It’s no longer a surprise, new restaurants are popping up in and around the city faster than I can open and finish a bottle of wine. We now have another new Indian restaurant in Birmingham. I mean we are very spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian cuisine and what distinguishes one from the other? There are the curry houses in the Balti triangle of Sparkbrook, Sparkhill and Balsall Heath, the city centre fine dining types and those propping up in the suburbs amongst fish and chip shops and Chinese takeaways.
Last week I ventured towards the Erdington meets Sutton Coldfield border, to sample the latest Indian restaurant. 1580 Restaurant positioned on Chester Road, is named in reference to the year sailor Sir Francis Drake arrived back to the UK and presented Queen Elizabeth I with exotic spices.
A group of bloggers, press and I were invited by 1580 Restaurant in collaboration with Birmingham Bloggers and Delicious PR to review their very new restaurant and menu.
First impressions, smart decor, pretty lights and welcoming staff. We started off with an appetiser of Masala Poppadums, these were not the regular flat ones but came as a cone and were delicately spiced, nice for scooping the accompanying sauces. I hate fresh tomatoes so left the one in the middle, the fresh Mango Chutney and the Mint Raita were so deeply satisfying I didn’t feel I was missing out. The only regret was not having enough poppadums for the amount of dip.
First course down, three more to go and the next two are served family style with an emphasis on sharing – the very best way to enjoy food. The restaurant can cater for dietary requirements including vegetarians, however my table and I opted for the meat option.
For out meat feast starter, we were served the Drake’s Royal Meat Feast Platter consisting of Murgh Tikka, Lamb Chops, Kochi Kekraa and Zaffrani Bada Jingha Tikka. In layman’s terms, I tried the biggest Tandoori and saffron prawns I’d ever laid eyes on, so juicy and not over cooked, soft shell crab, saffron and chilli chicken Tikka and finger-lickingly-good lamb.
I honestly could not settle on a favourite, and these are all the things I would normally want to order presented on one plate – fantastic! I was shocked to see soft shell crab on the menu as I’d never noticed it on an Indian restaurant menu before, nonetheless it was a joy to sample. The platter for two costs around £24.
On to the mains, Bater Curry on the bone, Murgh Tikka Masala and Pot Pepper Lamb Curry, served with Naan Bread and Rice. The Bater curry consisted of Tandoori quail on the bone in a rich ginger, garlic and chilli sauce, this stole the night for me. Apparently it’s made in typical North Indian railway style. At £12.95, I’ll certainly order this dish again.
I ordered a draught Cobra beer, which went flat very quickly, needless to say it wasn’t very pleasant. I can only assume it to be down to teething problems with the new system.
We were served the infamous Galub Jamun for dessert, it can be described as a milk reduction and cottage cheese dumplings, served with a scoop of vanilla and coconut ice cream. Although really sweet, it was a beautiful ending to the meal.
I didn’t choose wine on the evening as I wasn’t impressed with the wine list. In comparison with the quality of food and the prices it would be nice to see a more imaginative list. On the other hand, the dishes served and the food menu can only be described as deeply satisfying.
The fantastic level of service alone is definitely worth the journey. If you live in Erdington or Sutton Coldfield you are very lucky to have 1580 on your doorstep.
Thank you at 1580 Restaurant and Delicious PR.
As always, my writing and honest views.