Umami, the name of the fifth taste (now the penultimate taste with the addition of oleogustus), is also the name of this restaurant in Birmingham’s Harborne. Umami Indian Kitchen, down Lordswood Road, is committed to the venerable art of Indian cookery but unafraid to engage in bold, innovative flavours. A similar approach is at work at Umami’s cocktail bar, with mixologists equally capable of shaking up a concoction from the Golden Age of the cocktail as they are at creating new, bespoke drinks.
The moment you spot Umami Indian Kitchen’s restaurant and cocktail bar down Lordswood Road, in the verdant Birmingham suburb of Harborne, you are primed for Indian cuisine that leans towards the modern as much as it depends upon tradition. The man in charge of preserving this delicate balance is head chef Mandeep Bajwa, who draws upon decades of experience working in restaurants in the Indian subcontinent and in the Middle East, where South Asian fine dining has exploded in recent years.
Just as capable are Umami Indian Kitchen’s team of bartenders and resident mixologists, who make works of art from premium spirits, fresh fruit, herbs, and spices. The art of the cocktail, we suppose, is not too dissimilar from the art of Indian cuisine: balance, flavour, colour. Perhaps the best way to experience Umami’s unique take on food and drink is to book ample space at Umami’s stylish restaurant in Birmingham’s Harborne and go for the Royal prix fixe menu, with the banquet spread across the table, perfect for sharing. Highlights and less-than-usual dishes include the Indo-Chinese chilli paneer wah wah and the Cochin fish curry (tilapia stewed with curry leaves and whole red chillies in a Keralan style).
Felt relaxed as soon as we entered the restaurant and was greeted by a hostess. Enjoyed a drink in the bar while choosing our meals. As we had not visited the restaurant before we decided to go for a fixed menu and was not disappointed. Everything was beautifully presented and was so tasty. Will definitely be returning and will recommend Umami to our friends.
Enjoyed the whole experience - pleasant welcome from staff, pre-dinner drinks in arrival area, excellent meals enjoyed by all four members of the party, we will return for sure!
My new favourite Indian restaurant. Food is absolutely delicious, very authentic, and service is fantastic. We also enjoyed 241 champagne cocktails. Very reasonable prices too. Would highly recommend!