Horseshoe Bar and Grill, Hall Green

Lunchtime in the school holidays with children in tow. What to do. We’d been in a car for two hours running errands and in the words of the 11-year-old, everyone was ‘staarrrviiing’.

No one wanted the usual child-friendly fodder that comes served with a side of colouring. They’re a bit old for that and we’re a bit bored of that, so we headed to the Horseshoe in Hall Green to try, among other things, the mixed grill which came highly recommended.

We were a bit early – the kitchen opens at 1pm – which was verging on a miracle frankly, so had a drink while we waited. We had bigged-up the milkshake menu to the kids, but it turned out the lady who maketh the milkshake wasn’t working which was a bit of let-down.

We chose to eat in the bar area which was pretty casual, in a good way, and ate from the mixed grill menu which was unbelievably good value. Most curry dishes were around the £5.50 mark. We nosed around the more formal a la carte restaurant which was smart and stylish with an alternative Great Indian Menu. Slightly more pricey, it was still a steal. Great lighting too.

We shared a range of dishes; butter chicken, dal makhani and a mixed grill with the usual naan bread and pilau rice. A word to the wise – unless you’re Michael Phelps at the height of Olympic preparations, order a small mixed grill. The large version in isolation was genuinely enough for four or five very hungry adults. Chicken wings, chicken tikka, lamb chops and sheekh kebab were presented piled high on a sizzling skillet. All nicely spiced and still moist and tender, we were impressed.

Dal makhani (slow cooked black lentils with herbs in a creamy sauce) was gently spiced and contrasted well with the punchy spicing of the mixed grill. Butter chicken was nothing short of delicious. We mopped up every last drop of the rich sauce with naan like we hadn’t eaten in weeks.

The service was slightly haphazard, but it didn’t matter. It just added to the relaxed lunchtime vibe. Had we been on a romantic date it would have irked, but I’m guessing it’s a bit more slick come nightfall and the a la carte would be a more polished affair.

Horseshoe Bar and Grill, 1214 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9BH. Tel: 0121 777 2340 thehorseshoebar.co.uk