Curry is a funny thing for us Brummies. We like to think we know a thing or two about one of the world’s most favourite dishes, and even have our own style to differentiate from other curry hot spots with the Balti.
I mean, we love a “Birmingham Balti” so much the Birmingham Balti Association (BBA) tried to protect the term back in 2015.
Travelodge, asked me to find out more about this culinary classic on their behalf, so Wifey and I left the city centre and travelled the short distance to the heart of the Balti Triangle.
And where else could we go but the place which claims to have invented the dish. Adil’s say they brought the dish to the UK, opening on Stoney Lane in 1977 and, after a brief spell on Ladypool Road, is back at home in the epicentre of the Balti Triangle fully refurbished and sticking with their blend of fresh Kashmiri cuisine and Balti’s abound.
The interior is light (much lighter than the pictures show above!). We popped in just after opening on Sunday and they were already busy with takeaway drivers flying in and out.
Prior to having a thorough read of the menu, we were supplied with poppadoms and a rainbow of sauces, Mint Yoghurt (white sauce, sweet, cooling), Chilli Chutney (orange sauce, mild, tomato tang, sweet), Coriander & Green Chilli Sauce (the verdant green one, our favourite, sweet and tangy with a spicy after-kick) and their Hot Sauce (well balanced on spice and delicious).
To balance out those hot sauces, we had some Mango Lassi. One of the most popular drinks on the sub continent of India and a blend of yoghurt and milk with fruit, if requested. The other choices were Strawberry, Sweet and Salty. Ours was icy cold, thick and not overly sweet; the perfect partner for spicy food.
The menu (available here) is comprehensive with a wide variety of starters, rice and naans, and even the choice to make your own Balti from a selection of 10 meats or vegetables, 10 sauces and 14 extras giving a mind-boggling 1400 combinations!
For starters, we couldn’t choose so we plumped for the Meat Platter with pretty much all of them on. Lamb Seikh Kebab, Chicken Seikh, Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka & Chicken Wings were all served on a sizzling platter with onions.
The platter was much bigger than expected and would be enough for three persons rather than just the two of us!
- Lamb Sheikh – A good and chunky lamb mince laced through with coriander and gave a solid umami taste
- Chicken Sheikh – Something a little different for Wifey and I, who stick to the traditional lamb version, this was a nice suprise. It had little flecks of chilli running through, adding a nice spice without overwhelming the mouth.
- Chicken Wings – These slid right off the bone whilst being crispy on the outside, seemingly by using wizardry.
- Lamb Tikka – These were thickly coated in a Tikka coating, a good and chunky size.
- Chicken Tikka – My favourite starter, soft, beautiful, sweet and smoky and an aroma to intoxicate the nose.
It was a hearty portion, plenty enough to share and available for 2 or 4 depending on hunger levels.
After a short rest, it was onto our mains. We decided to go with Chef Specials rather than picking our own, to see what the creative minds in the kitchen get up to.
I chose Balti Tikka E Khaas (combination of Chicken Tikka, Lamb Tikka, Chicken Kebab, mince & peppers cooked in a Balti sauce) mainly as it had more of that wondrous Chicken Tikka in it. Wifey chose the Balti Makhan Chicken (diced pieces of Chicken breast cooked with butter, methi & almond powder) as she’s not a fan of anything spicier than a paprika crisp!
For sides we chose Pilau Rice and a Medium Naan, listed on the menu as suitable for 2-3 persons.
Before we get onto the mains, that MEDIUM Naan, which took up the length of the table. They have an even bigger Table Naan option, which I can only imagine is dragged in on a heard of oxen or can be used as a makeshift sled! The naan itself was delicious and made with a stronger flour than I usually experience, giving it a slightly salty edge. The pilau rice was neon yellow in colour and well cooked, not a sticky grain in sight.
My Balti Tikka E Khaas was in a thicker Balti sauce than normal, having been laced with a rich spicy meat. The chunky bell peppers added depth and colour, and the big pieces of meat each added their own character to the dish. Wifey’s Balti Makhan Chicken, was reported back as rich and tender to the point of melting in her mouth with a rich, but light, creamy sauce.
There was so much food we couldn’t actually finish it, and the remainders came home with us nicely packaged in takeaway boxes. Dessert menus were offered but politely declined to ensure buttons didn’t fly across the room.
It won’t be our last visit to the new look Adil’s and we’re already planning who to take along next time.
If you’re planning a trip the Balti Triangle and Adil’s there’s at least three Travelodge options nearby.
Birmingham Central Bullring (2.3 mi)
Birmingham Yardley (3.5 mi)
Birmingham Maypole (4.1 mi)
It’s well served by public transport with the 3 bus and 34 bus stopping right outside, and the inner circle (8 bus) a few minutes walk away. There’s also handy off street parking nearby if you’re driving too!
Where: Adil’s, 148-150 Stoney Lane, Birmingham B12 8AJ