Our city is paired in Michelin goodness with Edinburgh to have the most accoladed dining spots outside of the big smoke. Our homegrown talent continues to grow and I have been doing some rather delectable eating out. Drink this up!
Daring to different and fun
Alex Claridge has come from pop ups in coffee shops to have his own venue in the city centre, then reincarnated this in the atmospheric Jewellery Quarter with Wilderness. His newest take is stylish, delicious and exciting.
Spot the neon sign on Temple Row guiding you in to swanky dining. An 80’s interior invites Instagram poses a go go. A bar with cocktails based on moods and equally tantalising mocktail options (I do occasionally not drink, gulp!) plus a beer collaboration with Dig Brew.
Downstairs 4 or 6 course menus offer a modern balance of flare, skill and Asian flavours. Plates balanced in size and offering; no dish left my taste buds glum. The little surprises I don’t want to give away as that is half the fun. I am now just eager to sample the Barbie themed afternoon tea and bring all my friends. A super edition to the Brum food scene.
A city famed for the Balti and going for a curry, Atkar Islam put the well-executed Indian on the map with his F word and Great British Menu offerings. He has now parted that family and set up to create his own empire on Colmore Row.
His largest and premier spot, Opheem sits where Mechu use to be and sticky floored, dance club scenes are long lost with lavish surroundings and delightful interiors. This is a big space and a bold move for your first solo endeavour.
Atkar has taken his winning dishes with him and they feature on the menu and you have an offer of a la carte or a tasting line up. Little treats arrive and although executed well, they do sit comfortably together-sourdough bread and an in descript curry sauce.
Main dishes are presented delightfully but they lack pizazz. Is it the firm memory of what your local curry house offers being dampened by a more fine dining rhetoric or a restaurant still finding its feet in where it wants to be. I will revisit once my purse has recovered.
Ladies whom lunch, me and the girls enjoyed some fine time at Folium. The small restaurant tucked away on Caroline Street has a very reasonable lunchtime menu, 3 courses for £30.
Wagyu fat whip with artisan in house baked bread wows from the very beginning. The kitchens skills shine in every plate and savoured bite. Couple duo Ben Tesh and Lucy Halon have created a solid platform to go forth and experiment and look forward to tasting their journey with them.
It would have been ride not to swing by Britain’s best Gin bar at 40 St. Pauls. The gin list will bowl you over but do tap into the amazing staff’s knowledge as they can guide you through the pages to ensure your tastes are guided but also stretched by trying something new.
Wow how lucky we are in Brum to have such exciting places on the map. Now what will 2019 bring!
Article by Rhiannon Simpson of Birmingham Food Tour
*photo by Opheem