Restaurant Review: Royal Nawaab

Last Sunday Craig and I were invited along to Royal Nawaab, an extremely popular Asian buffet restaurant which has been in Manchester since 2001. It is actually located 15-20 minutes’ drive outside of the centre, which explains how they could become so popular without visiting before.

Royal Nawaab Manchester

For full disclosure, this was a gifted visit.

When we arrived I was very impressed with the large beautifully presented entranceway complete with fountain, which really has the wow factor! It was a great first impression and made me think I was in for a real treat! The restaurant itself is also attractive with its glamorous décor, and it’s a decent size, which is good news as this place gets really busy at peak times. Due to its popularity with families and groups, it’s not what I’d describe as quiet romantic sort of place. Instead it has a fun, bustling atmosphere, especially around the buffet area.

But the main thing everyone wants to know about a restaurant is the food, right? At Royal Nawaab there is a really wide variety of food so there is literally something for everyone. Of course the main focus is their amazing selection of Pakistani and Indian Dishes, with fantastic starters, curries and sundries. However, there is also a nice salad bar, a dessert bar and even an Italian section.

Royal Nawaab Buffet
Royal Nawaab Dessert Counter

As we were being hosted by the very attentive Mo, he selected a nice range of different dishes for us to try. No doubt that if left to my own devices I would have eaten far too many sundries and played it too safe with my choices, so it was really great to try so many different things on the menu. You have a unique opportunity at a buffet to be experimental that you don’t get in a standard restaurant, and I’d recommend making the most of it!

Starters

I’d heard before our visit that that the starters at Royal Nawaab are a real highlight and we were not disappointed! First up we had a meat platter with the most amazing lamb chops, tender lamb pieces, chicken wings and kebabs. We polished these off without any effort at all and then followed this with a platter of sesame chicken and delicious fish starters. Yum!

Royal Nawaab lamb chop starters
Royal Nawaab fish starters

Mains

As you can imagine, we were already pretty full by this point, but we’re always up for a delicious curry, and we had the chance to try four, plus some delicious breads:

  • Butter Chicken
  • Chicken Korma
  • Lamb Palak
  • Chicken Balti
  • Peshwari Naan
  • Kulcha Naan
  • Puri (the puffed up bread in the photos)

Our favourite curry had to be the Lamb Palak, with melt-in-the-mouth meat in a tomato, ginger and spinach sauce. Delicious! We also loved all the bread choices, enjoying both the sweet coconut at glossy shine of the Peshwari Naan, to the sesame seed topping of the Kulcha Naan.

Royal Nawaab peshwari naan
Royal Nawaab curries
Royal Nawaab mains
Royal Nawaab mains 2

Desserts

I’ve never actually tried any traditional Indian desserts, so I was really excited by this taster platter of six different ones to sample (plus a classic sticky toffee pudding).

Royal Nawaab desserts

At the top:

  • A fruity trifle dish

Second row, left to right:

  • Kheer – a cold sweet rice pudding
  • Lauki Halwa – made from bottle gourd and milk
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Shahi Tukda – a kind of custard-y fried bread

Bottom row:

  • Gulab Jamun – sweet donut/dumplings in syrup
  • Gajar Halwa – made with carrots, milk and cream

All of them were genuinely tasty, and we loved the interesting mix of flavours. Our personal favourites were the green Lauki Halwa for it’s sweet nuttiness, and the yummy Shahi Tukda.

Mocktails

I’d also like to take a minute to mention my delicious Melon Mojito. Royal Nawaab actually have a nice little selection of Mocktails (alcohol free as the name would suggest) and my Mojito was an amazingly refreshing treat! Who knew that melon and mint would mingle so well?!

Royal Nawaab mocktails
Royal Nawaab mocktails 2

We had a great experience at Royal Nawaab. Even though it was a short drive away for us, this wasn’t an issue due to the decent-sized attended car park in the back. The food was great – especially my recommendations above – and it’s always nice to see how popular a place is. My favourite part? Having the chance to try so many new dishes, especially all of those delicious desserts!

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