+
Restaurants & Bars

[Birmingham, city centre] Lasan

Harters | Dec 11, 201411:25 AM     4

We’d planned to have lunch here last year but illness prevented the trip to Birmingham. In fact, we’ve wanted to eat here ever since we saw Lasan featured as “best Indian restaurant” on Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word programme. Not that I would automatically give credence to that programme’s definition of “best” – I know the winner in one of the other categories and wouldn’t rate it anywhere near as “best” in its resident city, let alone the country. But Lasan was somewhere we knew we were going to have to try sometime.

It’s a short walk from the city centre to the Jewellery Quarter, where Aktar Islam has his very modern restaurant. It's about as far away as you can get from the “any protein with any sauce” high street curry house, both in the look of the room and the menu.

To start there was an onion and spinach pakora. Well seasoned, crisp and working well with the chutney. That was followed by an absolute knockout veggie main course – sweet potato koftas were spiced with coriander and cumin and then rolled in crushed cashews to give an interesting texture. They sat in a rich tomato and onion sauce.

It’s not often you see beef on the menu of a south asian restaurant but Lasan has it as a starter and a main. They make something of food provenance with the proteins, noting the beef is from Herefordshire. For the starter, it comes as burrah kebab – chunks of aged “oyster cut” (no idea what that is), marinaded in yoghurt, cumin and nutmeg and then cooked in the tandoor until medium rare. It came with a little salad and chutney and was delicious.

Lamb lababdar was a winning dish on the F-Word and I can see why. Presented in a very western style, there was a marinated chop, long cooked shoulder and a quenelle of paste made from lamb breast and lentils. “Lamb three ways”, as any western menu would have it. There was a little gravy decorating the plate but, instantly winning me over, a jug of much more was served separately. Yes, it looked western and it looked very elegant but there was no doubt where the flavours came from. This was a belter of a dish.

We shared a side order of gobi angara and I think both of us would have been more than happy if this had been our main course. The cauliflower is roasted in the tandoor and then dressed with a masala sauce spiked with onion and nigella. Rice and bread were as good as everything else.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

10 Trader Joe’s Products Nutritionists Swear By (Including Snacks!)
Guides

10 Trader Joe’s Products Nutritionists Swear By (Including Snacks!)

by Anna Hecht | It’s easy to beeline right for the peanut butter cups and frozen food at Trader Joe’s (not to mention...

Friday Fish Fry Recipes From Around the World for Lent
Recipe Round-Ups

Friday Fish Fry Recipes From Around the World for Lent

by Daphne Chen | Calling all seafood lovers! Whether or not you observe Lent, you'll want to try these delicious fried...

Sonoko Sakai Wants to Teach You About Real Japanese Home Cooking
Table Talk Podcast

Sonoko Sakai Wants to Teach You About Real Japanese Home Cooking

by Hana Asbrink | Welcome to Chowhound's Table Talk podcast, where Executive Editor Hana Asbrink chats with some of...

This Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Comes with a Poignant Story
Food News

This Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Comes with a Poignant Story

by Amy Schulman | In the many decades that journalist and activist Toni Tipton-Martin watched the media cover African...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.