Aktar Islam will open the 70-cover fine dining restaurant Opheem on the city’s Summer Row in May
The restaurant will serve “progressive” Indian food that is inspired by the chefs attached to the royal courts in India. Diners will have the choice of an a la carte menu, a tasting menu, or a selection of grazing plates.
Starters will include parai (Cornish mackerel, fermented chilli and jaggeri, and Tokyo turnip); and samudrapheni (octopus, tandoori spices and pickled carrot).
Mains will include allepy (Cornish turbot, courgette, wilted greens, coconut milk and mango); and Islam’s take on vindaloo made from pork jowl, pickled vindaloo purée, star anise heritage carrots, roasted whey onion and confit garlic. Classic dishes including goat biriyani will also be on the menu.
Desserts will include a curd dumpling with milk sorbet, granita and finger lime; and a pear and cassia leaf tart with almond and Bengali rice pudding ice cream.
Alongside the main dining room, Opheem will have a 14-cover private dining room and a bar where diners can order small plates. Interiors will be neutral, featuring stone, wood and raw metals.
“I am thrilled to be launching Opheem at such an exciting time in Birmingham’s culinary development,” says Islam
“Some of the country’s finest chefs work in the city and I am hugely grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from the chef community and the dining public. The team and I will be working hard to ensure Opheem adds to Birmingham’s sterling reputation for great food.”
Islam left his role as chef director at Lasan restaurant group in October of last year.
The chef came to fame when Lasan became the first Indian restaurant to be selected as ‘Best Local Restaurant’ by Gordon Ramsay on Channel 4’s The F Word.
He has since overseen the group’s expansion to several sites in Birmingham, including Fiesta Del Asado, Izza Pizza in Selfridges, Raja Monkey Indian Street Cafe, and Nosh & Quaff.