Express & Star 30th November
2000 – Poshnosh
There are magicians at work at Shimla Peppers.The sorcery was evident from the moment we were led to our table on the balcony overlooking a leafy courtyard.
On a warm autumn evening with wind chimes adding gentle background noise we were tricked into thinking this was some sleepy Mediterranean outpost rather than urban Walsall. If that was not enough, the chefs then conjured up the best Indian food I have ever tasted. Before our meal we enjoyed a drink and a quick chat with owner Ranjit Sohal in the downstairs Balloons Wine Bar.
Luxuriously kitted out with sofas and armchairs big enough to lose yourself in it is a wonder anyone can drag themselves off their seats and to the restaurant upstairs.
Once seated on the balcony, which is kept warm by overhead heaters, we set about the mammoth task of leafing through a menu overflowing with North Indian specialities.
For starters I chose raunkae seekh kebabs, traditional lamb kebabs flavoured with coriander tomatoes, mint and spring onions.This was quite simply the most perfectly cooked lamb I have ever had with flavourings so spicy they caused a riot of the taste buds.
My girlfriend was equally happy with the chandee tikka, beautifully served with crisp green salad with a delicious homemade dip. For main course she could not resist the chance to sample daraye malik, baked salmon cooked with tomatoes, ginger, mustard and methi gravy – an utterly unique dish which lived up to the expectations created by the starter.
The same was true of the murgh lazize I chose – pieces of chicken tikka fried in a spicy sauce of tomatoes, fresh coriander leaves and methi. We accompanied our dishes with helpings of pilau rice.
We couldn’t find room for dessert and we retired satisfied to the bar to finish the last of our wine.
By that time Shimla Peppers had us firmly under its spell.
“The quality of the food at Shimla Peppers is of the highest standards and perfectly complements the unique venue”
“The piece de resistance is the balcony at the back of the restaurant which is more like the French quarter of New Orleans than the heart of the Black Country”
Express & Star
“Shimla Peppers stands from the crowd by serving an imaginative Indian menu specialising in authentic and healthy Punjabi food”
Star of the North
“Food fit for Maharajah’s”
Maharajah Duleep Singh’s Centenary Trust
“Shimla Peppers restaurant at Balloons offers an atmosphere that is unique, not only in it’s home town of Walsall, but almost anywhere you would care to name.”
Evening Mail Restaurant for the Millenium
“The cooking is Indian, but the decor and atmosphere is anything but”
The Good Food Guide
“The only place to see and to be seen at”
Hans Raj Hans’s Musical director
“Absolutely Unique, Long may it thrive”
Jaspal Singh Sohal