Veggie Foodie guide to the Best places for a vegetarian curry in Birmingham.


Curry in its various guises is for many Vegetarians their go to food. It is for me and often the first meal I have when I come back from a holiday abroad for instance. 

For veggies, it appears to be the cuisine that we have the most options on the menu. 

Birmingham has a number of fine Indian restaurants and cafes. This is my personal selection (though not definitive) which originally appeared in the Birmingham Mail for National Vegetarian Week. 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/need-decent-vegetarian-curry-birmingham-11337381

In no particular order:

Lasan:

For a sophisticated and exquisite curry in cool surroundings Lasan in the Jewellery Quarter ticks the box. Try the Tikki Veggie Platter to start, so as to get a flavour of the refinement of the subtle spicing. The Chamon Punjabi main course is easily the best paneer, Spinach combo in the city. The Sweet Potato Kofta is also memorable. Never fails to inspire. 
 Sweet potato Kofta. 

  
Chamon Punjabi

  Tikki vegetarian platter.

Deepalis

A fully Vegetarian indian restaurant, based on Alfred Road, Sparkbrook and in the Jewellery Quarter (currently closed). Try the Chilli Paneer, Aloo Dosa or Papdi Chaat or for dessert the indulgent Gulab Jamun. Deepalis represents skilfully cooked vibrant vegetarian food, modestly priced in informal surroundings. A winner. 
  Chilli Paneer

Ashas:

For Luxurious surroundings and homely but well-crafted food try Ashas in the city centre, with cocktails a flowing Ashas is modern and full of atmosphere. Try the best Papdi Chaat in the city, or the main course Kadhai Paneer an exotic treat, or the divine and succulently spiced Aloo Mattar Gobhi. The Naan’s and Poppadoms are also superb.

For a sophisticated curry in the city centre Ashas is a joy for veggies. 
  
Papdi Chaat

  
Kadhai Paneer

Milans Sweet Centre:

Based on Stoney Lane, near Sparkbrook and the Balti quarter, pure vegetarian Milans is informality and charming personified. Try the Matter Paneer the Daal or the Palak, the Masala Dosa’s also popular as are the indian Sweets. A vast choice for veggies at bargain prices.

  

Jyoti 
One of my favourite places to eat in Birmingham. Based in Hall Green on the Stratford Road,  Jyoti is fully vegetarian and doubles as a restaurant and sweet centre. Taking its inspiration from South India It entices the palette with exotic flavours and a massive choice of 15 starters and 72 main courses. With a homely feel there’s no better choice. Try the set meals which gives a terrific overview of the food, or the Thalis  and Puri and Aloo Curry. The paneer dishes are also incredible. Bring your own alcohol. 

  
Jyoti from the outside.

Itihaas:

Located in the city centre on Fleet Street and in a smaller capacity at Selfridges food hall, Itihaas is one of the best indian restaurants in Birmingham for vegetarians, smart, but traditional. It’s sleek, contemporary and friendly. Try the vegetarian sharing platter to begin or the Chaat and dosas or one of the many Paneer dishes such as the Makhani Paneer with its top notch spicing or maybe for something different the Quorn mince Kofta. Itihaas has Outstanding choice for vegetarians who seek aromatic joy. 
  
Makhani Paneer
  
Itihaas from the outside.

  Paneer at Itihaas

Pushkar:

The glamorous and elegant Pushkar, on Broad Street in the city centre has consistently been winning awards since it opened. For exquisite cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere visit on a weekend and indulge. The phadhari Kofta is superb, as is the saag paneer and appetiser Vermicelli William and For the undecided the Pushkar panorama , a taste of all the veggie appetisers. A classy taste fantastic restaurant, and one of my favourites.

  
Phadari Kofta and Saag Paneer (Left)

  

  
Pushkar from the outside.

Kababish

A Moseley institution, a fine family run restaurant that’s consistent and full of good veggie options. Serving authentic Pakistani dishes try the Paneer Shashlik for a subtle joy or the Tarka Daal, which is stunning and a must have. The Gobhi Mutter is lovely and the Balti’s are some of the best in the area.A rewarding reasonably priced experience, plus there’s cocktails and lovely friendly service. Food made with passion and care.
  
Gobhi Mutter
  
Tarka Daal.

Raja Monkey:

Get closer to the real India with Raja Monkey. A roadside cafe on the Stratford Road in Hall Green serving true classics. Owned by the aforementioned Lasan restaurants its a vibrant space of informality. A must is the veggie Sharkarkand Thal  for that complete and authentic meal experience and to begin their famous Dosas.The Masala Aloo Dosa is perfection made fresh in front of you. I adore the food, the rustic decor, for veggies its a must place to visit. Raja Monkey is also do the best take away and delivery. Restaurant food at home. 
  
Veggie Shakarkand Thali 
  
Masala Aloo Dosa 

  

Kings Indian Dining:

A Kings Heath institution, veggie friendly Kings is comfort curry, but with keen spicing and a large veggie menu. Try one of the Balti’s, Saag Aloo or Mattar Paneer. Also the Onion Bhaji is an appetiser to recommend. Traditional, affordable and Friendly. Delivering excellent choice for vegetarians. It’s also Bring Your Own alcohol and does takeaways. 
  

Al Frash Balti:

  

A addition to my original article Al Frash is Located in Birmingham’s Balti Triangle  (meaning Butterfly) it serves reputable Balti’s on the Ladypool Road. With numerous vegetarian options its a bargain winner with a bring your own policy. One of the best Balti restaurants you could find anywhere.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Links to my previous articles with the Birmingham Mail:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/very-best-places-vegetarian-food-10157489

http://www.wowbrum.co.uk/food-and-drink/10-best-restaurants-cheese-birmingham-10467564

Some of the photos from The Birmingham Mail. 

#VeggieFoodieTakeaway: Diwan Balti Moseley and Hungry House. 


  

I was recently contacted by Hungry House http://hungryhouse.co.uk/ who wanted me to taste test one of their top takeaways in Birmingham. 

Hungry House is the Uk’s premier online platform for takeaway and food delivery, with more than 10,000 restaurants on their site. They cover the whole of Birmingham on their site. 

They’ve just released the names of their top takeaways. 

http://hungryhouse.co.uk/top-takeaways/

http://hungryhouse.co.uk/top-takeaways/birmingham/

These are chosen due to their popularity with customers, their consistently positive ratings, their ability to deliver food on time and their high food hygiene rating. Only 500 are chosen. 

I was very pleased that one of the restaurants on the list and one in my location Diwan Balti in Moseley was so highly regarded. Diwan has always been a special restaurant to me as I visited it often when I began my job over 15 years ago. I used to go with colleagues who lived in Moseley Village and we quite often put the world to rights and moaned quite readily about work, and life. Politics wa s often on the agenda, as it so often is and was. Back then Diwan was one of the original balti houses and this was before lasan and Pushkar et al changed the curry scene in my city. It has always specialised in Paneer dishes and has loads of choice for Vegetarians. 

The food was ordered from Diwan via the Hungry House link https://hungryhouse.co.uk/diwan-balti

You place your order, the  website is clear and reliable when inputting what you would like to eat and after completion you receive an email cod ironing that the restaurant have been sent the order and then received the order with an estimated delivery time.

Both Ruth and I shared the vegetarian dishes. 

We ordered: 

Plain Poppadums x 3 @ £1.35

Mixed pickles: @ 70p 

Balti Saag Aloo Paneer (Main) @ £5.35 (Spinach and potato and paneer cheese) 

Balti Aloo Gobi Mushroom (Main) @£5.25 (Cauliflower, potato and mushroom) 

Balti Tarka Daal: (lentils) @ £3.60 side 

Balti Chana (Chickpeas) side @ £3.60

Mushroom Pilau Rice: £2.75

Garlic Naan: £2.15

Chapati: 95p. 

Total = £25.70 plus a card surcharge of 50p  = £26.20

   

  

   
    

Balti saag Aloo paneer and Tarka daal.

            

Balti chana and Balti aloo Gobi mushroom. 

 

Mushroom Pilau rice. 

The food We ordered was excellent. 

The poppudums were crisp, on arrival, quite rare for some takeaway deliveries. The sauces were ok, not great but satisfactory. 

Both the Balti Saag Aloo Paneer and Balti chana were good , nicely spiced, nicely cooked, stayed warm throughout though we did use heaters  which always helps. The combination of the paneer and spinach and potato worked well and the paneer was cooked well and carried a good flavour. I used to have this dish quite frequently and wasn’t disappointed as a takeaway. The Balti chana was also very good, chickpeas always go well with me and are one of my favourites in curries. 

We also enjoyed the lentil daal and the Balti aloo Gobi mushroom. Both were well flavoured, the lentils were creamy and were a very good cooking contrast to the spicier mains. Again the cauliflower and potato is a good combination and worked with the mushrooms. A nice dish. 

The mushroom rice, Naan and Chapati were all very good, and essentials to order. 

As a takeaway curry Diwan Balti is an excellent choice in the Moseley and Kings Heath area via Hungry House. The food was delivered on time, it was well presented and all containers were sealed and secure. There were no complaints. The service via the Hungry House website was fine and with a prompt delivery made for a good Vegetarian Takeaway. It also very good value. I’m sure to order again from Diwan Balti and Hungry House. It brought back happy memories. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

I was invited to write an unbiased review of a takeaway ordered via Hungry House in my local area. All food was paid for via a voucher of £30 which was complimentary from Hungry House. I chose Diwan Balti myself, my review is unbiased and honest as always. 

Diwan Balti 3A/B/C Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8AR. 

0121 442 4920/442 6002. 

  


Review: Lasan Restaurant: Birmingham


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Lasan’s reputation has often in recent times proceeded it. Offering a fine dining like experience, it’s Indian dishes are refined, and woo the diner with their keen and exquisite seasoning and little touches of street food delights. It feels more like an experience than a general night out.

It’s those touches that have brought it accolades not only from Gordon Ramsey but The Sunday Times newspaper who have named it as one of Britain’s top 100 restaurants, the Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide. A true list of quality.

Chef Aktar Islam and his team have consistently created on all my numerous visits (and there have been many from whence Lasan opened) Vegetarian dishes that demonstrate those techniques, textures and flavours that are a joy to discover and heavenly to taste.

On our mid week arrival Ruth and I decided to enjoy a Gin and Tonic in the smart bar area with the menus. A good thing to do when visiting Lasan.

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I discovered disappointingly a few weeks previous that Lasan doesn’t serve a vegetarian tasting menu-minus points- but only a non veggie one. Though this is sad, as other fine indian restaurants in London do its not the end of the world, as the menu for vegetarians is excellent, with plenty of choice and from previous experiences delightful.

Having taken our seats at our favourite mezzanine level table, good for people watching, we observed the restaurant filling up with large table bookings and couples. Excellent to see mid week.

I like the decor of Lasan, slightly modern, slightly Eastern influenced, a lovely wall mounted sitar and large ornate mirrors give the space a brightness, though with an intimate feel.

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We began our meal with a complimentary Indian Street Food morsel (not an amuse bouche, that’s French) called Panipuri which originates from the Magadha region of India.

A popular street food snack it consists of a round hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of chaat masala, potato, onion and chick peas. To be taken in one mouthful, it was delicious, sweet, savoury, gently spiced. I love Indian street food. I could have quite happily eaten more.

Plus some quality crisp and flavoursome poppadoms and dips.

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For a starter Ruth and I chose to eat the vegetarian shared platter. A dish we’ve ordered before many times. The street food leanings of this dish is the main draw for me.

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It combines an assiette of two each of Caraway Spiced Paneer, Spinach and Potato tiki, onion and spinach palak pakora, South Indian potato cakes and a selection of well made dips.

A dish of differing and contrasting flavours and textures with vibrant touches. The potato cakes an all round taste sensation, the spinach and potato tiki, superb. All round for veggies this starter can’t be beaten and is my favourite. The only catch you have to find someone to share it with. Ruth as a meat eater loves it.

For my main course I ordered the veggie Chamon Punjab (paneer) with two vegetarian sides to share with Ruth-the Gobhi Angara and Ghar ke dhal, with a Garlic and Coriander naan and Pilau Rice accompany.

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The Chanon Punjab was delicious. Spiced with caraway seeds and scented with cloves, with a smooth spicy Kashmiri spinach and fenugreek gravy it was probably the best paneer I’ve tasted in Birmingham and only the one I ate at Michelin starred Benares in Mayfair London beats it. The flavours were deeply spiced and went perfectly with the two side dishes I ordered. A lovely vegetarian main dish.

The Gobhi Angara, is a North Indian delicacy. As lovers of cauliflower in curries both Ruth and had to choose this dish. The nigella scented masala with roasted cauliflower a gentle lighter contrast to the paneer punch of the main dish. More subtle in flavour, but delivering with aplomb.

The Ghar Ke Dhal offered once more a delicious contrast. The blend of lentils, simmered gently and spiced with green Cardamom and cassia bark had finely tempered flavours, with the tomato base and fresh herbs providing subtlety. A lovely dhal.

Ruth didn’t have space for a pudding so ordered some petit fours for her coffee. Disappointingly they proved to be sadly underwhelming which we thought would be homemade but wasn’t. Not great, she felt and for £2.50 very expensive. Why not a plate of traditional Indian sweets or small Indian deserts instead. More authentically Indian please.

For pudding I ordered the superb Gulab Jamun Rabri.

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To describe: the Gulab jamun Rabri is a Holi festival recipe with cardamon. It can be defined as deep fried melt in the mouth dough balls which are coated in sugary rose water and cardamon, slightly warm. Gulab means rose in Hindi and Jamun is a South Asian fruit. An Indian version of doughnuts. Drizzled with rabri a form of sweetened reduced milk flavoured with nuts and spices.

It was a delicious melt in the mouth pudding. Creamy, nutty, lovely. Not heavy to eat, but light and perfect after the spice of the previous dishes.

Lasan do the traditional deserts well, more please.

Throughout the meal the service was impeccable, courteous, charming, they explained every dish enthusiastically and with knowledge but not overwhelming you with attention. The balance was as it should be.

With our food we also ordered two glasses of wine, Ruth had a white-a lovely Gewürztraminer and me a punchy Red Malbec, both complimented the spicy food well.

Plus to follow two brandies to follow our Americano coffee. (Ambre Pierre Ferrand cognac)

Lasan is the real deal for curry in Birmingham. More pricy than some, it’s certainly a splurge kind of place and why wouldn’t you. A treat to enjoy, overwhelm and dive into. The vegetarian dishes (as the non are, according to Ruth) are inspiring, and flavoursome.

There are more than enough vegetarian dishes to return to again and again, their can be no complaints.

The service, hospitality and the food is testament to the hard work that goes into making the Lasan experience whole and nearly complete, (veggie tasting menu, more indian puddings) please😊

one that ‘teases the senses and stirs the soul’.

Lasan
3-4 Dakota Buildings
James Street
St Paul’s Square
Birmingham
B3 1SD

0121 212 3664

http://www.lasan.co.uk

@lasan

@akrarislam

Facebook/Lasan-Restaurant

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We were invited as guests of Lasan Restaurant Group, we received part compensation for the bill the balance we paid ourselves. As always my opinions are honest and my own. No positive review was required though there is no doubt you couldn’t fail to be impressed. 

 My previous review of Lasan Restaurant last year. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/06/03/lasan-restaurant-teasing-the-senses-review/