My commute to work is about 45 mins, and when you drive the same route twice a day for enough time you begin to notice even the tiniest detail and changes that occur! One particular commercial space in a small row of shops and restaurants in Streetly that I pass is now on it’s 3rd reincarnation in what seems like as many months, although its probably a little longer than this. The latest to occupy the space is Indian ‘fine dining’ restaurant Ganesha. We tried out the places there before (both Thai) and if I’m honest we weren’t keen on either so last Friday night decided to pop along and see if we thought that Ganesha would fair any better and stand the test of time.
I saw some pictures from the launch night a few weeks ago that I couldn’t make, and its looks to have been a swanky affair. We were met at the door and I must say that first impressions were good, and there were nice touches with the decor, very elegant light fittings and a wall of wine along one side. The furniture looked remarkably similar to the previous restaurant, but I’ll pass over that quickly!
We started with a drink, and they are firmly jumping on the bandwagon of trying to provide unusual cocktails. I went for a non alcoholic version though, a Cucumber Lemonade, essentially lemonade with a strip of cucumber, wedge or lemon and lime. At £3.95 for the privilege I’ll stick to plain lemonade next time. Lee stayed firmly with beer for the night!
We nibbled on some well presented pappadum and pickles whilst we looked through the menu. They got the thumbs up from me as 2 out of the 3 were heavy on the spice which I loved!
All the staff were dressed very smartly and were unbelievably polite. There was one slight older man (possibly the owner?) that was milling around and really seemed to be trying to make sure everyone was happy. At one point he stood in front of me until I’d tried my starter to see if I liked it. Maybe a little odd and pushy, but he was so enthusiastic you couldn’t hold it against him!
The starter in question was Golgape Shots – Puffed savories, chickpeas, potato-cubes, date and jaggery sauce in a spiced aromatic water, billed as a traditional indian street food favourite. I like the DIY element to these and they were really excellent and bursting with flavour. Apologies for the photo quality in this post in general too – ‘romantic’ lighting isn’t very forgiving to iPhones.
Lee tried the Rampuri Seekh Kebab – Minced lamb with green chillies and coriander flavoured with cinnamon. Again he enjoyed and found it really well spiced. He wasn’t quite sure about the pile of red onion served alongside it though!
We shared main courses, a Kadhai Murgh – Boneless meat chunks cooked with cubes of tomato, capsicum and onion, flavoured with whole coriander and red chillies and an Aloo Gobi – a traditional Punjabi dish. Cauliflower florets and potatoes stir-fried with royal cumin. We also tried a fresh spicy Kachumber Salad and a Garlic Naan to mop it all up.
The curries were of good quality and we very much enjoyed them, although I really didn’t see the meal as fine dining, just smaller portions than in your usual Balti House!
I would return to Ganesha as the food was good quality overall, but for me I felt it was a bit expensive for what it was (£59). Round the corner from Ganesha is Delhi 6, another Indian attempting fine dining, and if this it what you are looking for I would go there instead, as it is excellent.
Disclosure: Paid in Full