Sunday, 20 May 2012

Oasis, Manchester Rd, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester

When Manchester and Oasis are mentioned in a sentence, the first thing that comes to mind are two bushy-eyebrowed rock and roll brothers. The second thing that comes to mind is a ladies' clothes store that was popular in the 90s and has now faded into oblivion. Google agrees with me too- type in Oasis Manchester and the first page of results references the band and the shop. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the other Oasis in the city- a fabulous ice cream parlour tucked away in suburban Chorlton.

Chorlton is a fabulous area I have recently discovered and packed with foodie gems, reminiscent of the Berlin suburb of Kreuzberg. Discerning foodies can try a wide range of cuisines here- Indian, Arabic, Spanish and potent coffee is ubiquitous. It knocks spots off the much-lauded Didsbury, which as far as I'm concerned, is haven to what I call The Usual Suspects of La Tasca, Wetherspoons et al. The first stop on my foodie discovery of Chorlton had to be Oasis, with its instantly recognisable shop frontage, a ray of sunshine on a characteristically grey Manchester day. A few years back, I lamented that Britain has a distinct lack of ice cream parlours (in continental Europe, ice cream parlours are like our chippies and pubs; it'd be unthinkable not to have them). Thankfully, times are changing and ice cream parlours are having a slow but sure revival. Anyway, back to Oasis.

Boasting over 36 flavours of ice cream, not to mention creations like Knickerbocker Glories and sundaes, Oasis is most definitely an oasis in a sea of traditional coffee shops and pubs. Its cheery staff are a ray of sunshine, the sheer enormity of the ice cream range transports you to a Mediterranean seaside. I tried the Turkish Delight ice cream (sometimes known as 'rose' in Europe) which was simply divine, I've never understood people who go to an ice cream parlour for boring vanilla. Next was a beautiful Smoothie, the Blue Banana which is a concoction of blueberries and bananas which despite its name, was a luscious pink colour. The coffee here is fabulously potent too, not to mention the extensive range of cakes.

The resident fish in this cafe are also a sight to behold- the fish tank tucked away in the corner feature some of the most hilarious fish I have ever seen- ugly yet endearing at the same time!

The cafe also offers free wifi, but let's face it, who's going to be surfing the net when there's over 30 flavours of ice cream to try!

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Hi Vindaloo Kings and Queens!