Birmingham Halal Food Restaurant Websites – Updated

Salaams and a warm welcome to all our Halal Food Review readers old and new in 2012. One of the most common requests we have from our readers is if a halal restaurant has a website or not so we thought we would start a series posts which would list restaurant websites by their city. We’re going to start with our favourite restaurants in Birmingham. If we miss any out just complete the form at the bottom of this post and we will add a link. This will be a continously updated resource so that you have a A to Z guide to good Halal food anytime you need it.

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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Abu Zayd Arabian Grill and Steakhouse
Website coming soon
0121 773 5646

Al Faisals
http://www.alfaisals.co.uk
0121 449 5695

Al Frash
http://www.alfrash.com/
0121 753 3120

Bader Restaurant
http://www.baderrestaurant.co.uk/
0121 766 5799

Chennai Dosa
http://www.chennaidosa.com
0121 454 1111

Chicago Burger Company
http://www.thechicagoburger.com/ Under development

Chop N Wok
http://www.chopandwok.co.uk/
0121 643 6430 Queensway Branch
0121 634 3977 Cannon Street Branch
0121 423 4060 Sutton Coldfield Branch

Desi by Imlees
http://www.desiimleesrestaurant.co.uk
01214494495

Desi Khana Restaurant
http://desirestaurantsinbirmingham.co.uk/
0121 778 4450

Fargo’s Food Factory
http://fargosfoodfactory.com/

Grameen Khana
http://www.grameenkhana.com/default.asp
0121 449 9994

Haveli Restuarant
http://www.havelibuffet.com/
0121 773 4555

Imlees Restaurant
http://www.imleesrestaurant.co.uk/
0121 449 4335

Ismail’s Grill
http://www.ismails.co.uk/
0121 706 3355

La Favorita Italian Restaurant
http://www.lafavorita.co.uk/pages/birmingham.html
0121 771 4112

Mogo Grill
http://www.mogogrill.com/
0121 705 9864

Mughal E Azam
http://mughaleazam.co.uk/
0121 777 9348

Peri Peri Grill
http://www.periperigrill.com/
0121 328 0348

Royal Watan
http://www.royalwatan.co.uk/
0121 471 1713

Shahi Masala Buffet Restaurant
http://www.shahimasala.com/
0121 783 4121

Shiraz
http://www.shiraztasteofpersia.co.uk/
0121 454 9911

Yaqub’s Steakhouse
http://yaqubs.com/

If we’ve forgotten to add one of your favourites to the list send us their details via the form below and we will add it to the directory.

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Yaqub’s Steakhouse Review – Birmingham

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere. Over the last few weeks months we’ve seen a number of new Halal restaurants open in Birmingham from Mughal E Azam to Haveli Buffet and our first new opening of 2012 Yaqub’s Steakhouse.

As our readers know we are currently running a 25% off your total bill promotional offer and we’re grateful to the management at Yaqub’s for extending this generous offer to Halal Food Readers. Inshallah we will be bringing you other restaurant offers in the future, if you are a restaurant owner reading this then please do get in touch. If you want to be kept in touch of any offers like our page at Facebook or follow us at Twitter @halalfoodreview

In order to keep our reviews completely impartial I have not written the review for Yaqub’s, so that our readers get a completely neutral perspective and we maintain the integrity of the site so please welcome back Altaf H Kazi who has kindly agreed to review Yaqub’s Steakhouse. For regular readers with a long memory Altaf’s name might ring a bell he also penned our La Fibule review. So without further to do over to Altaf for our review of Yaqub’s!

Yaqub’s Steakhouse Review

After months of anticipation Yaqub’s finally opened its doors to the public. I was well excited; I’d been missing my lamb steak and picante gravy. This, I thought, would be my fix! I convinced a group of mates to join me. We had heard rumours that it was a little expensive so the guys warned me, that it better be worth it. I booked the table on Wednesday and got a late Friday booking, which was good. We booked our table before the Halal Food Review discount code went live so we paid the full price for our meals.

Getting to Yaqub’s is easy it is located opposite Lahore Chinese on the Highgate Road near the junction with Stratford Road. There is ample free parking opposite the restaurant which makes it easily accessible by car. From the outside Yaqub’s looks the business and looks like an upmarket establishment even though this seems a little odd for Highgate Road! But does it look like a Steak House? Unfortunately it doesn’t it looks good just not a steakhouse. It reminds me a little of Ismail’s with it being finished to a high spec but not having a steakhousy feel if that makes sense.

As you enter you are greeted by a ‘door opener’ standing between the two entrance doors which seemed a little odd but nevertheless he greeted us with a smile and did his job; making sure we got in safely. Doors are dangerous things, potential hazards even so it’s nice to see Yaqub’s safeguarding its customers from risk! It wasn’t particularly busy when we arrived but we did get there at 9.45pm.

So what about the food? 

Between our group of five we ordered different starters, I opted for the fish tikka whilst others in the group ordered the lamb chops, potato skins, prawns and fried beef starters.

My fish tikka was very nice; the batter was crispy with the right amount of spice, whilst the cod was perfectly cooked and moist.

Unfortunately my mates on the other hand were not as happy and understandably so; the lamb chops cost £4.50- for that price you’d expect to get 3/4 pieces but we received 2 chops for £4.50, that’s £2.25 a chop!  That was not the end of it we received 5 prawns for £5. The potato skins tasted fine but didn’t look impressive and I’d expect more when it comes to presentation particularly for a fine dining experience. I hope the management can take note.

On to our main courses. Yaqub’s offers a range of Steaks, Burgers and Fajitas. Their steak menu is extensive and they offer a range of different cuts of beef, t-bone, sirloin, rib eye or rump as well as lamb and chicken options. There is even a picture of a cow on the menu showing you were the different cuts are from. Along with offering the choice of your steak being prepared in 5 different ways you knew the team at Yaqub’s had done their research! With all this information I was about to go Heston on them and ask them if their meat was fresh or not. Steaks are better the more mature the meat gets- they are best at around six weeks from slaughter. 

The prices at Yaqub’s are definitely at the premium end of the dining experience and thus expectations are also raised high. I don’t think we mind paying good money as long as we get good quality food, attentive customer service and experience a good ambiance.

My mates ordered the t-bone steaks and burgers. I stuck to my guns and ordered a lamb steak (medium to well done) with picante gravy in the hope of getting my fix. The burgers looked exceptional- towering high and made from pure meat. They went down a storm. The burgers were succulent and juicy they had the right amount of cheese and where served in a ciabatta bap. They were as good as those served at Chicago Gourmet Burger with the bonus of more meat! We had the doubles and they were definitely the highlight of the evening!

The t-bone steaks didn’t hit the same note on the other hand and were just average in comparison. They didn’t jump out or taste exceptional and the gravy again was at best average. Now for the science part!

The t-bone steaks were not cooked to perfection. I could see the cooks using thermometers and for those who know about preparing and cooking steak should know that the medium to well is served best at 54- 57 Celsius. In my opinion it looked as if they had got the temperature right but forgotten to take into account the fact that residual heat keeps cooking the steak and that after resting the steak for at least 5 minutes they need to run the steak out to you. I think when you offer so many ways of cooking steak you need to get it right, especially at the premium side of things and this is something I hope improves with time as the potential is there. 

I got my lamb steak and was expecting a fillet of lamb (about the size of a burger patty) but what I got was four small pieces of lamb. I was gutted and all my mates were laughing at me! My dreams of getting my lamb fix were dashed! On enquiring with the waiter I was told that this was spring lamb and it came like this. I told him that they should tell customers this in order to manage expectations. He apologised and suggested that I could order something else. Having seen the burgers I ordered one of those instead.

The customer service at Yaqub’s is as good as anywhere in Birmingham but in my opinion the standard in Birmingham is below par compared to other cities I have eaten in. The service was ok, the waiter came and took our order, he then re-read the order to us and asked us how are food was once it had been served. So he did his job. In many other places that would have sufficed but when it comes to the premium side of the dining market I want the waiter and service to be exceptional at a level that goes above and beyond what I would expect at other restaurants. Again I think there is room for Yaqub’s to improve this part of their offer.

A note to Muslim customers Yaqub’s has no lota in the washrooms for making wudu so take your own bottles or wudu mates with you but I’m hoping the restaurant will rectify this!

Overall our night out to Yaqub’s wasn’t the success I hoped it would be but it wasn’t a failure either. The guys didn’t ‘cuss’ me for taking them there which shows that it had some good points like the quality of the fish tikka starter and the excellent burgers. The other starters were just ok particularly related to the price we paid. The restaurant needs to focus on delivering value for money for what is a premium dining experience and this includes improving the presentation of the food that is served so that it reflects that premium experience. My share of the total bill came to £18 including the starter and main dish and at that price the food, service and presentation has to be consistently good.

The biggest disappointment of the evening was the steaks; I was expecting something exceptional, something to befit Yaqub’s as the new premium choice, unfortunately our experience was average at best but I would hope things improve as we’re still at the early stages where all restaurants have teething problems.

I am planning on returning in a month or so after the restaurant has had some time to bed down. In a month’s time I would hope they have perfected the steaks and gravy as well as raising the level of customer service to reflect the premium dining experience.

I hope they do as they have the potential to become one of Birmingham’s finest dining places.

Scores

Quality of Food: 6
Quality of Decor, Facilities: 7
Quality of Service: 6
Value for Money: 3 (full price paid, no discount codes used)

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.

25% off your bill at Yaqub’s Steakhouse – OFFER EXPIRED

THIS OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED

As we promised our readers earlier in the year we are planning on bringing some new content and special offers to make your halal dining experience even more enjoyable.

We’re pleased to announce our first reader offer which is 25% of your bill at Yaqub’s Steakhouse in Birmingham.  To take advantage of this special offer all you need to do is pre book a table by ringing the restaurant on 0121 773 9111 and quoting Halal Food Review its that simple.

The offer runs until the 29th January 2012 so make sure you pre book your table before you visit the restaurant to save yourself 25%.  A word of caution for readers though and that is Yaqub’s are nearly fully booked for the next week so you might have a bit of a wait before you can get a table.

 

Yaqub’s Steakhouse Opening Date Confirmed and we have the exclusive!

Salaams and welcome back to the Halal Blogosphere!

Yesterday morning I had a special sneak preview of Yaqub’s Steakhouse with a behind the scenes tour of the latest edition to the Halal Food scene in Sparkbrook. Yaqub’s is located on the corner of Stoney Lane and Highgate Road literally opposite the Lahore Karahi Halal Chinese Restaurant.

Yaqub’s has a fresh contemporary feel to the decor with a strong visual brand that is visible both on the exterior and the interior of the restaurant. The downstairs dining area seats approximately 70 covers with room to seat a further 100 covers upstairs. The restaurant has a vast window frontage with the bottom half of the windows benefiting from having a frosted cover to allow diners to have a more intimate dining experience without their steaks getting the evil eye from passers by! The attention to detail expands to the toilets which have also been fitted out to a good quality standard. Too often some of our halal restaurants can really be let down by the toilet area. We’re constantly getting emails from some of our readers sharing some of the worst experiences but I digress!

Food I hear you cry! I had a chance to sit down with one of the owners of the restaurant and he was really excited about the menu the chef and his kitchen team have come up with. There was a clear emphasis on creating a unique steakhouse experience and yes folks that includes the option to ask how you want your steak cooked. I’m really hoping Yaqub’s bucks the trend of having your steak come in any form as long as its well done! What was really interesting to hear was that Yaqub’s will also be offering a comprehensive fish menu which will include everything from sea bass and salmon to lobster!

So when is Yaqub’s opening. Drum roll please……. Yaqub’s Steakhouse will be opening this coming Friday which also happens to be the 13th! Not that we Muslims believe in superstition! So start crossing off your dates on the calendar and join us in the countdown to the latest edition to the Halal Food landscape in Birmingham.

Can it get any better, yes it can! The Halal Food Review will be bringing our readers an exclusive discount code to use at Yaqub’s this should be live in the next couple of weeks so make sure you keep an eye on the website. For the quickest reminder just follow us on Twitter @halalfoodreview or join us on Facebook by clicking the link to our Facebook page in the top right hand corner of the site or at http://www.facebook/halalfoodreview

As always we will be bringing you our review of Yaqub’s as soon as we’ve had a chance to sit down and tuck into the menu at newest steakhouse in Birmingham.

New Halal Restuarants coming to Birmingham

Salaams from the Halal Blogosphere! If you believe what Dickie Attenborough tells you nothing stirs in Winter, well as much as I love the voice of Frozen Planet things are definitely stirring in Birmingham as we look forward to the most exciting Winter in living memory as we anticipate the opening of a whole series of new halal restuarants in Birmingham. So to help you pile on those festive pounds here is a our guide to the some of the highlights coming to a street near you.

Royal Haveli Restuarant – This was even caught your halal food reviewer by surprise but it didn’t get past the attention of our HFR reader Angela Thakur who has informed us this super new buffet restaurant will be coming to Coventry Road in December featuring a full live music programme! Whats really got us excited is that the restaurant is being opened by former managers and chefs at Manchester’s premier buffet restaurant Nawaab’s! Birmingham has been crying out for a really good buffet, we have some great B and C grade efforts but Birmingham deserves a A grade buffer and lets hope the team behind the Haveli can deliver!

Fargo’s Food Factory – The Punjab Paradise is dead long live Fargo’s Food Factory, Ladypool Road’s first attempt at an American Diner concept which is again due to open in December. The last time we had a diner concept in Birmingham it was the team at Mushtaqs who were so far ahead of their time it never quite clicked. I am really looking forward to Fargo’s opening and bringing a different offer to Ladypool Road.

La Favorita – After the failure of Al Faisal’s Pialto, Birmingham has waited for the next version of Halal Italien dining and its coming soon to a side street just off the Ladypool Road. The La Favorita chain is brining its italien concept to the odd location that is a side street of Ladypool Road. I’m not sure if it will be Halal in the fullest sense or whether they will slap a big fat bar behind the counter but it will be interesting to see how halal Italien goes down in Sparkbook.

Ismail’s Grill and Yaqub’s Steakhouse – We’ve mentioned both this restaurants before, Ismail’s has been reviewed and Yaqub’s just keeps telling us it will open soon. We are definitely excited about both opening up in Sparkbrook with Ismail’s taking over the old Angel pub at the junction of Ladypool Road and the Stratford Road and Yaqubs taking a corner plot at Stoney Lane across the road to Sparkbrook’s Hubb Art Centre run by our famous foodie and award winning artist Mohammed AerosolArabic Ali who will probably be one of the first diners to experience the new steak menu. Whilst we have all been waiting for Ismail’s and Yaqub’s to open the team at Grill 3 have quietly opened up their second outlet in Sparkbrook which might just have stolen Small Heath’s crown in the halal steak stakes, see what I did there! Rumours are that Small Heath might have something up it’s sleeve and we may see some exciting changes coming to Abu Zayd…. Watch this space.

Two other developments that we know very little about at this stage is the renovation and reopenings of the old President Restuarant and the opening of a new Akbar’s concept restuarant at the old Jug of Ale in Moseley. Both look like they will be hitting the premium end of the market which is the new sweet spot for the Birmingham halal market.

Birmingham doesn’t forget budget conscious halal foodies, Bismillah Bakeries has opened another outlet on the Stratford Road in Sparkbrook which is great for light lunches and cakes and some really interesting home cooked takes on the Gregg’s Pasty! In the City Centre the halal revolution continues in Martinuea Square with the opening of Frydays a traditional styled halal food outlet with a focus on good old fashioned fish and chips and yes you get read COD!

Hopefully that has more than tickled your halal tastebuds and we can’t wait to go out and review all these new places as the Birmingham Halal Scene fights back!