Butter chicken at Itihaas, Birmingham

National Curry Week: My five places to try

It’s National Curry Week and since I’m trying to give you a few more different kinds of posts to get your teeth into, I thought I’d remind you of a few of my favourite curries you’ve seen on this blog. Indian food is one of mine and Mr M’s faves. Whether it’s a bit more of a fine dining affair or a good old takeaway, we’re in. I love the depth of flavour you can get through spice and heat, not to mention a cuisine that can add a whole new dimension to veggie dishes.

I’ve realised that I did a similar round-up to this back in 2015 but there have been a fair few new places since then. So here we go with five places you can add to your list for National Curry Week:-

1. Shababs, Birmingham

Until very recently, I hadn’t properly experienced Birmingham’s Balti Triangle so I’m pleased to say I finally popped my cherry. Jamie and I headed to Shababs on Ladypool Road for a traditional balti and what I’m sure is the best daal I’ve ever had.

Balti at Shababs, Birmingham

2. Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu

Atul Kochhar was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star and while I hadn’t made it to one of his ‘actual’ restaurants, I was lucky enough to try Sindhu on board a P&O Cruise Ship earlier this year. It may not have been cooked by the man himself but it was pretty darn good – and in the middle of the sea too.

Mixed starter at Atul Kochar's Sindhu

3. Five Rivers, Walsall

There are blog nights and then there are blog nights. I will never forget the night I was invited to Five Rivers in Walsall for an epic feast of endless courses all paired with Laurent Perrier Champagne. Tandoori Duck, Chicken Saagwaala and much, much more, all washed down with what it turns out is a great accompaniment to curry, plus one hell of a hangover the next day. If you get the chance to go to Five Rivers, try it. There’s a good reason that it’s won awards.

Tandoori Monkfish at Five Rivers, Walsall

4. Itihaas, Birmingham

I’ve tried a few Indian restaurants in Birmingham now, from TV famous Lasan to less well-known Milan. But I confess, I hadn’t really heard of Itihaas until I was invited for a new menu launch. The restaurant itself has a lovely traditional feel but the food is more than your average curry. A few courses were slightly off the mark but I’d go back for the butter chicken and the naan alone.

Butter chicken at Itihaas, Birmingham

5. Omar’s, Dunchurch, Rugby

It’s not all about big names and posh food. Sometimes it’s about walking into your fave local curry house, snuggling in a corner and feasting on your favourite dishes. There’s always plenty of discussion of where is good and where isn’t in Rugby, but we’re partial to a visit to Omar’s in Dunchurch, partly for the food and partly for the welcome we get when we walk in and the endearingly chaotic atmosphere once you’re in there.

 

Where’s next?

And there you have it – my five places to try. I’ve still got plenty more. Here’s my list of curry places to try. What’s yours?

Sindhu, Marlow – I’ve been to one of its siblings but would like to try the real thing

Chutney Mary, London – I’ve heard great things about Chutney Mary and it sounds rather glam, so it’s definitely on the list.

Raja Monkey, Birmingham – A member of the Lasan family in Brum, apparently it has more of a casual feel.

Dosa Village, Rugby – One of the newest places to open in my little town, apparently it’s fab. Will visit very soon.

Veeraswamy – Apparently the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, I have actually been here before. My big bro took me many moons ago and I don’t feel I quite realised how good it was at the time.

Thali Cafe, Bristol – It started out as a street food truck at Glastonbury and there are now five in Bristol. Must try definitely when we’re down next.

Al Frash, Birmingham – We nearly chose Al Frash when we went to the Balti Triangle for the first time, but it’s on my list for when we return.

 

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