Experience: Adil’s – Balti Triangle with Travelodge

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!

When: 10/09/2017

Where:  Adil’s148-150 Stoney Lane, Birmingham B12 8AJ

Who:  Adil’s, Travelodge

Disclaimer: For this visit, Travelodge paid for my meal but all views remain my own or Wifey’s. The restaurant manager didn’t know why Wifey and I had cameras in hand and asked us on the way out if we were there for a certain review website.

This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

Wifey Writes – Sakerol Spritz at Rofuto with #BrumHour

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to accompany Dave Massey aka #Brumhour to try a new summer cocktail at Rofuto in the Park Regis.


If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already be aware Ryan has visited a few times to sample food and whisky. As I’m not a big fan of whisky so it was interesting to see how I would fare with this sake based cocktail.

Rofuto is based on the 16th floor of the Park Regis Hotel, at the Five Ways end of Broad Street.  It offers lovely views of the Birmingham’s skyline, which is best seen at glittering night rather than the many cranes and scaffolding during the day.

They have created a Japanese inspired twist on the classic summer drink Aperol Spritz with Sake, peach liqueur and yuzu juice.


Whilst catching up with Dave, our mixologist got to work on the cocktail.  Sadly no pictures of the creative process but you can happily enjoy the video shot by Rofuto:


For someone who doesn’t like Sake, this was actually perfect for me because the peach liqueur and yuzu juice added a lovely sweetness.  I also liked the Vog prosecco that was used to make our drink.

The drink is on their current cocktail menu and available now.


Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of BrumHour and Rofuto who provided the drink; this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

When: 05/08/2017

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel

Brunching out at Chez Mal Brasserie, Malmaison Birmingham

Chez Mal is no stranger to Wifey and I, we’ve enjoyed a few brunches with family in the past. When we were invited to go and try it out, how could we say no.

Their brunch is billed as “The Biggest Sunday Lunch in Town”, a substantial selection of three courses including an unlimited chef’s table of hors d’oeuvres, a choice of either a main plate or a brunch option and dessert – for £19.95 per person (£9.95 for little ones)!

Prior to sitting down, we had a quick drink in the relaxed bar area before going into the Brasserie, which has been recently updated with cosy booths and more relaxed lighting.

After Wifey and I took our seats (we were dining with the lovely Ting and Mr Ting), we wandered over to the Chef’s table.


The table had a cornucopia of canapes (including the soup of the day – Cream of Cauliflower), Caesar, Caprese, Greek and bespoke fresh salads, shellfish and seafood cocktails, hand carved serrano ham, ibérico, chorizo, salchichon, terrines, Artisan breads, dressings, cheeses and chutneys.



The trick is to not eat too much before the main course!

Talking of main courses, Wifey and I went split choice, with me picking from the brunch menu and Wifey went for the main plates.

My selection was California Eggs; two poached eggs, crushed avocado and chilli on char-grilled Altamura (Italian) bread.


The eggs were perfectly poached and the yolk was deliciously runny. The bread was nice and crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I found myself wanting an extra slice to help with the runny yolks. The crushed avocado was rich and buttery with flecks of chilli, though I would have preferred a touch more heat.

Wifey on the other hand chose USDA Black Angus; Picanha (rump cap) cut, thyme & rosemary Yorkshire pudding, served with gravy, buttered greens, maple glazed root vegetables and dripping roast potatoes.


The beef was well done (Wifey’s personal preference, against my protestations!).  The gravy sauce was rich in flavour and the vegetables were nicely glazed, and to share with the other roast dinner care of Mr Ting.

From the dessert menu, Wifey chose the blackberry and pistachio trifle.


The trifle was beautifully presented with the lady fingers, blackberry jelly squares and pistachio crumb on top instead of the bottom. The custard & cream were not overly sweet and was balanced well with the textures of the jelly and lady fingers.

My dessert was a sticky toffee pudding with pecan caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.


The pudding was rich, comforting and topped with crunchy walnuts, and glazed in a glossy, sweet and gloriously sticky sauce. The ice cream was rich and flecked with vanilla; it paired well with the hot dessert.

Fully stuffed, Wifey and I went for a stroll down the canal to burn off some of the calories we’d built up on the Sunday feast. For just under £20 a head, it’s absurdly good value and a great way to catch up with friends. No doubt we will be visiting again soon.


Disclaimer: For this brunch, I was a guest of Malmaison & East Village PR, this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

When: 13/11/2016

Where: Chez Mal, Malmaison,  1 Wharfside St, Birmingham B1 2JR

Who: Chez Mal


Return to Rofuto – Utsukushī menyū to byū

You may have seen previously on the blog Wifey and I went to the Rofuto opening a few weeks back.


I mentioned then I would be returning for a more generous sample of the menu, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! My guest and I arrived at 7.30pm so we also got to enjoy watching the sunset as we worked our way through the Izakaya style menu, divided into sushi, starters, tempura, robata grill, mains and sides.

We had the opportunity to try a good selection of what was on offer; we tried to sample a dish from each section, first up was the sushi, probably the jewel in Rofuto’s crown.


Our two choices were the Seared Black Cod, Lime Dengaku Nigiri and the Sea Bream Nigiri, served with kimchi, fresh wasabi and soy.

Rofuto source their fish daily and fresh as much as possible. This is demonstrated in the quality  of what was on offer. The fish was beautiful: the sea bream was delicate in flavour and there was no ‘oily’ fishy taste, which gave the meat a chance to shine. The cod had more of a velvety texture as it had been lightly blowtorched to add firmness to the fish. My only slight quibble was that the black sesame seeds, though nice, did overpower some of the fish flavour.

Special mentions must be made for the sides. The kimchi was a perfect balance of sweet and sour on the tongue. The wasabi was a revelation in comparison to the overpowering shop bought stuff; this had a gentle low heat but punchy enough to fizzle on the tongue.

Their soy also is wonderous, no wonder they’re going through a couple of gallons a week! It’s made on-site and sweetened with mirin and a touch of water. I’m sure there’s an added ingredient too, possibly some Dashi? My fellow diner wanted to get a bottle for home, he loved it that much!

Next up was something from the Tempura and Robata selections.


The Beef Kushiyaki smelt amazing and was still bubbling away when it reached the table. I expected it to be sweet, due to the caramel soy, but instead the main taste was umami. They were delicious but a touch too well done for me, probably because I left them resting too long to enjoy the smell more!

The Tiger Prawn tempura were HUGE! The photo above doesn’t really do them justice, they were light, crunchy and had retained their internal heat well. The prawns were meaty and well flavoured. On the side, there was moolie which was stirred into the sauce, giving a nice clean and fresh kick.

To accompany the tempura, I also had a touch of Sake.


This was a Hakurakusesi Junmai Ginjo, served chilled between 6 & 8 degrees to enhance its flavour . It was beautiful with plummy notes and was very clean on the palate with no harshness. The most apt comparison is probably an exceedingly good vodka.

Next it was onto the mains and sides.

The Katsu curry is a difficult beast to get right. When it’s great, it’s one of the most comforting dishes known to mankind. The chicken was firm and crispy yet melted on the palate. The rice was nice and sticky and went well with the chicken, but perhaps the black sesame seeds were a little too liberally scattered as they overpowered the rice in flavour. The Katsu curry sauce was nice and gently spiced, though all I could taste was star anise which masked most of the other flavours. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again, though I was slightly disappointed by the sauce as I expected more from it to live up to the chicken. Hopefully, it’s something that may taste different the next time around.

To accompany the Katsu, we chose the Asian Slaw which was made of tomato, red onion, carrot and garnished with mango. The mango countered the sharpness of the onion and it was very refreshing, actually working well as a palate cleanser. The onion content, though, could be reduced slightly.


The other main we had was a Chicken and Prawn Yakisoba. The chicken yet again melted away on the tongue (how do they do it‽). The prawns again were fleshy and huge. The noodles we perfectly cooked and had an earthy quality to them.


The side to go with the Yakisoba was the Duck Egg Rice. It was well seasoned with the nice umami egg flavour coming through. The carrot added a touch of sweetness but felt slightly out of place.

And, of course, we couldn’t leave without a quick visit through their excellent dessert menu.


The trio of sorbets above (apologies for the meltiness in the picture, that’s down to me not Rofuto!). The flavours, from left to right, are Raspberry, Sweet Potato (yes, really sweet potato) and Coconut & Cardamom.

  • Raspberry: this had a really nice tang to it which really cut through any lingering flavours from the main.
  • Sweet Potato: this was simply wondrous, a rich earthy taste to start with a nice rich sweetness. I’d recommend trying it if they ever have it in stock as they run out quickly!
  • Coconut & Cardamom: this started off with a BIG hit of coconut flavour to start, which dissolved into a cardamom after kick on the end, very pleasant!


The final thing we had to  try was the Matcha Green Tiramisu, which I’d previously had in shot glass form. It was almost a savoury dish with a generous dusting of green tea and a nice crunchy topping. The dessert itself was a soft, light, airy creamy delight and the perfect ending for any meal.

The meal overall was a great demonstration of their expertise and the menu is flexible enough to cater from a light lunch to a sushi platter, all the way through to a six course extravaganza. I’d be happy to take business colleagues, family and friends alike there and the menu certainly matched that stunning decor and view!

Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of Rofuto and Neil Reading PR, who provided all food and drinks; this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

When: 28/04/2016

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel

Domo Arigato Park Regis Rofuto – A First Look


You may have seen previously on the blog I’ve mentioned about Rofuto opening on Tuesday 26th April (which you can read here). Before the doors open, Wifey and I got chance to pop up to the 16th floor and have a look around…

Parked at the end of Broad Street and overlooking Five Ways Island, Park Regis is a sight to behold replacing the drab featureless Auchinleck House with a fantastic looking building. Crowning the top of this achievement is the Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, Rofuto.

After a very swift lift ride to the top of the hotel, we arrived and headed in:

It’s beautifully designed with the contemporary decor having touches to the Japanese  heritage. It certainly has the wow factor and I can’t see it getting old soon.

Scattered around the restaurant area are purple highlighted cabinets, showing off some of the fine vintage wines and champagnes in stock.

The main selling point, of course, is the view. It’s stunning  with panoramic views across Birmingham. I can imagine it being even more stunning at night!

We also got chance to pop next door to Kurabu Cocktail Lounge offering alternative views over Hagley Road and Edgbaston.

A few treats we got to try from the cocktail menu included

  • Melon Fizz with Midori, Russian Standard Vodka Lemon and Lemonade
  • Lychee Martini with Russian Standard Vodka, Lychee, Fraise Des Bois and Lemon (Wifey’s Fave)

& my personal favorite

  • Ronin out of Time with Nikka Whisky straight from the barrel, Plum Sake and Bitters

All from the comprehensive menu, which includes a great selection of new and old world Red, White wines, Riesling wines, Champagne and an excellent selection of Saké:

There was a wide selection of savoury and sweet canapes also making the rounds and showing the quality of the food. Over the evening, Wifey and I tried canapes such as sushi, chicken skewers and treats from the dessert menu, a passionfruit shot, matcha tea compote and a melon and wasabi shot.



I also couldn’t leave without seeing what has been described as the most scenic loo in Birmingham, giving gents a view across the city.

I’ll be returning very soon to give the menu a work over so keep an eye out for that one!

Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of Rofuto and Neil Reading PR who provided all food and drinks; this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

When: 18/04/2016

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel