Barfia opened a branch on Manchester’s Curry Mile, Rusholme, and I knew I had to visit one day. That day came when my parents visited and my mum being a food adventurist, I knew I had to take her here as she’s never tried Indian sweets before. Barfia mostly sells barfi, a dense milk sweet similar to that of fudge, although they also do other things like chaats, macarons, samosas and drinks.
We approached the counter and started looking at the treats on display. The shop assistants were very helpful and asked us if we had tried barfi before and as we said no, she promptly went to grab a sample for us to try. The price for barfi depends on how much you are buying; a selection box of 2 costs £2.50, a box of 4 costs £4.50, a box of 8, £7 and a box of 16 is £13.50. Wanting to strike a balance between tasting different flavours, not overindulging and cost, we opted for a box of 4. Mum picked 2 and I picked 2.
We had some difficulty choosing flavours as the selection on the display counter are just models, so we’d pick a flavour only to be told that they didn’t have any left of that one. It’s a shame as mango and coconut sounded like a wonderful combo!
Mum’s first choice was the Red Ladoo, which was flavoured with rose water. These are typically made from gram flour, milk and sugar then deep fried in ghee. The flavour of the Red Ladoo was not too sweet and the fragrance of the rose water was just enough to enjoy without being overpowering. A good dessert to try!
Following on from the floral notes of rose water, I decided we should try the elderflower barfi. This was also very good with the right amount of elderflower coming through and the sweetness just right. I was quite impressed!
Apple crumble barfi
I chose the apple crumble barfi but this, unfortunately, disappointed me as I couldn’t really taste any apple flavours in this. The crumble dusting was also quite disappointing
Mum chose the hazelnut barfi as she loves nuts but this again was a disappointment. We struggled to find the hazelnut flavours in this barfi.
Overall rating and comments
6/10, -2 for the barfi selection. I felt that if they ran out of a flavour, they really shouldn’t be displaying it on the counter as it made choosing flavours more complicated than it should be. -2 for the apple crumble and hazelnut barfi, just not enough flavours in either. The floral barfis were really nice, though, so if I were to choose again, I’d definitely go for more floral notes.
Would visit again?
Hmmm, although the red ladoo and elderflower barfi were really nice, I am unlikely to come back given the uncertainty of certain flavours.
The Manchester branch has closed now. The nearest one is in Bradford.