Why did I leave it so long to return to this place?

Zindiya

The swirly red carpets, flock wallpaper and oleaginous service of the curry houses of yesteryear have largely disappeared since the arrival of a new kid on the block.

Bowls of curry in stock sauces of mediocre quality have been replaced by dosa. Pints of flat, lukewarm lager have given way to craft beers.

We now have the funky decor, matey young waiters and small plates served at restaurants offering Indian street food.

It’s become a bit of a cliche over the past five years and, let’s be honest, not all such gaffs are especially good.

Let’s continue in this vein of frankness and admit that I wasn’t particularly impressed when I first visited Zindiya soon after its opening more than three years ago – thinking the food a bit under-powered.

But a return visit on a Saturday night makes me wonder what joys I’ve been missing in the intervening years and regret my tardiness in not revisiting sooner.

For my latest meal there was really very enjoyable.

Zindiya

Housed in the former Lukers bakery and bread shop in Moseley, it’s a big space with twinkling strings of overhead lights, Indian-themed murals and bric-a-brac.

It’s garish, but in a good and knowing sort of way.

The service was informed, friendly and helpful.

The menu is a succinct assembly of small plates of street food staples, with a small assortment of Indian-influenced burgers added.

Dishes arrive as they’re cooked and are meant to be shared among the table.

Zindiya

First out of the open-plan kitchen was a bowl of aloo tikka chaat – a potato cake nestling among spiced chickpeas, yoghurt, chutneys and crisp sev.

This was a refreshing and very satisfying dish, the textures varied and the sweet, hot and sour notes deftly balanced.

Aubergine fritters were very good indeed – the vegetable good and squidgy, the gram flour coating crisp.

Zindiya

A tamarind dipping sauce was a suitably perky accompaniment.

Kati roll was a more substantial dish.

Wholemeal flatbread encased a sprouting lentil salad, onions, green chutney and and chicken.

Zindiya

This was a winning combination that was hugely satisfying.

Hariyali chicken tikka was an eye-catching shade of green, the poultry marinated in spinach, mint, coriander and yoghurt.

This was a pleasant dish, though lacked enough of those glorious burnt edges that come from a ferociously hot grill.

Zindiya

The same might be said of the paneer tikka.

But these are quibbles for both dishes were enjoyable, if not quite as notable as their neighbours on the table.

Finally, a word for the delicately pink rose-infused rasmalai with which I finished – a soothing, not overly-sweet and palate-calming conclusion to the evening.

Zindiya

Zindiya, a mere 10-minute stagger from my house, is a restaurant that has a sense of identity and a commitment to providing good quality and authentic Indian food.

It certainly won’t be another three years before I revisit.

Need to know

A filling meal for two, with wine and chai, cost just over £60.

There are vegan and children’s menus.

Zindiya also offers click-and-collect and Deliveroo  deliveries.

The drinks list – soft and alcoholic – is well-balanced.

Zindiya Streatery & Bar

21 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8EJ. 0121 439 0593.

https://www.zindiya.co.uk

Tags from the story
, ,