A recent four-day work event led to me staying in Birmingham city centre for several nights over Easter. After a super-early start and a crazy day, a group of us headed out for some much needed sustenance. As we were staying at the Hyatt, we didn’t fancy trekking too far from the hotel so decided to try our luck to get a table at Blue Mango, which was just a few minutes from our digs.
Perhaps we looked like we needed a good meal as the manager somehow managed to find a table for us on what was a very busy Saturday evening. Having been to the Blue Mango a few years ago I know how popular it is, so we were appreciative they could squeeze us in.
As I was working for the weekend, I was having a few nights sans-alcohol so I begrudgingly passed on their cocktail menu. This was a shame as they looked superb, but I opted for a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple, which was sweet and refreshing, served in a tall glass over plenty of ice.
After tucking into some deliciously crisp poppadoms and having been through the extensive menu several times, I plumped for a Chicken Tikka Dosa for starter. For main course I ordered Keema Mutter with a peshawari naan – the lamb was a more unusual choice for me, while Peshawari is my go-to naan bread, so I was looking forward to seeing what the meal would bring.
The Dosa arrived promptly and it was presented beautifully. I’ve not had a Dosa before; it is a thin and crispy rice flour crepe with a filling and Blue Mango serve theirs with three different sauces and chutneys. I’m not entirely sure what they were, I think one was coconut and it was very light and cooling against the chicken which had a lovely warmth to it. My only criticism would be that there wasn’t quite enough filling for the size of the Dosa, but not having had one before I don’t know if this is how they are served. This said, I was impressed by the depth of flavours and care that had clearly been taken to prepare the dish.
Starters cleared and the edge taken off our hunger, we moved onto the main course. It did take quite a long time to arrive, but given that they had fitted us in on a very busy Saturday night, I was more than happy just enjoying conversation while we waited.
The substantial portion of Keema Mutter arrived piping hot, emitting delicious scents of ginger and garlic. The sauce was thick, rich and packed full of flavour with a definitely chilli kick to it. The lamb was tender and lean, and the perfectly cooked peas completed the taste. The naan bread was a particular highlight for me. I love Peshawari but appreciate it can often be overly-sweet (I have a huge appreciation of sweet flavours in savoury food). This naan used saffron, nuts and cherries, so it was fruity rather than syrupy. Delicious.
We were all too full and tired for dessert. The whole meal including drinks worked out at just over £25 a head, which is perhaps more expensive than some Indian restaurants, but was a very fair price for the quality of the food and the service.
I would certainly recommend the Blue Mango if you want a change from the usual Indian fare. The chefs clearly care about offering customers a varied yet inventive menu. I look forward to returning to the Blue Mango when I haven’t worked a 13-hour day and can kick back with a cocktail (or two).