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Hi Pam, the first Chinese Restaurant I ever went to was called Kam Ling's
it was situated at the top end of Livery Street, near Snow Hill Station, and I think it was 5/6d. for a set lunch. Another early Chinese restaurant was
over Associated Chemists, opposite the Law Courts, but can't recall the name at the moment.
The one over the road from the Law Courts was the first one I ever visited. I wasn't aware it was over the top of a Chemists shop? and I can't remember the name either. It was perhaps around 1964? maybe someone with a Kelly's from that time might be able to help. I do remember I had Chinese style beef curry with rice, and had trouble eating it all. My only previous taste of curry was from a packet made Vesta Beef Curry & Rice which contained little peices of fruit, apple and I think sultanas. The real thing was so much different. :shock:
I went with my brothers Ronnie & Tony who paid the bill. My mom & dad would not eat what they though of as foriegn muck :lol: . I still eat Chinese curry as opposed to Indian/Asian curries :lol:
I visit many multicultrural homes - I am always, without fail, offered food and beverages. There is no resturant I have ever been to, that compares to the home cooking I have tasted over the years.
Please NO COMMENT from Rod re my ample proportions!
The first chinese restaraunt I went to was the Slowboat which was opposite St Martins in the Bullring. I would say it was 1964/65 and I too had beef curry with rice. This was my first curry and it was love at first bite!
It eventually closed amongst rumours of skulduggery in the scullery!
There was talk of rats and cats being served as chicken and the joke at the time was that it was the only place you could buy a four legged chicken!
Still I always enjoyed my meals there but I must say I now prefer Indian curries
To get away from Chinese and Indian for a while, I remember an American style restaurant I used to visit in the mid 60s called Long John's
It was in New Street
They used to serve all sorts of steaks and deep south stuff and my favourite lunch was called "Aunt Jemima's Pancakes" which was sausages in pancakes and I can still taste them now, Shucks!
Dave and I always went to the Indian Restaurant opposit the Locarno Ballroom. After a night of boogie we used to love a biriani. The Wimpy Bar around the corner was much better though, a 60's style upper class McDonalds!
My memories come up with one or two places. A couple of Chinese restaurants at least. There was one at the back end of New Street Station in l957. I worked in the Station Offices at Stephenson Place next to the old Queen's Hotel. They issued the staff with Luncheon Vouchers and the girls in the office used to save them up. I think they were worth l shilling a day per working week. We would take them to this restaurant on Friday lunchtimes (anyone remember the name?) and they would take them all at once, so we had a great meal shared out with say three or four of us. My first Chinese food and I have loved it every since. I remember Scampi tails and beansprouts particularly. We had lychee nuts and vanilla ice cream for afters. Yummy. You could also buy standard English food at this resturant as well on their lunch specials. The custard was always strange on the pies I remember....
One other place was the Kam Ling in Livery Street. The food there in the late l950's and early l960's was excellent. Sometimes on a Friday I would go twice in one day. The Kam Ling also took Luncheon vouchers. Then in the evenings I would go with my friends to the "Lockers" on Hurst Street and we would meet at Kam Ling first. I also remember the Slow Boat which had a huge menu. There was also another place I used to go to in Cannon Street called The Cloverleaf. It was a family run business and survived until the late l980's I believe. I always went there when I visited Brum from Canada on home visits.
My brother Peter was a lover of Indian food even all those years ago and went to one of the first Indian restaurants in Steelhouse Lane called John's.
This would be around l960. It was on the same side as the Gaumont but down a few buildings. I ventured in there alone one Saturday out of plain curiosity. I hadn't a clue what to order but I remembered Bombay Duck from a film I had seen. It was a very hot curried Chicken Leg with rice when it came. I remember seeing many faces looking out of the kitchen door watching me tackle this. I thought it was awful and barely got through it, it was sooo hot. I fled out into Steelhouse Lane and
didn't have another curry for a very long time. On the Transportation site with "The Last Trams" postcards you can spot John's Restaurant on the right hand side of Steelhouse Lane on one of them. I also have ia photo of Kam Ling in one of my Alton Douglas Brum Books. Lovely memories.
The only Indian restaurant I have ever been in was called the Rajdoot in
Albert Street, it was a very posh place, on the door was a large Indian chap dressed in traditional clothes very luxurious satin and silks with a cumberbund, wearing a large turban and carrying a scimitar.
In the waiting area you sat on large settees and there were lots of small
tables all in eastern style. Very impressive, unfortunately I did not like the
food and my partner ended up eating two meals!! not too sure about the dates but may have been more late 60s.
I suppose it's stretching things a bit to call it a restaraunt but how about a cheer for the good old Lyons corner house!
Most of you will remember it on the corner of New Street and Colmore row and in the early sixties it was one of the few places open on a Sunday where you could get a decent lunch
Sylvia the Rajdoot is now in Warstone Lane Hockley it is still very much the same posh up market Indian, we went only last Thursday and it was still very good. The original one opened in 1966 so yes it was the late 60s but if you don't like Indian there is no use me recommending it :lol: But thank you for your comments any way.
I remember the Arden Restaurant which was in the basement practically under the Odeon Cinema on New Street. It was there for years and served really great food. They always had a reasonably priced luncheon special with soup. meat and two veg and pud included, with three choices. It was always served up on silverware and waitresses had the regulation black and white unforms. My Mother and I used to head for The Arden whilst shopping in town. Both my parents would go there when they retired before heading into the cinema for the afternoon matinee.
I remember the Lyon's Restaurants. I can remember the one across from the Council House. Have a photo of that in one of the Alton Douglas books. Photo is circa l920's. The the one opposite Woolworths in New Street...upstairs for that one with lots of grocery items from their line on sale and finally the one opposite the Odeon on New Street. Everyone said you got a good cup of tea there also coffee. I think if you lined up for service they made it in giant metal tea pots with huge strainers like mammoth fishing nets!!!! If you had waitress table service then the tea came in a silver teapot with a hot water jug on the side. I couldn't find any info on the Lyon's restaurants in Brum over the years but here is a site put together by a fellow who has written a book about the company. Some of the photos are amazing. There is an ice cream section with original advertising and prices. I remember the all the products shown in this section. I loved the Lyon's Maid Orange Ice Lollies at the cinema. Didn't get one very often mind you!!!!!!! https://www.kzwp.com/lyons/
I have to be honest, I was a bit too young and too lacking in confidence to ever enter a place like a restaurant in the 60's.
I did however use loads of Cafes in that time..
being an Apprentice Plumber it's how we started our day..
There was Bills great Bacon cobs in Bradburne way, I remember 'Les's Cafe' in Dollman St/Alma Crescent...fabulous place.. but the one that sticks out in my mind was 'Tony's Cafe' next to the Gaiety picture house in Coleshill St..what a dump that was! (and Tony when I met him working as a Doorman many years later was the first to admit it)
The thing I remember about then was Tony's Dad sitting in full view of customers dripping shaving foam over the sandwiches he was making...it was only his regulars that never seemed to eat there..it was also the only Cafe I ever went into where you not only asked for a cup of tea you also asked them to put it in a clean cup for you as well..
It was a real 'Wipe your feet on the way out ' type of place...
Ahhh happy days..
Another restaurant I recall was the Burlington - was it part of the Burlington Hotel? - time has dimmed my memory, but it was in Burlington
Passage off New Street, we went there for special occasions, I think it later became Bobby Browns.
Another place for special occasions was The Albany Hotel, I think it was called the Four Seasons Resaurant, my sister and her husband took us there for their Silver Wedding Anniversary 1971, and my parents for their
Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1973.
We didn't do much eating out, but in 1958 it was our first wedding anniversary; off we went for our romantic meal, me all dolled up in a new suit, to the Queens Hotel. The dinning room was a cavern of a place with white tablecloths and a funereal atmosphere. It was Sunday lunch time and we were the only customers.
In the mid to late 60's, I always used to go to The China Garden underneath Lewis's for a late night serving of Chinese chips and curry. I also remember the Slowboat. For a real treat however (and I owe my current love of curry to this establishment) there was the Shazan in Ladypool Road, now part of Brum's Balti trade. One other I used to frequent was on Bristol Street opposite what became the Sentinels. I cant remember the name of the place but it was run by East Pakistani's who, on the creation of Bangladesh, highlighted their new country on the illuminated sign above the door. I remember there was literally open warfare with the restaurant a few doors away, which was run by West Pakistani's. The police were called one night and several machete's were confiscated. Good food though and very, very nice people. It was one of the few restaurants at the time I felt happy to go and eat on my own in. Bless 'em.
Nipper that has brought back memories curried chips and peas at the China garden we used to do exactly the same thing after goung out in Brum in the late 60s, but what we always laugh about is the little Chinese waitress with her grey dish cloth cleaning the table she would come round to wipe your table and even if you were eating you had to lift your plate for her to clean under :lol: There was also a fish and chip shop in Winson Green that sold curried chips and peas that we used to use late at night i still love to eat my chips smothered with c sauce.