Karims at Heywood Old Road, Middleton, Oldham
Karim’s is a brilliant lively family friendly buffet-style restaurant serving up a delicious range of multi-cuisine food that will have you coming back for more, and more, and more!
If you had big enough trousers you would spend all day there, the food is that good. This probably accounts for Karim’s success, having survived testing economies and fierce competition in the Indian restaurant industry, to be thriving 13 years after it opened in 1999.
There is so much to recommend Karims, but the outstanding factor has to be the cuisine. I was sceptical that somewhere boasting that they could provide ‘the best cuisine from all over the world, India, Pakistan, China, Italy and of course the UK’ could possibly do justice to such a broad menu. My suspicions were silenced the moment I delved into a plate of fish pakora, samosas and tandoori chicken – which were all melt in the mouth and I am reliably informed made fresh on the premises to the restaurant’s own unique recipes. Another plateful enabled me to sample seekh kebab for the first time, as well as the uniquely sweet and savoury haleem and other dishes I might never have tried if it weren’t for the buffet style of the restaurant. This is the element that surprised me most, that a buffet provides the perfect opportunity to try new things, without being committed to eating an entire portion. It’s so obvious, and a key selling point for Karims – if something doesn’t tickle your tastebuds you just try something else. However, I was pleased to note that the restaurant has a responsible ‘intolerance to waste’ policy whereby customers will be charged for flagrant abuse of the restaurant, indicated by a notice on each table.
Karims claim to be pioneers of the UK’s multi-cuisine buffet under one roof – a concept, Lucinda tells me, quite unheard of when they opened the restaurant’s doors to the public in 1999. People told them it would never work but in fact the opposite was true and many more eateries have since gone on to adopt this formula.
It works extremely well with large families and parties where there may be different food demands, and with the array of cuisine on offer here, it is hard to believe there won’t be something to satisfy most people’s palate. The richness and depth of flavour of the food we enjoyed has lingered in my mind – curries don’t often disappoint, but not so many make you regret ever having to leave!
I would say this is primarily a ‘curry’ restaurant but with a decent range of alternatives for different palates. The curry was so satisfying we didn’t have room for lasagne or chicken chow mein or any of the other cuisines on offer – but it’s hard to see why they would not taste just as good.
Karims frequently offers deals and special promotions, most recently children under could eat for free. It is worth phoning up to find out what’s on offer. Even so, it is competitively priced at around £12.99 for a standard buffet menu, but there are cheaper options for children.
The restaurant has an extensive soft drinks menu, including frothy lassi’s, succulent smoothies and milkshakes for children and those with a sweet tooth. Homemade desserts looked enticing too! It is worth taking time over your meal in order to make the most of the delectable array of treats.
The large spacious restaurant has been designed thoughtfully, both in terms of its layout and how it is run – which is down to owners Sadiq and Lucinda Karim, and son Adam. Sadiq is the mind behind the location and building, and Lucinda, through years of experience, has developed a style of hospitality tailored to the needs of the clientele – many of whom are regulars and well known at the restaurant. Adam takes care of all the media stuff being younger and cooler, obviously.
It is this attention to detail that has led to the restaurant having a 10.15pm cut-off for diners, thus removing the risk of drunken bawdy characters stumbling in after hours and disrupting your evening; a factor further encouraged by not permitting alcohol on the premises. This restaurant is perfectly geared towards people who want to linger over good food – and conversation that they can remember in the morning! Karims really knows its audience, and families will love it.
The restaurant certainly has a relaxed ambience and dancing or singing might break out at any moment, as it did while we were there. See, who needs alcohol!
One Onionring reviewer put their visit to Karims this way: “I had the pleasure of attending a wedding reception here… I have to say the ambience was fascinating, the waiters were very friendly and the food was divine.”
I quite agree.
You’ll need to drive but there is adequate parking, and as there is no alcohol on the premises, driving shouldn’t be problem.
Open seven days a week from 5.00pm and final sittings are at 10.15pm. The restaurant caters for large and small parties. Michelle Allbright – Restaurant of The Month www. karims.co.uk
382 Heywood Old Road Middleton, Manchester, Lancashire M24 4SB. Tel: 0161 653 6677.