Prestigious Indian street food restaurant Indico Street Kitchen has recently opened its second venue in the second city.

Already a firm favourite with diners in Shirley and paying tribute to the bustling streets of North India, Indico adds an authentic and exciting experience to The Mailbox’s impressive selection of canalside bars and restaurants.

The vibrant venue features Bollywood art, street photography and hand-drawn paintings & murals by local artists, not to mention jazz-inspired mixes of Indian classics. A true taste of Punjabi culture!

The extensive menu includes a selection of hot and cold chaats (tapas-style sweet, sour, salty and spicy sharing dishes), Indian curries, a range of thalis and biryanis and a ‘from the tandoor’ section. It also has ‘lunch and later’ options - including burgers and rolls - and an extensive selection of beers, wines and spirits. There’s a specially designed cocktail menu with an Indico twist too!

Whilst sipping our cold pints of Cobra and tucking into some poppadoms and chutneys, my partner and I perused the mouthwatering menu. After a lengthy discussion, we chose as starters the Punjabi samosa chaat, the chilli paneer and the Punjabi fish pakora, all from the hot chaats section.

The latter boasted fried battered cod served with a rich tamarind mayonnaise. The batter lacked slightly in flavour, but the fish was cooked perfectly and the mayonnaise certainly packed a punch.

As did the paneer dish. A fiery Indo-Chinese fusion, the stir-fried cottage cheese was cooked nicely and served on a bed of salad, peppers and fresh green chillies. It showcased just the right amount of heat and was an enjoyable dish with which to kick off proceedings.

The most flavoursome starter, however, was the samosa. Packed full of delicious spicy vegetables and chickpeas, and served with a sweet onion relish, it was my favourite dish of the evening at that particular point in proceedings.

Daal makhani is one of our favourite Indian dishes. Featuring black lentils and red kidney beans, prepared in the restaurant’s special spices and gently cooked in an ever-so-moreish creamy sauce, the dish was devoured without complaint. It wasn’t the best daal makhani I’ve ever tried, but then I've tried a heck of a lot, so don’t take that as a negative.

As tempting as the Mughlai lamb rogan josh was for our second main course, we chose the tandoori dhaba chicken. Topped with crunchy onions, the dish featured succulent and perfectly prepared pieces of tandoori chicken tikka cooked in a curry sauce. Bursting with authentic North Indian flavours, it boasted a generous amount of heat; enough to make you reach for your beer afterwards, but not so much that it overpowered the flavour of the sauce.

We also ordered a side of steamed basmati rice, a cheese chilli naan and some masala fries, all of which were very tasty indeed and the perfect accompaniments to the mains.

If you’re still hungry - although Indico’s portion sizes are impressive - the restaurant offers a range of the finest Indian sweets and desserts. These include kulfi (a rich & creamy traditional Indian ice cream with pistachio chunks), the classic gajar ka halwa (grated carrot cooked and sweetened in condensed milk and served with panacotta ice-cream) and our favourite - gulab jamun. With a big night of dancing ahead of us, we sensibly decided to share a dessert - we couldn’t leave without trying at least one! The heavenly gulab jamun - soft milk dumplings which are deep fried and then soaked in a rose-scented sugar syrup - were served with a delightful panacotta ice-cream and proved to be the perfect way in which to end our evening at Indico. If you have a sweet tooth (or even if you don’t), I thoroughly recommend ordering a portion. I’d always choose savoury over sweet, but these are seriously delicious.

Boasting authentic and vibrant dishes and an atmosphere to match, Indico Street Kitchen is well worth a visit. We stopped by on a Friday evening and the place had a real buzz. In short, the restaurant is a great addition to Birmingham’s premier luxury shopping & lifestyle destination.

**** Lauren Foster