Punjabi food is completely new to me – I’ve tried Indian food, but I can’t recall specifically trying the food of the Punjab. I’m still quite fuzzy with the cuisine of South Asia. I remember when I first got into wine about 6 or 7 years ago and I was overwhelmed and so confused by Italian wines, look at me now. Who would have thought Italian wine would now be my thing.
The flavours and ingredients of Punjabi food are very similar to the food of the other regions of India, however it comes specifically from the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India.
Delicious PR and Canal Square restaurant recently invited me and a few bloggers to come and review their 7 course Maharaja menu. The tasting menu changes regularly, focusing on seasonal and local produce. The objective of the evening was to get a feel for the menu and restaurant whilst we tweet and eat. I love a tweet and eat, it’s my favourite form of food microblogging.
Canal Square is a Punjabi restaurant situated in the Brindley Place meets Ladywood area of Birmingham. It’s been open for about 7 months now, and although I’m new to Birmingham, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it. I can now regurgitate a good percentage of restaurants in the city. It is located off the beaten track, but once inside expect a nice warm welcome and inviting surrounds.
“Punjab is very popular for its rich Maharaja culinary, our chefs have created an extravagant journey menu with traditional Punjabi techniques influenced by modern British style creating an eclectic Maharaja tasting menu. The journey is one of a traditional Punjabi cuisine with a modern British twist.” – Canal Square website
We are welcomed with Prosecco; and Harvey restaurant owner and manager introduces the concept of Punjabi food and the restaurant itself. We are then presented with our first course for the evening, an amuse bouche of Vegetable and Potato Pakora. It was crunchy on the outside and nice and moist on the inside. The accompanying sauce was fire! Spicy and tantalising!
The next course of the evening was my favourite and I’d come back for this course alone. Aloo Tikka is a spiced potato and vegetable rosti, served on masala chickpeas. The sweet, sour and spicy flavours of yoghurt, tamarind and blueberries worked really well and the potato rosti was simply divine. Would love to get this vegetarian dish in a main course size.
Course three, the Hariali Mint and Achari Tikka, a plate of chicken breast spiced two ways. One was Tandoor grilled chicken marinated overnight with hung yoghurt, garlic and mint, the other didn’t really grab my attention. I was genuinely fascinated by the green chicken. Besides the vibrant green on the chicken, this dish was the least visually interesting plate of the night.
Course four, a gram flour battered cod in cumin. The Amritsari Fish, cooked to perfection, nice and delicate in the middle. The accompanying chilli sauce was really hot and I like my heat – but handle with care.
We were then served Chandigarh Lamb Cutlet and Pork Samosa and Punjabi Lamb. The Punjabi lamb was a full main course size and by this point I was stuffed! We finished the night with 2 Punjabi sweets Barfi (a sweet, condensed milk dessert in a solid form) and Gajar Ka Halwa (sweet grated carrot, milk and sugar). I personally found the desserts far too sweet.
The Maharaja menu at Canal Square was largely a nice treat, the food was sumptuous and the wine was nice. The only disappointing point was that the restaurant was far too quiet for a Thursday night, there was sadly no buzz or atmosphere. I would certainly return for a meal here, however I’d feel awkward if there weren’t many diners in the very open restaurant. If you are looking for a canal side restaurant for an after work corporate dinner, Canal Square would be perfect. Tastecard are currently offering its members 50% off food, usual t&cs.
Have you been to Canal Square? What did you think?
Thank you at Canal Square Restaurant and Delicious PR.
As always, my writing and honest views.
Canal Sqaure: The Glasshouse, Browning Street, Canal Square, Birmingham, B16 8FL