Friday 13 October 2017

Event: Gateway to India, Birmingham

Birmingham is famed for it's curry, and never one to disappoint, we Brummies have another option for dining Indian style.

Located just behind Broad Street on Regency Wharf, Gateway to India is named after a monument built in the 20th Century, known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai.

Serving traditional Indian street food, tandoori and mixed grills, the decor is very traditional, with plenty of artwork, dark wood and pictures of ancient Maharajas.

The space itself is quite small, with around 80 covers, with a bar to the left and a view of the kitchen at the back of the restaurant.

For the launch, the restaurant was packed with guests enjoying prosecco and beers before we took a seat at our tables for an Indian feast.

To start, we sampled Malai Papri Chaat (Crunchy mini wheat crisps, spiced potato, onion, chickpeas, dash of malai yoghurt drizzled with hot sweet chutney), Vada Pav (Popular Maharashtra street food - deep fried seasoned potato patty served in a roll. Indian version of a chip butty), Pani Puri Gol Gappa (Crispy thin hollow pastry balls filled with chaat masala, chilled mint flavoured water and seasoned potatoes) and Daal Kachori (A delicacy from north India. Spicy puffed pastry filled with urid lentil, coriander, chilli flakes, fennel seeds and mango powder. Served with chefs special chutney).

Served canteen style in a metal tray, the presentation was in keeping with the street food theme. The Vada Pav had quite a few guests stumped as it's quite unusual to find on a menu, but these dishes were all well received.

Sadly, none of these were gluten free which meant more for my gluten eating dining companions! However, the mixed grill that came next was much more up my street.

What came next was a huge portion of mixed grill meats including chicken wings, lamb seekh kebab, chicken tikka and fish pakora. The flavours in this dish were full and rich, with the chicken tikka in particular deserving a mention for delivering unexpectedly big flavours alongside a tasty, juicy texture.  Not even the onions underneath were left untouched and we managed to devour this platter between four. This was served with a variety of chutneys for added flavour and texture.

For our mains, these were served again in metal bowls, alongside rice and yoghurt. These included Saag Paneer (a Punjabi dish of chunked Indian cottage cheese, simmered in a creamed spinach purée with, green chilli, ginger and finally garnished with a small dash of makhan or butter),  Tarka Daal (lentils with garlic, onions, tomato and exotic spices finishing with a sizzling tarka), Tari Wala Murgh (chicken breast slowly simmered in a refreshing and enticing soup of onions, tomatoes and spices) and Mughlai Kadhai Gosht (lamb delicately cooked in a rich curry, infused with whole spices, chilli, peppers, ginger, kala jeera, tomato and onions).

Of these, my favourites were the chicken and tarka daal. The Tarka Daal was creamy and again, flavoursome without being too heavy. The chicken was served in a much lighter sauce, unusually for a chicken curry, but the chicken pieces were a good size.

Luckily for me, all of the curry dishes on offer were gluten free, so I was able to enjoy all of these dishes.

Finally, there was Gulab Jamun on offer but unfortunately I couldn't eat this as it isn't gluten free. Fear not, there were plenty of takers who were more than happy to devour my share.

Thanks for the great night Gateway to India!

*My meal at Gateway to India was complimentary.

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