"The city and my team are eternally grateful."
Opheem has become Birmingham’s first restaurant to receive two Michelin stars.
Located in the city centre, the Indian fine dining restaurant is led by Aktar Islam.
Ophem was one of four Birmingham restaurants with one Michelin star. At a ceremony on February 5, 2024, it was put into a class of its own when it received a second.
The restaurant was named alongside five other restaurants in its category, making it among the very best in Britain.
At the ceremony, which was held at Manchester’s Midland Hotel, the Aston-born chef stirred emotion as he accepted the award.
Aktar said: “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***!”
Thanking Michelin on X afterwards, he said:
“The city and my team are eternally grateful.”
Opheem was the only Midlands restaurant to receive plaudits at the ceremony.
The restaurant opened on Summer Row in 2018 and won its first Michelin star just over a year later.
Described as “progressive Indian cuisine”, Opheem previously made history by becoming the first Indian restaurant outside London to win a Michelin star.
The Birmingham destination can now count itself among the best, becoming one of the 479 global restaurants the Michelin Guide has given two stars for “high-quality cooking”.
Celebrating the restaurant for being “wonderful”, the Guide explains:
“Locally-born and bred chef-owner Aktar Islam has fashioned a wonderful dining experience at this ever-developing restaurant.
“A spacious bar and sitting room are cleverly used as a space in which to enjoy snacks and a drink before heading to the dining room and its open kitchen.
“The series of flavoursome, excellently spiced and carefully balanced dishes are creative, modern takes on Indian recipes.”
“Well-chosen wines from the excellent sommelier are on hand to accompany.”
The success comes after the chef previously revealed how difficult things have been for hospitality businesses.
Aktar, who also appears on BBC’s Great British Menu, shared that Opheem generated just £320 in profit during the first quarter of 2023.
The restaurant charges £50 for two courses and £125 for its ten-course tasting menu, but Aktar said high taxation is “squeezing the industry to breaking point”.