A few years back, Shababs’ decor might have been described as a little lacking. True, as it is one of the few remaining original Birmingham balti houses, the experience is understandably all about that dish, but a judicious makeover will definitely make you enjoy the environment that bit more.
Unless, of course, you’re pattern-phobic, because swirls, paisleys and graphic prints are all over the place – from the walls to the soft furnishings. Somehow, though, it manages not to be too eye-watering – unlike some of the more searing dishes.
The food doesn’t stray far from the time-tested line-up you’d expect (and hope) to see on a balti house menu in Ladypool Road. Shababs is more concerned with turning out solid examples of existing dishes than masterminding new ones.
Understandably, the biggest draw is the prospect of more top-drawer baltis than you can shake a stick at, few costing over £8. Table naans and group starters, both around the £5 mark, are a handy way to avoid the hassle of working out individual orders.
Along with the appealing eats, further points in Shababs’ favour are its exceptionally late-night opening and the lack of licence that, teamed with its close proximity to an off-licence, make it easy to eat, drink and stay very merry indeed – right through till 5am if you’re visiting on a weekend.