A couple of weeks back, the Birmingham (our home city in the UK) blogger community was invited to the launch event of a new Indian restaurant called 1580. Birmingham has a thriving blogger community (Facebook, Twitter) and they organize meetups once in a while to come together and have a friendly chat. It was our first ever blogger meetup so we were quite excited to put faces to blog names!
The event was held in a new Indian Restaurant called 1580 in north Birmingham near Chester Road station. The first impressions were really nice as the ambience is quite impressive. The seating is comfortable, the decor was a little ship-themed (as 1580 was the year the British first landed on Indian shores in search of spices, we know how that went) and the menus were designed like crates which was innovative.
We seemed a little underdressed for the event especially in front of the fashion bloggers 😛 We had a friendly chat with the owners of the restaurant before getting some wine and chatting up with some bloggers whom we’d seen only on Facebook before. We ended up sitting across the author of one of our favourite blogs – A Brummie Home & Abroad. It was fun chatting about how we went about making travel plans (she loves to make elaborate plans where we procrastinate a lot & just turn up somewhere). We also swapped notes on upcoming travel plans which was exciting.
As a preface to this review, we’d like to mention that we both grew up in different parts of India as foodies from a young age and hence can vouch for the authenticity of Indian food. Overall, our food experience was fairly positive with a couple of areas for improvement.
We were first presented with Cornetto cone shaped papad (or poppadum as it is called in the UK) served with 2 chutneys and an Indian salsa so to speak (we call it Kachumber back home) as accompaniments. The mint chutney was legit good, sweet from the mint but properly spicy from the green chili as it should be. We gobbled up a lot of that chutney with our papad 🙂 The other 2 accompaniments are commonly served with papad in Western India and were good too. It set us in the right mood for the meal ahead.
The appetizers were the highlight of the meal for us (which is generally true for us having Indian restaurant meals). The Prawn Tikka was the highlight of the apps, perfectly cooked and full of flavour. The lamb chops & chicken tikka were quite well made too. The soft-shell crab was slightly under-seasoned, would have loved to see some more Indian influence in something that we associate more with Japanese food.
Our pick of the mains were the Tikka Masala (both Chicken & Paneer), they tasted exactly how they should. Very delicious with the rice. Both the other curries (lamb & quail) were quite meh, no flavours to differentiate them from any base curry and the meat was not as tender as it could be.
For dessert, we were served one of India’s favourite sweets – Gulab Jamun. Anyone who eats Indian sweets knows how sweet (and delicious) they are. The problem was that they were served with sugar syrup AND topped with icecream and to us, that combination does not work due to the sheer amount of sugar. We would have preferred being served the Gulab Jamun just by itself (with a small amount of syrup).
The restaurant has a promising menu and the hits were big hits (the starters, Tikka Masala mains & the accompaniments stand up to the best Indian food in Birmingham). The ambience is perfect for a date night. We recommend trying it out if you’re in the North Birmingham area, focus your meal more on the starters than the mains and you’ll be in for a good food experience.
Note: The event was kindly organised by Delicious PR deliciouspr.co.uk who invited Brum Bloggers on behalf of the team at 1580. The views expressed on the food are our own 🙂
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