Restaurant review: Kababish, Moseley, Birmingham.



Many years ago when I was a young fledgling curry eater and ‘Don’t look back in Anger’ was number one, the Kababish was my favourite curry house. Moseley Village was a lot less hipster and more crusty around the edges, pubs were pubs and curry well it was a balti or nothing fancy and washed down with a pint not a cocktail. The good old days, maybe we thought they’d live forever, maybe it was the ‘day we caught the train’ to the future. Maybe I’m just grumping. Maybe it’s the cocktail infestation in the village. 

But less of the Brit Pop references. It’s testament to the hard work and quality of this independent and family run restaurant that now over 30 years since it opened its still going strong on the same site in a village where others have come and gone and food and drink times have changed. 

Ruth and I decided to visit one Saturday evening, finding a bustling restaurant that had a good mix of larger and small groups. 

One of the changes since those bygone days is the introduction by Kababish of a cocktail menu. I’m not a massive fan of cocktails with food generally, don’t get it when there’s beer or wine available (but with snacks/ small plates/ aperitivos its ok).  This is especially a no no with main courses but in saying that I’m happy to slurp away pre or post dinner with the best of them. 

Thus, Ruth and I dipped our palettes into a couple of cocktails before the main event. Myself The Exceptional Gentleman from their Signature cocktail menu and Ruth the Cosmopolitan which she enjoyed. 

My cocktail was lovely, Jack Daniels, shaken with fresh mint, ginger, apple juice and a dash of champagne. An indulgent tipple with a bite that was a fine pre dinner drink. 

For the food, Poppadoms are crisp with some excellent sauces. The mint, zingy and with a nice sharpness which goes well with the cocktails (poppadoms are snacks). 

At most curry houses I have the desire to keep eating. Order too much or overdo my appetite. The Paneer Shashlik starter is lusciously creamy on the inside and just charred perectly round the edges so that the soft and crisp texture can be dusted with the thinnest pasting of the mint sauce a la 1990’s with the chilli sauce zinging up the plain salad like a riot  of splashy artwork in Tate Modern. The starter soothing and reassuring of the standards set by Kababish’s kitchen. 

The Tarka Daal is one of two test dishes for me of a good curry. Here it bristles with spices, a dreamy daal of channa lentils, a creamy must have dish and possibly the best in Birmingham, still the quality dish of a bygone memory in time for me. An accomplished rendition. 

The Gobhi Mutter, fresh cauliflower, with onions, peas and peppers. A classic veggie curry, perfect for a main veggie dish. Subtle spicing, slight tomato flavour that makes for a complimentary dish to the daal.

The Saaag Paneer, the other test dish of cooking credentials is here fresh, with a nice balance of spices and fresh ingredients. The spinach not too much, but complimenting the creamy paneer and herbs. A delightful dish, another for memory lane. 

Accompanied by a well flavoured Garlic Naan that’s fluffy and light and a not grainy but softly cooked Pillau Rice. 

Dishes were washed down by a tremendous Malbec. 

Gobi Mutter Tarka DaalSaaag PaneerGobhi Mutter

Pillau rice

Garlic naan 

The only downer was my pudding the Ras Malai which was shockingly poor as only curry restaurants deserts can be. Maybe I just chose wrong but it was disappointing and not what I remember from Previous Ras Malai offerings in other restaurants. 

Ruth enjoyed her Ghulab Jamon. Oh well!  

We’ll move on. 

The Kababish is not fancy, not flash. It’s a rewarding and reasonably priced restaurant that ticks the boxes of quality, informality, good friendly service and food made with passion and cooked fresh. 

For Vegetarians it offers numerous tempting options and has the slight subtlety in choice that is tempting for repeat performances.

Though I walked through their doors 22 years ago the consistency and core values remain to this day and that’s the key to a good neighbourhood curry (open since 1983) and the essence of what makes The Kababish popular and successful and proof that though times change a good curry at Kababish doesn’t. The buzzy weekend atmosphere is a bonus which in all makes Kababish a ‘Champagne Supernova’ in the bright sky of Moseley.

My friend used to say that The Kababish was the best curry house in Moseley. You can argue that it was and still is the best. 

So Here’s to many more years of this independent stalwart in an ever evolving Moseley. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

http://www.kababish.co.uk/

After dinner Tip:

For afters try The Bulls Head (The Cuban Embassy) in Moseley village for a rum fest and after dinner drink. 

Rum at The Bull. 

The Gastro Card offers diners 15% off food from Sunday-Thursday. 

To buy a card see the link below: 

http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/buy/

We paid for our food and drinks in full. My opinions are honest as always. 

Song references from Oasis. 

In praise of: Carters of Moseley. Michelin Starred dining from a Vegetarian perspective. 


  
It’s taken me awhile to get this review posted, but in so many ways I’m pleased it has. You see a couple of weeks ago Carters of Moseley was awarded its first Michelin Star. 

Now back in May when Ruth and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a meal so beautifully put together, this was just a dream in chef Brad and front of house Holly’s mind. 

Yet the hard work to amaze and impress and make this small neighbourhood restaurant one of the jewels in Birmingham is now been taken seriously by more than just mere locals like me and thus the story of Carters of Moseley evolves. 

It all began with a Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year in 2015, lots of garnished praise locally, plus a great review in The Independent newspaper. 

Yet, when Ruth and I entered chez Carters we hoped for a celebratory meal and man did we get one. 

From it’s mere storefront outside Carters provides food that is quintessential of the perfect neighbourhood restaurant, locally sourced ingredients, foraged often, good value for money food and service which is amongst the best and friendliest anywhere. 

For Vegetarians it’s a journey of enticing flavours, textures and innovation. The seasonality of ingredients used make it fresh, and exciting. 

Simplicity and restraint is central to the cooking, the preparation of the produce with its essence on ingredients is to be applauded. So why does this sound like a conclusion before I’ve shown the dishes? Well, this is a post that’s in praise of Carters of Moseley, not a review as such, but just me saying Vegetarians go there, don’t hesitate, just do it. You won’t regret it. 

So to the food: 5 course menu. 

   
  

To begin a trio of small dishes: 

  Courgette Flower, Ricotta.

  Sparkenhoe Biscuit

   Ogelshield Gougeres.

All three dishes show the touch of dash that makes up the Carters ambition. Good flavours, the precision in the presentation and cooking. A lovely trio. 

As a footnote, we also enjoyed some beautiful homemade wholemeal bread made from flour from the local 250 year old Sarehole Mill, served with butter for vegetarians. 

  Black Headed Gull’s Eggs: 

A seasonal addition to the set 5 course menu. 

Handpicked from around the South Coast of England. The eggs are hand selected by ‘Eggers’ regarded as the greatest eggs on the market. Only 20.000 are picked across the whole country and The season is only three weeks long. 

The whites were delicate, soft and melted in the mouth. A vibrant yolk orange in colour made for a creamy texture and rich flavoured finish. 
  Lichfield Asparagus, Moliterno Al Tartufo.  

A pretty dish of delicate seasonal (May) and local asparagus with an intense black truffle like flavour from the sharp beautiful cheese. An irresistible flavour and texture. 

  Parsley Grains, Lemon Pickled Fennel. 

Then, a satisfying risotto like dish. Prettyness, prediction and confident cooking with lovely flavours running through it. 

  Salt Baked Carrots, Barley Milk, Swiss Chard.

A dish full of flavour, the salt roasting bringing out the vibrant textures of the carrots and lays it on a bed of Swiss Chard. Very Copenhagen, well seasoned, well…’it’, well done. 

 Wye Valley Rhubarb with Rose and Custard.  

Finally to puds: A simple soothing to the palette desert, local rhubarb given refreshing flavours. Lovely. 

  

 
 Sheep’s yoghurt mousse, alphonso mango, pistachio.

Delicious, well presented and creative dish. A decadent desert. 

 Wedding anniversary surprise. 

Well tempered home made chocolate. A lovely touch. 

A word on the service which is amongst the best anywhere. It forms a huge part of our evening, and Holly was attentive and enthusiastic throughout.  It’s not stiff or formal, but friendly, the vibe is relaxed. It is true in this case that the service and food do work in tandem. 

Food at Carters is intricately simple and focuses on flavour, there are few ingredients on the plate 3 or 4 components which allows them to build a properly prepared dish that’s both seasonal and fresh and of the moment. 

The focus is on the food and their own style, which allows the five courses to be an menu to eat rather than to taste. The dishes build like an orchestration and leave you with a symphonic high by the final movement. 

Consistent in quality and true to their passions Carters cooking shows a smart touch in the kitchen. Not pretentious, not complicated and good value for money. 

Carters of Moseley is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant.  One that for vegetarians should be a must and a ‘when can we go.’

An adventure in food. 

One to savour. 
   

  
Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our meal in full. All opinions are my own, and are honest as always. 

5 courses are £45.

3 course lunch: £28. Half bottle of house wine £8. 

Sunday lunch: £32. 

Sunday Supper: £32. 

 No A La Carte menu served. 

We also drank a bottle of The Crusher Viognier 2012: £26.50. A beautiful Pale, Golden White. Delicious with the food. Plus two glasses of Champaigne. 

  

http://cartersofmoseley.co.uk/

2c St Mary’s Row, Wake Green Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9EZ. 

0121-449-8885.

https://twitter.com/cartersmoseley