This is a place that deserves to be better known

Old Moseley Arms

Can’t-be-arsed-to-cook laziness is a dangerous thing.

It can lead us to order takeaways with the charm of Boris Johnson’s scrotum or visit restaurants so boring that they could be local radio DJs working the late-night shift.

But the gamble can sometimes be worth it – leading us to discover new gems and re-discover old favourites.

Into which later category falls the Old Moseley Arms, a place I’d not visited for almost four years.

Such is often the case with places virtually on our doorsteps.

The Old Mo is an odd place – part pub/ part curry house located in a cul de sac on the border of Moseley and Balsall Heath.

Old Moseley Arms

There’s nothing fancy about the decor in its small rooms – it’s got that plain but atmospheric functionality of the sort of boozers that have existed for donkey’s years.

There are large screen TVs showing sport, a pool table and dart board. There’s an outside area for smokers.

But the beer selection is interesting enough to have earned praise from CAMRA – with lots of interesting ales and lagers alongside mainstream brews.

And the food… well, it’s a mystery why praise isn’t lavished on the Old Mo in the way it is on some of the city’s more prominent desi pubs.

Selfishly, though, that suits because an early evening mid-week visit with my son found the place quiet enough for us easily to find a table in the front bar, the sun streaming through the windows.

The menu is short but ticks most of the boxes.

Various combinations of ingredients can be ordered and a sauce chosen to accompany them.

Old Moseley Arms

The lamb and chickpea bhuna that I ordered was a fine thing.

The sauce was properly thick and rich.

It was sweet with caramelised onions.

I could complain that there was a little too much garlic, but that’s a minor gripe.

The spicing was spot-on, with layers of flavours and just enough chilli heat to warm rather than assault the palate.

Whole coriander seeds added bursts of citrus, echoed by the punchy taste of cinnamon.

Old Moseley Arms

Opposite, newly-vegetarian Ewan ate a a vegetable dopiaza that, like my choice, was rich and deftly spiced.

He was mightily impressed on what was his first visit to the gaff.

We ate a couple of naans that were light, fluffy and a nice bland foil against the power of the curries.

A couple of pints of Hop House were inoffensive enough but lacked the refreshing quality I like to detect in a lager when I’m eating Indian food.

Our fault – there were plenty of better options available.

Let’s hope another four years don’t fly by before I’m back to sample them.

Need to know

We paid £24 for two curries, bread and beer.

There are veggie options.

Food is available on Sunday lunchtimes, but just during evenings the rest of the week.

There’s lots of on-street parking.

The Old Moseley Arms

53 Tindal Street, Balsall Heath, Birmingham B12 9QU. 0121 440 1954.

http://www.oldmoseleyarms.co.uk

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