The Elusive Plaza Cafe Biryani recipe

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by HE117, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. Anybody heard/been to the famous Plaza Cafe that used to be in Upper Brook St Manchester between 1970 and 1990? It was the true predecessor of the "Curry Mile" and has NEVER been bettered...

    The place was run by a huge African called Charlie and only ever served Biryani, either chicken or "meat" with a range of sauces - mild, medium, hot, killer & suicide served in what was either an aluminium dog bowl or a very battered hub cap. You also got a saucer of chopped onion and a plastic pint pot of water... what more do you need.

    There is a grand quest for anyone who knows the recipe for the sauce?

    Anybody any ideas?

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  2. Went there a few times in the 70s after falling out of a club.

    You were greeted by Charlie ,"What do you c*nts want?" so I imagine one of the ingredients was saliva.
  3. I used to be a regular with my mates at the Plaza on Upper Brook Street - usually frequenting the place once the clubs had thrown out. We were students at Salford Uni from 1977-80 and were in search of excitement in the early hours. We found it in the form of colonic armageddon at the Plaza. It used to stay open until about 5am. The sauces were Mild,Medium,Hot,Very Hot, Suicide,Killer and Charlie's Special in order of of strength. We will never forget our first Suicide - one of our group crawled out on his hands and knees - he was that badly burnt on the inside, and he followed this up by barfing it all up and taking away the lining of skin from his throat and inside his nostrils. He was the lucky one - the rest of us had to visit the toilet the next morning. You could not sit down for a couple of hours afterwards. The meat/chicken was dubious to say the least and I always recall the pigeon feather I once found in my sauce. I kept this for a year or so just to prove to people that it was not chicken.... It didn't stop anyone of us from returning there. We loved the place and we returned once after we had completed our time at Salford Uni to pay our last respects. See photo from about 1981.

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  4. :D That should go down in the ARRSE Hall of Fame of Classic 1st Posts!!! You can't go wrong posting about Curry, the way to an ARRSE Members heart :wink:
  5. Exactly how I remember it... :D

    Wasn't a dream then? Oh Dear... 8O

    Still - anybody got any idea about the sauce?
  6. I eat at the Plaza a dozen or so times in the late '60's/ early '70's. I lived around the corner in Hathersage Road for a year in 1970. I dined there after UMIST pyjama parties and in DJ's and in several states in between. Once after carnival almost wrapped in a sheet with some girls from Salford. I vaguely recall a race that involved eating the Plaza sauce, drinking Guinness and pogo-sticking around. Maybe it was just a bad dream :)

    In order to add to the Biryani lore I recall the onion dish had a red spice paste on it. The infamous sauce was a thin grey/brown (khaki?) gravy, possibly of lentils and maybe other vegetables, with a layer of iridescent oil floating on top. It had a red glow, I think, but that may just be a false alcohol induced memory. Anyway, the hotter the sauce the thicker the layer of red oil so I suspect it consisted of oil infused with red chilli - the more the hotter! We often joked about the chicken being Alsatian. A 9 shilling portion was enough for 2 people with the chicken and rice being served together in a large pile on an oval platter. Happy days!
  7. I am proud to say that my dad was the owner of the Plaza cafe till 1981 when my uncle took it
    I have seen lots of things about it lately. Especially the "suicide".
    Many nice things said about my dad.. :eye:
  8. Absolutely precious memories; and fond memories of a well liked character 'My friend '..charlie' I was there between 76 -79. every Friday after being introduced to a Mild.. working my way upto survive the suicide on a regular basis .and then special..I did numerous visits till 81 ? .I still have the T shirts (complete with stains even Persil couldnt remove !) we'd love to know how to recreate the sauce there a chance you have this secret still ? thank you
  9. In the same area was Carmoor Road West Indian Centre, visited that a few times.... thudding reggae and bluebeat and red Stripe beer.

    One memorable night, we went in and I trapped off with a white girl who gave me an A1 at Lloyds blowjob out the back, then went back in to trap off with a Jamaican girl who's idea of contraception was taking it in the second hole south of her belly- button.

    Only problem was she had 2" long nails and ripped my back to shreds.... took weeks to heal.
  10. 33 years on and I still remember your father like it was yesterday! Larger than life, loud, and the perfect host for scores of drunken students. Memories: Freshers' Night 1980 at Woolton Hall JCR Bar in Fallowfield, someone said "Team trip to the Plaza" and 150 freshers dutifully walked single file down to the Plaza for their initiation. 1984, driving from Preston with my girlfriend at the wheel and two of her girlfriends to get a "Plaza" at 1 a.m. Got stopped by the police who were very suspicious of one male and three girls and this ridiculous story that they were driving 50 miles in the middle of the night just to get a curry!