Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Opheem

Gold Award

London might be considered the epicentre of Indian fine dining in the UK, but Opheem, the first and only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant outside of the capital, is in a lane of its own entirely. This progressive masterpiece is the work of celebrated chef and household name Aktar Islam, who takes inspiration from his Bangladeshi heritage to create a personal, story-led menu dictated by the British seasons.

Proceedings begin with a series of high-octane snacks served in its debonair lounge area. Flawlessly-balanced bites, including a crisp apple macaron with creamy duck liver parfait, beef tartare and sweet dates, provide a flavour of what’s to come, and showcase Aktar’s profound ability to pair unlikely flavours.

The 10-course tasting menu is the best way to experience Opheem to full effect, which blends flavours that are at once familiar and unexpected. A fat, meltingly soft Orkney scallop finds a partner in tangy cubes of apple and an unworldly, Indian-inspired take on XO sauce, which is textured, rich and caramel-like. Elsewhere, one of the restaurant’s most talked-about dishes, achaari pink fir potato with tamarind, offers an inspired take on the street food Aloo Tuk. Here, a cacophony of sweet, smoky, salty and spicy notes is designed to offer the diner something new with every mouthful, achieving a level of complexity that manages to never overwhelm. It’s wonderful. Further brilliance emerges with every course, from flaky cod served in a vibrant raw mango and coconut sauce, to a rich lentil pakora paired alongside soft tandoori carrot and sour-sweet tomato. 

These dishes are deeply personal, but so too is the way in which they are served. The dining room features an open kitchen which allows guests to clearly see the team tinker away at their stations. The chef in charge of each dish also delivers it to your table, offering the creator a chance to showcase their work, while establishing a deeper connection between the chef and the diner.

Opheem harnesses the essence of everything that’s great about Indian food – comfort, spice, richness, warmth – and elevates it to an unprecedented degree of creativity and precision.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury
SquareMeal UK Top 100, Two Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Opheem is a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Birmingham belonging to acclaimed, Aston-born chef Aktar Islam, who showcases his signature modern take 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 lentil porridge with citrus and caramelised onion and inventive sweet courses such as Valhrona chocolate with pomegranate, pistachio and mint.

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 it have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Is it halal?

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

Helpful? 0

Where is Aktar Islam from?

Aktar Islam was born in Aston, Birmingham.

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

0121 201 3377 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 17:30-21:30
Sun Closed


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2 Reviews 

Gwyn S

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Fantastic food.  Exemplary staff.


29 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The whole experience of this restaurant was wonderful and the food was constantly amazing . Also loved the open kitchen and table presentation of courses by Chefs.

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