Desi Pubs – Soho Tavern, Handsworth Birmingham

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The New Soho Tavern on the corner of Factory Road and Park Road in the Soho area of Birmingham.

Location:

Access to The Soho Tavern is easy enough if,  the Aston Expressway is clear, or if Soho Road has had a tram line fitted rather than the 1 million buses per hour that travel up and down it. 10mins from the M6 junction 6/ 15 minutes from the M5 junction 1, Park Rd is easy enough to find.

The nearest football grounds are again Villa Park and The Hawthorns, St Andrews is 20 minutes away if heading back via the A38.

Appearance & Entry:

From the outside the Soho Tavern looks like it has been refurbished, the new grey and white theme works well. Parking is an issue, there are plenty of roads and streets to park down but no designated car park is available, be aware of this when planning your trip.

Drinks:

The bar is visible as soon as you walk in, it’s eye catching and modern, a large selection of spirits and shots are on show and the draught beer pulls are shiny and clean as is the whole bar area. Seating around the bar as always attracts standing customers, which will slow you down if you are waiting to get served. The atmosphere is lively, and loud but pleasant.

Food:

Soho Tavern has really come to the fore over the last two years or so, and it is talked about very highly amongst Desi grill enthusiasts. So why not give it a go, the bar is clean, tables are clean and rooms are plentiful, in fact it’s like a maze, with rooms dotted to the left and right.

The food preparation area is in eyes view, this is always a bonus as you can see how clean it is and how food is prepared.

Even though the Soho Tavern is busy we find ourselves a table and get seated with our drinks, prices of drinks are similar to other bars we have been to, draught from £3- £4.50 and doubles starting from £4.

We receive a menu, and it is good to see that the Mixed grill comes with naan bread,  its very well priced at £16.50, orders placed, the Soho Tavern is busy, so we ask how long the wait will be, we are informed that it will be 20 minutes max, which surprises us, but a smile is raised.

After 21 minutes we get a shout to say our food is ready, in fact we watched all the dishes being prepared.

Mixed Grill: Sizzling, yes, fried onions are on show and they are cooked to perfection, not too oily, or burnt, and I didn’t bring mints! The mixed grill is a good size; sauces are delivered as are our plates, which is a bonus.

Chicken Tikka: The chicken is plentiful and full of flavors; the chunks are well sized and cooked well.

Lamb Shish Kebab: Large in size and full of flavor, can’t fault these.

Wings: These are spicy, they are well marinated, but some are lacking a decent amount of meat, but others do have good portions of meat on.

Lamb Chop: It’s good, but lacking spice, which makes it quite bland,  we are comparing it to some good standards.

Now to check out the Curries:

Chicken Tikka Masala: Not as creamy as we would have wished, the coloring is fine, just seems a bit weak, enjoyable, but not as good as on previous visits.

Lamb Curry: Juicy, good amount of meat and tastes great, nothing we can fault here, cracking dish.

All the food is hot and was served quickly, the winning formula to serve customers.

Conclusion:

Recently the reviews for the Soho Tavern have been fantastic, the rise in custom recently can be linked to the more people being comfortable taking partners and families to the Tavern, prior to the re-vamp this was not something that would have happened.

Staff needs to smile more, we know there is pressure as it’s busy, but a little smile here and there would be nice.

The waiting times are very realistic and the way in which the kitchen works is very efficient, naan bread always on the go, salad prepped and meat being constantly being readied means it’s like a fully functioning conveyor belt of food.

The chicken curry was not to the standards we have previously ate, it was good, but maybe we have been spoilt at The Red Lion and Bradford Arms, the Lamb curry was fantastic.

Prices are realistic, waiting times are minimal, sitting when busy may be an issue, and the atmosphere is nice and loud, which may deter some and maybe a quite room could be offered, but food wise, we are happy, very happy

For the above reasons we score the Soho Tavern  a 8.1/10

Round 2, 4 of us went to the Soho Tavern on Saturday, and this time with a vegetarian, the place was busy considering it was early afternoon, the thing that really impressed us again, was the service, the food was with us within 20 mins, and not just us, everyone was served promptly, even our veggie friend.

The wings were on point and the lamb was better than previous, this place just gets better and the levels of service and the consistency of food are fantastic.

The score has been submitted for the 2nd visit and when averaged out with the first score

The Soho Tavern new score 8.4/10

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