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618-620 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, South Birmingham B29 6BQ
+44 (0)121 472 5016
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Fancy a Tropical Balti?
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
February 3, 2012
Best of IgoUgo
I've just had the best balti I've had in a long time in Dilshad, a well known Indian restaurant in South Birmingham. We were simply passing through and I remembered a few nice meals we'd eaten there when we lived locally, so decided to pop in for ...
I've just had the best balti I've had in a long time in Dilshad, a well known Indian restaurant in South Birmingham. We were simply passing through and I remembered a few nice meals we'd eaten there when we lived locally, so decided to pop in for old time's sake.
Dilshad is a sit down restaurant which offers a take away service; although to really appreciate the Dilshad hospitality you've got to eat your meal inside instead of taking it home to eat off chipped plates while watching a re-run of Eastenders.
As soon as we set foot in the restaurant we were greeted by a member of staff who showed us to a table suitable for our two adults and two children party, we were seated in a small alcove which allowed the kids' a bit of room to mess around in. It was around 7.30pm when we arrived and we were politely advised that they like children off the premises by 9pm as it can get a little rowdy later on. I was grateful of the advice as I'd forgotten what student chucking out time is like in Selly Oak and I think my shy seven year old may have been too impressed – there was no offence meant, or taken, by the request to leave early with the children, just be aware that (for reasons beyond it's control) Dilshad may not be suitable for a late night meal with the family.
We ordered a round of drinks and set about deciding what to eat from the huge menu. When our drinks were brought to the table they were accompanied by poppadoms and salsa to tuck into while we were waiting for our 'proper' food to arrive. This was a nice touch as none of our local Indian restaurants offer anything without you having to ask for it, as a customer it made me feel really appreciated.
The kids' shared a selection of starters, while me and Mark chose a balti each along with chips, naan bread and extra poppadoms for us all to share. I asked for all the food to be served together and they were happy to do this, everything arrived within minutes and we were ready to tuck in.
The starters were reasonably priced and extremely tasty. They all had a wonderful fresh, homemade quality with just the right amount of spice. Birmingham's Indian restaurants seem to be constantly trying to outdo one another for who can create the hottest samosa or the onion bahjee which can take a layer of skin off your tongue; it was refreshing to eat a bahjee which actually tasted of onion rather than chilli powder! The Chicken Tikka pieces my daughter ordered were delicious. Bite sized chunks of chicken with an authentic tikka 'kick' and lots of mint yogurt to cool it down; this starter was so large it was practically a meal in itself, priced at just £2.79 it was possibly the best bargain on the menu.
Mark chose a lamb balti and specifically asked for it to be slightly hotter than the norm, but not so hot that he'd be sucking ice cubes for a week. When it arrived he commented on how perfect the curry strength was and also on the high quality of the meat. I tried a piece of lamb and it was beautifully cooked; the sauce was too hot for me, but the meat I tried was definitely excellent and superior to lamb I've tried in many curries.
But my balti was the best. If you ever find yourself in Dilshad, go for the Tropical Balti. This is a mixture of prawns, lamb and chicken in a delicate(ish) balti sauce – I usually ask in Indian restaurants that they tone down the strength of balti (I'm a wimp!) but forgot tonight. When the Tropical arrived it was definitely not as spicy as a standard chicken balti, I like mild curry and it was exactly to my taste but if you like your food with a bit more heat then you could always ask them to make it stronger when you order. The dish was cooked to perfection with loads of the meat and huge prawns, I ate every single mouthful and used a naan bread to wipe up the last of the sauce – and that's unheard of for me, who usually struggles to eat half a curry!
Aside from balti, Dilshad serve the usual array of fine Indian dishes. Jalfrezi, tikka, tandoori, madras, vindaloo – in fact everything you'd want for the perfect Indian meal is available on this menu, and at extremely good prices. The couple at the next table to us were eating a delicious looking tandoori (yes, I was earwigging as they ordered!) and while waiting for our food my mouth was literally watering as I watched them tuck in.
We all decided to have lychees and ice cream for dessert and it was every bit as good as the main meal. I always enjoy lychees more than I think I'm going to and this was no exception; they were succulent and moist, working their way down beautifully with the excellent quality vanilla ice cream.
Dilshad has a well stocked bar which serves a good selection of lagers and beer including Cobra, Carling and Stella Artois, plus all the top brand spirits and a small range of alcopops. Prices of drinks are on a par with the local pubs, which is unusual for a sit down restaurant in this area, and all drinks tasted fresh and crisp. I adore the cream coffee which is served here; this is basically a cup of strong sweet black coffee with rich cream floating on the top and is absolutely delicious. Another thing worth a try is a liqueur coffee – the Tia Maria one is truly wonderful and just the thing to warm you up on a cold February night.
Every member of staff I've ever encountered in Dilshad has been wonderful. They're without exception helpful, courteous and polite to the point of being irritating about it! They have an excellent knowledge of the menu and are always happy to make recommendations or suggestions if you're not sure what to order; their English is impeccable (not like my local Indian restaurant where I'm often given the wrong dish simply because the guy taking my order couldn't understand me properly, and vice versa) and staff are always dressed smartly in a black dinner suit with tie.
Wheelchair access is absolutely fine; the doorway to the restaurant is wide enough to cope with even the largest wheelchair and tables are laid out in such a way that the aisles between them are wide enough to give you room to manoeuvre. There is no separate disabled toilet, although facilities in the Ladies are more than suitable for anyone with mobility problems – I obviously can't speak for the Gents but I'd imagine it's pretty much the same set up.
Dilshad is open from 6pm – 2am, although their bar closes at midnight. This is perfect opening hours for the area as the pubs along the Bristol Road close quite late making Dilshad ideal for an after hours curry, and I've done this many times in the past! There's no parking at the restaurant as it stands on a busy main road, but opposite is a large Aldi supermarket and you're fine to park on their car park while you go and have your meal.
Tonight we ate three starters, two main meals, four desserts and a selection of accompaniments and drinks with this costing £36 plus a couple of quid for a tip. I think this is an absolute bargain considering this fed our family of four – just last week me and Mark visited an Indian restaurant on Broad Street in the City Centre and it cost nearly 50 quid just for the two of us! Take away prices are the same, although if you order a take away and collect it yourself you get a 10% discount.
To find Dilshad is simple. Get yourself into Birmingham City Centre and the locate the main A38 Bristol Road; a fifteen minute drive down here (signposted for Northfield) will lead you to an area of the city called Selly Oak. Carry on driving until you see the Aldi supermarket on your right and simply turn right into their car park, cross the road and you're at Dilshad! Easy. Buses which will drop you practically outside the restaurant are the 61 and 62 which can easily be caught in the City Centre, and also from other parts of the city.
Dilshad International Restaurant
618 – 620 Bristol Road