With Indian street food exploding all over the city, it’s nice to remember sometimes that Birmingham also has some excellent classic Indian restaurants, delivering high quality food and fine dining service. Itihaas knows a thing or two about a top-notch experience, and invited a gang of Birmingham bloggers along for a night of serious indulgence.
Itihaas is very glamorous, I always think, all dark wood and incense, and full of beautiful Indian artefacts with everything from stone elephants to 300 year old doors. Rumour has it, the restaurant cost £2million to get looking this good. Worth every penny if you ask me. We were downstairs in the Maharaja Suite , which has huge plate glass windows over looking the canal, which was gorgeous for the bright summer evening.
As well as lashings of excellent house wine, our drinks for the evening were rum based, and matched to our courses.
We started with Rum and Grapes, which used Rum & Grape Bonpland Rum, Ferdinand’s Peach Bitters and a pile of red and white grapes. It looked pretty in the glass, but wasn’t the one for me. It was strong, but didn’t have huge amounts of flavour.
Our starters were joined by Bonpland Rouge VSOP Rum over ice. I don’t normally drink rum neat, but this was pleasant and a nice accompaniment to the rich starters. Next, we had a Old Fashioned JM style which is a classic Old Fashioned but made with rum instead of whisky. This was perfectly balanced and delicious. The best of the night, I think.
Finally, dessert was joined by a Chateau Labaude Armagnac XO with a side of chai tea. The chai was gently spiced and sat well with the Armagnac, which finished the evening off nicely.
After what seemed like an endless stream of delicious canapes, we settled down for dinner. The meal was kicked off with a gorgeous Soft Shell Crab. Salty, crispy and delicious. A selection platter of starters included Reshmi Lamb Tikka, Chargrilled Salmon Fillet and Salmon and Seabass Fish Cake Tikki. Again, all perfectly cooked and with bags of flavour, without tipping into too much spiciness. The fish and meat fall apart at the touch of a fork, and are well seasoned, juicy and tasty.
For mains, the table was soon groaning with dishes of different curries. We tried Jaipur Lamb Tikka, Methi Murgh Mirch, Goan Lobster Curry and Tandoori Soya Tikka Masala. Each curry has a gentle heat, which adds flavour without melting your sinuses. The highlight was the lobster, which was packed with soft, creamy chunks of lobster meat. The lamb could have done with more meat in it, as I found that it was challenging to share as there weren’t many pieces of meat in there. What there was, was gorgeous though.
Accompanying Truffle Oil & Poppy Seed and Chilli Olive Naans are fluffy and not at all oily. Perfect for mopping up any stray sauce.
It’s hard to review the service at a large-scale blogger dinner like this, but I can without doubt say that Itihaas take great pride in producing impeccable food, and offering high quality service to all their diners. It’s a great pick if you want authentic Indian food in classic surroundings, and to feel spoilt rotten.
I was a guest of Delicious PR and Itihaas. Food and drinks were complementary in exchange for honest review. All words, images and opinions are my own.