Destinations Magazine

The Balti Triangle, Birmingham

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

I'm a fan of South Asian cuisine but I've never really been adventurous enough to breakaway from a mild Chicken Korma dish. Until now I ventured down to Sparkbrook, Birmingham to check out the Balti Triangle. Being a university student in Birmingham can usually mean sticking within the city limits only taking in the Bullring and the Canals, but I pride myself with the effort and adventure of breaking from the norm to try something new. Has Birmingham's Balti Triangle really got spice?!

The Balti Triangle, BirminghamWelcome to Sparkbrook, the homeland of Birmingham's Balti Triangle. Ladypool Road is the part that I discovered yesterday to find some spicy food and eastern promise. If truth be told I was following a Google map from my iPhone so I was relieved to see the sign for Ladypool Road. You could say that I'm quite daring because until yesterday I had not ventured past Highgate in all my time as a student in Birmingham, almost three years, I really felt like I needed to take a chance and just go with it! I'm quite accustomed to areas like Sparkbrook as I lived close to Southall, London until I was six years old. Back to the Triangle, I loved the variety of convenience stores that were on offer as I turned onto Ladypool Road, it was great to see the long lines of fresh fruit and vegetables ripe for sale out front. Being a inner city Birmingham boy the closest I get to vegetables is the frozen section in Tesco on Broad Street.  

This Balti Triangle is a testament of Birmingham being a multicultural city with a rich tapestry of communities that complement each other. I believe we have to tolerant and willing to be part of these international factors because it what Birmingham is famous for! I timed by walk from Birmingham's Westside to Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook finding out my journey had taken less than thirty minutes, proving this hot 'n' spicy area is conveniently located from Birmingham's inner city core. Sparkbrook reminded me of something from the film 'East Is East' I mean that in the best possible way because at the end of the I say what I see, why should I lie?!

The Balti Triangle, BirminghamYou've heard of 'Haute Couture?' Well, I want to turn that definition of fashion on its head because I saw some beautiful Asian saris and wedding dresses that could be certified 'Halal Couture!' Call me controversial but if I was a Pakistani or Indian bride to be I would jump at the chance of having a dress made at one of Sparkbrook's many bridal boutiques! I did not just see normal dress shops I saw Islamic fashion shops that specialised in the sale of headscarves like the Hijab and Niqab, the shops windows in those shops were very brightly coloured with a wide range of fashionable headwear available for the modern and more conservative Muslim women of Birmingham. 

I nearly forgot! Are diamonds really a girl's best friend? Birmingham's Balti Triangle features some of the most eye catching jewelers I have ever seen, isn't that kind of gold different to English and Welsh gold? It's not just all for the women in Sparkbrook, because Ladypool Road has many barber shops for men, some of which were full customers as I passed by yesterday during the late afternoon. Still on the subject of religious and bridal wear there was actually a huge range of mens fashion wear for all important occasions, I would say that definition of 'Halal Couture' could utilised once again for the gentleman from this part of Birmingham. 

The Balti Triangle, BirminghamI did not just go to The Balti Triangle for a walk around, I went for the food! Choosing to eat at Shababs Balti Restaurant on Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook. Birmingham is undoubtedly the home and creator of the Balti dish, originating from the Pakistani and Kashmiri communities this dish has allowed the Curry to become the national dish of England. Back to my orders, I chose Onion Bhaji and Chicken Pakora to start with accompanied by a Poppadom with raita. I honestly didn't realize how much food I was going to be faced with so I had the rest of starters packaged for later. I took a breather from eating by enjoying a cup of Desi Masala Tea it tasted superb! Finally, I ordered the Balti Chicken Mushroom and Spinach with a Naan bread instead of Pilau rice. I literally enjoyed every single mouthful, even though I'm not one for extra spicy food I opted for medium spice to find out that it was a great decision to make! 

I could not fault the service conducted at Shababs Balti Restaurant as it was exceptional. My whole order cost £14.00, which for an occasional treat didn't break my tight budget! Would I choose other places to eat upon my next visit to Sparkbrook? I don't think I would even though variety is the spice of life, I did really enjoy the food served to me. Also I shall rethink my curry of choice for next because I wish to sample other types of Balti dishes. To finish things off I even received a 10% discount card for my next order at Shababs Balti Restaurant, so I know where I'm going next time I venture back to Birmingham's Balti Triangle! 

The Balti Triangle, Birmingham .... Thank You For Welcoming Me!!!Joseph Harrison

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