As Raja Monkey prepares to celebrate its Sweet 16th year, we look back – and forward – at one of Birmingham’s best-loved curry houses and how it’s gone from street food pioneer to become the go-to for Michelin chefs in the city.
Raja Monkey began as an authentic roadside café experience that pioneered the street food scene – that was to become so popular in later years – growing into into one of Birmingham’s best-loved Indian restaurants and benefitting from a new-look and major refurbishment recently.
16 years since its launch, the restaurant has become regarded as one of Birmingham’s best foodie destinations – if you know, you know – and counts some of the city’s Michelin chefs amongst its happy patrons. Throughout this evolution, Raja Monkey has always stayed true to its ethos of being quietly brilliant, serving authentic, mouth-watering, soul-warming dishes created with passion and using only the highest quality, fresh ingredients.
“We pride ourselves on bringing an authentic taste of India to Birmingham, creating vibrant dishes that bring our customers closer to the real India, “says Munayam Khan.
Cooked with passion, all dishes are created on-site in the open kitchen and are inspired by the chef’s homeland, with many of the recipes handed down through the generations.
This glass-fronted kitchen not only provides theatre to the Hall Green restaurant, as you see the team of chefs busy in their work, but allows diners the ability to personalise their dishes, should they have allergies and preferences, or wish to dial the heat of the curry up or down – making it a restaurant to suit all tastebuds.
The menu is under constant evolution, as seasons shape the recipes. Guest favourites include the Thali, which is an Indian meal platter comprising rice, dhal, salad, seasonal vegetables and paratha. Also highly rated are the Shimla Prawns – king prawns, bell pepper, garlic and chilli oil. Delicious.
These sit alongside the Raja Monkey signature dishes, which are perennial favourites and include the mouth-watering Monkfish Moilee – tandoori roasted monkfish and Moilee sauce; the always-tempting beef biriyani and the scrumptious paneer kofta – making Raja Monkey a firm favourite for carnivores, pescatarians or vegetarians/vegans.
All dishes are served with love and created personally by Munayam; often inspired by the season, or his travels across the globe.
It’s not hard to see why there are so many staunch devotees of this restaurant. From regulars so passionate about the food that they’ve had the business logo tattooed on their bodies, to Raja Monkey being the go-to eating place for top Michelin chefs in the city when they’re not working, Raja Monkey promises a royal welcome to all.