Al Basha Review – Birmingham

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Today we have a guest review from Halal Food Review reader Imtiaz who recently visited the new Al Basha Lebanese bakery on Warwick Road in Acocks Green, Birmingham. If its the same Al Basha we think it is, then it has relocated from it’s previous premises on Edward Road in Balsall Heath. Over to you Imtiaz!

So, on a Wednesday night, me and my parents went to Al Basha Lebanese bakery on Warwick Rd in Olton. It is opposite the McDonalds and a bit out of the way from all the other Middle Eastern Restaurants on and around Coventry road. Totally worth the trip though.
It is a small restaurant (It probably seats 25 people max) and does a lot of takeaway business, but its owner Abdul is very accommodating and welcoming. It has only been open a few months, so is still having minor logistical issues like running out of ice. However, it had been a very hot day and the drinks were still cold, so like I said, minor.

The decor is very simple, as is the restaurant, but the food is presented well and the staff are friendly, helpful and engaging. There are no toilet facilities as the restaurant is more geared up to takeaways.
On to the food. Al Basha serve a traditional Lebanese menu which offered a varied choice. We started with Stuffed Vine Leaves, which were served warm. This is not something that I am used to and I found the texture a little odd dare I say it even a bit mushy. I would prefer the vine leaves cold but my parents prefer them warmed up. It’s obviously down to personal preference and something you may want to try next time you have them.

We also had the Hummus served with Khobez, which is a Lebanese bread with sesame seeds on it. The bread was a great accompaniment to the Hummus which had been made spicier with some chilli sauce adding a nice extra kick. The bread was very well received, so well received that we also took some home. I have to say, the bread was almost as good the next day as it had been when it came fresh out of the oven.

Now on to the main course. Going for Lebanese food, we always have something from the grilled meats menu for mains and this visit was no different. We had the Mix Grill 2 which includes a total of 10 skewers of meat, including Chicken and Lamb Kofta, Chicken and Lamb Shish and some Chicken Wings, which had been made extra spicy. The meats was very well cooked and melted in your mouth. They were accompanied by rice, chips and salad. We all consider ourselves to have hearty appetites and we couldn’t finish the platter and had to take 3 skewers home.  (the meat not the metal skewers!) Small portions are definitely not an issue at Al Basha. The food was accompanied by some nice chilli sauce and mint mayonnaise, which was something I had never had before. It was refreshing and hit the spot, my Dad decided to take some home.

The food was excellent value for money and can be seen in the prices below.
Vine Leaves – £3
Hummus – £3
Khobez (2) – £1
Mix Grill 2 – £21

As you can see, it is similarly priced to other comparable Lebanese restaurants in Birmingham and matches them in terms of food as well. Now for the scores on the doors (1 = Poor, 10 = Excellent):

Quality of Food – 9. I really couldn’t fault anything we had; it was all presented well and tasted as good as it looked.

Quality of Decor, Facilities – 5. As mentioned, it is quite small and a lack of toilet facilities is a hindrance, but if you can manage without these, it really is worth going. Or get a takeaway.

Quality of Service – 9. Again, really great. The staff we talked to were helpful and accommodating, dealing with our requests in a friendly manner.

Value for Money – 8. Very competitive prices

Overall Score – 8

There is also a facebook page with the Menu and contact details http://www.facebook.com/AlBashaLebanese

As you can probably tell, I’m not very good at writing reviews and didn’t plan on writing one when I went to the restaurant (As much as I use the Halal Food Review, I have never thought about submitting anything myself). However, I was won round by the staff and the food and definitely think that more people should go to it and experience a great meal.

 

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