I have long admired the Hen and Chickens and indeed eaten here on a number of occasions. In fact when I lived at the Miniature Apartment in the centre, I ordered this as a take away. The only reason I have not yet blogged about this wonderful venue is that I was convinced I had done so already! See below the wonderful meal I enjoyed at the Hen and Chickens recently.
Can you believe some people have never tasted paneer? Charlotte was in that number. What an excellent dish to begin one’s paneer journey with. Paneer, also known as ponir or Indian cottage cheese, is a fresh acid-set cheese common in the Indian subcontinent made from cow or buffalo milk. This particular paneer was beautifully soft, moist and flavourful. It was served with some light yoghurt based sauce as well as sweet chilli, which I liked less.
Charlotte opted for the evergreen butter chicken. This is a chicken curry dish with spiced tomato, butter and cream sauce, originating from the North of India. This was my first taste of curry. The first curry I remember tasting was at the Royal Bengal in Keswick, or thereabouts. Near the wonderful Puzzling Place, which I hope to go back to one day. It was so hot I needed two quarts of water, which did not help as I realise this does not neutralise the capsaicin in the pepper, which makes it hot. Or rather, this chemical makes our brains register the pepper as being hot by activating the TRPV1 protein. Anyway, back to the essential, the butter chicken was excellent, deeply flavourful and rich, creamy and buttery, as it should be.
I enjoyed a fabulous lamb dish called Saag. This dish originates in Pakistan and its main flavours are spinach, green chilies and cilantro. This was, as expected, quite marvellous. The big chunks of lamb were suffused with a depth of flavour, the sauce added a sweetness and the cilantro ran through the dish quite wonderfully, allowing me to separate the flavours. The cheese Naan was outrageously delicious, light, moist and a little under cheesed, as expected. Excellent really.
The Hen and Chickens is an excellent curry house which is likely one of the best in Birmingham, along with the Royal Watan Kashmiri, another diamond venue I have yet to review. Enjoy the Hen and Chickens!