When it comes to curry in Birmingham, it’s safe to say we are spoilt for choice. The quality varies widely though, so, aside from the obvious fine dining stars of the city centre (Pushkar, Lasan, Itihaas), it takes a bit of exploring to find a couple of reliably good local Indian restaurants. I hadn’t previously heard of Regards, but after being invited down to their re-launch night, a quick look-up told me it was in driving distance from where I live, and very close to where I work; if this place delivered (on the food, not literally…) then I could be on to a winner. Unfortunately, Regards didn’t quite tick the boxes – read on to find out why.
Situated in the leafy suburb of Edgbaston, near to the Botanical Gardens, Regards is on a small row of shops with parking at the front. Inside, the decor is a bold red carpet and white table cloths, with some cosy red leather-style booths. We were greeted by a friendly waiter and shown to our table – so far, so good. As we were there to review, it was decided that we’d try a couple of dishes chosen by the restaurant, which was fine with us as it’s always good to sample new dishes and get a feel for what the place is all about.
After regular poppadoms and dips, our starters were soon brought out, which was a trio of traditional Indian bites. As we hadn’t been told what we’d be trying, when the dish was put in-front of us I asked the waiter to explain what we had been given – his response of ‘I don’t know, I was just told to bring it out to you’ was less than ideal. Though he really should have known, an ‘I don’t know, but I will go and find out for you’ wouldn’t have gone a-miss. So, with raised eye-brows, we began our mystery starters of an onion pakora, potato patty and spinach patty, which were nothing special.
We were left waiting a long time for our mains, and had long finished our first drinks so were feeling at a bit of loose end. The first of the mains that we tried was a vegetable tawa. This dish was a little uninspiring, but still enjoyable and good value for £6.95. The curry was tomato based with a bit of heat, which supported the mix of veg well, and was served on the traditional tawa pan, piping hot. The sauce was on the oily side, but other than this, it was a good dish.
The second main that we shared was the Bengal Fish Special. I tend to avoid anything on a menu simply described as ‘fish’ (unless, of course, it’s a mix such as fish pie), and these ‘fillets of Bangladeshi fish’ reminded me why. The fillets themselves were nondescript, flavourless and not in the least bit fresh tasting. They had been grilled which gave them a funny charred aftertaste, and were topped with fried onions. served with pilau rice and a bit of plain salad, this was just an all-round disappointing dish, and had I paid £13 for it, I would have left feeling pretty sore.
Overall, though it wasn’t all bad, I won’t be recommending Regards to anyone in a hurry. In fairness, we were eating dishes we wouldn’t ordinarily choose, but I do this an awful lot for my blog, and I still feel I can judge when a dish simply isn’t up to scratch, regardless of personal taste. As for the service, Regards need to work on this, as it took away from our overall experience. Thanks to everyone at Regards for having us.