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BALTI BALONEY

06-08-2009

Grameen Khana is officially home of Birmingham’s best balti following a City Council sponsored “cook off “ – but our own balti blogger Andy Munro finds the verdict hard to swallow.

According to the Post and Mail, the ‘City Fathers’ organised a ‘Best Balti’ Competition but the organisers obviously wouldn’t know a Birmingham Balti if they tripped over and fell into one!

The three restaurants named in the article from the Balti Triangle area may all, arguably, cook a decent curry but if you walked into any of those restaurants, only one of them could make a decent case for making the real thing.

I actually asked the half a dozen or so restaurants in the area who can still lay claim to serving up an authentic balti, and none of them had been approached. It’s either arrogance or ignorance and I’ll give the organisers the benefit of the doubt and call it the latter.

If this rather spurious competition is used to showcase the Birmingham balti then they are doing a great disservice to one of Birmingham’s few(and possibly only) culinary USP .

A visitor from London or Manchester (even worse) will visit one of those competing restaurants and find that they are presented with something that they could have eaten just as well in Brick Lane or on the Wilmslow Road.

Perhaps it would be better if the city (or their highly paid marketing consultants) left both the Balti (allegedly) Guide and Balti (allegedly) Competition to those that know about the subject.

Amdy Munro is unpaid Advisor to the Asian Balti Restaurant Association and author of the original Essential Street Baltiguide.

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Andy Munro would like to point out that 'my views are personal and not those of the City Council'

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