Getting into the restaurant seemed easy at first, but getting close to the entrance, I saw the restaurant had steps up into it. This is not a very good start to the restaurant’s disability access and awareness for their customers. I was lucky that I was with my dad and he went into speak to a member of staff who worked in the restaurant and got him to open one of the side doors to the restaurant for me to be able to get in with my wheelchair, this approach needs to be rethought and there needs to be a ramp up to the main entrance. Once through this side door I have to move down a very tight hallway in my wheelchair before I can get into the main restaurant to be seated.
On my way in to the main seating areas, I saw the sign for the standard sized disabled toilet, try rolled my eyes at but I suppose it’s nothing more than to be expected, I’ve become used to it now and urge restaurants to rethink the design of all disabled toilets to accommodate every customer who will need to use the facility.
Everything within the restaurant has flat access, there is a ramp to all parts of the restaurant including the number of seating areas that they have. At the time of my visit, the restaurant was very busy as it was a Friday night at peak time, so the space was tight and restricted, and I had to be very careful in manoeuvring around different tables to make sure I didn’t disturb anyone. However, the staff members were very kind and accommodating throughout our meal, including moving empty chairs aside and guiding us the best way they could to our table. The table me and my dad sat out with of a decent height, but it was still too low for me and my wheelchair to fit underneath, so I couldn’t get close enough to the table to be able to eat office. Luckily, I had thought to bring a tree with me which are balanced on my knees and partly on the table as well when I eat. I think the table design needs to be rethought and all of the tables need to be made higher for those customers like me to be able to get close enough and eat comfortably.
Throughout the whole meal, my dad and myself found the staff members working very attentive, they took our order and kept coming to check on us, check we were happy with our meals and to see whether we needed anything else. This definitely added to my gratitude for them that came with them moving the chairs and everything aside when we first arrived. I also admired the staff members that worked at this time on a Friday, it was 7:30 and everyone had either come from work or come out with a group of their friends, the restaurant was very busy and definitely had a lively atmosphere. The lively atmosphere where’s good for a Friday night and it was a successfully night, but it’s definitely not a place where you come to, to have a romantic meal or a quiet night out; instead it is a great night out to have with a group of friends or to come when you have a family party.
Having been to Akbar’s, Hagley Rd Birmingham before I prepared myself for some good old-fashioned Indian food. The food was great, dad and I had our own curries and shared a rice and naan. OMG the naan was absolutely massive, it could of feed twenty people, let alone two. My chicken Tikka Masala curry was very, very spicy, I needed all of the diet cokes I had to quench the fire in my mouth, but it was well worth it, the curry accompanied by the rice was delicious. One piece of advice though, make sure you take a doggy bag, it fed us for both the Friday night meal and Saturday lunchtime.
I will be returning to Akbar’s, Hagley Rd Birmingham soon.
My most recent visit to the restaurant was on New Year’s Eve 2019 and it was alive and full of energy. I had had glasses of very refreshing and tasty mango lassi, which I highly recommend with every Indian meal. I also decided on a change of meal order – a lamb biryani which I had at a mild slightly medium spice. It was very tasty and had big chunks of lamb that were really good. I was impressed by this as you never know what to expect with biryani; some may concentrate more on the rice than the meat but the lamb biryani Akbar’s had more meat which definitely suits my tastes.