When this invite popped into my inbox I got rather excited. Not only do I love curry, but Itihaas were offering me my first chance to meet fellow food bloggers in Birmingham.
Itihaas offers award winning cuisine inspired by the Mughul Era, when Indian dining was imperial and extravagant. The interior is very opulent, which I was very pleasantly surprised by, as the outside of the building didn’t give away this at all!
We were taken down into the ‘Maharaja Suite’, which was rather decadent, sadly this is not so great for food bloggers (a HUGE bug bear of mine with most restaurants that want reviews… anyway!) It made for a wonderful date night venue but no so great for blog pictures, sorry for the quality of my pictures (out came the phone because even my DSLR was unhappy).
We started off with mingling and canapés, offering us a taste of what to come from Itihaas. The Smoked Salmon Samosa was an interesting one to try, I’m not sure how much I liked it. However, I was really quite taken with the Spiced Potatoes topped with pomegranate and chickpeas. The potatoes were delicately spiced and well the “bombay mix” gave it a crunch with the soft. An interesting and tasty combo indeed.
The Lamb Meatballs were nice and spicy, I did enjoy those maybe a little too much. We also had spiced tempura cod (not pictured) was delicately spiced and a favourite, I just struggled to get a photo!
Cocktails for the event were commissioned by “Poland’s Best-Kept secret”, Torunska Vodka. The spirit’s velvety smooth taste comes from the blend of delicate hibiscus, lychee, and cardamom. Apparently “making for sweet sensations to off set the spice.” Now this is sadly for me, where things weren’t so great. I found these sweet based cocktails far too sweet. I know others greatly enjoyed, sadly I felt that the pairings would have been better with some lighter drinks to show off the spices. A good gin and tonic (I know I’m somewhat biased here) would’ve gone better with the mains as heavily fruity drinks just added bulk to the meal. I think upon return I would be ordering a different set of drinks here.
Whilst the drinks were a little disappointing, Itihaas wowed us with some wonderful food for the main event. The biggest wow here was the Lobster Panch Poran, a wonderful dish that didn’t take from the lobster at all. Here there was a creamier sauce with 5 subtler spices. I don’t usually order a fish curry but wow, so impressed.
Another fish offering I really enjoyed was the Scallop and Prawn Masala. This was spicier than the lobster but didn’t over shadow from the perfectly cooked seafood. I felt it could’ve had a bit more to it, there was a lot of sauce for the seafood, but it was great to mop up with the naan.
We then got to try the Nalli Ghost – lamb off the bone stewed in a hot masala gravy. Lamb is always wonderful in a curry, it cooks down well and adds an extra flavour to the dish. I enjoyed the Nalli Ghost and it’s definitely something I would recommend to those who don’t want seafood.
The stand out from the not seafood was definitely the creamy Butter Chicken. Served on the bone, which makes it was more tender, with a smoky tomato. It was just perfect, despite the calories. I never usually order mild curries, going for the spicier, I’d definitely have this again!
Dessert was an interesting affair, with more traditional style desserts meeting more modern flavours. When going for a curry I don’t usually have room for dessert and I was struggling here. But here I decided to try a bit of everything!
I have to admit the Chai Masalla Mousse wasn’t for me, whereas I really enjoyed the Apple and Cinnamon Samosa. The Sambucca Flamed Gulab didn’t taste anything like Sambucca (thankfully) and was actually quite tasty, sweet with a licorice taste to it too. I was also pleasantly surprised by the Pomegranate and Pistachio Rasmalai, something I’d never tried before.
Overall Itihaas put on a welcoming evening and showcased some amazing food, whilst some things weren’t to my taste I have a great idea of what I’ll be ordering on my next visit. Itihaas is a pricier curry house than most, it does offer the service and a lot of the dishes meet the expectations of the price tag. It’s just a shame they didn’t match the drinks to this, maybe next time?! I’ll definitely be back to check out what normal service is like.
Have you been to Itihaas? What would you like to try? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. I was invited down to Itihaas to check out the menu. As ever all words, photos and opinions are mine.
P.P.S. Itihaas is located at 18 Fleet St, Birmingham B3 1JL.