A Manchester food institution. This and That cafe.
One of our favourite places to visit in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is the This and That cafe. This and That has been a Manchester institution since it opened in 1984. Not only does it serve some of the city’s best curry dishes. It also epitomises the entrepreneur spirit of Manchester. Telling the story of South Asian immigrants introducing their flavours to us Mancunians.
A hidden gem in the Northern Quarter
This and That is hidden. It lies up a dark and dingy backstreet that looks like it’s been derelict for decades. Ironically this street is called soap street. There’s a small sign outside the restaurant that tells you you’re in the right place but apart from that, nothing.
The restaurant opened in 1984 and became famous for serving rice and three. Basically a big helping of pilau rice and 3 different curries
At the time the area was mostly used by the cloth trade which was heavily run by Pakistani immigrants. It made sense to open a restaurant nearby to feed the hungry workers. It didn’t take long for word to get out and soon enough the locals were eager to try the new flavours.
A bit of this and some of that
Indian and Pakistani food wasn’t well known in the 80’s like it is today. Most English customers used to just point at the dishes and say “I’ll have a bit of this, and some of that.” Hence the restaurant is called the This and That cafe.
In 2016 the restaurant received a bit of a makeover. The seating was extended to cope with the lunchtime crowds. Owner Ismail Mallu still works behind the counter dishing out the home made curries everyday.
If you’d like to explore Manchester and find places like This and That, book a food tour with us today. www.manchesterbites.com