Krahi King – the return of the reviewer

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere where today we made a return to one of our old favourites Krahi King on the Coventry Road in Small Heath. We’ve not been back to Krahi King in a very long time and since we re have returned the team have refurbished the restaurant.

There is still the traditional dining area downstairs which is largely a male domain, the space upstairs is now much more family friendly. Blue is the colour of choice in the new Krahi King with menus and seating getting the full blue treatment.

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On our return we decided to keep things light and didn’t order any of the krahi dishes which sounds odd when you go to the place called the Krahi King but we don’t mind being a bit odd and left field in the pursuit of halal food excellence.

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We ordered the sheekh kebabs which come in a generous helping with a side salad of lettuce, red onion and jalapenos. We would have welcomed some tomatoes but they seem to be in danger of extinction in most South Asian restaurants, we might have to start packing our own parcels for when we eat out! The sheekh kebabs were delicious, there was a slight difference of opinion as to whether they were perfectly cooked or slightly undercooked this would probably be down to individual taste. As far as my taste palette goes they were fine.

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The naan was just what we were expecting it arrived warm and soft without any of the crinkly bits you dread which turn naan orders into oversized poppadoms.

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If I had to pick a weak link in our menu selection then it would have to be the masala fish, it was ok but I expected better, I’d much rather restuarants serve a smaller but thicker portion that you can really sink your teeth into then a longer piece which is so thin around the edges that it feels like you’re just eating crispy masala batter which isn’t great!

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Where the masala fish was a let down the half chicken exceeded expectations, the chicken was perfectly cooked and remained moist, its to easy for chicken to dry out. The portion was a generous size and was definitely the highlight of the meal.

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Overall our return to Krahi King was a success, we didn’t try the full menu but from experience and reader feedback their curry and krahi dishes remain hard to beat. The refurbishment might not win any design and living awards but it has definitely made Krahi King a more welcoming place for families in particular.

Service was excellent, our waiter was attentive without being overbearing and was more than happy to meet our extra little demands that come as standard when you take the kids to a restaurant. Price wise Krahi King is hard to beat. So if you’re looking for traditional desi food outside of the Balti Triangle, Krahi King is hard to beat especially in Small Heath. We would definitely encourage you to take a trip to Krahi King.

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Aman Ali video blogs with the Halal Food Review

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere where we have spent the last two days in the company of the highly entertaining and very engaging Aman Ali a Muslim Comedian from New York who is currently on a Europe wide tour. For those of you who may not be familiar with Aman Ali he is also one half of the duo behind the incredible 30 Mosques in 30 Days project which in our humble opinion is one of the most innovative Muslim led cultural awareness projects we have ever seen.

We’ll be sharing some of Aman’s thoughts, photos and videos from his time in Birmingham where he has been hosted by our friends at Soul City Arts who are based in Birmingham’s alternative arts space the Hubb.

So sit back and enjoy Aman’s first video entry!

For more information on the 30 Mosques project visit http://30mosques.com/

 

Shere Khan Halal Food Review – Birmingham / Star City

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere, this week we bring you a review of Shere Khan courtesy of our regular HFR correspondant Altaf H Kazi. Over to you!

I had arranged to go out to eat with one of my outlaws we decided to go for the safe bet that is Shere Khan. It also occurred to me that no one had done a review of this old haunt in Birmingham. So with my Halal Food Review hat on I made my way there.

Shere Khan is located in the Star City Complex offering a unique Pakistani Cuisine experience. I use the term unique as being an Indian I notice that a lot of Bangladeshi and Pakistani cuisine is often advertised as Indian cuisine when it really isn’t.

Walking into Shere Khan you experience a sophisticated modern feel to the place which draws on Moroccan / North African influences. The use of soft and dimmed lighting adds further to the experience and ambiance. The kitchen is visible to diners depending on where you are sitting which can always add to the theatre of the eating out experience.

If you arrive early you get to sit in the entrance waiting area whilst waiting for a table. We were warmly welcomed and the service was impeccable throughout the evening. After every course we were asked if everything was ok and to our satisfaction without it becoming overbearing. The drinks were served promptly and we had no delays in requesting or settling the bill for the evening.

Shere Khan offers a range of starters from mix grills through to kebabs, tikka, paneer and other vegetarian options. We opted for the Shere Khan Combo which included four sheesh kebabs, two lamb chops, three pieces of chicken tikka and a portion of salad.

The starter combo was of a very good standard. The sheesh kebabs were succulent with an array of spices; the lamb chops were exceptional cooked with a range of tandoori spices without overpowering the natural flavour of the lamb. The chicken tikka was also of a good standard but as I took my last bite on the tikka there was an abrupt break to the ambiance and suddenly a Happy Birthday song broke out on full blast!

Now I am a regular at Shere Khan and depending on what time you go on occasions you will have to endure the happy birthday song sometimes up to 5 times in a single evening! Now I’m not a party pooper but a remixed version of Happy Birthday can get annoying after the third or fourth time! There must be a way of it being toned down so it doesn’t impact on everyone in the restaurant but as I said as a regular at Shere Khan it is part and parcel of the offer and experience so be prepared!

With a successful starter lining our stomachs we eagerly awaited our mains. We had ordered both the Prawn Bhuna and Chicken Jalfrazi selected from an extensive menu of curries, grilled chicken and some additional Chef Specials and salad options. These were accompanied by three naans and one roti.

On arrival of our food my outlaw remonstrated that both portions were on the small side! I assured him that it was a barakah (blessed) portion J However; on reflection the portions were served in small serving dishes. I normally eat my wheatabix minis out of a bigger bowl!

The dishes themselves however were full of flavour with a little heat added to the equation. They were well prepared and delivered on taste as per our expectations. With the prawn dish we got an adequate number of prawns and there was actually chicken in the chicken jalfrezi! (Unbelievable, I know). I have been to too many places where you only get three or four prawns and a few pieces of chicken in your dishes, Shere Khan delivers better than that ensuring you get exactly what you asked for.

Onto our desserts or shall I say puddings! Shere Khan offers a wide range from Sticky Toffee Pudding through to Chocolate Melt in the Middle and Movenpick Ice Cream. In previous visits I have tried both the Sticky Toffee Pudding and the Chocolate melt in the middle, both were delicious!

We opted for the Ice Cream. Now the Chocolate and Vanilla Movenpick is like the Bentley of Ice Cream it is refined and sophisticated with both power and substance. So as you can imagine, I was quite looking forward to my portion! The ice cream was just as described and hit the spot however they presented it with a serving of cream! I would much rather have a bigger scoop and portion of the ice cream I ordered than a complimentary portion of cream! It’s a bit like buying a Bentley and then decorating it with a magic tree and a tissue box dispenser. (you know, gold and red- the type our dads and uncles have all had!)

Ok that’s the end of my ice cream induced rant! A word of advice to restaurants don’t serve premium Movenpick with cream, it doesn’t look any prettier, it doesn’t add to the taste and you’ll save yourself a bit of money in the process!

Our bill for the evening came to £36.00, which was on the higher side for two people however we did have a mixed grill starter, a prawn course, two desserts and four drinks. If you’re looking to save a few pounds on the bill then cut back on the drinks and stick to water!

The highlights were definitely both the mixed combo starter and the prawn bhuna. The ice cream was what I expected. I had enjoyed my authentic Pakistani meal, although I am still debating the authenticity of the Pakistani roots of the humble Sticky Toffee Pudding!

If you’re looking for a good night out you can’t go wrong with Shere Khan it delivers a good overall experience. For me, the food is akin to the Ronseal of Birmingham- it does exactly what it says on the tin!

Quality of Food – 7
Quality of Décor- 7
Quality of Service- 8
Value for Money- 6

Overall- 7

We are fundraising for the Feed the Poor Charity to support investment in clean water and the distribution of food parcels during Ramadan please make a donation no matter how small.

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Rasoi Halal Food Review – Great Horton, Bradford

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere. We’ve been looking for contributers from outside of Birmingham for a while and we were really pleased to hear from Rachel a resident in Bradford who has agreed to step up to the plate pardon the pun.

Rachel is an active blogger who runs the Dinky Thinks blog which is her wonderful contribution to the blogosphere you can follow the blog by clicking the link above. We’ve got a special edited version of her review of Rasoi in Bradford but for the full fat feature including photos and additional thoughts please do visit her site and add it to your bookmarks. We’re hoping Rachel will be a regular contributor to the Halal Food Review so keep an eye on the site as we broaden our coverage to Bradford and Yorkshire!

You can also follow Dinky Thinks over on Twitter @DinkyThinks. Over to you Dinky!

A new kid has opened up on our block. Rasoi is located right on the traffic lights at Great Horton inBradford and occupies a former pub site. There is no parking but you can probably find a spot on the main road. Rasoi offers a Halal menu and a takeaway service. Eating on this Tuesday evening was me, my fiancée and my father…. All of whom are interested in curry…. Very interested in curry!

The décor is very red and very new and they did have a state of the art sound system, under floor heating and televisions installed. We opted for a drink from the non alcoholic menu (a strawberry lassi, Shirley Temple and glass of water) and have some free poppadoms to munch on whilst we check out the menu. The menu is quite small; which I don’t think is a bad thing to be honest; a lot of places in Bradford have so many items you just get lost trying to find anything you fancy.

The owners were fantastically friendly and courteous and the tables and restaurant were as clean as can be. The food did not come in any sort of hurry, despite how quiet it was, but we were not in a hurry so it was fine!

So to the food…. The menu has a range of English, Pakistani and Indian dishes with vegetarian options and meat too. To start with, we wanted the Dhal Bhaley (fried lentil dumplings) but they didn’t have any. We went instead for a Samosa Chat (meat samosa with chick pea salad) and a Papri Chat (fried crispy dumplings with chickpea salad). Both were delicious and fresh tasting… quite spicy and very tasty indeed.

For main course we choose the Tarka Daal (lentils infused with spices), Achari Ghost (lamb with spicy pickle) and a Lamb Special Balti – accompanied by roti. All was tasty and pretty blummin spicy too.

Rasoi have a special offer on at the moment for a free desert when ordering a main course. Deserts range from Kulfi and Rassmalai through to Jam Roly Poly and Chocolate Fudge Cake.

The meal cost £33 which we thought was great value for the portion sizes and we got leftovers to take home.  I would recommend Rasoi for the food, but it could do with a bit more of a buzz and a few more people…. Which will hopefully come with time – after all they had been open only 5 weeks! 

Read the full review at http://dinkythinks.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/restaurant-review-rasoi-great-horton/ along with more from Dinky.

Quality of Food – 7
Quality of Décor – 7
Quality of Service – 8
Value for Money – 7

Overall Score = 7

 

Royal Watan Tandoori Restaurant Reader Review

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere, today we have a mini review for the Royal Watan Tandoori Restuarant submitted by Halal Food Review reader Ali. The Royal Watan Tandoori is located on the Pershore Road and away from the traditional balti and tandoori hotspot of Sparkbrook so its always great to hear from our readers especially when they are happy to submit a review. The full address for the restuarant is 602-604 Pershore Road, Selly Park, Birmingham, B29 7HQ

Over to you Ali.

I was actually suprised to find that this restaurant had not been reviewed by the Halal Food Review, it may not be as well known as many other halal restaurants due to its location but the quality of food is excellent. I had a chance to visit the Royal Watan Tandoori establishment recently with my family, we were welcomed by a polite waiter and escorted to our table. The restaurant was not too busy with a few groups dining in on the day of our visit.

Once we were seated we were given our menus as well as being served complimentary bottled water( normally its hellish getting waiters to give you water at some restaurants as they want you to buy drinks lol) then we were asked about poppadoms and they arrived with a nice selection of dips. The menu is brimming with choice and is based on a traditional balti concept. For starters we ordered a mixed grill and the waiter also recommended the Kashmiri Fish which we also ordered, it was a nice touch for the waiter to suggest specialities on the menu that we may not have considered otherwise.

Firstly the best word to describe the fish is WOW, it is one of the best fish starters I’ve had with a melt in your mouth taste. The mixed grill was a really generous portion which had a selection of everything in it and there was enough for the whole family. The lamb chops in the mixed grill were really nice if there was to be a criticism then it would be that the mutton tikka was slightly on the hard side and overcooked.

Progressing onto the main course, the waiter recommended that we have our dishes cooked “desi style” and I am glad we made that choice, the lamb karahi was beautifully done, and our second dish of boti kebab again was really well prepared. From the sundries menu we had a medium cheese and garlic nan, which looked as good as it tasted!

One niggle that I had was that the Royal Watan didn’t serve my favourite dessert rasmalai so we opted for milkshakes instead and again they really hit the spot. The atmosphere at this restaurant is cosy, perfect for families with a nice contemporary modern decore. Me and my family are now regulars at this establishment and are always welcomed and treated well.

Value for Money: 9
Quality of the Food: 9
Atmosphere: 8
Would I Go Back: definitely!

Mughal E Azam – The return of the Halal Reviewer!

Mughal E Azam has got our Halal Food Review readers all shook up and its not just the hot Lahori spices the waiting staff pre warn you about before you order your dish!

I’ve now returned from my third trip to Mughal E Azam and I can say with complete certainty it is my favourite dining experience in Birmingham, the service is vastly improved from my first visit but in all fairness that was in the opening week and the food is equal to anything in Birmingham. The portion sizes are great, premium prices don’t always mean micro portions and Mughal E Azam has the balance just right.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the food as so many of our readers are providing feedback I would have to comment that on the three occassions I have been there the tandoori roti has been a let down. The roti is being cooked far to thin and as a result instead of a soft roti you get a dried roti that is doing its best imitation of a poppadom. My request to the chefs would be to add some extra flour and water and give us a roti with some texture to it. Some of the roti was so hard and sharp it could cut through some of the really delicately cooked lamb which was delicious. Other than that no grumbles from Mr HFR!

The menu offers a great choice in the most unique halal dining experience available in Birmingham. If you’ve not had a chance to go down, give Mughal E Azam a go! If you need to go to the toilet don’t wait till you get home, Mughal E Azam has toilets that would be the envy of every Mosque and restuarant in Brumistan!

Quality of Food – 8
Quality of Service – 8 – service is improving with each visit, though the waiting staff can be over eager to interrupt you every 5 minutes!
Quality of Space – 10 – the magic 10 has just been slam dunked!
Prices – 8 – Premium Prices but Premium experience
Overall – 9 – The new standard bearer in Birmingham halal dining.

We are fundraising for the Feed the Poor Charity to support investment in clean water and the distribution of food parcels during Ramadan please make a donation no matter how small.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

To donate via mobile phone text NPWX82 £3 to 70070

You can change the amount from £3 to a lower or higher amount.

Mughal E Azam Restaurant Birmingham

This is a first for the Halal Food Review where we don’t actually complete a review. Yes I sampled the menu but in all honesty I wasn’t really wearing my Halal Food Review hat, mind you I’ve not been wearing it for a while!

So why do I flag up this restaurant? Well to put it simply its probably the most stunning renovation I have seen for any restaurant in Birmingham. Mughal E Azam is located on the border of Hall Green and Sparkhill just past the junction between College Road and Stratford Road. The full address is Church Hall, Stratford Rd, Birmingham, B11 4DA, just pop it in the old satelite navigation and it should get you to the restaurant, there is ample parking on site.

The owners have beautifully transformed the former church into the most attractive balti restaurant you can possibly imagine. They have retained the charm and beauty of the old Church and added some stunning touches in relation to the décor with influences from Mughal India and the Middle East.

If you are looking to take a loved one for a fine dining experience that is pleasing on the eye then look no further. Food wise my experience was generally pleasant with a fantastic starter and a main that could do better but as I said earlier I wasn’t in full review mode.

I definitely plan on returning and will update my review accordingly but for now I would encourage you to experience the restaurant for yourself. The scale of the restaurant also suggests it will be ideal for meetings, functions and intimate weddings. If you happen to be a restaurant owner I would encourage you to go down simply to see how you should design an eating space!

Until the next time, I’ll sign off for now until I hear the familiar call of Food I hear you cry!

We are fundraising for the Feed the Poor Charity to support investment in clean water and the distribution of food parcels during Ramadan please make a donation no matter how small.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

To donate via mobile phone text NPWX82 £3 to 70070

You can change the amount from £3 to a lower or higher amount.