Birmingham food scene
It seems England's second city is undergoing some kind of restaurant renaissance. It now has three established Michelin-star restaurants (Purnells, Turners, Simpsons) - which is more than any other city outside London - an award-winning Indian phenomenon (Lasan - named best regional restaurant by Gordon Ramsay's F-Word), and hundreds of restaurants offering the traditional balti curry, invented in Birmingham.
Does anybody have any suggestions, recommendations about restaurants, balti houses, gourmet food shops, farmers markets in Brum? Would be glad to hear your thoughts...
The Dubai Guzzler - www.duguzzle.blogspot.com
My main recommendation would be for Matthew's in the Custard Factory - http://www.matthewsofbirmingham.com/. Been twice now since it opened (December) and have another booking for Thursday. It's lovely food, nice atmosphere and wonderful staff. Also, two tapas bars in the Moseley area that are worth going to - La Plancha in Moseley and Byzantium in Kings Heath.
Had a great trip back to Birmingham. Dined at Simpson's, which was excellent, and Purnell's, which is inventive, full of personality, wit and artistry - up there with the world's very best. Also had a couple of great baltis at Shahi Nan Kebab on Stratford Road and Al Frash on Ladypool Road. I even bought myself a genuine pressed steel balti bowl. Will blog details.
Sorry, tejsmith, I wasn't able to catch your suggestions before my trip, but I'll definitely look into them next time.
Here are a couple of Balti web sites that maybe useful, I went to "Al Faisal" last time I was in Brum and it was pretty good although it may not be strictly Balti:
One other fine diner I have read about is "Loves" but I have not been: http://www.loves-restaurant.co.uk/