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Chinese. 68 Sackville Street, Manchester. Tel = +44(0)161 2361313.

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      12.02.2001 21:09
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      A very pleasant Manchester eaterie - Ikan has a modern feel, wooden floors and industrial pipework décor, and a bathtub in the middle with goldfish in it. (makes a change from a tank containing the poor lobsters that are going to end up as someone's dinner!) In the evening, twinkling lights in the windows and candlelight help to make it feel like a place for an intimate dinner for two. Incidentally, the name is pronounced eekan, or that's how they said the name when I rang to make my booking. It's at the UMIST end of Sackville Street, tucked away above the Spar there. The Thai menu offers a different range from some of the Oriental restaurants I have been used to. We chose seafood tempura (lightly battered prawns, kalamari, and vegetables), and prawncakes, for starters. Then sea bass, which was served whole with a delicious nutty topping, and prawns and cashews - all very good. There is a reasonable selection of vegetarian dishes, with, for example, tofu stir fries. I love the names of some of the dishes - Geo grab wontons sounded intriguing - maybe I'll try those next time. It can be a bit pricey if you go for the a la carte, as we did. But there's a 'happy hour', which is very attractive, and at reasonable times as well (between 6.00 and 8.00 pm early in the week), where a 3 course meal is £7.90. You wouldn't be able to have things like the sea bass, but the choices looked very good, so you could probably avoid having to pay the a la carte prices. There's also an "all-you-can-eat" lunchtime buffet, which runs between 12.00 and 2.30, and costs a mere £5.50. There are dozens of Chinese and Thai restaurants in Manchester offering this kind of deal, but I'd say this is as good as any. It would have been better if the dishes had been served on one of those hotplates, that you often get in Chinese and Indian restaurants, as it would keep the food warm for longer. <
      br>The pots of tea were a little on the small side, but we were not charged extra for our second, and there was a good choice including jasmine or green tea. The staff were very attentive and knowledgeable about the food, and the service was quick too. Tel = 0161 236 1313 Email = IKAN@mouth-watering.co.uk

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