Liv’s Takeaway: the Manchester curry house run from a house which has customers travelling miles to try it

Liv’s Takeaway and Caterers has scooped the Manchester’s Best Takeaway award for its superb Goan curries.

Meet the married couple who run an award-winning takeaway and catering business that has punters travelling hundreds of miles for a curry - from their front room.

Michael and Cefona Dias have sent food from their three-bedroom ex-council semi inBlackley, Manchester, to curry lovers as far away as London wanting to sample their authentic cuisine.

Their regular customers from across the north west who love their Vindaloos, Biryanis, and chicken Cafreal, which are priced at an inflation-busing £6-7.

And the couple, originally from Goa in India, were rewarded for their efforts last month after being crowned the city’s best ‘Best Takeaway’ in the England Business Awards.

Cefona and Michael Dias at their award winning takeaway, Liv’s Takeaway, in their house in Blackley, Greater Manchester Credit SWNS

Cefona, 43, said it was a moment they would never forget, adding: “It’s one moment we will remember throughout or lifetime.”

Michael, 47, added: “It’s a great pleasure to do all we are doing and bring the authentic tastes of Goa to the city of Manchester.”

The couple agreed to go into business together last year after Cefona, who previously worked as a teacher, suggested the idea to professional chef Michael.

Michael said: “I worked in the hotel industry, in five-star beach resort hotels in Goa. And then I worked in restaurants and cruise liners, including Royal Caribbean.

“We came to the UK in 2013, and I worked for Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn and a few restaurants, and then my wife said, ‘Why don’t we start something of our own?’”

The couple opened their takeaway on the ground floor of their three-bedroom home in November, proudly displaying their 5-star hygiene rating in their front window.

Cefona and Michael Dias at their award winning takeaway, Liv’s in Manchester Credit: SWNS

And they agreed to base their menu around authentic Indian cuisine, which was typical of the food in their home city of Goa, on the country’s West coast.

Cefona said: “We wanted to get people in touch with the food from my home, and it’s made in the home where we stay.

“Goa is a very particular part of India, and the cooking comes from Indo-Portuguese traditions. The spices are India, but it’s cooked in a very particular way.”

“It’s a rented property and our landlord gave us permission. We kept asking him, and he forgot about it, and then after a while, he said ‘Yes’.”

Cefona said it wasn’t long before their business was peaking the taste-buds of people living right across the UK.

She said: “We have customers coming from Warrington, Liverpool and Sale, and we’ve also had orders from London, as we have pickles and other things that we can send on.“For the family from Liverpool, I asked them, ‘Did you just come for our food or for something else”, and they said: “Just for the food.”.

Beef Croquettes at the award winning, Liv’s Takeaway, in Blackley, Greater Manchester. Credit SWNS

“They later phoned from Liverpool and told us how much they loved it.”

The couple, who fell in love at school in India and got married in 2001, live, work and sleep at the same address, but say they rarely fight.

Michael said: “It was love at first sight from when we were at high school. And we were married in 2001. She is my backbone. I couldn’t do it without her.”

Cefona said they had agreed to only work during the business’s opening hours.

She added: “By the time we close the kitchen it’s about one or two in the morning, especially on the weekends, and we don’t close until 10 pm at night.

“The Uber Eats drivers sometimes say they’ve never seen food made in a residential area, so they’re looking for a street and a restaurant, and then they come to a house.”

The couple said when they were creating their menu, they decided to keep their prices affordable and below most of their competitors.

Recheado Pork Chop at the award winning, Liv’s Takeaway, in Blackley, Greater Manchester. Credit SWNS

Michael said: “We wanted to make it for the neighbourhood basically, and make sure everyone could be able to afford it.

“And even with recession and cost of living crisis, our prices are the same as when we started.”

And despite their success, the couple say it’s unlikely they’ll set up a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the city centre in the future.

Michael said: “We do provide catering as well, but we are not planning to open a restaurant.

“However, we would love to have our own house, with a new kitchen so that we can work freely.”