Punjab Perfection at Canal Square

In keeping with the theme of getting more local, Wifey and I decided to try our nearest (and newest) local restaurant in the shape of Canal Square. Knowing #BrumHour‘s taste for Indian food, we invited him along too!

Canal Square specialises in high end Punjabi Cuisine and Cocktails, taking over the unit which was formerly Loves Restaurant, a few paces from JuJu’s Cafe and a stone’s throw from the Barclaycard Arena.

On their website, they describe themselves as an eclectic Punjabi dining experience. They do tasting menus, taking you around the Punjab region but for this evening, we thought we’d try their la carte “Glasshouse” menu.

Before tucking in, Wifey picked their signature Tequila and lime based cocktail which was sweet and refreshing, so much so, she changed her plan from choosing another cocktail from the menu and stuck to that for the evening. Dave and I went for Diet Coke, accompanied by ice and a slice.

Harvey Bains, maître d’ and owner, introduced us to the menu and concept. Each dish is balanced by the staff but can be tailored to how ‘hot’ or ‘wet’ you want it to be. We decided to skip the starters and instead went for poppadoms followed by mains.

The poppadoms were served as triangles rather than the usual “plate”, which most of us were used to, and was accompanied by mint sauce and mango chutney.

The poppadoms were crisp with no greasy film to them and were served warm.  It was nice to have them as good sized portions rather than breaking them ourselves and chasing shards around the plate with a finger (I hope I’m not the only one that does this!). Special mention must be made for the mango chutney, which was sweet and had a nice piquant edge to it. They were that good that we ordered a second portion!

For main I went for their Punjabi Murgh (chicken) signature with a Peshawari naan. Mine was a really nice balance of spice and flavour, with enough of a kick to get the heat going and the flavour coming through. The Peshawari naan, though nicely cooked and fluffy, was a slight disappointment as the paste filling ended up more in the serving dish rather than in my mouth, though what I ate was delicious.

Wifey went for the Butter Chicken, made of Punjabi butter chicken mildly spiced, mixed nuts, tomato simmered rich dish, accompanied by Pilau rice.

Wifey doesn’t do spice so this was perfect for her. It was rich, but not in an oily sense, with just enough spice coming through to give it a solid flavour, and lots of good sized chunky chicken pieces. Her pilau rice was colourful, with addition of vegetables, and was well cooked.

#BrumHour chose a Chicken Jalfrezi and Garlic Naan.  From the noises of delight coming from across the table, I am sure he was relishing in having the rare chance for a curry rather than his traditional Chinese.

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We all chose mint ice cream for dessert, which came sprinkled with a pistachio crumb. This was a perfect finish for the meal as it was light, smooth and velvety with the pistachio crumb adding a second texture to mix things up.

It’s the little touches which elevate a place and the bill came in quite a stunning fashion: an ornate silver box laden with their signature chocolate truffle shaped like a Brazil nut, this went sharpish.

We all very much enjoyed our food and the quality of the ingredients came through in the flavours of the dishes.  We shall certainly be making a repeat visit soon.  This could be the perfect place for a pre-visit or post-visit meal, if you are heading to the NIA for a show.

When: 24/01/2017

Where: Canal Square, Canal Square, 100 Browning Street, Birmingham, B16 8EH

Who:  Canal Square

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