Monday 2 February 2015

Food Review: Raja Monkey

Whilst the humble curry is one of the nation's favourite foods, Indian street food has managed to remain under the radar.

Raja Monkey is described as an Authentic Indian Street Cafe, serving roadside cafe style dishes.

Just off the Stratford Road in Hall Green, the colourful exterior of the dinery is welcoming and fun. Walking into the galley style restaurant, the kitchen is visible to see behind a wall of glass and the seating is mainly offered up in cosy booths.

Raja Monkey image c/o Raja Monkey 

Dining with two companions for the evening, we took a table and faced with such a varied menu, decided to try out as much as possible!

With light bites, starters, mains, sides and desserts on offer, we managed to try something from every section of the menu. A unanimous decision was made on the papadoms and the presentation of crispy, light rounds with four silver lidded-jars filled with pickled lime, raita, onion and tomato relish and mango chutney was well received. The relish jars really were gorgeous and tied in with the metal water jugs and cups, all of which added to the authenticity of the experience and street side feeling.

Light Bites: Papadoms, raita, relish, mango chutney and pickled lime

Next up, the starters, mains and sides all arrived at once to create an absolute feast. The Chicken Mixed Starter was a main in itself, consisting Chicken Banjara, Thangri Tikka and Pakora on a silver dish. Served with creamy raita and a sweet tamarind sauce, the dish contained an assortment of chicken on the bone, grilled and fried chicken.

This companion then moved onto a rather traditional choice of Chicken Biryani and Garlic and Coriander Naan. As the safest eater in the group, she was happy with the spiciness of the dishes (flavoursome but not too overpowering) and the portions, all of which were generous. The biryani was filled with large hunks of chicken breast and was accompanied by raita.

Starter: Nawabi Kebab Thali

My other companion opted for the Nawabi Kebab Thali, a more adventurous choice but one I influenced as the thali is such an underrated choice. Salmon Mahi, Bhoti Kebab, Chicken Banjara and Thangri Tikka (chicken in a barbecue style of sauce) all made in into the thali, alongside the aubergine vegetable of the day in a tomato sauce, a creamy and mild lentil dish and a raita which we ate alongside the rice. The salmon was the spiciest part of the dish but again, the rest of the meal was flavoursome with some heat. As a gluten free diner, my guest also had the plain dosa with her dish in place of the naan bread.

Mains: An Indian feast!

Finally, I went for the Chicken Curry (imaginative I know but I couldn't resist ordering this to see what arrived) with steamed rice. I also shared the sag aloo and paneer aur matter makhani with my thali eating friend. The chicken curry was relatively mild and very juicy, in a wet sauce. Sag aloo is one of my favourites and tasted very fresh and mild. The spinach retained its shape and mingled with chunks of parboiled potato, all of which made me think that this was a relatively healthy dish that had been spared from liberal amounts of ghee - great for the waist! Paneer can be a tricky ingredient but here it was done well and cooked to soft perfection, seasoned very well and to a medium spice with whole peas.

Dessert: Pistachio Kulfi and Gajar Halwa

Normally, we wouldn't go for dessert but we couldn't resist and my companions shared the Pistachio Kulfi whilst I didn't share my Gajar Halwa. This was washed down with tea and mago lassi. The Pistachio Kulfi was smooth and subtly flavoured whilst my carrot dessert was again, very light.

If this sounds like a lot of food, you'd be absolutely right and this was a real treat meal. With such great prices (the most expensive dish was the thali at under £15), we couldn't help but make a night of it and eat our way around the menu. We left feeling very, very, full but happy to have tried so many wonderful dishes.

Have you ever eaten at Raja Monkey?

*We were invited to dine at Raja Monkey in exchange for an honest review. We were part compensated for the meal and paid the additional amount ourselves.


  1. Replies
    1. It was a ridiculously big spread! So greedy but so good. xxx

  2. Hi lovely lady, how are you? Thank you so much for sharing your review, the food looks absolutely delicious. I haven't heard of the place before but I think that's not really a surprise. I only know my way from the Bullring to Bodega and back so this is definitely a place to explore. The pistachio kulfi dessert sounds interesting. Hope to speak soon xxx

    Caz | Lunch Break Adventures

    1. Hello Carolin! So glad you enjoyed the review, it isn't in the city centre but definitely worth the drive. How are you? Your trip to Berlin looks fantastic, very jealous of your time at fashion week :) xx