Balti Map

My bookmarks Print listing Add Bookmark Save listing in PDF

Shahi Nan Kebab

353 Stratford Rd, Sparkhill, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Birmingham, United Kingdom B12 8LQ

10 Responses to Shahi Nan Kebab

  1. Andy Munro 30th October 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    Andy’s Review

    Driving down the once vibrant Stratford Road can be a bit depressing for the balti aficionado – the Sher Khan (once a winner of a giant balti eating contest), Jyoti (now with a more salubrious Hall Green address), and the Royal Naim (one of the Kings of the Balti Dynasty) now a textile outlet called Shades.

    Luckily the Shahi Nan Kebab House remains as an outpost of the old order with its legendary grilled offer as popular as ever. A small restaurant, with a traditional cold display cabinet by the door, its décor is enhanced by the addition of some original scenic paintings, with my bet on ‘Girl on a Swing’, a likely masterpiece in 100 years time billed as, from the ‘Balti Period’.

    Anyway the poppadoms were free although the dips weren’t…the red one was red hot and the minty one was mild enough to put any fire out. Starters had to come from the grill and the Tandoori Lamb Chops didn’t disappoint – beautifully spiced and tender without being searingly hot. My sheekh kebab was misshaped rather than missile shaped but was none the worse for its quirkiness with a superb charcoal flavour.

    Main course baltis brought tears to my eyes,not because I burnt my hand on the red hot handles of the balti but the colour of the bowl was as black as charcoal and sizzled in a way that is one of the signs of a true balti experience.

    My Balti Chicken Jalfrizies was quite magnificent – tender chunks of chicken nestling in a superbly savoury sauce. My wife’s Balti Chicken Korma was described as very tasty and toffeeish but with the health warning that it would have kicked the proverbial sand in the face of many a Madras.

    The accompanying Garlic Naan was crazy paved with garlic cloves..’a Real Naan’ as opposed to those wimpy offerings that can be encountered where the garlic powder is briefly waved from a great height over the dough mixture.

    Overall the Shahi Naan is one House that I will be calling on more frequently in the future – a balti experience guaranteed to make even the most hardened balti goer misty eyed.


  2. Richard McComb 22nd May 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    The place is cafe style and although a refurbishment is apparently planned, I hope that they don’t strip out too much of the original character, the working man’s chic, because in a world of banal interior design, Shahi is like a time capsule dedicated to the joys of pakistan/British street food culture.

  3. Wayne Carey 9th September 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Excellent Recommendation

    Having tried a wide variety of Balti Houses over the last couple of years – all of which had their own strengths but not across all three courses – I contacted Andy Munro looking for a restaurant which evoked the consistent quality and the ambience of our much loved and lamented Royal Naim. He seems to have turned up trumps.

    Shahi Nan Kebab was the first one we tried, in late June 2010. It was just the ticket, almost like travelling back in time with Dr Who! It’s quite a small place but the staff (delightful chaps but service could have been a little faster) said they were extending/refurbishing this summer which would increase capacity.

    When we go out as a group, usually 4-6, we share starters and the fish,chops,tikkla,pakora and kebabs were all rated very highly. Mains continued the very positive positive start to the evening, generous amounts of meat or fish in the dish,good flavours and spicing with “proper” naans to accompany them. Desserts were similarly good and despatched in quick time. We noticed that most of the other customers were eating the kebab-based dishes which the Shahi Nan has apparently got quite a reputation for. On our next visit we’re going to sample some and will update this posting. Overall it’s delightful – unpretentious,relaxed and relaxing. We had a lot of laughs and excellent food for a very reasonable price. Definitely well worth a visit.

  4. Paul Toomer 16th June 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Oh Dear! Sorry to be a party pooper

    Having been a stranger to the Balti quarter for a number of years I was looking forward to a good feed in some old haunts. As Andy M points out in his review most of the old stagers are no longer there which is desperatly sad.Iread through the reviews on the Balti Birmingham site for inspiration and guidance and finally plumped for the Shahi Nan Kebab.

    Clearly the anticipated renovation have taken place since Richard Mc’s review in 2010 and, as almost invariably seems to be the case in the Balti world, it is not a change for the better. In fairness I have nothing to compare the new operation to as I hadn’t visited previously, but I wasn’t very impressed.

    It’s a long time ago since I visited a Balti house where there were no free (or even paid for) poppodoms, but there were none here. My Sheesh kebab starter was, in all fairness, fabulous – one of the best I have ever had. From there is was downhill. For mains I ordered chicken and mushrooms and a plain naan. The chicken came in a very small dish containing sizeable pieces of chicken and a slimy, greasy green covering (not a sauce, there was no sauce!)which presumably was the spinach. The entire dish had very little flavour and was rather unpleasant to eat. The naan was rather flat and dry.

    I wasn’t tempted by anything for dessert.

    This was very disappointing and I won’t be returning, but I genuinely hope taht this was a one-off.

    Has anyone else had similar, or indeed different experiences?

  5. Andy Munro 10th August 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    shahi nan kebab house

    The Shahi has always been one of my favourites although that faith was shaken a bit by Paul Toomer’s fairly scathing recent review.

    When I turned up at the restaurant,I was tempted to draw attention to some of Paul’s criticisms but decided to keep my powder dry.The free poppadoms were fairly average but the dips were good including a testingly spicy tamarind and chilli red variety.Predictably I couldn’t resist the house speciality of sheeksh kebab which were just as predictably top notch.

    In reasonably regular visits to this restaurant,they always serve me with a true balti…a sizzling dish cooked and served up in the balti…the large traditional wok as opposed to to the small karahis recently being used at the Shahi since its refurb.

    My BaltiMeat Masala was a trifle salty but had lots of tender lamb in a rich sauce.My wife’s Balti Chicken Korma was again a more than decent helping in a smooth coconutty based sauce but with an unkorma like, but far from unpleasant, spicy kick.The recent critique had described the naans as’flat and dry’ and, to be fair,I played safe and ordered a Peshwari which was tasty and moist if not outstanding in its consistency..

  6. john 14th March 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    14 3 2012 have not used this place for about two years. but it has always been very good eating ordered 2 sheesh kebabs chicken pakora tropical Balti Nan roti all to take quite a shock when opening the balti did not look appetizing at all no sauce to it just a container of oil not even any color and hardly any flavor to it could hardly tell what you was eating.the only thing any good was the kebabs which this restruant is known for.the up side of this experience is i will never go back there

  7. Andy Munro 19th June 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    back to best?

    On one of my monthly or so visits to the Shahi Nan Kebab,I enjoyed one of those quietly ,memorable meals.

    Starters were a fabulously meaty and spicy trio of sheekh kebabs which was only to be expected given the name of the restaurant.I then ordered a Balti ‘Birmingham Style’ and it arrived sizzling in a black baltibowl which must have been polished by a thousand naans..its handles had dropped off but the bowls suffer the ravages of old age as much as the rest of us.

    My Balti Chicken Jalfrezies was quite frankly on a par with the very best that I have enjoyed in over 30 years of naan dipping. Beautifully spiced with a perfect consistency…neither too watery or too dry. A bonus was the succulent chicken..was it organic or was it free range..whatever it was,it was a step up from some of the rubbery and flavourless chicken served up at too many places these days.I ended the meal with the traditional show of appreciation from a true balti lover,a custom known as ‘Buffing the Baltibowl’…using a more than acceptable garlic naan

  8. Karen Harrop 1st December 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Great find-by accident!

    I visited this restaurant with my son and daughter-in-law yesterday.We had originally planned to eat somewhere in the Balti Triangle but my son decided he wanted a kebab of some sort.We headed towards Sparkhill aiming to stop at the first kebab shop we fould.Luckily it was the Shahi.

    We were the only people in there but it soon filled up and there seemed to be a steady stream of takeaways being collected.

    We ordered and were then given some delicious popadoms,the only complaint being that the sauces were thinner than we are used to.They soon went and then our kebabs and 2 plates of fries came.My son had his mixed kebab on naan bread while Jo and I had ours in pitta.I must say that when we saw Jake’s,we wished we had had naan.There was loads of delicious meats packed into the pitta ,which we dug into.There is no graceful way to eat a kebab!!

    Every bit was eaten by us and I look forward to returning.

    The staff were very friendly and smiley,which was nice and I liked the way that they brought a jug of water to the table without us having to ask.

    All in all,a great place to eat and thanks to all the staff.

  9. Simon Whealden 4th November 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    Went here on Andy’s recommendation. The decor has been modernised and it’s welcoming but I would have preferred if they’d kept it more true to its Balti House roots. We didn’t have a balti this time as wanted a light lunch so opted for a selection of starters including a plate of lamb chops which were awesome and really cheap, a selection of samosas, which were as good as any plus a spicy seekh kebab, which was delicious. This place seems to be mainly frequented by the local Pakistani community, which for me only added to its charms. The staff were friendly and I will be returning soon to sample their balti.

  10. Robert 25th October 2020 at 4:04 pm #

    Lamb chops are fantastic and really cheap. Very much a local Pakistani favourite and established for over 30 years so I’m told. Was busy at lunchtime. Had a Balti Lamb Keema, the flavour was incredible, but it was a little on the oily side. Naans also very good. Don’t expect a classic or indeed ‘classy’ restaurant experience this has more of a casual takeaway vibe. Really enjoyed the mix of Pakistani locals and Balti Pilgrims in search of the real thing. We will return.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send message to listing owner