If you want to try authentic Chinese and Indian dishes, with a hint of modern buffet dining in Birmingham, then this is the place. With new restaurants recently opened in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull you have no excuse not to.
In Birmingham city centre, tucked behind the Wetherspoons on Broad Street, is Jimmy Spices’ main restaurant. With easy access from the main hive of activity, and parking across the road at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, Jimmy Spices offers a calm oasis from the nearby bustle.
The decorated walls in the stairwell leading up to the restaurant entice you with a map for your taste buds. It features all the different dishes plotted out on the many countries this restaurant takes its inspiration from. Inside you'll find a warm, open-plan dining room that's comfortable and contemporary.
In the middle of the buffet area is the ‘live theatre’ style section of Jimmy Spices that has become so famous in Birmingham. You pick the ingredients and the talented chefs cook it in front of you. You can't get fresher than that. When it opened in 2004 this concept was very experimental but it was a big hit and two other venues shortly followed in other parts of the city.
The dining area that surrounds the ‘stage’ is traditional meets contemporary, with dark wooden flooring and sleek modern tables under old wooden beams and the fact that the building was, in a past life, a glassworks isn't lost.
You don’t have to be celebrating to eat at Jimmy Spices. Many people here are catching up with friends or eating out with their partners. The only excuse they need is to get out of the house and enjoy lots of good food.
This cosy restaurant has views over the canals and the noticeable calm eastern feel means you won’t even notice that you are in one of the busiest areas in the city.The staff can also get absorbed in this chilled-out atmosphere and sometimes they take a while with your bill and other requests but they are friendly and always offering advice on the dishes from far off lands.
When you feel brave enough to tackle the buffet cart just be aware that with every corner you turn there'll be more offers of tastier food. Starters range from samosas to cous cous and you'll want much bigger plates on which to hold your treats.
The main dishes are displayed in big brass pots adding to the style of the restaurant and these are clearly labelled for ease. At some buffets you're greeted with pots of food stewing under heat-lamps but at Jimmy Spices, with the clearly thought out design, there aren't many dishes that are left for long periods of time. The staff are always filling one pot or another.It costs £14.95 Thursday to Saturday and £12.95 Sunday to Wednesday.
While the hiss and spit of the stir-fry is exciting it's nothing compared to the dessert cart. Big jars of marshmallows and other sweets are there for you to pick'n'mix or you can opt for an authentic desert that will get you hooked like some sugar-crazed kid.
There's loads of wines to choose from and they're from all over the place from South Africa to Thailand, which is a bit random. They have very exotic names and thankfully there's always someone at the bar to help you make a decision. The only disappointment here is that there isn’t much for beer drinkers to choose from but if you're a fan of cocktails, alcoholic or non alcoholic, then the list is long and fruitful.
The Last Word
There will always be a new dish to try here and always something you'll recognise, that’s the beauty of Jimmy Spices.