Birmingham’s first ever two star Michelin restaurant unveiled

Aktar Islam

Chef-owner Aktar Islam

Opheem has become the first restaurant in Birmingham to receive two Michelin Stars, “in recognition of its highly original Indian cooking”.

Created and led by Aston-born chef Aktar Islam, Opheem opened on Summer Row in 2018 and won its first Michelin Star in October 2019.

It was the only West Midlands restaurant to receive an accolade at tonight’s event at The Midland Hotel in Manchester and added to the region’s one Michelin Star holders of Adam’s, Purnell’s, Simpsons, Grace & Savour at Hampton Manor and Upstairs by Tom Shepherd in Lichfield.

Aktar said at the ceremony: “It’s incredible to achieve this. My journey started 31 years ago when I got kicked out of school.

“It just goes to show what this industry can give someone with no prospects. Anyone who says this industry has no opportunities, I’m proof that it’s bulls***!”

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The Michelin Guide commented: “The dining scene in Great Britain & Ireland continues to be both innovative and impressive. With a new Three Michelin Star and 6 new Two Star restaurants, the selection’s global standing has grown even further. Among all of the newly awarded Stars, both the quality and variety of the dining experiences are wonderful to see.

“There are enormously talented chefs turning their hands to anything from wood-fired sharing plates to finely tuned sushi. To have so much positive news to share with the industry, at a time when restaurants are facing so many challenges, gives me great pride and is proof of the continued vitality within British and Irish dining.

“That this has happened in the 50th year of the Great Britain & Ireland Guide is proof of how much gastronomy has grown and evolved in that time.”