For anyone that regularly visits Solihull town centre, you’ll know that it’s pretty heavy on the chain restaurants, especially if you’re in Touchwood to go to the cinema. Since Giraffe moved out a while back, I’ve been wondering what would take its place and it seems that instead of just getting one new restaurant, two eateries are opening up. Although one is in the Mexican or burger place, I can’t remember which because I usually just go to Wagamama’s. But maybe that will change…
You might be familiar with Asha’s from its Birmingham location on Newhall St in the city centre. Named after the driving force behind the restaurant group, the world-renowned Indian singer and actor Asha Bhosle, they boast 17 restaurants in Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain and Manchester, to name a few.
Fusing together traditional Indian cooking with contemporary innovation, Asha’s have won a raft of awards from being listed in the Michelin Guide, winning English Curry Awards Best Midlands Restaurant and awarded several Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award. The dishes at Asha’s pay homage to India’s North-West culinary heritage, with regional specialities on the menu as well as more contemporary dishes.
And so now they’re expanding to Solihull, which is good news because there’s not a whole lot of places to get curry in Solihull town centre (although Jiyaan is nice) and frankly the town centre could do with some more spice.
Which brings me on to the other new opening in Touchwood…
The other restaurant coming to Touchwood’s dining area is a portmanteau of two of owner Byron’s great loves – Jamaica and his daughter Maya.
Taking over the old Giraffe location, Jamaya is a homage to Jamaica, the colours, music and carnival culture. Which might seem at odds in sedate Solihull, but they’ve got an Afro-Caribbean garden centre in Shirley, so why not a Jamaican restaurant?
Jamaya will be serving up proper jerk chicken (they’ve got a sign and everything) and Jamaican fried chicken, as well as burgers, jackfruit roti, cassava chips, and of course rice and peas. They’ve also got a vegan menu, which makes sense given the Rastafari movement’s ital food. And they serve a decent selection of drinks, including some local beers, but I was mainly excited to see Ting on the menu because it is joy in a can.
If all has gone to plan, Jamaya open today, Monday 18th March 2019.
Disclaimers: All photos either press photos or the top one is by Elliott Brown via Flickr.