Birmingham is synonymous with curry, so opening an Indian restaurant in the heart of the city was always going to be a brave thing to do. But with successful restaurants in Manchester and Liverpool and plenty of awards under their belt, EastZEast opened on Broad St early last month.
With around 200 covers, it’s a large restaurant but the contemporary interior is nicely balanced so it feels welcoming yet still has a sense of occasion. The menu is also impressive; billed as ‘the home of punjabi cooking’ there are a lot of familiar dishes on the menu but there is also a section of traditional Punjabi Desi dishes which are perhaps less familiar.
We started with an array of appetisers. The EastzEast Mixed Starter for two includes lamb chops, fish tikka, seekh kebabs, chicken wings, and samosas. It’s a lot of food, but each item feels like it’s been carefully thought through and the spices and flavours for each item give it a lovely, individual taste. The fish, cod, was light and still retained moisture, but the spices gave it a lovely taste and whilst lamb chops might seem like an strange addition, it oddly worked. I also tried the Vegetable Mixed Starter with aloo tikka, mushroom pakora, paneer pakora, mixed vegetable pakora and aloo pakora. It sounds like a lot of pakora (aka fried food), but again it felt like each was give careful attention to detail. I had a lovely slice of aubergine, which had been fried but retained its flavour without being greasy. The paneer was chunky, yet utterly delicious.
I love bread, so the arrival of a table/family naan was welcomed. As table naan should be it was an impressive sight and though they can sometimes be a bit disappointingly dry, this wasn’t. We also tried some of the smaller flavoured naan, which are well worth getting if you don’t want to share your bread.
As I mentioned before, there are a number of main courses, some familiar and some not. We tried a lovely Biryani, which had a lovely lightness to it, rather than a heavy stodgy which some can befall. A particular favourite dish was the Keema Aloo Mutter, a minced rice, potato and peas; medium spiced which gave it a good flavour without overpowering the individual ingredients, this was one I’d be happy to eat again. Our table was too full so I didn’t write down the names but we also tried some seafood dishes that usually I’d steer clear of in curry-houses, but these were delightful.
Sadly I had to leave at this point so I didn’t get to try and of the desserts, but if the starters and mains were anything to go by they’d be well worth trying. EastzEast has an impressive menu, which offers a great variety that is all well executed. It also caters well for vegetarians and points out the dishes that contain cream as well as more healthy options. Whilst the Balti Belt might be the go-to for a casual curry in Brum, EastZEast is well worth checking out in you’re in the city centre and looking for something authentic, that suits a variety of tastes.
Disclosure: I was invited down by Delicious PR to help eat the props after a promotional photo-shoot. I wasn’t obliged to write a positive review, all views are my own. Photos by Jas Sansi – https://www.facebook.com/jassansi.