absolutely bloody hilarious. Good as it happens, an' all. Gordo: “Kabir, what the hell are you doing having Jam Roly Poly on the menu?” Kabir: “Cos I like it."

Then of course there is Karim's, opened at the top of King street which does some pretty good stuff as well. Gordo was, however, giving Mr. Karim's son Adam the benefit of his experience a couple of nights ago after a sober dinner with Shagger and his Missus. “Adam, tell your father that I really do believe that he needs to give his customers the choice of having booze or not, it doesn't seem right for him to be dictating to people whether or not they can have a beer with their curry. You fellers will never make money without it”. This was said on the way out of the restaurant, with Adam nodding politely. Gordo had the time to reassess who was the bright one, watching young Adam slide into his brand new Ferrari as Gordo was struggling to find change for his bus ticket.

Mind you, Karim's does of course have the exocet missile that is Sabrina, Mr. Karims daughter, who is building up a fan club of drooling middle aged men, headed up by Gordo's old pal Vinnie who has reportedly been in every day for a month with his tongue dragging along the carpet. Sabrina is also a fabulous hostess.

Back to EastZEast, which has opened a second outlet on Blackfriars Street, two minutes from Deansgate and technically in Salford. The first outlet is in Princess Street under the Ibis hotel: a hotel which is just as bad as it looks.

The new restaurant comes a shock of black marble, shiny stuff, weird lighting, palm trees, valet parking, crap replica Sinatra crooners and some bloke dressed up as Sinbad the Sailor on the front door.

All this is mitigated by the tandoori chicken livers. Which are utterly bloody fantastic. Gordo dreams of these chicken livers. Covered in spices then bunged into the tandoor pit in intense heat, they come out crunchy, yes, cruuuunchy, the spices still working: bite into them and the insides melt like one of those round chocolates you get with that gooey chocolate on the inside. They are blooming fabulous. Dip them into owner Kabir 's yoghurt and round off a foodie experience par excellence. All for £2.95.

The fish pakora (£3.95). Now, here is a tricky little number that not one of these buggers ever get right. In fact, Gordo groaned inside when Cat Johnson, the Gordo botherer and would be replacement for Michael Winner, chose them.

They were however a revelation. They are the best fried fish fingers ever. Ever, ever. The right amount of crispness, no oiliness, clearly well prepared fish fillets sliced into thick finger sized chunks. Get right in. Kabir, Gordo is starting to forgive you for spending your advertising dollars elsewhere.

The poppadoms are ace, the pickle tray is lively and the beer is cold. Yes, cold. That pickle tray is £2.95 by the way.

Moving on to the mains. Karahi fish and potato (£9.95) are very good. But, the Karahi gosht dopiaza (£7.95), is better. The lamb must have been braised for well over two hours, with a resultant near mutton flavour, the sauce melting in creaminess with the spicing as balanced as that nutter who did the tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. Wow, Gordo can still taste it two weeks later. It's 11.47 am, if the place was open for lunch right now Gordo would walk across town to have another go.

Puddings: Gulab Jamun (£2.45) good, Rasmalai (£2.45) great and Jam Roly Poly (yes, JAM ROLY POLY! £1.95), absolutely bloody hilarious. Good as it happens, an' all.

Gordo: “Kabir, what the hell are you doing having Jam Roly Poly on the menu?”

Kabir: “Cos I like it.”

Blimey, fair enough then.

The beer is £3.50 a bottle. At that rate Mr. Karim, if you start doing beer you will be able to get young Adam a nice Sunseeker yacht as well.

All in all the new EastzEast is fantastic: never mind that the place looks like it was designed by Peter Stringfellow doing poppers back in 1982, it's great fun and the service is spot on, I really do mean fantastic, the food, on this visit, blows everyone else, including Akbars, out of the water.

Rating: 17.5/20
Breakdown: 9/10 Food
5/5 Service
3.5/5 Ambience (You, however, may give it 5/5 if you use spray tan)
Address: East Z East
Blackfriars Street Deansgate
M3 5BQ
0161 244 5353

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40 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

mcquerryApril 14th 2008.

On my first [and last] visit I can totally agree that the food was fantastic. However this was overshadowed by the apalling service I received. Not only did it take over half an hour for us to finally get a bottle of wine [two bottles out of stock on a Thursday and the apology came that the wine cellar was not big and far away - where? The Lowry??] but when we left a comment on the comment card on the table, the waiter came up to the table, retrieved the card and proceeded to read it - AT THE TABLE! Then to add insult to much injury, he didn't then apologise, he merely agreed and walked off! This has to be the worst service I've received in Manchester in a long time - and I eat out a LOT!

annoyedApril 14th 2008.

service is awfull food delightfull, the pretty faces have gone, ok service may be the worst in any indian resturant ever, indians have gone italian where food is secondary to location and decor but if they insists on ruining the dining out experince by giving bad service at least let diners know that staff are just muppets they picked up off the streets, standards are far better for service at all other independant resturants on wilmslow road which should not be burnt down Grado we dont all want to be shopping at Tesco and drinking at Starbucks OK

AeronApril 14th 2008.

The food's fine but the service is shocking. We booked a table for 8.30pm one Saturday night. We arrived slightly early and were seated in the foyer area. We were finally taken down to our table at almost 10pm - despite being told we would be seated 'very shortly' on numerous occasions. Needless to say the food was gratis but the evening was thoroughly spoiled. We won't be going back.

AnonymousApril 14th 2008.

T~~~~ Says' I agree sabrina is Gorgeous & restaurant is fantastic - and Karim will rip off your balls if you go near her!

jamesApril 14th 2008.

excellent food at an extremely reasonable price - my only problem is that its got the ambiance of a Singapore shopping mall

BenitoApril 14th 2008.

No Italian has never had his Jalfrezis ripped off.

Ellie May RayApril 14th 2008.

This restaurant is the cat's pyjamas! We go there at least twice a month and we always have a fab time. The service is great and the food is to die for! Ok,so the decor is erm interesting,but so what?? Going there tonite actually. Mmmm,bring it on

JGApril 14th 2008.

I wholeheartedly agree with the review, the food there is simply divine and i'd have it more if i could... However, we've tried to use the delivery sevice several times - unfortunately it's been a complete joke! Up to 2 hours for delivery, and even then we had to meet the driver because he was lost! Their delivery driver doesn't seem to know Manchester at all, someone give the poor chap an A to Z! Until then it's pickup takeaways, at least they give you 20% off!

PeterApril 14th 2008.

On my last visit a couple of weeks ago, the food was good but the service was appalling - very slow, disorganised and not everything ordered arrived

JohnthebriefApril 14th 2008.

Went on Friday off the back of previous experiences at their Princess Street venue. There were 12 of us, we'd booked a table for 8.30 a week before and paid a deposit. No table. Eventually after half an hour we were offered a dog leg of the upstars bar which we declined. Another half hour later we got a table in the restuarant. For our hour's wait we got one complimentary round of drinks. The food when it arrived (10pm for the starters) was spectacularly good, but I won't be back. It doesn't matter how good the food is, there are plenty of other places serving good food which also manage to accompany it with good service and customer care.

JonathanApril 14th 2008.

Sagar, very interesting. Please let us know how you would define Indian food?

Kevin @ M4April 14th 2008.

UPeNDeR - for the love of all that is holy take a chill pill! You'll do yourself an injury.eZe @ Princess Street is excellent. I've taken business colleagues and friends to this establishment, and from the entry to the exit it was excellent. Will try this new one out.

RobApril 14th 2008.

I love EastzEast. Service was poor though last time we went (waited over 45 mins from starters to mains) but I think that was exceptional as they were swamped with a large group.Food is fantastic though. Both Akbars and EastzEast have been great additions for the centre. Akbars speedy service is blinding but not being able to book can be annoying on a weekend.Not much to choose between them on food quality...maybe EastzEast has a tiny edge but you're getting down to picky decisions over individual dishes.

confusedApril 14th 2008.

food is supposed to be brilliant but I ordered a mix of everything and got really tiny portions on a pretty white plate. It was over priced and hardly anything there, i agree with everybody service is awful they keep you captive for far too long cant help but think Grado is on their payroll though

SabrinaApril 14th 2008.

But father, everytime I find a credible suitor you always rip off their jalfrezis.

Mr KarimApril 14th 2008.

If you touch my daughter I will rip your balls off!

JinkiesApril 14th 2008.

I absolutely bloody love EastEast, took some relatives there that had moved to the UK from India about 50 years back & they loved it, best curry they'd had since leaving the homeland apparently. Akbars though, not so sure about them.... At another recent meal it took 8minutes for our starters to arrive post ordering. That's impressive until I tell you there was 20 of us dining that night, all requesting different dishes. The food was good enough, just seemed suspiciously quick to arrive and not quite as good as EzE's.

UPeNDeRApril 14th 2008.


david bApril 14th 2008.

good when i went when it opend but the one at the ibis is better.advise when you order your curry ask for a it to be made saucy as it can be dry.

RACHApril 14th 2008.

I enjoyed the food but found the flouro lighting quite sickeningwhenyour trying to enjoy a meal, we were right under one of those block-light things and you couldn't make the colour of your food out which i wasn't keen on!akbars still wins for me :o)

Kate GApril 14th 2008.

Why are you reviewing this as a new restaurant when it has been open for 5 months !

person who lives nearbyApril 14th 2008.

i live nearby so was pleased when it opened. never mind the decor, which is so naff it's almost good, the food is crap. anyone who enjoys proper 'indian' food knows this is no better than the crap you buy in supermarkets. the service was annoying. 46 visits by staff during our meal. i joke not.

CharlieApril 14th 2008.

absolutely awful experience. Main courses lovely, decor very expensive but very rude staff. They had no record of our booking and we were made to feel like a huge inconvenience, they served up our main courses before we even finished our starters and we were rushed through 3 courses in 30 minutes. Would not recommend East Z East to anyone - wish we had tried Akbars instead, needless to say we wont be returning!

ktfairyApril 14th 2008.

I love the food here - but tried to order a take away a few weeks back and after many phone calls and promises of personal service I still had no food after 3 hours. If you are not going to deliver just tell me - I'm grown up and can take it, lying all those times is just shabby. Not sure I'm going back there now.

sandiApril 14th 2008.

mcquerry, i'm sorry shouldn't laugh, but the waiter reading your comment card at table and THEN agreeing did make me chuckle out loud

KatrizzleApril 14th 2008.

I'm confused by the valet parking. It seems to me they just abandon them haphazardly on the double yellow lines outside??

sandyApril 14th 2008.

You think thats bad , I had lunch at quite a well known restaurant near Borough market in London , it was rubbish and as such was reflected on the comment card . The waiter not only read it but told us " YOU gobby Mancs are all the same " To which my guest replyed " I 'm from Salford and chinned him LOL ,LOL

AnonymousApril 14th 2008.

I thought the food was ok but the service was crap, between 45 minutes to an hour wait between courses. Best part of the night was watch one unhappy couple pay for the food and get up to leave to have there giant naan turn up, v funny. Are the owners friends of your gordo??

too many shoesApril 14th 2008.

Totally agree about the lighting RACH, it sort of reminds me of an aquarium and a disco all at once. Kinda like "Finding Nemo does Studio 54"....Terrific food though and the valet parking service is an absolute gift, especially if like me you're always running late for dinner and don't want to pay £97.50 to park in the NCP for a couple of hours.

sagarApril 14th 2008.

i am a visitor from india on a business trip to manchester. I was happy to find an indian restaurant next block and was excited to invigorate my taste buds after being away from india for a month.menu says that their veg starters is good enough for 2 people and does not shy away from charging their customers 8£. well, either i am a fat belly customer with expectations of dish full of food or it may be because manchester people eat half as much of normal human beings, the dish i was served with was half as much as i expected.my "veg pakora" is full of grease and was soggy. not to mention, my samosa dripped oil. i can bet my years pay cheque that i can make much better veg starters at home. anyways! i cannot comment on people who say eastzeast food is great but, is it really indian food are they eating?? forgive me for being so blunt. what is it that eastzeast serve their customers in the name of indian food???

AnonymousApril 14th 2008.

I went based on the Manc Conf review. By far the best Indian I've had outside of India - I've spent about 5 months there over 3 trips. Service was excellent and I quite liked the ambience. Absolutely faultless. Go!

ktfairyApril 14th 2008.

I'm glad to hear others are not going back to this place, I'm fed up of bad service and lies over take aways

AnonymousApril 14th 2008.

I booked the MC East Z East for Thursday night, was a late booking and caused some confusion in the restaurant. Whilst the decor / atmosphere was great I did feel let down on all other accounts. The service was exceptionally quick, to the extent the starter arrived within minutes of the popadoms, leaving the table rather crouded. No sooner had the starter been finished it was cleared away to make ready for the main course. Just a quick point on the starter it only contained 4 out of the 5, what I thought was chicken with consitency of tofu i'm guessing turned out to be the paneer meaning there was in fact no chicken on the dish. The main course was nothing short of a feast, can't complain at the value, however the jalfrezi was 'different' to any other jalfrezi and had a burned taste to it, disapointing. The lamb handi however was delicious. And that concluded our meal, no sign of dessert, not that we could have managed it as were stuffed but yet another component missing from the MC deal stated above. All in all its a nice restaurant, the deal is good value even missing some of the bits, however the service left us feeling rushed and as though they wanted to clear the table ready for customers paying full price - this seems to be an experience that other customers have had the misfortune of getting!

MelissaApril 14th 2008.

Sounds delicious, I am drooling at my desk as I sit eating my 'can't get away from my computer today' lunch of tastes like powder and cardboard pasta cup-a-soup!Perhaps an EastZEast with a few essential beers (come on Mr. Karim get it sorted) will put things right this evening.Cheers Gordo.

ReneeApril 14th 2008.

Having read this review and peoples comments I'm looking forward to trying EzE in Salford - however avoiding Fri/Sat though going by the criticism of their service! I have been to EzE at the Ibis hotel and the service and food was fabulous! Simply the best! The only problem was that it was a Friday night and had a lot of post work, high pitched crowds! A bit noisy as a result but that's to be expected. I have been to many brilliant and proper Indian restaurants in Bombay, Pune, Goa, plus frequent Rusholme, which can be a hit and miss and I can tell you, from my experience the EzE at Ibis was on par, with the best. Let's just hope that EzE in Salford is the same. One would think so, if the management is the same - fingers crossed. I had refrained from going to this place for a while now as a result of a bad review a while back by MEN. I just hope it is open late on a on a weekday?!

HGApril 14th 2008.

I was hugged here by a waitress for holding hands with my hubby whilst waiting for the bill... she said it was rare these days to see two married people still in love... That alone lifted my opinion of their service, which to that point had been slow and our empty drinks glasses ignored. Food is amazing though!

AnonymousApril 14th 2008.

To be honest I have not been there but reading the comments, sure, I want to try this out. TEMPT ME!!!! Get the service SORTED & I will try it out. But, make it DESI Style!!(No, not the Service but the food!!!)

smartiemcrApril 14th 2008.

I have a feeling that the food we class as 'Indian' here is not really a match for the real thing! However, a good Indian friend of mine swears by Akbars restaurant on Liverpool Road. Perhaps you could try that one and let me know what you think Sagar.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2012.

We paid a visit to EastzEast Princess St last weekend and were so excited - it has been on my "to visit" list for ages and having been told so many times that it's the best curry in Manchester, our expectations were high.

Well what a disappointment. We've written about it on our food blog so I'll let you have a look for yourselves goodgobble.blogspot.com/2012/01/eastzeast.html… - they are obviously becoming so popular they've decided to make themselves into a money making factory churning out the tables and it just isn't acceptable.

Inexcusable particularly during a recession when people are eating out a lot less and expect better for their money when things are tight. They need to sort it out before they lose their good reputation.

You say the Curry Mile should be burned to the ground, well at least when you go to the restaurants there you get a good value meal and are at least treated like a valued customer by the staff!

NorthernGeezerJanuary 29th 2012.

An old review but same old shyte from Gordo, too pretencious by half.
The broad statement about Rusholme tars every restaurant there with the same brush, great comment from a supposedley proffesional critic.
I'm with the last reviewer, i can pick at least 3 outstanding eateries in Rusholme that give the 'posh nosh' indians in town a run for there money, AND they dont pick yer pocket in the process.

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