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Andy’s Balti Blog



There was a time when Birmingham’s Stratford Road rivalled Ladypool for balti activity, but now only a few remnants remain. Luckily for him, Andy Munro found a good one.

Driving down the once vibrant Stratford Road can be a bit depressing for the balti aficionado –the Sher Khan (once a winner of a giant balti eating contest), Jyoti(now with a more salubrious Hall Green address), and the Royal Naim (one of the Kings of the Balti Dynasty) now a textile outlet called Shades.

Luckily the Shahi Nan Kebab House remains as an outpost of the old order with its legendary grilled offer as popular as ever. A small restaurant, with a traditional cold display cabinet by the door, its décor is enhanced by the addition of some original scenic paintings, with my bet on ‘Girl on a Swing’, a likely masterpiece in 100 years time billed as, from the ‘Balti Period’.

Anyway the poppadoms were free although the dips weren’t…the red one was red hot and the minty one was mild enough to put any fire out.

Starters had to come from the grill and the Tandoori Lamb Chops didn’t disappoint – beautifully spiced and tender without being searingly hot. My sheekh kebab was misshaped rather than missile shaped but was none the worse for its quirkiness with a superb charcoal flavour.

Main course baltis brought tears to my eyes, not because I burnt my hand on the red hot handles of the balti but the colour of the bowl was as black as charcoal and sizzled in a way that is one of the signs of a true balti experience.

My Balti Chicken Jalfrizies was quite magnificent – tender chunks of chicken nestling in a superbly savoury sauce. My wife’s Balti Chicken Korma was described as very tasty and toffeeish but with the health warning that it would have kicked the proverbial sand in the face of many a Madras.

The accompanying Garlic Naan was crazy paved with garlic cloves..’a Real Naan’ as opposed to those wimpy offerings that can be encountered where the garlic powder is briefly waved from a great height over the dough mixture.

Overall the Shahi Naan is one House that I will be calling on more frequently in the future – a balti experience guaranteed to make even the most hardened baltigoer misty eyed.

(353, STRATFORD ROAD,SPARKHILL 0121-772-2787)


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


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