Modern looking 1 Michelin starred restaurant in the heart of Birmingham with original chef's tasting menu table downstairs, open to single bookings as well as larger groups alike
My first time to this recently refurbished restaurant and the immediate impression shows there has been considerable investment at the space and decor. The tasting menu showed careful cooking and there were some good taste moments indeed. The service was provided by a pleasant team that appeared well bonded and on the ball throughout the service. The icing on the cake was provided by chatting with the Executive chef, Adam Stokes in the wonderful, new kitchen with counter bar chef’s table which is a great touch as it means you don’t have to have 6 people banding together to get the experience – I have only seen this at one other Michelin starred venue (Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs) and is an especially nice touch. The food here was commanding and a very good first impression on first visit. Well worth visiting and especially for any evening occasion.
A healthy selection of nibbles pr-empted this meal. First up was one of the best macaroons I’ve had made with with goat’s cheese – this was utterly dissolvable in the mouth with powerful goats cheese dose but without too much of the sour undertone that goat dairy can give. The steak tartare with egg yolk droplets canape was delightful but I found the crab snack slightly drowned the crispyness of the crisp as its only flaw – fresh as a daisy it was though! The Liquid chicken ball was my first dose of Michelin starred baby food(!) as this was all the elements of a Sunday roast chicken in one warm, liquid hit and was genuinely pleasant – a pleasingly gooey and salty deep fried bite.
The efforts on the semi salted butter and whipped pork fat were easily seen and both with perfect texture, the smokey and delightful alternative of the pork fat spread for the sour dough was a muncheable dish in itself. And THIS, ladies and gentlemen is one of the reasons that going to these sorts of venues is so much of what I enjoy as the sheer splendour of what these accoladed venues can actually do above the norm (not just fancy but really clear thought for overall originality and flavours).
The sweetbreads had a succuclent quality inside, with lovely smokiness, but were quite fatty and salty and I felt could have done with a bit more moisture. The tartare was an optional extra and was very dutifully presented with English mustard, chive oil, mushroom crisp and disc and caramioilsed onions. It was quite fatty but very interesting to be warmed / roasted yet raw and with deep flavour. Although not my best steak tartare, it was a nice surprise to have the element of English mustard as its kick but without being too ‘up the nose’ fatal as English mustard can be.
Lamb came next in its most succulent form and was juicy, crispy and sweet at the same time – gorgeously done. This came with a very young but satisfying red from Patrick Sullivan (Australia) at the same time. Straight in to the pre-dessert came the honey pannacotta with whiskey cream. I didn’t get that much of the honey pannacotta as the overiding flavour was the whiskey in the foam but it was a nice treat nonetheless. This was followed by aerated chocolate dessert with blood orange, caramel and salted milk sorbet. This was quite a heavy and cloggy dessert in the main (still lovely flavour) so the sorbet gave the moisture and freshness it needed and was just light enough when all together. The beetroot macaroon with elderflower that came made me first think they had made a mistake and brought a canape to the wrong table but actually this was sweetened beetroot with eldeflower cream and was absolutely meant as a petit four and was followed by some additional, wonderful mixed chocolates (dark chocolate, pepper & popping candy and and a pitch-prefect salted caramel and peanut petit fours as highlights).
In summary this was minamilist in design and absolute quality in overall effect. The interior is ultra modern in design but the cosyness was thankfully not compromised with its buzzing atmosphere; all of this was held together by a watchful, pleasant and attentive staff.
Food Grade: 81%
Location (Click google logo for directions)