I kinda think the whole Balti Triangle thing in Birmingham is a bit of a marketing gimmick. It’s one I’m totally fine with, because Birmingham on the whole never seems to do very well at claiming its rich heritage, but we totally claim the balti, check wikipedia. Because if there’s one thing Brummie love, it’s a good curry. And the reason i think the Balti Triangle is a gimmick is because whilst there might be a whole pile a cracking curry houses around the Ladypool Rd, Sparkhill, Balsall Heath area, I kinda think it’s pretty hard to find bad curry in Birmingham.
You see, Travelodge wanted me to talk about the Birmingham Balti and whilst it would’ve been easy to bang on about the Balti Triangle, I’m gonna be lazy and tell you about a balti house down the road from me. To me, this is one of the great things about Birmingham…you never have to go far for a good curry. And, my friends, the balti at Akram’s in Stirchley is properly good.
Akram’s pride itself on Kashmiri cuisine, which means lots of meat and rice and I can tell you they do both well. Rogan Josh is probably the most well known of the Kashmiri curries, especially round these parts, and the traditional lamb version at Akram’s is delightful – and if you ask nicely they’ll add a whole pile of vegetables to it, because a girl’s gotta get her greens. I’ve been to Akram’s few times now, owing to it being one of my nearest curry houses, but on my last but one visit I discovered their spinach and chicken balti. And whilst my food photography skills are passable at best, I cannot get a good photo of this, but trust me it’s good. Popeye would be happy with it because there’s a load of spinach, rightly so, and lovely tender chicken. In fact, there’s so much spinach that it’s not so much a wet sauce as wilted spinach carrying some extra liquids. It also means you rarely leave any behind, which is totally worth it.
I like to do the duo of rice and naan, because carbs give me life. They do those giant table naan at Akram’s and one day I will order it, but my love of bread is so strong that I will probably try and eat the whole thing myself. So for now I stick with the standard naan which is lovely and fresh, but still nicely doughy round the edges. They do all the fancy types of naan you’d expect, and some you wouldn’t, but the quality of the simplistic plain naan is so good I’m yet to move on.A special mention has to go to the music, which I’d totally not noticed on previous visit but I got to fully absorb the soundtrack this time round. And the cover version of such classics like Careless Whisper and I Believe I Can Fly were so notable that I Whatsapped my friend to arrange a visit next time she’s in town. If the good curry doesn’t convince you to make a trip, then the music choices should.
Birmingham is the best place for Balti and whilst I’d recommend any visitors to the city to visit the Balti Triangle, but south Birmingham locals or those sticking around a bit, Akram’s is totally worth a visit. And if you’re staying at the Maypole Travelodge, the food offerings for dinner nearby are fast food so come to Akram’s instead – it’s less than a 10 minutes taxi ride away.
Akram’s, 1526 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2NW.
Disclaimer: Travelodge paid for my meal but all views remain my own, as ever. The restaurant didn’t know why I was taking photos of my dinner and giggling at the music, until they asked me if I used TripAdvisor and I thought I better own up.