Birmingham loves it’s street food, and lately, we’ve had a sudden explosion of Indian street food venues open around Birmingham. Myself and Dave joined two friends for dinner at one of the latest additions to Bennet’s Hill, the Indian Street Eatery.
The girls had an event to get to, so we chose the Street Eatery as they advertise themselves as informal, speedy dining option, with delicious Indian street food favourites. It was quiet when we arrived (and throughout our visit, actually), and we grabbed a table in the window.
I forgot to write down the names and contents of our cocktails, and there isn’t a menu online, but I remember mine was the Angry Indian which was gingery and pleasant, and Dave’s…something, with blackberry, was fruity and sharp. The cocktails are pretty decent, and we enjoyed them very much. Sadly, our food took so long to arrive, we had finished the drinks and sat at an empty table for a while before any food arrived.
Oddly, my friend’s Cumin Basmati Rice (£2.50) arrived first, and nothing else appeared for ages. I understand that this is meant to be tapas style eating and things will arrive as and when they are ready, but a dish of plain rice by itself is not really ideal. The food arrival was incredibly slow, and with huge gaps between dishes appearing. My friend’s Methi Chicken (£7.95) eventually arrived to accompany her rice, and was met with good reviews.
My Chicken Chaat (£6.25) is marinated chickpeas, grilled tandoori chicken, beetroot slaw and pomegranate. It is very tasty, pleasantly spicy and full of flavour.
The Masala Fries (£3.95) are not at all as described. The menu promises fries smothered in fenugreek chaat masala and tamarind and mint yoghurt chutneys. Instead, I am served soggy fries in sticky sauce, with no sign of mint flavours, or of any chutney. Dave fared better with the Meaty Masala Fries (£6) which come with minced lamb, red onions and minty sauce. These were tasty, but a rip-off at £6 for chips.
Worst of all was the slider. Now, the Street Eatery encourages you to order dishes to share, and from a section called Sliders (note the plural), Dave chose the Minted Lamb Sliders (£6.50). What arrived was one, minuscule slider, which was approximately two mouthfuls. How on earth Indian Street Eatery justify the price and including this pathetic specimen on a menu of sharers, I cannot imagine.
Now, if I have a bad experience out somewhere, I would always rather solve the problem then and there, rather than write a negative review. However, the staff were unhelpful to a degree I have never seen before. The slider arrived and I questioned the tiny size. Our waiter shrugged, muttered something and walked away. Later, another staff member asked how our meal was. I replied, “Tasty, but the portion sizes are terrible.” No reply, and another walk away. A third staff member appeared later, and my friend told him the service had been very slow. “It’s cooked fresh,” he snapped, and stalked away. I’m sure it is, but for street food dishes, the eons between dishes was laughable. I also attempted to contact them after the meal, and am yet to get a response.
Frankly, the whole thing was a disappointment. The food was tasty, but that slider was a joke, and the service was glacially slow, and rude. It is also very expensive. They suggest you order 3 to 4 dishes each, but as we were a in a hurry, we ordered 2 each and still paid nearly £70 for the four of us. To put this into perspective, a week later at Mowgli (review to come!) four of us paid about the same for double the amount of better food, with excellent service.
We paid in full (unfortunately) ourselves. All opinions, words and images are my own. They didn’t know I was a blogger.