The Lahori Dera was founded in 2004 at a locus which maintains at Stockport Road. Seating fifteen, people are still known to sit in their cars and wait for space to become available – as told to Hector by Mein Host – Mr. Nauman Ali – in January 2016. Such is the reputation for the quality of food served at this venue just east of Rusholme, the famous Manchester Curry Mile.
In 2012 the Lahori Dera was born in Cheetham Hill (433 Cheetham Hill Rd, Manchester, M8 OPF) to the north of the city. Grander Premises by far, the large room is what impresses the visitor on arrival if one has not sat on the Tractor outside to have one’s photo taken first. Meanwhile there are side rooms for Private Functions, Curry Disneyland?
Hector has been coming to Manchester since 2011, the Northern Quarter and The Curry Mile were the focus of attention. Curryspondent Ahmed from Islamabad informed The Hector of the existence of Lahori Dera when we first met at the end of 2013. The first visit was in January 2014, the availability of Karahi on-the-bone and served by the Kilo was enough to win over The Hector. The Quality of the Karahi served, well…. Sublime.
In September 2015, Hector took Marg to Cheetamhill for the second time. Nauman was there to greet us and explain the dropping of the Lahori… we are now – Dera. There was a suggestion that this would welcome a broader section of the population, however, the term – Lahori – is one which always makes The Hector take note. It just happens that his preferred Cuisine is from the Northwest of the Indian Subcontinent, Punjab through Pakistan towards Afghanistan. From here originates – The Karahi – Lamb may have replaced Goat, however, the Tenderness of the Meat served, coupled with the Herb enriched Thick, towards Dry, Masala is what this Website tends to celebrate. In other words, The Karahi served at Dera is Stunning!
When Hector finds a taxi driver who is willing to chat, the question is always asked. Apart from where I have asked you to take me, where would you recommend? The Lahori Dera in Stockport Rd. was mentioned immediately by one such Chap. On mentioning Cheetamhill, he told me that up there, they only half cook the food, whereas in Stockport Rd. it is cooked from scratch. This was put to Nauman who smiled in recognition of this folklore. Given the size of the original premises, compared to what is now – Dera – since 2012 the opposite maintains. There is a large kitchen downstairs in Cheetamhill where the Lamb is prepared each day in pressure cookers. Twelve minutes was the cooking time admitted, this was of particular interest to Hector who has been experimenting with this device for the last year. Thereafter, the Raw Karahi is placed in airtight plastic containers. The quantity expected for Stockport Rd. is sent south, the remainder is used in the Upstairs Open Kitchen as and when. Nauman informed me that they train their own staff. These guys are not Chefs, they are taught on site how to perfect – The Karahi. It was suggested that I could learn this with two weeks training.
Does this make Dera – a Chain? Not yet in my book, though there are plans for a Blackburn outlet, but only if they can guarantee that the – Dera Taste – can be replicated exactly. Glasgow was also mentioned as a long term plan, but where? Dera would fit in well in the Southside, but we have our own. The East End of Glasgow currently only has one sit in Curry House. Bradford’s Akbar’s Chain has gone down the alcohol route which means they can justify a City Centre locus, this is not the Dera-style. Time will tell.
How to get to Dera
Taxi is how Hector and Co. have initially traveled to Cheetamhill from Manchester City Centre. However the 135 Bus leaves frequently from beside the Nationwide on Piccadilly, buy a day ticket.
There is also ample parking space behind the Restaurant itself.