This weekend the boyf took me to an Indian restaurant in Birmingham called Akbar’s. He has been raving about this place for the past few months, I think one of his relative’s introduced him to this place. He was so excited by the food that we made a special trip to go visit Akbar’s for our Saturday dinner. Luckily the food did not disappoint and I just had to shout about that here. We eat Indian food a LOT so we know what makes for good dinner. Akbar’s stood out for fresh, intense and more importantly desi-style (authentic Indian) food. We like our Indian food desi. I think most of us would prefer desi-style Indian food instead of bland avenue that many Indian restaurants and takeaways are taking these days. Luckily, Akbar’s seems to be one of the few restaurants interested in taking some care with their food.
The restaurant is in an converted nightclub and the décor is very ‘trendy’. It’s clean and spacious and I have heard this place gets very full. We went early on Saturday evening and there was a good mix of clientèle there. We had one waiter assigned to our table and he was very attentive, possibly too attentive. He checked on us continually throughout the meal. But it was reassuring to know he was there.
Where the bar used to be is now an open grilling section where two chefs were cooking fresh marinated meats and starters. The sight was impressive and rather enthralling. It’s always encouraging to see your food being cooked before your eyes.
We ordered the marinated lamb chops for starters followed by Chicken Tikka Masala desi-style and Lamb Saag Balti with onion bhaji on the side. The chops were deeply marinated and tender making for a perfect appetiser. The best bit was definitely the mains. The curries were booming with intensity. They were spicy but with depth. The Lamb Saag had been slow-cooked for some time and the lamb just melted into the sauce and spinach. The Chicken Tikka Masala was tomato-based without the usual overloading of yoghurt or coconut. It contained a range of spices including a good amount of fenugreek which lends it’s authentic flavour. The chicken tasted marinated, it was delicious. My only grumble would be over the onion bhaji’s. It’s minor really, but they lacked flavour for me, and I like my bhaji’s cooked in gram flour and these were a bit too battered.
Overall I would give Akbar’s in Birmingham 4/5. Highly recommended if you are ever in Brum.
Good bits – mains, lamb, service
Bad bits – onion bhajis, toilets lack a full length mirror