Recently we were invited over to Harborne to try out the newly opened Umami, an Indian Kitchen and Cocktail Bar. I’d heard a few good things so was looking forward to some great Indian food. The relatively small frontage gives way to small bar area and a long narrow dimly lit restaurant. It’s an unusual space but they’ve done well with it. Its clean and smart, and the service matches this. They’re certainly aiming for more upmarket than your standard curry house.
We were there to try out they Indian Summer Wine & Dine deal, that offers a 2 course Fixed Price menu and glass of wine for £15.95pp on a Monday and Tuesday. We also tried a couple of their champagne cocktails – a traditional Kir Royal and Peach Bellini.
Speaking to both the manager and the chef during the meal, it was clear to see their passion for the food. It was lovely to hear that everything was made in house, from grinding and blending their spices to making their own Paneer.
After some decent poppdums and pickles, our starter platter consisted of Chilli paneer wah wah – Crispy indian cottage cheese tossed in a spicy mix of indo-chinese spices, Murgh tikka and Punjabi somosa ki chaat – dough pastry encasing spiced mix vegetable served with combination chaat chutney. All three were really well executed dishes, with tender juicy chicken, wafer thin pastry on the samosa and delicious flavours. The paneer, which has never been a favourite of mine was excellent, and may have changed my mind about paneer in general!
For the main it was a veritable feast! Portions of the following were served with Saffron Rice, Raitha, Green salad and one of the best naans I’ve had in a while.
- Butter chicken- Strips of tikka Chicken cooked in a buttery tomato gravy with a hint of fenugreek and green chili
- Harra bharra gosht – tender lamb simmered in spinach fresh fenugreek, corriander and mint flavoured with cinnamon and ground cumin
- Sabzee milloni handi – Fresh seasonal mix vegetables in garam masalla and methi
- Dal makhani – Creamy black lentils simmered overnight with selected indian spices and butter