Funnily enough, both times I’ve dined at Mela, I’ve been quite inebriated. One time more-so than the other. Anyway, you don’t want to read about my war on sobriety. The common thread uniting my White Horse intoxications is Mela!

As you well know, Claudia and I undertook a marvellous 3 week trip across India. The ensuing necessary newfound taste was one for which we yearn continuously. Luckily, Mela is on Harborne High Street and provides authentic Indian cuisine. Both times I have visited, I felt obliged to go for the paneer tikka curry. It is pictured below.

For those of you who are not enlightened, paneer is “an unaged, non-melting farmer cheese made by curdling milk with a vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice.” It is to India what halloumi is to Europe: euphoric.

Claudia went for the lamb tikka. I did have a little try. Fabulous. The mix of coriander and cumin in a lovely sauce, which had no hint of creme in it, made for a winning combination.

The addition of the cherry tomato seems a tad ambitious but one cannot fault the chef. I am more than happy each time I go into Mela, not least for the warmth and professionalism of the staff. The atmosphere is delightful and the interior is a brave attempt at the austere. Though the roughly carpeted narrow stairs one must ascend to access the restaurant are questionable, once inside Mela can do no wrong.

Harborne is such a lovely part of the world, also. Mela happens to be situated on the high street, meaning the whole village is within easy reach. All the people I have met are lovely, and related, as it happens. While you’re at Mela, do go to see Socks at the White Horse. She’ll make your evening even brighter. There are music shows each Friday and Saturday evening. They’re super!

And if you take nothing else from this recommendation – order the cheese Naan.