3rd June 2018
Aktar Islam, former chef director of Birmingham-based group Lasan, has opened a fine dining restaurant in the city. Islam has launched Opheem in Summer Row celebrating the culinary heritage of India.
The restaurant, located in the former Mechu nightclub, aims to emulate the work of chefs attached to the royal court, with the menu’s inspiration taken from India cuisine dating back to the 13th century. Islam said he was inspired by a cookbook he came across a few years ago based on 14th and 15th century cooking for the sultan of Delhi.
The interiors of the 70-cover venue feature grey decor laced with materials such as stone, wood and metal. There is also a 14-cover private dining room. Aktar told Birmingham Live: “This is my first solo restaurant and it is very much my life’s experience on a plate. I wanted the interior to reflect the unique approach I’m taking with the food.”
Islam stepped down from his role as chef director of Lasan in September last year to pursue other opportunities in the industry. His former business partner, Jabbar Khan, launched Lasan in the Jewellery Quarter in 2002 with £11,000 in his pocket. Since then, the group has expanded into an £8m business that includes Fiesta del Asado and Raja Monkey Cafe.