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Al Frash

186 Ladypool Road B12 8JS Birmingham Phone: 01217533120 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website Authentic Balti: Yes
Credit Cards Accepted: Yes
License: BYO
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10
Date added: 2009-10-21 12:17:25    Hits: 7783
10 
MK Curry go balti
by ab
on May 26, 2014
The MK Curry Club stayed in the UK for the away weekend of 2014. Based on Andy Munro's recommendation, we went to Al Frash, 11 of us, some comments below:
Well, it was certainly worth the trip! I was bowled over by food.I started with an aloo chat. Whilst it was clearly made with tinned potatoes this didn’t take anything away from it. It was really tasty, hint of spice, decent portion and the sort of flavoursome starter that makes you really look forward to the main course – and I wasn’t disappointed. I ordered Balti keema lamb with a little added green chilli and it was spot on. The tarka dhal was smoky and garlicky and my stuffed paratha was by far the best one I have ever had - soft, tasty and the perfect complement to the main course. Staff were attentive, ambiance was fine – this is a really good place for a curry. IW
Chicken shashlick starter was proportioned like a main course, and very tasty! Balti Lamb Methi tasted superior in quality and the heat was just as requested. Service was exceptional, timings and attention to detail excellent. Value was outstanding. Clearly a working kitchen, but the team were extremely open and welcomed us in….3 chefs on duty (this is a busy place!) with one senior chef in control…we inspected the tandoor and the main chef gave a little show cooking for us by flaming the pan about 2 ft high! Spices and sauces were all on hand to speed the processes and no sign of any fresh meat sitting out on counter tops, hopefully all tucked away in a chiller. SE
Generous 4 lamb chops for starter but they were over cooked and salty. Balti chicken was splendid and sides and rice.Large nan was entertaining but I prefer them more fluffy. Great to be invited into the kitchen without being asked. Service couldn't be better. SF
Balti just like I remember from the 80s. Excellent. AB
0 
Big Portions
by Robert Hughes
on September 23, 2012
As expected, both service and food were excellent. I would make a couple of points. First, if you need to get a taxi to the restaurant, don't worry about getting back as they are great at ordering a very reasonably priced taxi for you. Second. the portions are huge, so don't be afraid to ask for plates so you can share and make judicious use of side orders.
10 
Truly excellent
by Peter
on August 11, 2011
Two of us had booked into a Birmingham City Centre hotel for an overnight stay, prior to the first day of the Test Match and had already decided to visit the Balti Triangle. We booked a table at Al Frash for 9pm., intending to walk there. Unfortunately, the evening was the second night on which the bands of morons were causing havoc in the City Centre. We decided to take a cab, but we had to wait a fair time to get one and, as a result, it was nearly 9:45pm. before we got to AL Frash. Nevertheless the welcome was extremely friendly and the service attentive. The restaurant was quiet, with only one group of locals enjoying a meal. Apparently, it had been quiet all evening, with people reluctant to venture out because of the rampaging morons.

Two popadums arrived, together with a small tray of accompaniments, which included onion salad and a very tasty and spicy red dip. We enjoyed these, while looking at the menu and drinking cold Cobra beer, purchased from a nearby off licence. We ordered Sheek Kebab and Prawn Puree as starters, both arrived fairly quickly, but not too quickly to suggest that they had been hastily prepared, or re-heated. The sheek kebab came on a hot skillet, with lots of onion, and the prawn puree was light and full of prawns. Both starters were nicely spiced and delicious.

For main courses, we ordered Archar Gosht (lamb) and Chicken Jalfraizie, accompanied by Saag (spinach) and Chana (chick peas) side dishes, fried rice and a garlic nan. As you would expect, the main dishes arrived in Baltis. They were well spiced, without being too hot (so the taste of all the ingredients came through), were in rich sauces and were truly excellent. The side dishes were a good choice, and the whole meal went down very well with the bottle of wine we had brought with us.

Throughout the service was friendly and attentive, without being over-bearing and, as our meal was coming to an end and we were enjoying coffee, we had an extremely pleasant conversation with Wasif, the waiter. He looked after us very well all evening and managed to find a cab to take us back to the City Centre (despite the problems there) when it was time to go.

It was a very enjoyable evening, despite the problems in the City Centre. We could see why the Al Frash enjoys such good reviews and will return next time we’re in Birmingham.

PS. The cab fare was only £6 each way from Birmingham City Centre.
10 
What a sizzler
by Amanda
on August 26, 2010
This restaurant really does it for me. I am a regular visitor so I can tell you that even when its busy they maintain a high standard of food.
The Butter Chicken is to die for, seriously I have never tasted a dish so absolutely full of flavour and totally perfect. Sizzling starters are also fabulous and spiced just right, hot but with a depth of flavour.
The chicken tikka is wonderful as is the tandoori fish starter. I have tried a number of dishes on the menu and the only one that disappointed the tandoori chicken, which was bland at best.
The service is very good and the staff are welcoming and comical, which makes your evening out so much more enjoyable.
The atmosphere is great and the decor modern but still feels warm.
I genuinely couldn't recommend it enough, but maybe I should think twice in case I have to wait for a table :-)
10 
Cracking and consistent
by Andy Cowan
on August 18, 2010
I've been a regular Friday night patron of the Al Frash for a while now, having defected from the Punjab Paradise after a particularly dreadful service.

The decor is nice, and the chaps running the service, led by Jay are friendly and efficient. Right from the off they were eager to please and do a great job of keeping everything moving.

Popadoms are great (never having that tell-tale taste of old or burnt oil which always find a very worrying start). The accompaniments are fine, including the flame-thrower red dip Andy mentions, which I would guess is a combination of Tamarind and Chili. Whatever it is it makes a welcome addition to the normal rosta of raita and onion salad. For those of us who appreciate a bit of a kick, its a welcome warm up for the palette.

The mixed grill starter is very good. Especially, for some reason, the onions on the bottom of the sizzle plate, which I think have been kept in lemon water. This gives them a very appetising citrus edge. The sheek kebabs are full of flavour, and as hot as you'd expect, the tikka is good and the chicken wings tasty.

I tend to stick to a straight chicken balti, hot, sometimes with the addition of black-beans. This is a mouth-watering combination which I can hole-heartedly recommend. The balti is full of flavour, not just heat but with a depth of flavour that comes from expert cooking rather than the rushed approach you find in some balti houses, where the spices have not been given the time to cook properly. I've been to the Al Frash at peak times on a Friday and the dishes are still properly cooked - the consistency is very, very impressive.

My wife is dieting and so goes for the tandoori option. She reports that the chicken tikka main course is very good, if rather hot, but that the tandoori chicken main course is very disappointing. Her comment was that it was just chicken, and not very good chicken at that. The accompanying salad is present, and thats about it. Not much effort is made to accompany a dry, tandoori style main course with a generous salad which is a disappointment.

The nan bread is as good as any I've tried. Crisp, fluffly, the business.

The Al Frash is one of the more expensive establishments in Ladypool Road, but is worth it. Mind you, we're talkgin about £2-3 above the norm, not breaking the bank!

In conclusion, the food is great, but above all, consistent. This alone makes it worth a recommendation. Throw in the friendly, humourous and efficient service and it is a winning combination.

Give them a try!
10 
Andy's Review
by Andy
on October 30, 2009
The restaurant has been established for quite a long time but in recent years Al Frash has become a little bit Al Flash decorwise with its abstract masterpieces including the famous ‘Balti Eating at Sunset’.

However the most important question was whether the food would justify the restaurant’s claim to be the No1 Balti Restaurant in Birmingham. Certainly the signs were promising with a packed dining area, even on a Wednesday night.

Things started off well with some excellent poppadums and a trio of dips ranging from a mild mint yoghourt dip to a chilli variety of flame thrower strength…a real culinary ying and yang. All served up on Al Frash logoed plates…lepidopteramists among you can decide whether the butterfly is genuine or just a Balti butterfly!

Starters were a shared mixed grill sizzler with tasty tikkas (if slightly salty), sleek sheekh kebabs and a selection of wings and ‘niblets’. However it was the main course that was the real highlight with my sizzling bowl of Balti Chicken and Aubergine absolutely superb with the bonus of the aubergine being tender without disintergrating into an anonymous slush. The bowl was scraped absolutely clean with the aid of a deliciously honeyed Peshwari naan. My companion was equally pleased with his Balti King Prawn Pasanda which was in the Henry VII class in its kingliness with masses of prawns floating in a sea of spicy creaminess. Incidentally this wasn’t my first visit to this butterfly Baltihouse and I can heartedly recommend the Meetha Gosht (spiciness and sweetness beautifully balanced), White Rose (an unusual Cashew Nut take on a Korma) and the Balti Aphrodisiac (which is positively dangerous in mixed company!).

As a bonus the service was great with a couple of enthusiastic young guys serving things up with a disarming combo of efficiency and humour. One of the slightly pricier baltis but still brilliant value for money for a superbly enjoyable meal. This is one butterfly that is a real catch!

ANDY MUNRO
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