The Stirchley High Street is lined with a plethora of takeaways, restaurants, cafes and other hidden gems. The one thing that Stirchley can’t seem to get enough of is curry houses, so how does Koltata Lounge square up to the rest?
Earlier this year, Stirchley was named as one of the coolest places to live in the UK. While that may be true, the area is swarming in trendy eateries and we’re obviously not short of a Indian restaurant or two. I was recently contacted by award-winning Celebrity Indian Chef Sudha Saha – a brilliant chef and friend who consults and oversees various restaurant menus across the Midlands. I was invited down to try Kolkata Lounge in October to try out their new menu offerings and to see their new restaurant refurb.
Upon entering you’re greeted with a warm welcome. Decor is minimal, sleek and the open plan bar makes a bold statement. Tables have marble-effect and plates cleverly match the interior. You can tell they’ve really thought their new concept through and it’s gorgeous. Their new menu has had an overhaul and it’s impressive to say the least. Food on one side, drinks on the back – the option of serving a wide range of cocktails, spirits and beer alongside fantastic grub just works.
Their comprehensive menu consists of finely cooked dishes, combined with much loved curry favourites. Alongside this, customers can expect to see traditional curry options with a surprising Indian twist thrown in for good measure (Indian Shepherd’s pie, anyone?) Their interpretation of street food options is also set to have some firm favourites. From old classics to signature dishes, they have thought of everything. Their fresh new menu can be found via the website. Chef Sudha insisted I try some of their speciality dishes and needless to say we left empty plates at the end. We almost licked them.
Kolkata Lounge Starters
There’s a host of starters to choose from – including calamari, duck rolls, kebabs, fish dishes… this really isn’t your average Indian meal. There’s so much option but it strikes the perfect balance. To start we ordered a couple Papadums (80p each) with a pickle tray (£2) – providing a selection of home made chutneys and pickles. Two pints of Cobra were brought to us and I’m not ashamed to say they went down very well. Then came the ridiculously underpriced Sea Bass Tawali (£5.95) – Spiced sea bass roulade, tamarind coulis and balsamic glaze. I’d go back to Kolkata again just to eat this. Second up was the Papdi Chaat (£4.25) off the Street Food section – A refreshingly crunchy combination of fried wheat crisp potato cubes, chickpeas and low-fat yoghurt in a fresh mint and tamarind chutney. It was crunchy, packed full of flavour and a perfect warm up act for the main event.
Kolkata Lounge Main Meals
If you visit Kolkata Lounge for a dine-in meal, a must try is the Indian Shepherd’s Pie (£10). A winning combo full of subtle spice, it is paired with a tantalising cheddar crumble, everything from the presentation to the flavour is stunning. Chef Sudha has really pulled out all of the stops for this one. It also looks appetising, I can see why this is a popular dish. The Salmon Lasooni (£12.95) is also a hit – Fillet of salmon, marinated in light spices, cooked in Tandoor. Perfect for fish lovers, the taste isn’t overpowering and pairs well with a gluttonous portion of rice. I love the fact you don’t have to have a standard curry dish here – anything goes.
As extras, we were served a sample of the Chicken Makhan Wallah (£9.95) which is Chicken tikka simmered in satin smooth creamy tomato, ginger, garlic, whole cumin, turmeric powder, cream butter and fenugreek sauce. It’s a traditional dish from the Northern part of India. Going full throttle, we ordered a side of Coconut & Almond Rice (£3.95) which is sweet, sticky and utterly gorgeous. A Peshwari Naan (£3) is my go-to choice, with this one including ground almond, coconut and sultana. Simply devine!
Kolkata Lounge is one of our favourite places to order from (and dine in!) and you can certainly understand why. We want to make sure we continue supporting our local restaurants during this difficult year. Owing to the current lockdown in November 2020 – customers aren’t able to dine in, but can take advantage of their takeaway service. On Sunday, they are promoting their Sunday Thali offer below. If you suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, let a member of staff know and they’ll be happy to accommodate. Make sure you’re following them on social media and head to their website for full menu and updates. See my other food reviews here.
Please note: I was invited for a free meal in return for honest feedback and a blog review. As ever, opinions and photos are completely my own.
A bit about Chef Sudha Saha: Sudha has been widely recognised by both the Michelin and Hardens Guides and goes the extra mile to create menus that menu that fuses together global influences with seasonal and local produce. Sudha offers a modern approach to traditional cooking and goes the extra mile to breaks down conventional barriers.
Kolkata Lounge, 1488 Pershore Rd, Bournville, – 0121 486 1487