The Celebrity Indian Restaurant on Broad Street has been a familiar feature of the famous thoroughfare for many years. In fact, the restaurant has a long history and started life just around the corner near the Rep Theatre and was known as The Celebrity because it was a regular haunt of the theatre stars. I first became aware of the restaurant after its move to Broad Street where it occupies the top floor of a handsome red brick building (the ground floor of which is the Brasshouse pub). The location is ideal as its at the heart of Birmingham’s nightlife area and there are a host of places near by to enjoy a drink afterwards, or you can go clubbing if you want to party.
The Celebrity Restaurant is beautiful decorated and it’s a very stylish place to spend an evening. The decor is almost monochrome and has been put together with an eye for detail. The tables are generously spaced and it’s a very comfortable environment to spend time. You wouldn’t know you were so close to one of Birmingham’s busiest streets. It’s truly a place where you can savour the restaurant experience concentrating on the food and your companions.
One of the things that stood out for me as I looked over the menu is the range of dishes available and the fact that The Celebrity offer some interesting and unusual plates of food that are very different to the usual fare on offer at a local curry house. Over the years the restaurant have created a comprehensive range of modern and traditional dishes, which are presented flair and vibrancy.
One of the highlights of the evening for me and my table companions was their signature starter: an onion bhaji stack. This is the perfect dish for sharing as it’s so tempting to pick out those stands of onion with their gram flour batter coating, although you might prefer to keep it all to yourself.
The main course I picked out from their Signature Main Courses was the Seabass Khazana. In fact, I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of fish dishes on the à la carte menu. I think it’s a delicate balance to hit: to get the combination of Indian spices right, but without overpowering the fish (some types of fish can be quite delicate in flavour). The seabass is first marinated in spices and then pan fried in herbs to get that crispy skin whilst keeping the fish flesh moist. Then the seabass is served on a bed of creamed vegetables with paprika, tomatoes and onions. The Seabass Khazana did manage to find that sweet spot between delivering a punchy Asian flavour and overwhelming the sea bass, which should and did remain the star of the dish.
Disclosure: I was invited along to The Celebrity Restaurant to try out the food with the Westside Bid in Birmingham. The Westside Business Improvement District (BID) is constantly working towards creating a more attractive, better marketed, brighter, safer and cleaner business environment in Broad Street, Brindleyplace, Five Ways, Centenary Square, Broadway Plaza and all the surrounding areas. Photos are by Jas Sansi.