Indian street food seems to be having a bit of a moment in Birmingham. There’s been an influx of these style restaurants, from locals like The Indian Streatery and Indian Brewery, to chain restaurants like Tamatanga and Mowgli. I headed to The Gateway To India recently with the Birmingham Bloggers to try out their Indian street food menu, which promises authenticity as well as tastiness.
There were 4 of us for dinner, Vicky (Brumderland), Ting (The Ting Thing), Laura (Full to the Brum) and I, though admittedly, I was late because I got lost. The Gateway To India is pretty well hidden, tucked behind Rub Smokehouse & Bar on Broad Street, but once I arrived the poppadoms were placed on the table and I instantly relaxed.
Served up in quirky little miniature shopping baskets, the poppadoms were crisp and light, not greasy at all, and there was plenty of chilli sauce, mango chutney and mint sauce to go around.
We spent so much time catching up that we’d barely looked at the menu, so when it was offered to bring us a selection of various dishes, we were more than pleased. The team were able to cater to one of our diners dairy-free requirements effortlessly too, which was a refreshing change from the song and dance made at some other restaurants.
Conversation and drinks continued to flow and before long we were presented with a table full of starters.
The centrepiece was this mixed grill, with chicken, lamb, sheek kebab, fish pakora, vegetables and sauces.
The tandoori meats were juicy delicious, with that crusty bark you get from cooking in a clay oven. The flavours were amazing too, with rich, spicy complexity but not too much heat, The fish pakora was great too, delicate, with a light, crisp batter.
Despite this gargantuan mixed grill, we had no less than 4 other starters: veggie dosa, onion bhaji, chowpatty bhel puri and poori bhaji.
The dosa pancake was crisp and light with mild curry to dip into, while the poori were fluffy and soft.
The chowpatty bhel puri was addictively moreish and the onion bhaji which, by the way, was bigger than Vicky’s fist, was beautifully cooked – crispy and so delicious,
It’s hard to believe we continued onto mains after such a feast, but we did, and again the table was full of food. This time tarka dal, aloo gobi, tariwala murgh and dabha rogan josh, with pulao rice, butter and garlic naan.
Our waiter had impeccable knowledge, and was able not only to point out the dishes which were dairy-free for Ting, he knew all the ingredients and spices in everything we were served, and took great pride in explaining it all to us.
All 4 of the curries were wonderful, from the mild, warming tarka dal to the rich lamb rogan josh. The standout dish for me was actually the aloo gobi, with tender potatoes and perfectly cooked cauliflower, still with some bit, in a spicy sauce that had just enough of a kick.
All the dishes were fairly mild when it comes to heat, I could definitely have handled more spice, but they were very tasty nonetheless.
It was insisted that we try desserts, and again, we were presented with multiple dishes to try out: gulab jamun, halwa and rasmalai.
The halwa, a sweet made from carrots, had a lovely flavour and a good texture with a sprinkling of pistachio nuts on top.
The gulab jamun were delicately flavoured with a rose syrup, but sickly sweet for me.
My favourite of the 3 was the rasmalai, which was creamy and light enough to finish off such a heavy meal.
What I really liked about The Gateway To India was the way they’ve combined what we know of Indian dining with the fun and frivolity of Indian street food. This isn’t a place for gimmicks, but for really tasty food and tables laden with dishes.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take a group, or somewhere to enjoy Indian street food that doesn’t feel too high street, The Gateway To India is the place to go.
You can find The Gateway to India in Regency Wharf, behind Rub Smokehouse off Broad Street in Birmingham.
I was invited to dine at The Gateway to India by Brum Bloggers. My meal and drinks were complimentary, thanks to Delicious PR, but all opinions are, as always, my own.