London-based Japanese restaurant plans Birmingham venue

An independent Japanese restaurant could be set to make Birmingham its only location outside of London after owners submitted plans to open in the city centre.

Robata, which offers izakaya-style food, wants to transform the former Chilango site on the corner of Colmore Row and Bennetts Hill. If the plans get the nod by Birmingham City Council, the restaurant will add to Robata’s first venue in Old Compton Street in Soho.

If the planning application is successful, the former Chilango building will undergo a full interior fit-out to prepare for a new restaurant and bar, which will be be designed by TurnerBates.

Robata, meaning ‘fireside’ specialises in robata grilled charcoal cooking, a Japanese tradition that was first introduced by ancient fishermen who took boxes of hot coals with them on their boats to warm their food as they gathered their day’s catch.

Head chef Charles Lee has worked in a number of Michelin starred restaurants during his career.

Chilango closed its Mexican restaurant in Birmingham due to the Covid pandemic.