We spent the evening with Tariq and found out absolutely everything there is to know about Manzil’s
There’s more than just curry on the ceiling…
Every Soton student knows there's nothing better than falling out of Jesters at 2am, and running down Portswood to the warm, open embrace of Tariq Manzil's Indian Restaurant. A little slice of heaven where you can satisfy your drunk food cravings for just £6.95.
But there's obviously more to the restaurant than meets the eye. So we spent a whole evening sober with the Man(zil) himself. Over a bhuna and some poppadoms we got him to spill all of his secrets, and found out some things which may surprise you.
Manzil's before midnight is a respectable restaurant
Picture this – candles burning, flowers on the table, beautifully folded napkins, calm music is playing while you sit down to have your meal. You are at peace. Believe it or not, that’s Manzil’s before the students come in.
Unfortunately, the post-Jesters crowd makes a little bit too much mess, so as soon as midnight rolls around everything changes and the vases are taken away, the candles are blown out, and the food fights begin.
The Britney Spears music is a Manzil's tradition
Manzil’s is THE hottest place to go if you’re a Britney fan. No doubt that when you step through the door, you will be serenaded by the beautiful voice of Ms Spears and nothing else. But have you ever stopped and wondered why?
Turns out that a while back some girls brought in a Britney tape, and asked Tariq if he’d play it for them, and he did, and the students loved it. People actually started to demand it, and now it’s a tradition. At midnight exactly (we actually witnessed it happen) the Britney CD is brought out and the students run in. Apparently Tariq has never even had to buy any CDs, students just give them to him. Cute right?
Tariq has to break down the toilet doors on average once every two weeks
You might not know this one, we didn’t either, but at Manzil’s they have to change the lock on the toilet door around every two weeks. There’s actually normally five or six spare locks in the restaurant at any time, just in case.
This is because drunk students keep falling asleep in the bathroom, and the doors have to keep getting forced open to make sure they're alright. Can’t blame them really. I only ever want two things when I’m drunk – a nap and some food.
People have got married at Manzil’s
Crazy, right? It was one of the waiters and it happened by video link and even got into the local newspaper! You might need to make some changes to your Pinterest wedding board, because we asked Tariq and he said he’d definitely let a student get married there if they wanted to.
They offer cooking lessons
For a long time, Manzil's have actually given curry cookery lessons before midnight. So you can learn how to make the food we all know and love. If you’re in on a Wednesday or Thursday before 12 it’s worth asking.
Not sure you’ll make it at that time? Don’t worry because Tariq does a historic Manzil’s kitchen tour that you can go on if you come in before 2. (If you’re lucky, you might even get to make your own naan).
Manzil's currently sponsor 21 university societies
If you’ve ever been downstairs in building 42 then you may have spied the university squash club is sponsored by Manzil’s. Did you know that this year, 21 of the university’s societies are sponsored by Tariq? Last year he sponsored over 30. It all started more than 20 years ago with the cricket team – he’s even got one of their ties.
The aftermath of the curry fights
Most people have seen a curry fight take place – they're regular, and messy. Curry’s even made it onto the ceiling before now. It takes up to two hours to clean up afterwards, but lots of students are very sweet, and do stay and help out. The food fights are actually the reason you never get served a whole poppadom – Tariq breaks them up so they can’t be used as weapons.
Naked curries are a fairly regular occurrence
This, apparently, is the craziest thing Tariq has ever seen. Two or three times a month a naked curry will take place. If you can’t work out what that is – it’s when a group will just strip off to have their meal. It all started, surprise, surprise, with the rugby club and is a bit of a tradition. Tariq doesn’t mind though – he gets it.
You can get Manzil’s delivered to you!!
And you can still get the student deal! Do you know what that means? Dinner. For. £6.95. And you don’t have to cook. Sadly, though, it doesn’t work if you try and order online, so you have to call up if you want a piece of this sweet, sweet offer. Don’t worry about needing your student card though – Tariq assures us he knows which houses are student houses just from the postcode (absolute genius).