Salt ‘n’ Pepper @ Castlefield

How often is too often? Once in a meal? Twice? Three times a maybe? Being bombarded with requests for drinks orders can be just plain annoying and in Salt ‘n Pepper I’ve found a new winner in the hassle for drinks contest which seems to go on in so many Manchester restaurants.
This heady mantle was previously held by the Little Yang Sing where, not content with repeated offers of top ups, the waitresses have the fastest wine pouring trigger fingers in the western world and dive onto the table with liquid zeal at any unguarded moments.
We actually lost count of the number of approaches – definitely at least a dozen during a two course meal. It felt like every mouthful came with the possibility of more beer.
Our discovery of the expansive world of Castlefield’s Salt ‘n’ Pepper came this weekend.
After finding Lava up for sale we noticed the plush looking “continental” restaurant which has been in situ near the ever popular Akbar’s for the past five months.
A mostly glass building, it looks like a typical trendy city centre eaterie with its chill out music and stylish décor and it was an assumption on my part, that for “continental http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental ” I’ve always read “European”.
saag.jpg
How wrong I am. Here the word is used to describe food from all continents. The menu covers all bases – there’s Pakistani dishes, Chinese, European, Mexican and American (I don’t think I’ve missed anyone out).
Cheesy fries sit alongside lobster thermador alongside daal alongside fajitas. Weird. There’s no other word for it.
(It struck me that fellow food blogger Around the world in 80 dinners should make a visit – he could tick a few off here!)
I decided to play safe with a selection from the Indian sub-continent. Char-grilled spiced lamb chops (which proved to be both succulent and flavoursome) to start, followed by a saag paneer cooked in a handi from the Pakistani section.
The spinach and cheese dish was wonderfully flavoured, as was the chopped cucumber salad, even if it was a little too salty for my taste – a situation the waiting staff were very concerned to put right.
Himself couldn’t resist the Cajun spiced prawns, which again were succulent and well flavoured as well as a peppered steak but was slightly taken aback when it came served with mashed potato and chips. There can be too much of a spud thing!
Price was OK too with the two courses and ONE DRINK each coming to £36.
Plus: Family friendly atmosphere – even on a Saturday night.
Minus: A menu that’s just too random.
Value: Good for this area of the city. Easy to find a man course for under £10.
There’s more pictures of this, and other foodie delights, at the Flickr group which is waiting for your plate to arrive!

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