A 762 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2DR
The May curry was held at the Sangam II restaurant in Didsbury (Manchester), partner to the Sangam III in Heald Green. The Indian word 'Sangam' means 'meeting place'.
Seven members (Winfield was AWOL) of the Curry Council arrived at the Sangam and parked in the car park behind the restaurant and the Co-Op. Poor signage had some council members worrying that their car's may be clamped. Thankfully, this was not the case.
The restaurant was bright and modern. The Sangam is a large venue that can cater for parties of up to 120 people. It could be said however that the vast restaurant lacks any intimacy due to the sheer size of the place.
Gary Jordan (the organiser of the May curry) had read about the Sangam's Executive Party Banquet. He promised the Curry Council "a meal fit for a king" and expectations were therefore running high.
The Executive Party Banquet was chosen by all. The banquet offered poppodums with chutneys, a mixed shared starter (consisting of Chicken Pakora, Seek Kebab, Onion Bhaji and Fish Tikka), a choice of any main course, rice, a selection of naan breads, ice cream desert and coffee. This was offered at a reasonable price of £15.90 per person.
A regular discussion point for the CurryCouncil at most of our monthly curries is the age old dilemma of quantity versus quality. The more refined council members are prepared to pay an extra few pounds for a better quality of meat, fresh ingredients and good presentation. There are other members of our group want as much food as possible at the lowest possible price.
The Sangam Executive Party Banquet was going to be the proof of the pudding.
The CurryCouncil recently experienced great meals at both Shimla Pinks in Manchester and the Jalfrezi Indian Food Bar in Bramhall, both of which cost a little bit more money than the Sangam deal. The extra cost was justified due to the quality of the said meals. Would the Sangam live up to the high standards that have so far been delivered on our travels this year?
Poppodums were served and were of a good standard. The chutney and dips portion sizes were small, quickly disappearing. After a little prompting, the waiters did regularly offer to top these up.
The mixed starters arrived and were heaped across two large plates with its presentation being slightly poor. The fish tikka arrived separately a few minutes later.
The starter was then equally divided up between the group but we soon discovered that a couple of items were missing. The Council could not be bothered to alert the waiter that some items were missing, therefore Mr Jordan missed out on his lamb chop and Andy missed out on his onion bhaji. Unlucky lads.
A variety of main courses were delivered. Dave and Jord both opted for the chicken madras and reported that the Madras sauce was extremely hot and could be likened to the strength of a vindaloo!
Mix Shaslik was also sampled which included a mixture of chicken and lamb pieces, grilled tomatoes, peppers and onions. The lamb was particularly tough and lacked much flavour. The chicken pieces were of an average standard and tasted a little bit overcooked.
The main courses overall were of an acceptable standard but the dishes did not have any qualities that stood out or challenged our taste buds. The quality of meat was dissapointing.
A mixed selection (Peshwari/Garlic/Plain) of naan breads were served. This along with a nice brown coloured pilau rice containing a good mix of cloves and cumin seeds.
The side dishes were plentiful and we were offered extra rice and naan on more than one occassion (to the credit of the waiters). You certainly would not go home hungry after the meal deal at the Sangam!
The naan breads were circular and thin. Curry traditionalists may be slightly dissapointed with this garlic bread style offering. The CurryCouncil unanimously concluded that we prefer good old fluffy style naan breads, which are often the size of a third world country and come dripping in butter.
The meal was finished off nicely with an ice cream desert (a choice of mango or pistachio kulfi) and coffee.
The Sangam offered good value for money but the food quality and presentation was of an average standard and could be improved. The Curry Council left with full stomachs but overall were slightly disappointed with the food on offer at the Sangam.
Value for money 8/10