Rico Libre tapas review by Rachael Butler

It has been quite some time since I visited the Custard Factory in Birmingham, in-fact the last time was many years ago when I was with a modelling agency there!

I was pleasantly surprised at how the Custard Factory and surrounding outside area has developed and at nighttime it becomes a little hidden haven of restaurants, bars and nightlife lit up with colourful lights and pleasant surroundings.

The Custard Factory is a very famous and well loved landmark in Birmingham and it still retains its industrious look.

Situated within the Custard Factory, – Rico Libre is in the heart of Digbeth and just a few minutes walk from New Street train station or alternatively there is Lower Trinity Street car park directly opposite on Heath Mill Lane. City centre bus routes also pass closely by. Rico Libre is a great central location to enjoy dinner serving a very enticing menu of tapas with a twist!

I am a pescatarian and there were many options for me to choose from and after much careful thought I ordered the following dishes …

I enjoyed the fish cakes they were light and not greasy with just the right balance of flavour and not overpowering.

Tortilla De Espanoia – with spring onion and grilled Brie. I considered it a great choice as it was a light and delicious omelette, well seasoned with great depth & flavour. I recommend this dish when you visit!

Bunueias de pescado – delicate petite fish cakes with mustard, peppers & onion. I enjoyed the fish cakes they were light and not greasy with just the right balance of flavour and not overpowering.

Pan seared garlic & parley mushrooms with white wine (Vegan option) – a very tasty accompaniment to the other tapas dishes that I ordered. The dishes were well garnished and presented very pleasingly.

For dessert I ordered the Catalona pear which was sautéed & cooked in a red wine sauce and absolutely divine! We were also served an additional dessert to try which was the rice pudding served with a caramelised crispy top – a rich and creamy spiced pudding – it was absolutely stunning!

Nick from Grapevine who kindly invited me to the food review ordered the following tapas dishes from the menu …

From the meat tapas – Pork belly served with red wine & cola sauce. Nick described the dish as salty, juicy and succulent with lightly crispy crackling.
Pinchos Morunos – leg of lamb skewers marinated in garlic, citrus, paprika and white wine finished with mojo. “The lamb kebabs were mildly spicy and moreish”.

Nick also ordered the pan seared garlic & parsley mushrooms with white wine (Vegan option) and he reported the dish was “plentiful & garlicky!”. For dessert Nick ordered the Raspberry panecotta which he described as very sweet but just the right amount and worth savouring. The additional rice pudding we were served is not a dessert Nick would choose but he was pleasantly surprised and said it was “a new consideration”.

The ambiance at Rico Libre was pleasant with soft lighting and the decor was in-keeping with the theme of the food. We received a very warm welcome and the service was excellent.

Both Nick & I enjoyed all of the dishes we tried at Rico Libre and over all each dish was very tasty & enjoyable.

Words by Rachael Butler for Grapevine Birmingham