Lasan restaurant has one of the best reputations in Birmingham, and even in the UK. Having been crowned ‘Best Local Restaurant’ by Gordon Ramsay on ‘The F Word’, featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants and having been visited by many celebrities including Ant and Dec and Gary Barlow, our expectations were high when my boyfriend and I went last night. I think it is safe to say, we were not disappointed.
Before we even looked at the menu, we knew Lasan was going to be a cut above the rest. The Decor was modern and sophisticated, unlike any Indian restaurant we have been to, with a minimalist style, but with nods to Indian culture. The 3 tier seating plan created both cozy, private spots and an open, buzzing main dining area in which we were seated. Though quiet when we first arrived in the early evening, the restaurant soon became busy as the evening went on. The staff were impeccable; being friendly and warm but also inconspicuous when appropriate. They explained every dish as they served it, and made sure our glasses were topped up and our table spotless throughout the night.
Before our starter we were served poppadoms and three beautiful dips. As well as this was an amuse-bouche each – a light crisp pastry shell with a tomato and chickpea masala inside. The waiter recommended we eat these in one, and they certainly got us excited about what was to come! To start, we opted for the vegetarian platter for two, which again was served with three different side sauces, and was a selection of miniature Indian treats, such as pakoras, spinach and potato tikki and marinated paneer cubes. These were all made to perfection and complimented each other well.
For his main, my boyfriend had the beautifully presented sea bass fillet. The fish was served on a bed of aubergine spiced with chilli and tumeric, in a circle of mooli, samphire and a fresh violet. Unfortunately the photograph does not do it justice: it almost looked too good to eat! The server finished the dish by pouring into the centre a coconut, fenugreek and tamarind sauce, which was so good we couldn’t resist using it up on our peshwari naan. Jack said the sea bass was the best he had tasted, and that all the flavours blended perfectly.
For my main I had the Chamon Punjabi, a vegetarian option of spiced tandoori paneer in a Kashmiri spinach, fenugreek and clove sauce, with the mushroom and tamarind rice. Though not the most attractive of dishes, it was cooked beautifully and was packed with plenty of paneer. The differing sizes of our mains however did mean that my boyfriend finished a long time before me, and in the end I was too full to finish my dish, which was a shame!
Despite the tempting selection of desserts, we were unfortunately both too full to try them. My boyfriend finished with a glass of port and I opted for the ‘petit fours’. This was the only slightly disappointing part of the meal, as the petit fours were only three, seemingly bought in chocolates, which was a bit misleading, but were all I needed all the same. Overall Lasan was a fantastic fine dining experience, and although probably over budget for your average meal out, it would make the perfect treat for a special occasion such as valentines day or a birthday.
*Our bill was mostly covered by the restaurant for review purposes. This did not affect our honest opinion.