Raja Monkey began as an authentic roadside café experience that pioneered the street food scene - that was to become so popular in later years – growing into into one of Birmingham’s best-loved Indian restaurants and benefitting from a new-look and major refurbishment recently.
16 years since its launch, the restaurant has become regarded as one of Birmingham’s best foodie destinations – if you know, you know – and counts some of the city’s Michelin chefs amongst its happy patrons. Throughout this evolution, Raja Monkey has always stayed true to its ethos of being quietly brilliant, serving authentic, mouth-watering, soul-warming dishes created with passion and using only the highest quality, fresh ingredients.
“We pride ourselves on bringing an authentic taste of India to Birmingham, creating vibrant dishes that bring our customers closer to the real India, “says Munayam Khan.
Cooked with passion, all dishes are created on-site in the open kitchen and are inspired by the chef’s homeland, with many of the recipes handed down through the generations.
This glass-fronted kitchen not only provides theatre to the Hall Green restaurant, as you see the team of chefs busy in their work, but allows diners the ability to personalise their dishes, should they have allergies and preferences, or wish to dial the heat of the curry up or down – making it a restaurant to suit all tastebuds.
The menu is under constant evolution, as seasons shape the recipes. Guest favourites include the Thali, which is an Indian meal platter comprising rice, dhal, salad, seasonal vegetables and paratha. Also highly rated are the Shimla Prawns - king prawns, bell pepper, garlic and chilli oil. Delicious.
These sit alongside the Raja Monkey signature dishes, which are perennial favourites and include the mouth-watering Monkfish Moilee – tandoori roasted monkfish and Moilee sauce; the always-tempting beef biriyani and the scrumptious paneer kofta – making Raja Monkey a firm favourite for carnivores, pescatarians or vegetarians/vegans.
All dishes are served with love and created personally by Munayam; often inspired by the season, or his travels across the globe.
It’s not hard to see why there are so many staunch devotees of this restaurant. From regulars so passionate about the food that they’ve had the business logo tattooed on their bodies, to Raja Monkey being the go-to eating place for top Michelin chefs in the city when they’re not working, Raja Monkey promises a royal welcome to all.
During the pandemic, when faced with significant closures, Munayam Khan invested heavily to upscale his business, expanding the seating capacity inside and out at the community restaurant. In a time when others were closing or scaling back, Munayam made a bold statement investing in the future of Birmingham’s food, drink, and hospitality sector.
His investment is as much in the industry as it is in his own venue. He is a founding member of the Six Seasons Chefs Group – a group of chefs who provide opportunities to South Asian and Ethnic Minority chefs.
He is dedicated to raising the culinary standard of the South Asian restaurant scene by upskilling existing chefs through knowledge sharing and providing a platform to help highlight the up-and-coming talent in this arena. He dedicates time to contributing to the development of aspiring chefs and, often, taking his cooking skills into the community to teach others – including children – about the joy of cooking with Indian spices.
Munayam has also shown his commitment to helping causes affecting South Asian communities across the world. The restaurant partnered with Freedom50 and Human Appeal to raise funds for vulnerable children living in Bangladesh, helping to lift them out of poverty.
Harden's survey result
Not enough people have commented yet
Our reviews are based on an annual survey of ordinary diners which runs in Spring each year. But this establishment has not yet gathered enough feedback for our editors to write it up.
Do you think it deserves to be better known?
Write a quick review now using our restaurant diary service. That way it might catch our attention. Next survey, you can transfer your diary entry into our survey system. Everyone who contributes 5 or more reviews in our survey will qualify for a free guide.
For 32 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).