We had the pleasure of dining at Indian Cafe Racer as part of our Monthly RED Recommends, championing hospitality venues in and around Birmingham.
It was our first time visiting after hearing great things!
A short walk through China Town we were stood looking up at a Traditional Pub… like a real traditional Pub reminiscent and resembling something from The Peaky Blinders… we were here at Indian Cafe Racer.
As we walked through The Wellington we walked toward a curtain which was swiftly drawn back to reveal what we would describe as an opulent traditional Indian Cafe restaurant with its panelled walls, framed artwork, marble topped tables and deep dark wood leather backed chairs. The restaurants show piece was the Royal Enfield Motorcycle sitting pride of place in front of the Mantle piece. The Royal Enfield being there as a nod to their name “Cafe Racer” and it’s history… more on that a little later.
We were greeted by Azad, it is difficult to describe the level of service and attention to detail from Azad in words and in a relatively short write up. We can honestly say the service provided would not have gone a miss at The Ritz, Ivy or Dorchester it was literally first class and then some from greeting to departure.
If the above hasn’t got you wanting to pay a visit already, let’s talk food…
Starters: Spice Lamb Chops, Gobi Manchurian, Papdi Chat, Paneer Tikka and Bhel Puri.
Lamb chops - were amazingly tender, delicately spiced and the charred taste of the tandoori combining fantastically well with the marinade.
Padi Chat - was just how we hoped it would be. It packed the crunch, the sweet and sour zing, cool and refreshing yogurt, and chickpeas. Perfect.
Gobi Manchurian - this was the clear superstar, fresh cauliflower florets covered with a thin delicate batter and all coated with a Indo Chinese spicy, sticky, sweet and sour marinade served on a Banana leaf.
Paneer Tikka - the soft slabs of Indian cheese marinated and cooked in the tandoor to perfection went extremely well with our other starters.
Bhel Puri - this was a fantastic accompaniment to our other items providing a clean crisp flavoursome crunch at the end of our starter banquet.
On to the mains and it was great to be asked, if we were ready for the main course or would like to wait a little bit, we requested a 15min break to give us a little time to soak in the ambiance after our amazing starters.
On to the Main Course…
Mains: Chicken Makani, Rajasthani Lamb, Garlic Naan and Basmati Rice
Chicken Makani - being a firm favourite, we were keen to order it and there was zero disappointment, buttery, rich and creamy with soft succulent tender pieces of chicken carefully spiced.
Rajasthani Lamb - the quality of the lamb was apparent and the dish was well prepared, the lamb was incredibly soft and tender which literally melted in the mouth and was coated in an extremely well balanced gravy with a flavoursome punch.
Garlic Naan - light, fluffy, soft, and crispy just how a Naan Bread should be.
Basmati Rice - worked so well against the fragrant and delicious Chicken Makani and Rajasthani Lamb.
We are looking forward to our next visit to this charismatic and simply fantastic find which delivered over and above all elements you could want and expect from a Restaurant.
In Red Recommends fashion we asked Indian Cafe Racer some key questions…
- Why did you choose the name Indian Cafe Racer?
“The original term started to develop around the 60’s among British riders, who would strip their motorcycles of extra parts and race between cafes. These quick rides served as races between young riders and hence the term was born; cafe racer. Culture, which is a perfect fit for our restaurant concept. We wanted to create an ambiance that is not only reminiscent of the cafe racer culture but also reflects the energy, vibrancy, and speed of the bikes that inspired it. Moreover, the name Indian Cafe Racer also reflects the fusion of traditional Indian cuisine with modern-day cafe culture, which is what our restaurant is all about - a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.”
- What’s the most popular dish?
“We have a wide range of dishes on our menu, from classic Indian curries to more unique and innovative options. But if I had to pick a few of our most popular dishes, I would say that the Lemons Crab Cakes, Gobi Manchurian, Tangri Kebab, Rajasthani Lamb, and our house favourite, Mix Daal Tadka, are definitely worth trying.”
- What do you love about working in hospitality?
“Absolutely. For me, hospitality is all about creating memorable experiences for our guests. I love being able to connect with people from all walks of life and provide them with a warm and welcoming environment where they can relax, unwind and enjoy delicious food.
I truly believe that the hospitality industry is one of the most rewarding industries to work in. There's something incredibly special about being able to bring people together over a shared love of food and drink, and being able to create lasting memories that they will cherish forever.
One of the things I love most about working in hospitality is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. Whether it's mastering new culinary techniques, staying up-to-date on the latest trends, or honing my people skills, there's always something new to learn and improve upon.
Another aspect of hospitality that I'm truly passionate about is the team dynamic. Working in a restaurant requires a cohesive team effort, and I love being a part of that team. It's incredibly fulfilling to work with a group of like-minded individuals who share the same passion for hospitality and who are all dedicated to providing the best possible experience for our guests.”
Check them out - Indian Cafe Racer