Lasan, the Swan Song
We've left Birmingham and before we left we had to try Lasan at least once, being that it's allied with Fiesta Del Asado in some way.
So try we did.
Lasan wasn't easy to find, being off a small street and having a "For Rent" on another building hiding the "Lasan" sign from one end of it. Which probably won't be the case if you go there of course.
First impressions were good; the surroundings are nice and the multilevelled layout makes it look bigger than it is. We were the first people to arrive, which never feels great, but it slowly filled up until every tablet was taken.
The service was very good, almost too good - our waiter was around all the time and had a good knowledge of the menu. I chose based on his recommendation, and I wasn't disappointed.
A & Z: Mixed vegetarian starter.
This was calculated so we'd have a range of samples. Overall it was competent but not fantastic. In fact the dips the popadoms came with were better, being themselves that impressive that they probably contributed to the disappointment with the actual starter.
If you go, get the popadoms just for the dips. Superior.
A (extra): Konkan Kekada (Soft Shell Crab)
Disappointing. I love nice crispy soft shell crab and that's why I had to sample this as an extra. It sounds so good on the menu too. I wouldn't get this again; it wasn't crispy, was a little cool and lacked flavour.
At this point Lasan wasn't living up to it's hype. In fact we'd been warned by a friend that it was all show and no action, but I refused to believe this one dissenting voice. Before our mains I thought I was wrong.
A: Sikharandi Raan
Redemption in the form of lamb. I've eaten my share of lamb at various Asian restaurants all over Birmingham and this undoubtably the best dish out of all of them. It was oddly out of place, far exceeding the all of the starters and perhaps only approved in quality by the superb popadom dips. The meat was tender, subtly flavoured and had three different textures to it. Hearty stuff with a delicious lentil accompaniment.
I wish we'd had the chance to go back because based on this Lasan's kitchen has real potential. I'd love to try some of the chicken dishes - if they can do this to lamb who knows what wonders the chicken holds.
Z actually wanted something else but they replaced the fish with monkfish, as they had run out. Monkfish is always nice, but the accompaniments were forgettable.
A & Z: I had some sort of chocolate torte. Z can't remember what she had. Suffice to say, it was so-so.
Our conclusion was this; Lasan's clearly has some good ideas, and that lamb was tremendous. On that basis we'll go again if we get the chance. However, they sorely need consistency to capitalise on their strengths.
For our leaving meal we went back to Fiesta Del Asado. It was perfect, as always, and we'll miss it.
Eater, taster, trier, explorer.