My Food Place of the Week: Tipu Sultan

For Eid-al-Adha 2015, me and my mum visited Tipu Sultan because we thoroughly enjoyed our last visit, shown below. The dishes were ok but the mains were very heavy on the masala and missing that quality element. I had the Lamb Chops, Palak Ghosht, Fries and Aloo Paratha. The Lamb Chops had a lot of fat on them and hardly any lamb but the marinade was nice. The Palak Ghosht was good but the meat was quite tough. The star of the show was the Aloo Paratha, which was just simply awesome, Me and my mum both have bad stomachs today, make of that what you will, and it just feels too heavy so I don't think I will be revisiting Tipu again for a very long time, if ever. They weren't that busy at the time we visited so there wasn't an excuse really for the lacklustre food. I loved the service though, friendly and constant. However, at one point the server did say that we shouldn't order anymore because it was enough for two already. I nicely commented that you obviously do not know that we are the Gilmore Girls of Birmingham. They still are skimping on the details, such as serving pre-packed salad, store-brought chutneys and cheap ketchup. After trying Vivaanta, I just don't think Tipu Sultan is good enough.

*Original Review*
It was my birthday on the 21st March, Yay for me, and to celebrate me and my mother decided to go to see Saturday Night Fever and go for dinner at Tipu Sultan. Whilst, Saturday Night Fever got cancelled at intermission, just my luck, Tipu Sultan really delivered. It is situated on the outskirts of Moseley/Kings Heath and used to be a pub. I have been to Tipu Sultan for a wedding in the upstairs section of the restaurant and remember loving the food, but that was last August and I haven't been back since, so I knew I had to visit again to get the real dining experience.
It was early evening on a Saturday, it was steadily getting busier within the restaurant and the spaces in the car park all looked as if they were taken, due to two private parties taking place within the restaurant. Kaiser was our waiter and he seated us in an area that reminded me of a conservatory, as it was spacious, airy and full of windows. The tables were clean and we couldn't wait to eat. Whilst we were deciding we had some poppadoms, that were served with four chutneys; mint, mango, chilli and tomato and onion. The poppadoms were neither here nor there, crispy and warm, the chutneys were all store bought, they didn't taste like they were made in the venue; nothing to write home about but they filled the hunger gap at the time and enabled me to study the menu without salivating too much.

There are only 9 out of the 20 starters that are dairy free, which is alot of choice compared to other places. I chose to have the "Murgh Pakora", which is "chicken breast covered in Tipu’s
special spiced batter. Served with dipping sauce and garnish". I really liked the minty aftertaste of the dipping sauce, especially with the pakoras. The pakora was quite basic and a little dry but the chicken was of a good standard and worked well with the salad and chutneys but if I went to the restaurant again, I wouldn't get this, it just didn't taste or look like anything particularly special. I have heard the lamb chops are good so I will definitely be trying those next time.

One to the mains, we decided to order two curries and share. I chose the "Palak Gosht" and my mum chose the "Hyderabadi Handi".
Palak Gosht is spinach and lamb and is shown in the image above. This was to die for and was nearly as good as my mums, this is high praise because I do not say that often, if at all. The lamb was soft and melted in your mouth, the spinach was creamy but yet spiced very well. There was no overbearing taste of garam masala and the meat had no smell but the dish smelt amazing. I love spinach so this is a favourite of mine that has been made by the Tipu Sultan chefs to perfection. It was also presented well in a mini karahi, that looks small but because of how deep the dish is, it is quite a large portion. I would be more than happy to just leave the starters and go straight to the mains next time.

"Hyderabadi Handi" has it's origin in Hyderabad in India and the "Handi" element of the name relates to the metal dish that it has been cooked in. This reminded me of a dish called Meat Dopiaza that my mum makes because it has the same components of a rich masala and lamb. Again, this was delicious and the masala was completely different to the Palak Gosht; this is something I have had difficulty with at other indian restaurants, where they use the same masala and everything just tastes the same but this was not the case at Tipu Sultan.

To go alongside the curries, we chose a "Roomali Roti", which is thin and big, like a handkerchief/roomal and a "Aloo Paratha", which is a chapatti that is stuffed with a potato mix. Both were well made and were tasty but I particularly liked the roti because it was light and airy and worked well with the curries. Whereas the Aloo Paratha could easily be a meal on it's own, so it became quite heavy with the curries. But it was my birthday so I let go of all the rules.

The inside of the Aloo Paratha

We also had "Masala Fries" on the side, like we actually needed anymore sides, that came in a great stand. However, being a self-titled ketchup connoisseur, I could tell that we were not served the real stuff aka Heinz Ketchup Sauce. But the fries themselves were great, soft, crunchy, with spices on the top and were hot. So hot, that I actually burnt my tongue, I have no patience with food. They tasted so good, I made sure I finished them. You are allowed to food binge on your birthday, right?!

Overall, it was a great birthday meal. The portions were great, there was nothing I hated but a couple of things that were mediocre and other little details that did not that match the quality of the others. But the two main course dishes were tasty and delicious and that makes me want to visit the restaurant again.

Food - 4/5
The fries, two main dishes, breads and sundries were of a high standard. The little details such as the ketchup and chutney quality were overlooked, in my opinion.

Dairy-free options? - 5/5
The allergens are detailed on the main menu, which made my life super easy and enabled me to choose my dishes with the safe knowledge that they would not have dairy within them. There was also a lot of choice for me, so I know that I could maybe try something new each time, a novelty I do not get everywhere.

Service - 5/5
Our server was Kaiser, he was attentive, friendly, quick and helpful. The service cannot be faulted.

Cleanliness - 5/5
It was clean and decorated elaborately and beautifully.

Location - 4/5
The venue is located on the outskirts of Moseley and Kings Heath. Parking is available at the venue but can get quite full, especially if there are private parties being held, so it is best to ring ahead or maybe go a little earlier for dinner, to ensure a parking space.

Value for Money - 5/5
All together it came to around £35, which is for 3 starters, 2 mains, 1 sundry and 3 breads. Quite reasonable for the quality and portions, in my opinion.

Worth trying?
If you are looking to try a good quality curry then definitely try Tipu Sultan.
If you are looking for dairy free options or are vegetarian then you will have a plethora of options.
Vegans may still have options but it is limited.

Overall score - 4/5

Until the next time, my fellow foodies.

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