The St Paul’s and Jewellery Quarter district of Birmingham have always offered a more subdued eating experience than one usually encounters in the nearby busy city centre, and in St Paul’s Square sits its namesake Saint Pauls House, a popular boutique hotel, restaurant and bar.
The venue resides within this thriving part of the city, being just a short walk away from the main centre, and additionally served by the new Metro tram service, local rail networks and easy parking facilities. A popular destination for both week and weekend bookings, their all-day menu has seen a complete overhaul, of which this review explores.
For a starter, the spiced beef bao was an ideal beginning to the meal. Bao is a steamed soft bun common in Chinese cuisine and here it came with spring onions, and a delicious Sriracha mayo dressing while the beef was cooked to perfection. My partner chose the crab toast with smashed avocado and an excellent Bloody Mary sauce, which was well seasoned with pepper and chilli.
For mains we had grilled seabass fillet, which was presented with a wonderful mango sauce and also Bombay potatoes and broccoli. The seabass came with two fillets rather than one which we thought was unusual but very appreciated!
It’s the obvious attention to detail which some establishments miss that Saint Pauls do so effortlessly.
My partner opted for the lamb ragù gnocci, a difficult dish to perfect due to the number of ingredients, but nonetheless the lamb was tender and ragù flavoursome as was the nduja, which is essentially spicy spreadable salami. We also added two sides, a portion of tenderstem broccoli and a bowl of triple cooked chips, ideal for a cold, blustery day in the city.
After a very short resistance we opted for two desserts, the white chocolate crème brûlée which came with a raspberry coulis which had a great, creamy consistency and was not overly sweet. And also the eternal favourite, apple crumble with custard and ice cream. It’s difficult to beat a good apple crumble and this did not disappoint.
The staff informed us of this new, more concise menu which is now very efficient but still covers a lot of ground. I personally feel that overly extensive menus can sometimes be detrimental, but here this new approach to their all-day menu is wholly successful and appreciated, with comforting modern classics, and high impact flavours never going out of fashion.
Saint Pauls continues to have great success with their extremely popular Saturday Bottomless Brunch menu, insofar that they have recently started a new Sunday Bottomless & Roast menu. The venue has also had a recent cosy but stylish makeover, offering a spacious conservatory/terrace area and a private dining/meeting room, perfect for business lunches and coffee meetings, in addition to weekend gatherings. The reasonably sized venue also benefits from warm lighting throughout the restaurant and bar areas.
It’s easy to see why Saint Pauls have been successful over recent years. Great food, excellent service and a welcoming environment are always winning components to a popular eatery. Our friendly waitress Ava was attentive and informative throughout our time there, and we also spoke to head chef Stephen regarding the new menu concept and his ideas behind some of the ingredients.
My partner and I both agreed that this was one of the best lunches we had ever eaten and that our whole experience was flawless. It’s the obvious attention to detail which some establishments miss that Saint Pauls do so effortlessly. We even enjoyed the music playlist! Repeat visits are not far away.
Words & Pictures by Damian and Michelle for Grapevine.