A luxe and lively modern Indian restaurant in the Merchant City, offering a variety of entertainments along with traditional curry favourites.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Café India, located on Albion Street, seems artfully designed to pick up the footfall from Merchant City’s nearby drinking establishments. The aesthetic inside is more modern cocktail bar than Indian restaurant, and the venue boasts a programme of events to match. Group cookery classes and karaoke nights draw in stag and hen groups at the weekends. Not that this should bother the average punter – they have a separate function room for events. This jack-of-all-trades approach extends itself to the menu, which features a selection of European dishes (such as fish and chips) alongside traditional Indian offerings. It would be easy to mistake this approach as a lack of confidence in what they should be doing best, however the kitchen’s treatment of classic as well as more unusual Indian dishes is accomplished. The thorough menu offers a traditional list of curry sauces that can be customized with chicken, lamb, prawn or vegetable. A section of chef recommendations veers into more unfamiliar territory with great success, where South Indian garlic chilli’s coconut sauce is delicately fragrant with a fresh sweet chilli kick.
- High point: Tandoori offerings
- Low point: European dishes on the menu
- Notable dish: South Indian Garlic Chilli
- Delivery: £1–£3 depending on distance
- Private dining: Up to 60 covers
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Live entertainment: Karaoke nights Fri/Sat in Merchant Suite
- Capacity: 130
- Largest group: 140
- Open since: 2007
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 5
- House wine: £14.95 per bottle