These days most of my time spent eating out is situated within Birmingham, so the offer of a food review in nearby Oldbury felt like I was heading out into foreign territory.
Journeys Restaurant is situated in an unassuming location, on a business park alongside the Wolverhampton Rd. It’s near to Langley train station so easier than you might think to get to, with ample parking outside.
The exterior does not even hint at what you will discover inside. The decor is impressive, with a theme of being at an Indian train station. Great attention to detail has been undertaken with fantastic murals of train carriages, with people leaning out of windows, even the characters walking along the platform look real. The idea behind this, is to try and match the surroundings with the authentic Indian fine-dining and it really works well. This is reinforced by the beautifully laid out tables.
Our waiter for the evening was possibly one of the friendliest, passionate people I have ever met in an Indian restaurant. Having moved from India, his knowledge of the food, drinks and culture is comprehensive and he’s always happy to chat, quite comical too which is a nice personal touch.
Authentic Indian Cuisine
To begin we had a selection of popadums which arrived with a beautiful and colourful selection of dips, these were devoured rapidly and set us up for the starters.
As a table of three we ordered a Tandoori Bread Basket. Tandoori Roti, Naan, Lachha Pratha, Garlic and Coriander Naan to share, which were fresh and crispy – ideal for soaking up the various spicy curries.
My starter was Lasooni Jhinga. This consists of King Prawns infused in Tandoori spices with the aroma of Indian herbs. Cooked in a clay oven. The prawn was huge, and succulent with the tandoori spices creating an incredible taste, I can genuinely say I’ve not tasted anything like this before and when I return I’ll definitely order this again, it was something unique to me and extremely delicious.
Tender chicken simmered in onion tomato gravy and taste enhancing fresh garlic and methi (fenugreek)
We also ordered the Journeys Veg Platter on recommendation. Chef’s finest selection of vegetarian dishes: Paneer Skewer, Kumb Pudina Tikka and Spinach Onion Bhaji which all tasted mouth wateringly fine. The Bhaji was exceptionally tasty and it was my first time eating Paneer, a great alternative to meat or fish options. I also had a taste of Mahi Amritsari. Chunk of cod fillet marinated in spice and ajwain (carom seed) golden fried in a gram flour batter, which was fresh and light.
For my main I opted for Methi Garlic Chicken. Tender chicken simmered in onion tomato gravy and taste enhancing fresh garlic and methi (fenugreek). This was spicy but not too hot, with a rich thick sauce, which, when infused with the chicken provided a pleasing taste. The aromatic steamed Basmati Rice was cooked to perfection and every last morsel was cleaned up!
To finish we tried a selection of classic cocktails, with one which was set alight at our table, this added to the overall experience. We left feeling well fed, but also impressed by the high level of authentic Indian cuisine, the beautiful surroundings, and the friendly attentive staff.
This is a new fave and would suit a family or couples. Something special for the region and definitely worth travelling the short distance from Birmingham to Oldbury for – you won’t be disappointed!
Review by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham