Advantages Eat wonderful food in a great place.
Disadvantages Not centrally located
Teknaf or how to deliver babies the easy wayIf you live in Birmingham or know of the vast, sprawling hub that lies west of junction 6 of the M6 that is England’s fair second city then you may think that good Indian restaurants are two a penny. Sure enough we have a deluge of such establishments and even an area named the ‘curry belt’ (not to be mistaken for an elasticated band that will expand after the consumption of said curries) but there is sadly a lacking of real, top quality, Indian restaurants.
Can I just point out now that I’ll be using the term ‘Indian restaurants’ to encompass, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Kashmiri and so on because, well basically the food is very much the same so what’s the point in being picky?Sure you can get good quality ‘Indian’ food at very reasonable prices almost anywhere in the city but what you can not get your hands on that easily is ‘Indian’ food that really stands out from the rest and declares ‘You’ve got to eat me, your taste buds need me!’ Teknaf is such a place.
Situated on the Bearwood High Street you can find Teknaf at the end of the road that joins the Hagley road. It is opposite the ‘Quantum Experience’, which was formally known as ‘The Kings Head’ but which are both now closed down. Any bus going west out of the city will get you there such as the very regular no.9 also the less reliable outer circle no.11 will also get you there. There are a lot of good bus services for Bearwood so it shouldn’t be a problem getting there. Sadly there are no train stations close enough and a cab from the city will cost you around £8. We’re lucky enough to live around the corner from this fine eating den. We will be moving out of the area soon but we would definitely travel across the city to eat here as the food and service is so good.Let’s get the crap name out of the way first. Teknaf is anything but ‘naf’ the interior is finished to a high standard and it looks more like a city centre bar than your typical Indian restaurant. There is plenty of lightwood, glass and polished chrome with atmospheric lighting and chilled music playing in the background. The staff are very friendly and helpful, nothing seems too trivial and they always have time for you. Also Teknaf is fully licensed and has an extensive bar. A few years ago Balti houses were all the rage ‘you can bring your own booze!’ this is fine (more often than not the food wasn’t) but what if you run out or forget to bring any. I much prefer a restaurant to have a bar so that I can booze without restraint.
If you check out the scarily illustrated menu you will notice that the name ‘Teknaf’ refers to an area of India somewhere near Bangladesh, this is where they get the wonderful recipes from for their marvellous food.Starters range from £2.50 for the Prawn Cocktail to £5.95 for the Issa shaslick. There are also a selection of ‘special starters that are well worth checking out especially the Garam Issa. There are a vast variety of main dishes but do pick something from the Teknaf specials. These range from £6.95 to £10.95 and are just wonderful. They do a good selection of vegetarian dishes and also ‘old favourites’ such as Bhunas and Kormas. Something that seems to be unique to ‘Teknaf’ is a combination menu. Here you get two main courses for around £7 these are such delights as:
Naga Issa and King Prawn Jalfrezi
Issa Mossala and King Prawn Bhuna
Chicken Tikka Mossala and Lamb Tikka Jalfrezi
Kasa Morich Chicken and Lamb Tikka Methi
What ever you order the food is incredible and always wonderfully presented in fact the whole restaurant is more like a top nosh eating house than your typical ‘Indian.’ My personal favourite is the Chicken Sagwalla because I just love spinach. When you do eat here you must try the lemon rice (my brother in laws favourite) or the mushroom rice (my fave) both mouth wateringly good. The meat is always tender and the fish always fresh. I’ve eaten here many times since it’s opened and I’ve never had a bad meal.The atmosphere is quite modern and chilled with contemporary furniture and low-key lighting. It is ideal for intimate meals for two or larger get togethers. The interior is split into two sections with the larger parties being seated at the raised back area. The toilets are always clean and the whole place is well heated in the winter.
Living so close to this marvellous place we often treat ourselves to a take away. They will deliver if you live within a 3-mile radius and this is free for orders over £10. I prefer to collect it myself. Whenever I do this the guys behind the bar give me a free drink whilst I wait the only problem is that I never have to wait that long so I often find myself gulping my ‘Tiger’ beer down.Finally when my wife was pregnant we went here on her due date and the waiters joked about curry being a great way to ‘kick start’ the proceedings. Sure enough her waters broke in the restaurant and later the following morning our beautiful son was born.
So if you want to encourage a little squatter out of your tummy or just want to fill up on some great tasting food then Teknaf is the place for you. If you live in Brum then it really is worth the visit to Bearwood and if you don’t live in Brum you can only dream of such drool inducing delights.
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