Award: One Michelin Star
Visit: 19 September 2020
There are a variety of different menus you can choose from, including a 5 and 10 course tasting menu and a vegetarian menu. These are all reasonably priced, with the 10-course tasting menu costing £85.
Two wine pairing menus were available – the Classic at £55 per head and the Prestige at £75 per head. There was even a non-alcoholic pairing available at £45 per head.
I can’t praise this restaurant enough! This is the best Indian meal I’ve eaten outside of London, maybe ever. The food is stunning. The staff are very friendly, attentive and professional. The matching wines all worked well with the spicy food. The cost is very reasonable.
We started with cocktails and snacks in the bar, and one of the chefs introduced us to the fresh produce that was to be used for our lunch. We then proceeded into the restaurant. The décor of the bar and restaurant is excellent. As well as the 10 courses in the tasting menu, the team also let us try two other dishes, a soft-shelled crab from the Sunday lunch menu and a new dessert that is currently under development. This was a very memorable experience.
The restaurant is large, so the tables were easily spaced out to meet the Covid restrictions and all the staff wore masks.
You must go!
Chef Patron – Aktar Islam – his first restaurant project, Karma in Shirley, Solihull, was launched when he was 20. In 2007, he launched his cookbook and DVD, called the Spice of Life, in collaboration with Warwick University Medical school.
In 2010, he won Channel 4’s The F Word and in June 2011, he won the Central regional heat to reach the final of the BBC Two series Great British Menu. He went on to win the fish course in the final.
Aktar co-owned Indian restaurants: Lasan, Lasan Eatery (now known as Raja Monkey), Nosh and Quaff, and Argentinian restaurant Fiesta Del Asado.
After leaving the Lasan Group in 2017 he opened Opheem in May 2018 and was awarded a Michelin Star in October 2019 making Opheem the first and only Michelin starred Indian restaurant outside of London.
Head Chef – Neil Withers
Inside the restaurant with the glass fronted kitchen:
A highly prized Michelin man overlooking the kitchen:
Millton, Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2017, from Gisborne, New Zealand. This 100% Chenin Blanc rates 4.1 / 5 on Vivino. It is a minerally, pale golden coloured wine. Matched well with the grilled sweet corn Bhutta.
Chateau d’Esclans, Whispering Angel Rose 2019, from Cotes de Provence, France. This rates 4.1 / 5 on Vivino. The winery is situated northeast of St. Tropez. The wine is pale salmon in colour, dry with strawberry fruit, and has great acidity, made from a blend of Cinsault, Shiraz, Rolle and Grenache grapes. This was perfectly paired with the Orkney scallop Tisria.
The Veuve Cliquot Brut champagne scores 4.6 / 5 on Vivino. Made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes, this champagne is crisp and silky and worked very well with the Aloo Tuk dish – a perfect pairing.
The Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Lucale Appassimento Primitivo, 2017, red wine from Puglia, Italy, scores 3.9 / 5 on Vivino. This was full bodies with cherry and raspberry. Absolutely perfect with the Pao, lamb and milk loaf dish.
The Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne scores a well deserved 4.4 / 5 on Vivino. It is 100% Chardonnay. The wine is creamy, biscuity, and has slight aromas of citrus and lemon. It was paired with the soft-shell crab dish.
The monkfish Dopiaza was paired with a Marc Kreydenweiss, Kritt Pinot Blanc, 2018 from Alsace, France. This 100% Pinot Blanc scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino. It is a very nice semi-dry, bio wine, with notes of pear, lime and honey.
The Dukra Maas Mangalica pork dish was paired with a Domaine Matthieu & Camille Lapierre, Morgon, 2018, from Morgon, France. This red Beaujolais wine scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino and is 100% Gamay grape. There are hints of cherry, raspberry, pepper and spice, perfect with pork.
The Manjari chocolate mousse Pista dish was paired with a Parparoussis, Muscat de Rio Patras Vin Naturellement Doux Moschato Rio 2006, from Achaia, Greece. This sweet wine scores 4.0 / 5 on Vivino. It is 100% Muscat Blanc grape, with an orange, golden colour. Slightly thick, with dry peach and minerality. This is an excellent dessert wine that work well with spicy food.
The final wine of the pairing flight was a Domaine Lafage, Maury Grenat, 2019 from Maury, France. This great dessert wine scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino. It has a slight chocolate flavour with blackberry and raisins, and is a dark red colour. This was paired with the Lassi – Strawberry, lemon verbena, meringue.