It was cold outside and the bright orange facade caught my eye, so we went into a recently opened restaurant in Birmingham, Tamatanga. It's next to the small Sainsburys Local if you're walking to the Mailbox past New Street station.
See, before we walked in, I presumed it was a Mexican restaurant, but it's an Indian restaurant, (with a sister branch in Nottingham apparently) with bold, inviting and modern.
We didn't mess around and devoured the menus, especially after passing tables being served mostly curry and naan. The menu is refreshingly simple and essentially consists of curry, naan and rice. But the thali options caught my eye, as it was a chance to have a tray of smaller dishes and ideal to dip in with rice or naan. Thali simply refers to a round platter used to serve food. I chose the £17.95 large thali, which had poppadums, chutney, veg dishes, rice, and any two curries. Now I enjoy my grub and asked for a few more poppadums, and they gratefully obliged. Nice touch.
The food arrived pretty quickly. The waitress had made the point that food arrives in no particular order, dependent on the kitchen. I like this as it reassured us that the food was freshly cooked. It was satisfyingly hot too and presented in the traditional metal round dishes with rice at the centre. I then realised that we were not given rice options but there was a choice of naan though. It was a decent portion of pilau rice that was tasty and moreish. It was perfect with the various surrounding dishes, like a wheel of flavours.
The two curries I chose were both seafood. The first was prawn, (medium size prawns with bite in a mild rich sauce with tonnes of onions), and the other fish, (hefty chunks of fish, in tangy spicier chilly curry). I still have no idea what fish it was, but it was cooked perfectly. The accompanying veg dishes included a daal and veg curry with texture. It was not overcooked and it hit the spot. The garlic naan was okay, but too mild for me, and not wild and huge like 'The Thing from Outer Space', that I'm used to at my local. But then I told you, I like my food!
Suffice to say, on a cold evening the thali spread hit the spot and I practically licked my bowls clean. We could have lingered, but service was quick, ideal if you're in a hurry or just hungry. Duh, we went too late, there was a promotion on for earlier diners, for meals and on cocktails. Check them out beforehand, maybe the early bird...
Tamatanga is so central - it's ideal for the train, New Street, or any central car park, but actually facing the Town Hall multi-story car park. Enjoy.