Birmingham is exciting right now. There have been a swathe of new bars and restaurants opening all over the city offering everything from Deep South soul food to shellfish and burgers.
Last week I was invited to the launch of Vivaanta, a new Indian restaurant on Wharfside Street opposite The Cube.
Vivaanta calls itself a Pan Asian Restaurant and Cocktail bar specialising in Seafood, so I was interested to see the menu and see how it compared to other Asian restaurants in the city.
On arrival I was greeted with a Bellini which was fruity and refreshing.
It was good catching up with other bloggers Natasha from Nutella Tasha, Alev from Bella & Robot Blog, Vicky from Brumderland, Helen from Positive Fridays and Lisa from Glamour in the County before we were seated in the private dining room.
The room was beautiful, very sophisticated with a huge crystal ball light above the table. The setting was clean and white with a very ‘fine dining’ feel.
We had poppadoms in 3 flavours to nibble on which were clearly fresh and had a great snap. The spicy chilli poppadoms were my favourite.
After a short introduction from Anita at Delicious PR, we were told we would be getting a tasting menu so we could sample most of the dishes on the menu. I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be seeing the dishes as they would be served normally, but I was excited to try the array of dishes on offer.
To begin with we had a seafood starter with chargrilled salmon, ginger crab cakes, cod pakora and lime mussels.
I loved the crab cakes with the warming fresh ginger, the mussels were citrussy and cod pakora was crispy and not greasy at all.
For the main dishes we had sea bass, lobster, prawns and lamb with boiled rice and naan.
The lamb was very good, it was cooked so it was tender and falling apart, and the sauce was flavoursome with a good heat.
I also loved the prawns, which were big, juicy and with a delicious spicy pepper sauce. If I were to come again, I think this would be the dish for me.
I didn’t enjoy the sea bass unfortunately. I found it quite dry with an almost cheesy taste which I didn’t like, but many others did enjoy it so I think it just wasn’t to my taste.
Then the showstopper was the lobster.
I liked this very much, presented with the shell on for decoration, the lobster had actually already been removed from the shell and was marinated in a delicious garlicy sauce. It was cooked well so it was firm but tender. I can’t say it was the best lobster dish I’ve had, as there is some stiff competition for lobster in Birmingham now, but it was delicious and I would eat it again.
Despite being very full after trying so many dishes, I did manage to save some room for dessert. We had a selection of traditional Indian sweets including Gulab Jamun, which were very sweet, soaked in syrup, an almond dessert which I have forgotten the name of but was very good, and one of the best pistachio Kulfi I have had. I wasn’t too keen on the desserts as I don’t have a hugely sweet tooth, but the ice cream really was fantastic.
I found the evening really enjoyable at Vivaanta, the service was very good, the private dining room was beautiful and on the whole, the dishes were very good. I can’t say it’s the best Indian restaurant I’ve been to, but I would like to go back to try the dishes as they appear on the menu.
My meal at Vivaanta was complimentary, many thanks to the team there and at Delicious PR. All opinions remain my own, as always.