“ Address: Manchester Road / Burnley / Lancashire / England „
On my first visit to Ashoka, I entered the restaurant on Manchester Road in Burnley and was quite concerned about the interior. The lavish seats, trendy light fixtures and oh so hip wallpaper made me worry that I would be washing the dishes by the end of the night to pay my way. The restaurant oozes the sort of sophistication you'd normally struggle to find in Burnley. That said, I'm pleased to announce that once I perused the menu, the prices weren't as much of a shocker as the name of the restaurant might suggest.
The restaurant boasts over 100 seats and yet on a Friday and Saturday night I'd recommend booking. Despite the fact that Ashoka is outside the town centre in a semi-rural location, it still manages to pull in the crowds week in, week out. There's ample parking if you're planning on driving but there's also a bus stop right outside where you can catch a bus to Burnley town centre for some after curry frivolities.
But what is it that attracts so many people, including myself, to come here for a curry? Well firstly there's the aforementioned interior which far surpasses the usual flocked wallpaper and burgundy carpets and chairs that you would normally expect to find in an Asian restaurant. Then there's the fantastic atmosphere. I've only ever visited as part of a group and there has always been a buzz about this restaurant when I've been there. For the ladies, there's the ever so attractive Cuban barman to give us something to gossip about. And then there's the food of which there is a mouthwateringly huge selection, all of which is reasonably priced.
If you are planning on visiting, you can view the menu on the restaurant's website at www.ashokacurry.co.uk. The selection of dishes is quite extensive including all the usual items you would expect to find in an Asian restaurant and a few additions in the form of the chef's specials. The prices are very reasonable with starters costing £5 at most and a main course curry setting you back around £10. The portions are more than adequate without being so large as to put you off. I've always enjoyed the food at Ashoka and have yet to have a bad experience there. My only disappointment is that some of the curries lack the punch you might expect of them. I'm a medium curry kind of girl but I've eaten curries classed as hot at Ashoka and haven't found them overpowering.
There are two bar areas in the restaurant. Whilst you're in the main restaurant area there is a small bar where you can pop for a drink. Obviously you can order extra drinks from you waiter but I've used this bar when visiting as a group and buying drinks separately. There's also a more traditional pub bar area on the other side of the restaurant with plenty of seats and if you're hunting for the Cuban barman, this is where you'll be most likely to find him! The Ashoka is actually a converted pub but the pub area now has the same stylish fixtures and fittings as the rest of the building. This provides a perfect area to relax with a drink either before or after your meal.
In my experience, the staff are always friendly, polite and patient with large groups of tipsy girls! The food is always fantastic and the prices are a bargain for such a fantastic night out. So if you happen to be in Burnley (perhaps for the famous Blues Festival), then Ashoka is the place to go for a curry.