Hailing from Birmingham, there’s a high chance that I’m going to be a big fan of Indian food (I am by the way!) However my experience with Indian Fine Dining is severely limited – actually I’ve never done it. I was recently invited to try Itihaas Indian Restaurant which is located on the outskirts of the famous Jewellery Quarter.
Located on Fleet Street, Itihaas‘ decor is award winning. On arrival I was ushered downstairs to the roomier (and lighter) dining room which is located next to their private dining room which comes with it’s very own butler. I’ll be honest it was probably the biggest food blogger event that I’ve ever been too and I did find it a little overwhelming at first. Then I spotted Sophie, my old uni friend who I haven’t seen since about 2013 and we had a great catch up as we helped ourselves to the canapés that were making the rounds. The standout canapé for me was the Tempura Cod – which I ate approximately 15 of (talk about almost ruining your appetite). They were cooked to perfection.
As we sat down (all 30 of us) across a number of tables, I found myself thrown together with a number of different bloggers – some I already knew and some I didn’t. After an introduction by Raj, the Executive Chef of Itihaas of the menu and the vodka partner, Torunska, it was onto the mains.
The dishes were bought out to share amongst a few bloggers. My favourite dish was the lobster simmered with five spices in a creamed mustard paste – although I do tend to be a bit biased when there is a good lobster dish on the menu. I found the lobster to be cooked well and the spices didn’t over power the meat. I also enjoyed the salmon wrapped in a banana leaf. The salmon was melt in the mouth perfect and was well seasoned. The Butter Chicken on the bone was nice but not mind-blowing which was a little disappointing. I did however, enjoy the garlic and coriander naan which are cooked in a clay oven and the Vegetable Pakistani Pulao (fragrant Basmati Rice cooked with spiced vegetables & saffron
After the mains came the dessert which included Apple and Cinnamon Samosas and Chai Masala Mousse – a delightfully airy mousse infused with chai spices including nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. There was also a dish I didn’t try – Sambuca Flame Gulab Jamun (dumplings doused in rose water sugar syrup, flambéed in Sambuca) which I couldn’t bare to go near as sambuca has made me feel ill since somewhere round the second year of uni.
Overall I enjoyed the food at Itihaas – it was something a little different to the usual Birmingham food scene I tend to end up frequenting. Mains are priced between £15 and £29 with sides coming in around the £3 mark. If you’re look for a good old fashioned curry then Itihaas won’t be for you but if you’re looking for a more upmarket take on Indian dining then Itihaas could be for you.