The first and only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant outside of London, Opheem has always stood out in Birmingham. Since it opened in 2018, Aston-born Aktar Islam has always pushed the boundaries of what Indian cuisine could be. But has recently taken things to the next level, as it’s become the second city’s first restaurant to be awarded two Michelin Stars!
Yes, that’s right, first-ever two stars. The 2024 MICHELIN Guide Ceremony took place in Manchester tonight (February 5) at The Midland Hotel. No new restaurants from the West Midlands were awarded a Michelin star, but Opheem was upgraded from one (awarded in 2020) to two. It also became the first-ever Two Star Indian restaurant in the UK (along with Gymkhana in London).
“It’s incredible to achieve,” said Aktar Islam, at the ceremony. “My journey started 31 years ago when I was kicked out of school. It just goes to show what this industry can give someone with no prospects. Here I am. Anyone who says this industry has no future or has no opportunities, I’m proof that it’s bullshit.”
Michelin Guide says: “Described as ‘progressive Indian cuisine’ by Chef-Owner Aktar Islam, it serves highly original dishes that keep Indian cooking at their core but have a more modern slant than at Gymkhana. Each creation demonstrates sophistication and depth of flavour, while showcasing the fabulous culinary knowledge that goes into such complementary flavour and texture combinations.”
At Opheem, many Indian regions are represented on the modern fine dining menu, with the odd Persian and Arabian influence too. The current 10-course tasting menu journeys from Mumbai to Malabar via Delhi and West Bengal, and will set you back £115 per person. A cheaper five-course menu is also available, as well as an a la carte lunch menu. (Although we expect all those prices to rise as of tomorrow.)
Elsewhere, Carters‘ escapades in a greenhouse and private members club has seen the second city lose a star, however, but with a new permanent restaurant returning in the summer, we’re sure Brad Carter will be back among the elite soon.