Don Diego is a newish Mediterranean restaurant, small, yet perfectly formed. This beautifully appointed dining space, promises a rustic fine dining experience, in the heart of the leafy up-market suburb of Edgbaston.
As the restaurant is recently opened, it is quiet and relaxed on the evening I visit – which is welcome as I had a long week at work. Tables start to fill up as I order a large smooth rich red wine, and some roasted nuts, to ponder over the menu. The decor is beautiful, from the printed wallpaper to the luxurious furniture. It is easy to decipher, a lot of thought and care has gone into the creation of this seductive space, it is almost Taverna style, with a subtly elegant touch.
The menu is kept simple and enticing, with mouth wateringly authentic looking dishes. I can be indecisive, so this compact menu suits me perfectly.
Chilli Fishcakes & Andalusian Breaded Chicken Breast
To begin, I am offered some Garlic Bread with salted butter. I have to make a point here, this bread was the most beautiful looking, and deliciously tasting garlic bread you could hope for. The crunchy exterior of this miniature loaf is easily torn apart, to reveal a warm doughy soft centre, which oozes garlicy goodness.
My starter is Fishcakes, Pea Puree with Paprika Mayo. I took my time over eating the fishcakes, simply because they were so enjoyable. The succulent little balls were crispy coated, with a soft crumbling mixture of haddock, cod and salmon which are infused with capers, spring onions, potato, a hint of chilli, paprika, lea & perrins and English mustard.
A stunning combination which provides a delicately spicy taste, from the freshest ocean harvest. I make my own fishcakes, but from now on, I think I’ll just nip down to Don Diego as Chef Alfonso evidently fashions this dish with an educated and illustrious style.
It tore away into soft juicy strips, so much so, I barely needed the mayo.
For a main, I choose the Andalusian Breaded Chicken Breast with Cuban Mayo. What a delight this was – a simple dish, with no frills, but enormous on bite. It was salty with that crispy crunchy exterior which seems to be a theme here, yet inside the chicken was so soft and succulent. It tore away into soft juicy strips, so much so, I barely needed the mayo. The portion was generous and looked beautiful too. I would like to return and order this to crunch into again.
With the main came a plate of Grilled Vegetables, carefully selected without detracting too much from the chicken breast.
I couldn’t help notice how beautiful the Roasted Lamb Shank in Rioja Wine looked as it was delivered to the next table, not to mention the Grilled Octopus with Paprika Olive Oil drizzled over, of which I manage to photograph. Both were highly recommended by the diners sat next to me – this was their second visit since the restaurant opened.
The portions here are just right for me, and I felt there was enough room left to sample a Whisky Chocolate Semifrío with berries, which some will know is a semi-frozen Spanish dessert. It has the texture of frozen mousse, was light and sweet, and a perfect climax to end this evening of fine Mediterranean fine dining.
If you visit Don Diego, you will hopefully pick up on the passion and desire to create something special, by chef and manager, for the people of Birmingham. It must also be highlighted, that the quality of food and drink, for the affordable cost, makes this restaurant a brilliant option for a variety of diners, from romantic couples to family meals, and business lunches, I would not hesitate to recommend Don Diego Edgbaston to anyone.. visit now before it becomes a Brummie favourite!
Review by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.