The Oyster Club review October 2021

I had been meaning to try out The Oyster Club in Birmingham city centre for some time. I had heard mixed reports, my brother and also a best mate had raved about the quality of seafood, and ambiance, having visited several times between them with respective partners, but then a friend’s boss, had also reported a very mediaocre experience, when he took his partner.

I dug a little deeper on the night of my visit, and it turned out the guy and his partner, who didn’t rate the Oyster Club were, in fact, Vegetarians? A rather important piece of information that was initially omitted – clue is in the name of the restaurant surely?

Myself and companion dressed up for a swanky night out in Brum. No need to drop the ‘s’ because Brum really does now have some high end opulent venues to be wined and dined in. We began our evening at The Grand Hotel’s cocktail bar, nipped in to The Pineapple Club and then on to The Oyster Club – could easily have been in New York or London we both agreed.

For those that don’t know, The Oyster Club is a seafood spin-off from a Michelin Starred restaurant named Adams (run by Adam & Natasha Stokes).

I booked fairly late in the week for a Saturday night, and was surprised to be able to sneak a table at the bar for two. This was perfect, as it felt informal for friends, we were able to chat to the staff, and people either side, one of which was an “Oyster virgin”.

..devine morsels, a taste of the sea in the most landlocked city in Great Britain, so far, not so-so, but so, so good!

Decor is modern and classy, with a relaxed atmopshere with fresh seafood displayed in ice, and a more formal, romantic restaurant setting, for those who wish to make it special.

We decided to order a selection of oysters, snacks and small plates as we had eaten a large Thai meal at Rosa’s earlier in the day.

This proved to be a very wise choice, it gave us a perfect selection of dishes to gain an overall idea, for what The Oyster Club can do for your tastebuds – this was further reinforced by a member of staff complimenting our selection.

Our drinks order arrived quickly with a barman filling our glasses. My red wine was a Brunito Rosso Toscana, of Da Vinci, Tuscany. It was a soft smooth red, making a superb accompaniment to the evening. My companion chose the Prosecco Rosé Treviso Argeo, also from Italy and was, apparenty delicious.

My first taste of The Oyster Club was an Oyster, of course, with Bloody Mary dressing. We had three in all, devine morsels, a taste of the sea in the most landlocked city in Great Britain, so far, not so-so, but so, so good!

Next up, The Smoked Haddock Scotch Egg with capers and a parsley mayonnaise. I’m a bit of a scotch egg addict and the smoked haddock took this humble pub snack to another dimension.

Time for the Korean Glazed Barbeque Skewer, with belly pork and Italian prawn. The pork belly was so succulent and juicy, more than I expected from such a small dish.

Some Dressed White Crab with chicken skin, avocado and sourdough croutons was mainly devoured by my companion, however i did try a small taste. A delicate, intricate little plate and one which was savoured, the crab was fresh and creamy.

Whole Roasted King Prawns with spiced lobster bisque and coriander offered a slight kick to the tonsils, and what a brilliant combination of flavours – I may try this one at home!

A Hand Dived Scallop each, with curried butter, roasted cauliflower puree and golden raisins, topped off a sublime journey around the ocean (apparently pigs can swim too, so i’ll give the pork belly its place here). All these fresh ingredients, with outstanding flavours, all presented in a beautiful fashion, within a cool relaxed setting, served by friendly, knowledgeable attentive staff, really… 10/10 for me and totally aligns my experience with those of my brother and a best mate.

I guess, i must also pay homage to the Dark Chocolate Mousse with salted caramel, banana ice cream and a hazelnut crum. And the Pistachio Frangipane with goats curd mousse and poached plums. Wow.. I think you can guess from the rest of the review how these came out, all I can say is the whole experience from start to finish was a special one, we were made to feel special, and left with the most amazing tastes in our mouths..

Hope to see this place again for another special occasion!

Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.