Sandwiched between a gargantuan Asda and numerous forgettable chains, Indico’s vibrancy hits you hard and Shirley’s town centre is all the better for it.
Colourful umbrellas hang from the double height ceiling – a logistical nightmare by all accounts, but worth it. Stunning wall art features too alongside charming marionettes hanging from brightly painted walls while prints by Digbeth’s Jinxy providing further eye candy.
The facade of the open kitchen has been crafted to replicate a traditional canary yellow street food van – a nod to the vibe that’s central to the restaurant’s vision. Tiffin boxes, kathi rolls – an Indian wrap made with rolled paratha, Indian tapas (chaats) as well as meat, prawns or paneer hot and charred from the tandoor whispered ‘eat me’ and in the name of giving you, the reader as much information as possible we selflessly ate like kings.
We may have sampled a Cosmopolitan for your benefit too as we tucked into the North Indian street snack, aloo pyaz ke pakoras. A spiced mixture of potato, onion, green chilli, spinach and coriander deep fried in gramflour resulted in a moreishly crunchy, flavour packed snack. Cubes of paneer marinated then gently charred were lovely with soft warm spicing. Then there was the Indico mixed grill served on naan bread which included meaty, charred prawns marinated in saffron, cardamom and cream cheese – messy, but totally worth the stained fingers. Rajasthani lamb chops were tasty, but a little tough – probably the least accomplished dish – while the tender, punchy seekh kebab wowed. Chicken tikka did what it said on the tin and was absolutely delicious. Everything was served with a mint chutney that defied its name. It had hidden depths and heat that were unexpected.
There were two curry stand outs of the four we sampled. A rich, creamy Delhi style butter chicken and a deeply spiced daal makhani made with black lentils and kidney beans which I’d never eaten before, but was utterly marvellous.
The only downside to our trip was leaving. Trudging from the vibrant serotonin inducing eatery through the drab underground Asda car park was a bit of a come down. Worlds apart.