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david goodfellow

Lasan, Birmingham

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I am amazed this place is not in The Good Food Guide 2010. I know it was in the 2008, not sure about 2009 as I did not buy it last year.

Its omission is a bit of a damning statement as to the complacency some of us have towards restaurant food. Well rest assured it will be in next years guide.

This last week has been very busy with two Michelin meals, plus one that should be,(Anthony,s)and a meal at Hix so we just had to have something different, and todays meal was certainly that.

Its quite a while since we have been here, perhaps two years or so, and we were hoping for a result.I was aware that it featured on F Word but sadly I missed it so what better than a visit.

Lunch was very quiet but we don't need to be turned on by atmosphere, as long as the food is good.

The lunch menu is short on choice, just five dishes in total, but I knew that we were going a la carte because I wanted the goat biryani.

Plenty of choice from all parts of India on this menu, and we found them all appealing.

Apart from the goat we wanted at least two other mains,and if we could manage more, well, lets see

Whilst we were waiting we were served some very nice poppadoms with some mild red and white onion slices and a sweet yogurt sauce

DIM KI BIRYANI, goat meat and basmati rice cooked together in a sealed pot with yogurt and mint, scented with cardamon, mace, dum massla, served with Lucknowi gravy.

When the lid was cut free from the pot the smell was amazing, we dived in taking quite nice bite sized chunks of goat meat, some of which still had bone attached, naturally to give it more flavor. The rice was perfect and the gravy lifted the dish higher, don't ask what was in it, I'm no expert, but I may be if I take one of their cookery courses.

NILGIRI SEA BASS, pan-fried, simmering in green herb sauce, served with pilau rice.

Perfect fish, swimming in the herb sauce which was coriander, mint,and fenugreek. We were given a freshly cooked naan bread to mop up the sauce, and sorry to say this was mediocre. Which made it stand out because the rest was exceptional.

CHICKEN CHETTINAD,hot south Indian delicacy, coconut, star anise, red chilli, black peppercorns, and curry leaf flavoured curry.

I think this is a Tamil Nadu dish, and its distinctly different in taste to the other two dishes which is what this place is all, about different cooking styles from different part of the continent.

We could not manage another savoury course, however we ate a wonderful desert, a concoction of whipped yogurt flavored with orange chocolate and green cardomons.

I really rate this place and enjoyed the food more than Michelin starred Quilon where we had a meal earlier this year.

We can not wait to return to try another batch of dishes. If you are in the area, and like Indian food, we think its a must try.

We are convinced this is the best Indian meal that we have had, most certainly this year at the very least.

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Hi David, nothing really to say except I agree 100% with you. Lasans is one of the best Indian restaurants in the UK. That goat biryani is the one I always order. I can never get my rice like that. I feel quite lucky living in Birmingham knowing this is my "local". I previously lived around Aldgate and counted Tayyab's as my local when I trained at the Royal London (before it got all trendy) but Lasans is better. In fact, there isn't much choice in Birmingham but what we do have (Turners, Purnells, Simpsons, Lasans and Jyotis) is good enough for me. Tip: Lasan have opened a take-away/cafe-style eatery in Hall Green near Jyoti's which serves a less refined version of their dishes but no less tasty.

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OK, I will qualify that statement somewhat by saying that Lasans don't offer an equivalent dish to Tayyab's lamb chops. If you want great charcoal grills in the West Midlands the Zanat Kebabish in Coventry is the place to head.

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Hi David, nothing really to say except I agree 100% with you. Lasans is one of the best Indian restaurants in the UK. That goat biryani is the one I always order. I can never get my rice like that. I feel quite lucky living in Birmingham knowing this is my "local". I previously lived around Aldgate and counted Tayyab's as my local when I trained at the Royal London (before it got all trendy) but Lasans is better. In fact, there isn't much choice in Birmingham but what we do have (Turners, Purnells, Simpsons, Lasans and Jyotis) is good enough for me. Tip: Lasan have opened a take-away/cafe-style eatery in Hall Green near Jyoti's which serves a less refined version of their dishes but no less tasty.

I'm sure it was your good self who tipped me off about the Goat Biyani, I don't think that I shall look at a goat in the same way again :smile:

The menu is in front of me now and I have circled two dishes the manager, Syed recommended for our next visit.

NELLORE CHEPALA PULUSU, Red Snapper simmered in tomato and tamarind sauce tempered with mustard seed,cumin and saunf.

MURGH MAKHANI, Chicken tikka, marinated with hung yogurt, tandoori masala, roasted in tandoor then simmered in light tangy tomato, cashew nut, makhani sauce. A speciality of Punjab.

And of course that Goat curry again.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhh Deep Joy.

Have to mention service which was dignified, courteous, and well informed, it does make a difference.

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Lasan was the best Indian food we had in the UK when we lived there.

Is it better than Tayabs? Not certain it is a fair comparison; to me Tayabs is equivalent to a good chippy, whilst Lasans is equivalent to a fine fish restaurant, each a champion in their category.

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Lasan's was featured on the execrable F Word 2 weeks ago (and they won!). I hope it doesn't become too popular and stop me getting a table when I want one!

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I saw that last night, shame the chef appeared to be a total cock, it almost put me off visiting!

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MURGH MAKHANI, Chicken tikka, marinated with hung yogurt,..........

IIRC, on the F Word, the chef said he would never serve a chicken tikka massala. Of course, it's different if you call it murgh makhani, innit?


John Hartley

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Congratulations are well in order for winning F Word and good luck on their attempt at a Michelin star.

Personally I think that this is more than a possibility.

Birmingham really has quite a bit to shout about now, food wise at least.

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/01/08/331640/birminghams-lasan-wins-gordon-ramsays-best-restaurant.html

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I wanted to see how fame has changed Lasan so have just tried to book a table for two for dinner. Nothing at all till March 21st. Wow, two and half month waiting list; for a Brummie curry house, in fact for any curry house that must be a record?! Do you think GRH takes a cut?

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Goodness me :( I was afraid that would happen!

Recession-busting tip: Go to Lasan Eatery in Hall Green instead, food is still very high quality and a third of the price!

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Re- the whole F-word thing. I did find some of the Chef's comments a bit odd. The food did all look quite good, but I am fairly sure they weren't the first Indian restaurant in the UK to cook authentic food and up the presentation....

Also, I don't quite get how a restaurant, which is part of a larger group which is diversifying into casual dining and catering, based in England's second city qualifies as a 'Local restaurant'. Or does the phrase just mean 'Not in Central London' these days?


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I think he was talking in terms relative to the slop they serve up in Birmingham's City Centre and the Balti Triangle (not all restaurants, but the vast majority). I agree that, for example, Atul Kocher has done something pretty similar in London with Benares. And I remember when I was growing up in Brighton there was a place called the Black Chapati with a similar approach.

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You know the feeling, a craving for something a bit different, and this place is certainly that. Thankfully not your normal curry place, quite a step up indeed.

Its been a while since we ate here and indeed since the success on F Word they are still very busy. Booking for weekends are into August whilst midweek is easier and lunchtimes its quite easy to get a table.

If manager Syed is on hand let him guide you through the menu, if you like to sample different flavours from different parts of India he will point you in the right direction.

Head chef Aktar Islam was in the kitchen along with some of his other chefs from India, specialising in their own regions making certain of authenticity.

A traditional poppadom taster was presented with a couple of dips and some crunch in the form of onions and cucumber.

image_0001.jpg

The other F Word winning dish SEABASS JHOL was bang on the money, the dogs goolies no less. Stonkingly fresh fish and of generous proportion in the form of two pan fried fillets spiced with turmeric and chilli on garlic scented wilted spinach, surrounded by a fantastic full flavoured Bengali fish broth, plus some bulk in the form of potatoes

image_0002.jpg

DIM KI BIRYANI aka Goat Curry was next.

Was it as good as last time?

Yes indeed', although the Seabass and Lamb Chops were hard acts to follow.

"Goat meat and basmati rice cooked together in a sealed potwith yogurt and mint. Scented with cardamon, mace,and dum masala, served with a Lucknowi gravy".

Exactly as it says on the tin, not short changed at all.

image_0005.jpg

CHICKEN CHETTINAD, Again we have eaten this dish on our last visit. It was just as good this time, tasty big chunks of chicken, if I'm to be picky it was slightly dry on the inside however with ample sauce to wash it down it did not do it any real harm.

image_0004.jpg

We finished the meal by sharing a traditional Indian dessert which now escapes me, a syrupy doughnutty thing which supplied the sweet hit to finish off

image_0006.jpg

So all in all a very good meal and well worth the long drive risking life and limb on the full of roadworks M6.

Sadly there are too few very good Indian restaurants in this country thankfully Birmingham has one of the best. Good to see Mercedes wanting to link up with one of Brums best.

image_0007.jpg

Just as a footnote the Lamb dish photo is out of sync with the post, I don't know why as I can't correct it I just left it rather than mess aboutimage_0003.jpg

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lasan 83 ash 216 083.JPG

Its been an overlong two years since our last meal here. Still with such a lot happening on the London dining scene its little wonder.

We sampled quite a selection of dishes. Lamb, venison, beef, soft shell crab, chicken, monkfish,etc,etc, all good.

We still rate it highly.

Chef Aktar Islam recommended a cookery book on Indian curries which I have since bought. Hopefully I may be able to recreate some of the flavours at home.

Lyme Bay Monkfish,aubergine and potato pakora, coconut sauce.

lasan 83 ash 216 055.JPG

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I think he was talking in terms relative to the slop they serve up in Birmingham's City Centre and the Balti Triangle (not all restaurants, but the vast majority). I agree that, for example, Atul Kocher has done something pretty similar in London with Benares. And I remember when I was growing up in Brighton there was a place called the Black Chapati with a similar approach.

Nick - was that in Preston Street in the mid to late '80's? I remember a great place in that vicinity that did a amazing salmon another fish curries. Was it the Black Chapati?

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