Birmingham places I want to check out, but haven’t yet

Just a placeholder page for places I want to visit but haven’t got around to yet:

  • Sushi Passion: a small sushi place in Birmingham Indoor Market
  • The Karczma: billed as a traditional Polish restaurant, near Moor Street
  • The King and Thai: supposed to be a good Thai restaurant doing properly hot Thai food in Broseley, Shropshire
  • The Vine: near the Hawthorns, supposed to do good Indian BBQ, according to Dom Clarke (alternative: The Sportsman, suggested by Gary Weir)
  • The Wildmoor Oak: Bromsgrove, for jerk chicken
  • The Hop Pole: Bewdley, supposed to be a good food pub.

9 thoughts on “Birmingham places I want to check out, but haven’t yet”

  1. I think the Polish place is the old Polish Community centre restaurant, which was excellent, if you like like heavy eastern european food (which I do). Amazing soups too. Rather a gloomy building though.

  2. I took away a lunch set from Sushi Passion yesterday. The guy seems very dedicated and skilled but is somewhat hampered by the quality of his ingredients. I asked if he used any of the fish in the market and rather liked the way he scoffed at the suggestion; “only lobster” for the one of the specials. The 1st lunch set had four pieces of nigiri (2 tamago, cooked ebi and salmon) and a massive maki roll. The roll contained salmon, cream cheese, shitake and lettuce. Salmon and philly cheese, yes a good combination but the addition of shitake was odd. Connie said the taste of the shitake kept repeating on her. This would have been much nicer with avocado.

    So, I wouldn’t rush to go there but it is nice to have Sushi Passion there if you’re in the market buying other stuff.

  3. I love Sushi Passion. Be intregued to know what you think. (And I though you were a bit hard on Mt Fuji. Bentos and donburi are perfect if you need to duck in after an exhausting trip round the market shopping!)

    1. I went back to try some more as it would be very nice to have a decent sushi place in Brum and also to have a sit down and chat with him. This time i ordered some mackerel and ikura. I like Mackerel it’s probably my favourite sushi item and it’s a good litmus test for decent sushi. Mackerel is pretty much universal, you’ll find it in the seas of Jupiter’s moons, and any sushi chef that cares will take the time to prepare their own vinegared Mackerel – Shime Saba. So I was pretty deflated when he pulled out a small thawed polysterene tray of pre-sliced shime saba and laid a couple of flaccid brown-grey slices atop the rice. I can get this same tray of frozen pre-sliced mackerel at the Seoul Plaza in Selly Oak, it’s about £4 for 24 slices there. I just got charged £3 for two slices and two nuggets of rice. Heck I can buy fresh mackerel from the market and make better shime saba myself, something I like to do regularly. This is where he is seriously hampered, he doesn’t use any of the fish at the indoor market or from the wholesale market down the road, so his stock of fish is just the generic stuff you can buy anywhere. I appreciate the time and skill it takes for him to prepare the fancier sushi rolls and understand the prices for these reflect this. But for the real sushi lover it’s all about the nigiri and sashimi. If you’re using frozen presliced fish then there’s no hiding place and really no excuse for charging so much for it. So go if you like to see him make a multilayered futomaki roll, but don’t go if you actually want to eat good sushi.

      There’s been a very positive review of Sushi Passion by the Birmingham Post critic Richard McComb yesterday. I think it’s telling of the standard of sushi that most Brummies are used to that even this place is seen as a revelation to Birmingham’s most vaunted food critic. In it he describes the chef as not compromising on quality yet he has just been served frozen pre-sliced prepared eel, prawn, cuttlefish, sweet prawn and octopus nigiri. All of which can be found alongside the frozen mackerel at Seoul Plaza 2 miles down the road. The only fresh fish, Salmon and Tuna, are ordered in from sushi specialists. Which makes his advocacy of restaurants in markets a nonsense in this case because there is no connection with the food produced by Sushi Passion and the food available at the market. All the great market restaurants around the world have this connection. Sushi Passion is not great at all.

      1. I think you might have struck a nerve somewhat (taken from Facebook).
        “:
        Properone version:)

        -I went back to try some more as it would be very nice to have a decent sushi place in Brum and also to have a sit down and chat with him. This time i ordered some mackerel and ikura.

        -Good choice Sir. IKURA-Salmon Roe is excellent quality but Mackerel is sliced from Tazaki.

        -I like Mackerel it’s probably my favourite sushi item and it’s a good litmus test for decent sushi. Mackerel is pretty much universal, you’ll find it in the seas of Jupiter’s moons, and any sushi chef that cares will take the time to prepare their own vinegared Mackerel – Shime Saba.

        -Yes Sir,SHIME SABA is the best prepared by chef.Every week I preparing one special sushi dish.For example, it was served: fresh Octopus Nigiri, Spicy Octopus Salad, Fresh Squid Salad, Sashimi Maguro Togarashi and many many more)Mackerel I served two week ago,it was not popular.That is why I serve mackerel from the tray, but you may order at any time and I prepare it for you.
        Each chef promotes their best dishes not every chefs promotes the Mackerel:)

        -So I was pretty deflated when he pulled out a small thawed polysterene tray of pre-sliced shime saba and laid a couple of flaccid brown-grey slices atop the rice. I can get this same tray of frozen pre-sliced mackerel at the Seoul Plaza in Selly Oak, it’s about £4 for 24 slices there. I just got charged £3 for two slices and two nuggets of rice. Heck I can buy fresh mackerel from the market and make better shime saba myself, something I like to do regularly. This is where he is seriously hampered, he doesn’t use any of the fish at the indoor market or from the wholesale market down the road, so his stock of fish is just the generic stuff you can buy anywhere. I appreciate the time and skill it takes for him to prepare the fancier sushi rolls and understand the prices for these reflect this. But for the real sushi lover it’s all about the nigiri and sashimi. If you’re using frozen presliced fish then there’s no hiding place and really no excuse for charging so much for it. So go if you like to see him make a multilayered futomaki roll, but don’t go if you actually want to eat good sushi.

        -I have never order spaghetti in the restaurant.In the Tesco, I can buy pasta for £ 0.75 for 1 KG and sauce for £ 1.00

        I remember you,because I noticed that you do not know how to properly eat sushi.SUSHI SCHOOL AT SUSHI PASSION is for you for FREE.Any time.
        Sajonara and best regards for all customers.”

        Can see what he means regarding mackerel not being popular – only has limited resources so can’t do everything, etc. but this kind of reply won’t do him any favours. It’s really hard to open a restaurant on your own with limited resources and be able to do everything how you’d like it to be done so one must compromise and I believe that this is the case, rather than an active decision never to do it. On the other hand, I understand that this is not what you’ve paid for!

        As you say, there probably isn’t the appreciation in Brum for Sushi but hopefully some of his stuff will make inroads into having a decent place where the proprietor is confident that if he/she goes the extra mile, with the expense to the customer to boot, that there are enough appreciative customers to survive. I’m not sure the food scene is there yet?

        By the way, I haven’t been yet and I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert in Japanese cuisine at all but I’ll update my reply with my thoughts when I’ve been – just in case you cared. Ha.

  4. Properone version:)

    -I went back to try some more as it would be very nice to have a decent sushi place in Brum and also to have a sit down and chat with him. This time i ordered some mackerel and ikura.

    -Good choice Sir. IKURA-Salmon Roe is excellent quality but Mackerel is sliced,from Tazaki.

    -I like Mackerel it’s probably my favourite sushi item and it’s a good litmus test for decent sushi. Mackerel is pretty much universal, you’ll find it in the seas of Jupiter’s moons, and any sushi chef that cares will take the time to prepare their own vinegared Mackerel – Shime Saba.

    -Yes Sir,SHIME SABA is the best prepared by chef.Every week I preparing one special sushi dish.For example, it was served: fresh Octopus Nigiri, Spicy Octopus Salad, Fresh Squid Salad, Sashimi Maguro Togarashi and many many more)Mackerel I served two week ago,it was not popular.That is why I serve mackerel from the tray, but you may order at any time and I prepare it for you.
    Each chef promotes their best dishes not every chefs promotes the Mackerel:)

    -So I was pretty deflated when he pulled out a small thawed polysterene tray of pre-sliced shime saba and laid a couple of flaccid brown-grey slices atop the rice. I can get this same tray of frozen pre-sliced mackerel at the Seoul Plaza in Selly Oak, it’s about £4 for 24 slices there. I just got charged £3 for two slices and two nuggets of rice. Heck I can buy fresh mackerel from the market and make better shime saba myself, something I like to do regularly. This is where he is seriously hampered, he doesn’t use any of the fish at the indoor market or from the wholesale market down the road, so his stock of fish is just the generic stuff you can buy anywhere. I appreciate the time and skill it takes for him to prepare the fancier sushi rolls and understand the prices for these reflect this. But for the real sushi lover it’s all about the nigiri and sashimi. If you’re using frozen presliced fish then there’s no hiding place and really no excuse for charging so much for it. So go if you like to see him make a multilayered futomaki roll, but don’t go if you actually want to eat good sushi.

    -I have never order spaghetti in the restaurant.In the Tesco, I can buy pasta for
    £ 0.75 for 1 KG and sauce for £ 1.00

    I remember you,because I noticed that you do not know how to properly eat sushi.SUSHI SCHOOL AT SUSHI PASSION is for you for FREE.Any time.
    Sajonara and best regards for all customers.

    1. Hi Adam, thank you for your response. I admire your endeavour very much and opening a sushi bar in the Indoor market is a very brave decision. You are undoubtedly very skilled in making the American fusion style sushi rolls, they are wonderful creations and look fantastic. But you and I know that the essence of sushi is in the simple nigiri, this you cannot hide from the quality of your ingredients. I do not blame you for this as you are simply operating at the level of your customers. If most of your customers are happy then you are happy. I am just one customer who didn’t like what you served to me.

      I also thank you for your offer of free Sushi School, ha ha maybe you can teach me to eat sushi and maybe I can teach you how to make sushi!

      You are right I don’t order spaghetti from an Italian restaurant either. In this we understand each other. But 75p for 1kg of pasta is really crap pasta, you should buy better pasta.

  5. I live a 5 minute walk away from the king and Thai broseley and can very much recommend it. You must leave space for dessert, they are better than ones I have had in Michelin restaurants! Happy eating!

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