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NEW: Aamchi Mumbai | Cheadle

Lucky Cheadle folk have got a great new eaterie on their doorstep

Published on January 27th 2015.

NEW: Aamchi Mumbai | Cheadle


STREET food and authenticity are words you can't escape on the restaurant scene in 2014.

So if you want to stand out from all the others, you'd better live up to your claims. Aamchi Mumbai, a new Mumbai-themed restaurant in Cheadle, is thankfully one of those that does. It tastes different, looks different, and even left us feeling different to run-of-the-mill Indian cuisine.

It was the kind of sharing starter that gets everyone excited about what they're eating – a real riot of flavours, sensations and colours

The owners, Sandeep, Suresh and Sumeet, are from Mumbai which helps when you're claiming to be the real thing. But the real difference is down to their back-to-basics (dare we say 'authentic') way of cooking. 

Rather than relying on six or seven generic curry sauces, preserved with lots of oil to make them last, then adjusted slightly for each dish, Aamchi Mumbai makes almost all its food fresh from scratch for each order. 

It's not commercially sensible to cook like this – it takes more time, more fresh ingredients, more chefs. But the results make all the extra effort worthwhile, as we discovered when we visited for a whistle-stop tour of the menu. Compared to some Indian food, it wasn't as heavy, and the flavours were more distinctive and unusual. 

We wouldn't normally waste words on the Masala Popadoms (£2.50) but these deserved a mention. Canape-sized bites, they were served with homemade chutneys enlivened with mint, coriander, tangy lime juice and masala spices. The fresh herbs and attention-to-detail set the tone for the meal to come.

7Y4j_HMasala Popadoms 

Next we had the sharing Chaat Platter (£8.95) which featured four Mumbai street food dishes, all vegetarian. There were various puris – crispy thin shells stuffed with yoghurt, salads and spiced potato and lentil (including one puri you make up yourself from tempting little dishes of fillings). There was also a warm samosa chaat with dates and tamarind chutney, and lots of crunchy, zingy salad to cleanse the palate. The platter was the kind of sharing starter that gets everyone excited about what they're eating – a real riot of flavours, sensations and colours. 

We moved onto the tandoor starters – another highlight. The Chicken Malai Tikka (£5.95), theatrically served on dangling skewers, was subtly spiced so the smoky charcoal flavour of the clay tandoor oven came through. Likewise, the Paneer Tandoor (£5.50) featured delicate, restrained spicing rather than hitting you over the head with big flavours. The Fish Haryali Tikka (£6.75) was a bolder dish with its green marinade of coriander, mint and chilli.

Glancing at the menu before our visit, we were dismayed to see a Pizza section. It's hardly authentic, is it? Well, actually, it is. Mumbai is India's equivalent of London so its food scene is diverse and multicultural, taking in international as well as regional influences. The Mumbai Pizza (£7.95-£9.95) is one of those. 

It was a bit of a head-bender: a pizza covered with a tikka tomato sauce and laded with vegetables and paneer. Some of us loved it, others weren't as convinced. It'd be a good choice for children who need gradually introducing to Indian food.

The Manchurian dishes (£5.25-£6.25) again showed the 'melting pot' character of Mumbai cuisine, by combining Chinese and Indian influences to create an intense hit. The vegetables are cooked fast rather than stewed to preserve their consistency, and the sauce is an explosion of chilli, garlic and strong spices. The Chicken Chilli (£5.50) – another Indo-Chinese dish – is a must-try for those like their food to pack a punch. It's one of their most popular options.

7Y4n_HChicken Malai Tikka

The décor also captures the energetic, vibrant character of the city. Aamchi Mumbai's style is eclectic and ever-so-slightly funky, mixing Bollywood music videos with traditional artworks, and earthy colours with soft, warm lighting. Definitely the work of an interior designer, and a clever one at that.

Other notable dishes included the Dal Makhani (£5.95) with its mix of red kidney beans and black lentils, the Chicken Sizzler (£11) a pungent, dramatic dish that arrives sizzling and smoking at your table, and the Chilli and Onion Kulcha (£3.25), a delicious homemade bread.

It's a testament to the sheer tastiness of the homemade desserts that we managed to polish them off, even after that mammoth feast. Traditional sweets such as Rasmalai (£3.75) and Kulfi (£3.25) are joined on the menu by unexpected options such as Sizzling Brownie (£5.25) and Sticky Toffee Pudding (£5.25) – both very popular on the Mumbai restaurant scene. 

Aamchi Mumbai says it's the only Mumbai-themed restaurant in the UK and it certainly felt unique – eating here was an adventure of new tastes and undiscovered dishes. But what made it stand out for us wasn't just the individuality of the menu but the standard at which it was cooked. This is a place worth travelling to, and if you live in the Cheadle area, one you'll want to make a regular haunt.

Learn more about Aamchi Mumbai.

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