Royal Nawaab is a buffet place of which there are two locations, London and Manchester. The word “Nawaab” is royalty and is similar to our use of “King”. Royal Nawaab has won several awards, including Best Buffet Restaurant at the Asian & Curry Awards. It’s located in Levenshulme and everything on site is halal. There are plenty of vegetarian options, but note, Royal Nawaab is not licensed and therefore you can’t even take your own drinks with you.
I’ve had a mixture of experiences with buffet places, but I’ve heard good things about Royal Nawaab. I therefore happily accepted the invitation to try out their food.
Royal Nawaab interior
The main foyer (see first photo) of Royal Nawaab almost made me feel like I stepped into the wrong place! It is so grand and I can see many photos being taken here, which is quite nice given the fact that several Asian weddings have chosen Royal Nawaab as their venue for a wedding reception. As well as the main dining hall, they have two banqueting suites which can be hired and seat 700 and 250 people.
The buffet hall’s entrance can be found to the right of the fountain. The front of house welcomes you guides you to your table. The hall is massive with the buffet tables and kitchen located at the back. The hall is very well lit and there are plenty of tables to suit any size of groups. I visited on a weekday evening, and the hall got very busy at around 7-8pm. I can only imagine how busy it gets on a Sunday afternoon, the only time they are open during the day.
The price per adult is £18.95 per person excluding drinks and poppadums, with the price increasing for special days such as Mother’s Day. Children aged 4-10 years are priced at £8.95 each.
There are a range of different drinks available, although as stated before, there is no alcohol. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but one worth noting if you like your buffet meals with copious amounts of beer.
The range of drinks on offer is quite diverse from hot drinks, mocktails, soft drinks, sparkling drinks, fruit juices and of course, lassi. I ordered the Strawberry Sunrise mocktails, which contains strawberries mixed with crushed ice at £3.75. This was a simple drink, sweet and to the point.
Everything is labelled with options for vegetarians clearly marked. There is a chilli rating as well, which will help guide customers. One thing I will say is that there isn’t much in the starters and mains which doesn’t have a single chilli rating; this is more so if you are vegetarian. I do think most people should be able to handle those with a one chilli rating as the food tend to be on the more aromatic spiced rather than deadly heat side of the scale.
To start the evening off, we were given some poppadums. These are priced at 50p per poppadum including the pickle tray. The lime pickle was particularly nice out of these! The poppadum was crisp too. I’d probably recommend going for 2 of these if you are going to order poppadums.
Next, we were introduced to a range of starters. The staff kindly chose a selection and plated these up for us, complete with a decorative swan! I can imagine this style of plating can be used in their more formal banquet settings.
The grilled elements were my favourites from the plate: the chicken wings, Lahori fish and chicken tikka. The onion pakora and spring rolls were also very nice, but perhaps because I grew up with Chinese takeaway parents, these were my favourites. The pastry on the samosa was a little too thick for my liking.
There is a good range of food available at Royal Nawaab. It has largely South Asian flavours, obviously, but there is a whole buffet dedicated to popular Western food, such as garlic bread, chicken lasagna and chicken and cheese pasta.
All items are prepared fresh from the kitchens in the back, and these are regularly exchanged. You can even see the chefs in action!
South Asian desserts are one area I haven’t tried a lot of. I’ve tried gulab jamun and carrot halwa from what’s on offer. I ordered the bottle gourd halwa to see what it was like compared to the carrot, and it was quite nice, not too sweet. Halwa is traditionally made from semolina, ghee, flour and sugar. Gulab jamun is a guilty pleasure of mine, it is so sweet and yet light so it feels like you aren’t eating much. Gulab jamun is made from milk solids and cheese called chenna, which is then soaked in rose water syrup.
Royal Nawaab also offer more conventional desserts like apple crumble, chocolate cake and ice creams too! But for the adventurous eater in me, this is the best time and place to try something new because you can ask to try a bit before committing to an actual bowl.
We also tried some fresh puri, which was served warm. These are unleavened deep fried bread but this also had some cinnamon sugar. It was like eating a pancake, very moreish!
Overall rating and comments
9.5/10, -0.5 for the thick pastry on the samosa. Overall I really enjoyed my time at Royal Nawaab. There’s not much to fault it for given the fact that it’s a halal buffet place. It’s not fine dining, but what it does it does rather well. Food is good enough with plenty of flavour and the staff were attentive throughout our time there.
I would like to see more vegan option in future, as I feel this is the direction the industry will be heading. It will benefit Royal Nawaab to offer more options.
It is also handy to know that you can buy things to take away or order from them on Deliveroo. The price for each item can be found on their online menu.
Would visit again?
At £18.95 per person, I probably won’t be coming back regularly. I can’t eat huge meals and most buffet places aren’t worth my time for this reason. This place is, however, a good option for handling large groups of people, but only if no one is vegan and you don’t mind not having alcohol.
Address: 1008 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WN