Indian Restaurants in Birmingham
1. Opheem Indian restaurant in Birmingham 65 Summer Row - B3
“Aktar Islam (ex-Lasan) is doing a fabulous job in his new venue” – a “super-stylishy”, 70-cover venture that’s immediately hailed as “Birmingham’s best Indian”, with “dedicated” staff delivering an “equisite” and “exciting” modern twist on Indian cuisine. “It’s is a little off the beaten track from the city-centre but well worth seeking out”. In October 2019, Michelin – unusually for a regional Indian – awarded it a star.
2. Dishoom Indian restaurant in Birmingham Paradise, One Chamberlain Square - B3
“There aren’t many restaurants where I will queue for nearly two hours to get a table but it’s worth the wait!” – This “madly popular” Mumbai-inspired chain “has taken London by storm” and is now the capital’s most mentioned chain. Even if the heady days of its Covent Garden debut are long gone, criticisms that it’s “too popular for its own good” are most notable by their absence; and instead its “a firm favourite” for its massive army of fans who feel “it never fails to impress”. The “buzzy, Indian, faux-retro vibe” (“I felt transported to the Parsi eating houses of Bombay in the 1960s”) helps set up a “crazy, frenetic atmosphere”; and even if the “noise levels are pretty bad”, “somehow it all comes together”. It helps that service is “always punctual and friendly” (respect: it’s such a busy chain), and the tapas-y food – though no longer as bleeding edge as it once seemed – still feels “vibrant”, with a selection of dishes that’s “far from run-of-the-mill” (“recommended by all our Indian friends!”), plus “an exceptional list of drinks”. Breakfast here is unexpectedly “a true thing of beauty” too: “so different” in a brilliant way. “You can book during the day, but not at night” – “the wait is tedious, but the buzzer system works well” and cocktails at the bar help blur time. In mid 2019, the chain acquired the former Jamie’s Italian site next to its original WC2 branch in order to expand its footprint. Top Tips – “black dahl is still the best” and “the bacon naan is the greatest restaurant breakfast dish of all time!”.
3. Lasan Indian restaurant in Birmingham 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street - B3
This “upmarket Indian in the Jewellery quarter” has pioneered a fine-dining approach as an alternative to the classic UK curry house for almost two decades. Ratings continue to impress under founder Jabbar Khan following the 2018 departure of high-profile chef-director Aktar Islam (see Opheem).
4. Asha’s Indian Bar and Restaurant Indian restaurant in Birmingham 12-22 Newhall St - B3
This city-centre venue with a focus on delicious kebabs and other dishes from the subcontinent’s Northwest Frontier is part of an international empire set up by Asha Bhosle, the prolific Bollywood singer, which also has branches in Manchester and Solihull. Now 86, Bhosle is credited as the most recorded artist in music history, and insists she would have been a cook if her singing career had not taken off. Fun fact: Cornershop’s 1997 hit single Brimful of Asha was a tribute to Bhosle.
5. Jyoti's Vegetarian Indian restaurant in Birmingham 1045 Stratford Road - B28
For “cheap and reliably high-standard South Indian cuisine”, there’s no beating this modestly styled Hall Green veggie.
9. Not Really Indian (NRI) Indian restaurant in Birmingham TBC - B1
More than a year on, still no news about when chef-entrepreneur Atul Kocchar's first UK restaurant under the Not Really Indian (NRI) brand will open. (When it does, it will be serving cuisine developed by Indian cooks living abroad.) Kochhar pulled out of taking up space in Birmingham’s Mailbox development in 2018, but is apparently looking elsewhere; NRI was launched in Mumbai in 2016.
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