Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Opheem

Silver Award

Michelin-starred Opheem is the creative outburst of Birmingham-born chef Aktar Islam, who pushes the boundaries of Indian cuisine with masterful dishes that combine an array of culinary techniques from ancient to modern.

Islam believes that cooking is, and always should be, a constantly evolving art form that takes inspiration from the past but strives to thrust dishes into the future in a way that not only comforts but challenges and confronts diners.

Inspired by the food he ate growing up with immigrant Bangladeshi parents, Islam was determined to take the flavours of his childhood and elevate them into dishes worthy of ‘kings and emperors’. He describes his passion in the kitchen as the ultimate freedom; a safe place where he can practice his creativity without constraint. Judging by the response he receives from diners and critics alike, this innate passion translates well to the plate.

Islam’s progressive gastronomic style involves grinding his own spices and using the classic arts of pickling and fermenting to create dishes that are striking to both the eyes and palate. Some recipes are from his study of 15th century culinary techniques while others simply derive from his mother’s kitchen. Careful research into his cultural heritage has ensured that his menus reflect many different regions of India with an occasional Persian and Arabian influence too.

The eight-course tasting menu is a great way to experience Islam’s full repertoire. Highlights include nandu Kerala – a king crab dish with cauliflower custard, pork broth and crispy rice; and shalgam gosht Delhi – salt-aged beef rib with Tokyo turnip, fermented garlic, smoked bone marrow and black cardamom sauce.

On the sweeter side of things, manjari Madagascar provides a decadent finale – a rich chocolate mousse with an Opalys sorbet and cocoa nibs. Wine flights are an optional addition to all the tasting menus but there is also a good selection of reds and whites available to order by the bottle or glass.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Romantic
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Opheem

Opheem is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Birmingham by Aktar Islam that offers a fine dining twist on Indian cuisine. Its aim is to push the boundaries of Indian cooking using techniques from all over the world to create something totally new and innovative. Inspired by watching his Dad working in his own restaurant growing up, Aktar discovered his love for food, cooking and creativity in the kitchen, eventually going on to set up Opheem in 2018. Aktar was also a contestant on Great British Menu, becoming a finalist in the 2011 series and winning the fish course in the final (which is now on the menu at Opheem).  

There are multiple menus to choose from and they change seasonally throughout the year to reflect the freshest produce possible. Diners can opt to dine a la carte, or choose either the five or ten-course tasting menus. The a la carte menu is to be taken at lunch and features a concise list of elegant plates – think achaari pink fir potato with tamarind, soft shell crab with caraway seed tempura and crab shaami (Aktar’s winning dish on Great British Menu) as well as creedy carver duck with turnip and pearl barley.  

The tasting menus, meanwhile, feature all the above and more. Look out for the tandoori carrot with a lentil pakora and chutney and inventive sweet courses such as milk curd with pistachio and almond. 

There is an optional wine flight to be taken with the tasting menus and which has been carefully curated by the sommelier team. Rather than pairing a wine with specific dishes, however, the team have curated a list of some of the best wines they can fine and it’s up to the diner to decide how many courses they’d like to pair them with. A selection of old and new world wines mean you’ll be spoilt for choice, so do ask the team if you need a recommendation.  


Does Opheem have a Michelin star?

Opheem has one Michelin star.

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Is Opheem halal?

We've seen notes that it's possible to request a halal tasting menu at Opheem but we'd suggest confirming directly with the restaurant when you book.

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Where is Aktar Islam from

Aktar Islam was born in Birmingham where he now runs Opheem.

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Location for Opheem

48 Summer Row, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 1JJ

0121 201 3377


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-13:30
Sat 12:00-13:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:30-21:30
Thu 17:30-21:30
Fri 17:30-21:30
Sat 17:00-21:30
Sun Closed

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