One of the best things about being off work is that you can go for a curry on a weeknight without fear of students recoiling from you in terror the following day. And fortunately, New Year's Resolutions don't start until January (as the name suggests), so I was perfectly in the clear last night for a trip to the Khandoker curry house, a local favourite in East Didsbury.
We popped to The Gateway pub opposite for a quick snifter first; I know it was six o'clock on a Monday night but we were the only customers there and so drank up quickly - nothing more intimidating than being outnumbered by bar staff. The Khandoker, by contrast, could not have been busier - we were lucky to get a table, squeezed in right at the back by the kitchens.
The welcome was as friendly as ever, but I won't pretend that service didn't suffer as a result of the restaurant being full - we were brought and poured the wrong wine (we bravely drank it anyway - I'm polite to a fault), and although my starter of Tandoori Chicken was brought pretty promptly, my husband's choice of Chicken Puri didn't appear until we enquired after it several minutes later. (I had eaten mine by then, and thus was able to assist with his - again, polite and helpful to a fault.)
Main courses arrived almost immediately the starter plates had been taken away, and although very tasty, my Chicken Chana was unusually oily. However, such a cheery venue staffed by such helpful waiters (including Mr Khandoker himself, permanently surrounded by well-wishers wanting a quick chat with the great man) is allowed an off-night - and lets not pretend we didn't eat every scrap of food and leave full of festive cheer.
The Khandoker is at 812 Kingsway, East Didsbury, Manchester M20 5WY, tel. 0161 434 3596.