Brum Bloggers have the best meet ups, it’s official. A few weeks ago, we set off on an epic trek across Birmingham (or an epic trek for those like me who pretty much never leave the city centre…) to check out 1580 Restaurant. 1580 is a contemporary indian dining experience in Erdington, named for the year Sir Francis Drake returned to Britain with sacks of exotic spices from the East.
The whole restuarant is themed around the British links to India, and the impact on our cuisine that Drake and his spices had. Without being too obviously nautical, the decor has little touches that remind you of ships. With the beautiful ship mural, heavy dark wood and jars of spices, the interior is calm and cosy, while hinting at the mixed heritage this food now has.
We started with a selection of dips and masala cone popadums. I’ve never seen popadums served in a cone like this, and it made a simple appetiser look interesting. We all dived in and were very pleased with fresh, spicy flavours of the dips. The green chutney was a real favourite, and according to our table mates who actually lived in India, was incredibly authentic.
Standard apologies for crap photography…this are the last event photos taken with my old camera and from here I should have better luck with ‘mood lighting’. Why is everywhere orange now? Anyway, less orange than it appears, we moved on to trying some of the starters. This is a doubled up version of the Drake’s Royal Meat Feast Platter for 2. The platter consists consisted of Murgh Tikka – Sizzling Chiken Tikka, Kochi Kekraa – Tender strips of Crab, tender Lamb Chops and Zaffrani Bada Jingha Tikka – Tiger Prawns. The prawns were so enormous that we ended up spending a good chunk of the evening what on earth prawns ate that would make them so huge. As well as enormous, they were juicy and delicious. In fact, the whole platter was perfectly spiced, with that right balance of heat and flavour. The portion size is perfect to share between two of you if you can’t decide on one thing on the starters list you want to try.
Next, we tried a selection of curries from the main menu. We tried Bater Curry on the bone, Murgh Tikka Chicken Masala, Pot Pepper Lamb Curry and a vegetarian curry that I cannot remember the name of for the life of me. The veggie curry seemed to be entirely sauce, which was very tasty, but I was surprised there seemed to be no vegetables or anything in there. All the curries were delicately spiced and packed with flavour. The lamb in particular was gorgeous. Big chunks of tender lamb swam in thick, rich sauce of tomato, onion and peppers.
Last up, we had a dessert of Gulab Jamun. This are dumplings made of milk reduction and cottage cheese, served hot in a sugar syrup and with a scoop of coconut ice cream. I’m not usually a big fan of sweet dumplings, and while the flavour of these was very tasty, the texture didn’t do it for me. I also don’t like coconut, so the ice cream wasn’t for me, but the syrup was good. Others around me devoured these in no time flat though, so if you are a fan of either coconut or sweet dumplings, definitely give this a try.
1580 is a fantastic neighbourhood restaurant, clearly being run with love and passion for Indian food. The owners and staff were incredibly friendly and we had an excellent evening of super delicious food. Go and pay them a visit for sure.
Brum Bloggers were guests of 1580 for a taster menu. All opinions are honest and entirely my own.