Hagley Road hosts some real worthwhile spots to go for a ‘foodie’ night out. (Yes, I used the word foodie); Fiesta Del Asado, Shiraz and the infamous Johnny Wong’s to name a few, but it's at Praza by Pushkar where Brummies should definitely consider indulging.
The place itself is gorgeous, with the exterior of the venue decked out like a lavish home; walking in is truly like you’re filming an episode of MTV Cribs, with an extra dash of Edgbaston panache. The interior is plush and exuding luxury thanks to a menagerie of white walls, contemporary black furniture and ritzy decor which all lend to a more fine dining experience from Birmingham's favourite Indian food providers. A couple of lavish touches here and there in the form of big, comfy seats, top hats for light shades, and bronze fixtures and fittings also showcase the venue in true form.
The Food and Drink
I would recommend you get there early and have a drink at the bar. The staff are really welcoming and, more importantly, knowledgeable. As is common practise I had a Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned (£7.25) from the Classic list, which was spot on. My co-reviewer had a Black Forest Martini (£8.25), which was balanced with exceeding cleverness between raspberry, strawberry and blackberry liquors and chocolate flavours. I encourage people to try the Spicy Mango (£8.25): Jalapeno vodka with green chill, combined with mango and passion fruit. Sounds like it shouldn’t work, but, trust your bartender. It’s got a little flick of heat at the end, rather than the initial taste, and I could easily have a night on just those. For a real treat, peruse the Director’s Lounge list, where you’ll find something with a bit of fizz. Said co-reviewer indulged in a Crown Praza (clever!) (£8.95), which is gin with elderflower liqueur, apricot brandy, fresh orange, ‘crowned’ with Champagne.
The food is what I would call ‘fancy’. We started with the Teen Tikki (£7.95) which consists of three veggie ‘kebabs’ (patties) of fig and green peas; beetroot and onion seeds; golden corn, paneer and herbs with “khata-meeta” tamarind and sultana chutney; Sharing this and the Fofos, which are incredibly tasty and a little spicy, Goan Fish Rolls (£8.25).......the beetroot and apple chutney which comes with this dish is to die for! For the main we had the Chicken Biryani (£12.95), Lamb Handi Gosht (£12.95) and the Bread Basket (£5.25) which consists of 3 mini breads: Roti, plain naan and spring onion naan. All presented perfectly (and you don’t really expect an Indian meal to look fancy, but they pull it off), excellent portion sizes (not dauntingly-too-much, and not pretentiously-too-little) and the quality of the food itself is outstanding.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
I don’t want to do it; I just don’t want to say anything to put a dampener on this remarkable restaurant, but… I think the only ‘problem’ is that perhaps it’s not as busy as they’d like it to be, or more accurately put, as it deserves to be. There’s little chance of foot-traffic popping in, so you have to know it’s there, which is perhaps why it was a little quiet during my visit.
It’s a great date-night place, it’s perfect for business dinners, and I would absolutely recommend it as a place for a group when you want to, ‘go somewhere nice’. I’d happily take my parents! I can’t think of a set of people who wouldn’t like it.
Seriously impressive. We all know how famous Birmingham is for curry, and Praza by Pushkar is a step-up from the rest. I honestly cannot fault anything from the venue itself, the amazing staff, the out-of-this-world food and the gorgeous, meticulously crafted cocktails. I’ll definitely be going back and I’d really like to see more people realising that this place exists, and giving it a try.