Out In Brum - Meating - InteriorThe last couple of years have been very carnivorous for the city as many meaty venues have opened, from Fiesta Del Asado, Fleet Street Kitchen, lots of pop-ups from Andy Low ‘n’ Slow, and several chain burger joints. There’s another new independent to add to the list – Meating, at the Arcadian centre. Like some of the other meaty joints they’ve chosen a charcoal grill to cook on, but their real selling point is the use of Farmison & Co ( as their supplier of rare breed beef. We popped in for a Friday night dinner ahead of visiting a Selfridges Live+Loud event.

The staff are very welcoming and really keen to please, it does perhaps feel a little new, it’s Out In Brum - Meating - Exteriornot quite reached slick yet though I’m sure it will come. Do keep an eye on your watch if the affable manager (and erstwhile magician) John should shake your hand, he may replace it with an onion ring before you know it. The venue is cowshed chic, with wood, galvanised zincs, and high ceilings with exposed services.

There’s a cocktail bar here should you want it, but we plumped for a bottle of wine (£17). Out In Brum - Meating - NachosDinner will set you back between about £10 for a burger to up to £29 for half a kilo of T-Bone. Most dishes, are below £15, including chicken and fish kebabs and a couple of veggy dishes if you’re so inclined. All dishes come with house fries, and a trip to the salad bar which is, frankly, an eccentric touch (“have you been to a Harvester Meating before sir?”).

To start we had crisp calamari, and the home fried nachos with smooth guacamole, cheese, and salsa.  The nachos are similar to those served in HaHa’s many years ago, and more recently in Bodega’s – I really like that style so will be back for these again.  We both fancied a burger when we went in so that’s what we went for. I had “The Blue Pill” burger, a Galloway beef patty with caramelised onion, blue cheese, garlic mushrooms, and rocket. The patty was Out In Brum - Meating - Porkies Burgerserver medium-rare which is how I like it – if you’re a heathen who likes your rare breed burger burned they will do it for you. The bun was soft, and the flavours from the blue cheese and garlic mushrooms were punchy and well-balanced. I upgraded to the sweet potato fries which were crunchy. We also tried the “Porkies” burger, another Galloway beef burger but this one comes with bacon, cheddar, crispy delicious string onions, and baconaise (for the uninitiated, that’s bacon flavoured mayo). We had the truffle oil and parmesan fries with this one which were very nice (though I’ve never got over street-food vendor Fancy Fries version which are simply oosh).  We enjoyed every bite.

They’re geared up to be able to put large tables together, as well as booths for smaller groups. Definitely worth a trip with friends for informal cocktails, wine, steak and a chat.

You can find them online here: .

Posted in Area: Arcadian, Area: Hurst Street / The Gay Village / South Side, Birmingham Restaurant, birmingham restaurant review, birmingham review, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Cuisine: Steakhouse, Price: Average, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tapas Revolution

Out In Brum - Tapas Revolution (14)Now Grand Central shopping centre has opened there’s a host of new eating possibilities to try out in the city. The transformation at New Street Station has provided the airy light space for more than a dozen venues, and we’ve tried a couple already. We’ve seen people complaining that there are few independents in the “food court”. Firstly I put it in inverted commas because it’s not your standard food court: if you want McD’s or BK you’ll have to go somewhere else. Secondly, there are a few independents, and some of the smaller nicer chains. Thirdly, the restaurants are separate units – this isn’t someone where one must carry a tray, it’s all about table service.

We visited Tapas Revolution, run by Chef Omar Allibhoy, while it isn’t a one-off independent, the small chain of restaurants was founded and is creatively led by Omar still. Out In Brum - Tapas Revolution - BarThere’s three branches in London, the new Birmingham branch, and another couple in the pipeline. During this opening period he’s often found in the open kitchen checking plates as they leave the pass – he’s easy to spot, Gordon Ramsay dubbed him the Antonio Banderas of cooking, and you may know Omar from one of his many TV and media appearances.

If you’re used to the “tapas” travesties presented to you by the likes of Las Iguanas, then as Miguel de Cervantes wrote “thou hast seen nothing yet”. When Omar came to the UK toOut In Brum - Tapas Revolution (5) learn English and further his career he was surprised at the lack of good Spanish food on offer and set off on a road trip around the UK to promote his native fare, the start of his Tapas Revolution. Omar brings you classic dishes done well, in an environment that’s relaxed – perfect for dinner with friends and la sobramesa.

We’re actually pretty well catered for in Brum for Spanish food, if you like Tapas then you must try Comida in Harborne which is one of my favourite places to be, and if you want a ridiculously cheap meal then Rico Libre offers good food in an unusual location (hint: taxi there if it’s after dark).

Out In Brum - Tapas Revolution - spiced pork bellyWe visited Tapas Revolution on the Friday night of its opening when Grand Central was heaving with commuters and shoppers. After a glass or two at the bar at Frizzenti, which specialises in on-tap Prosecco, we headed to Tapas Revolution. Despite it having a fair amount of seating, the layout makes dining quite cosy.

We ordered pints of Estrella and a few plates of tapas. The Tortilla (why do people still call it “Spanish omelette”?) was good, and tasty with soft earthy potato. Soft and sweet calamares was encased in crisp golden batter and served with lemon and perfect with a punchy aioli. Ham croquettes were good, with oozing cheese and a smokey ham flavour. We also enjoyed the cod croquettes. The best dish for me was the cubes of pork belly that were perfumed with deep spices and herbs, very warming. Averagely the dishes are around £5 Out In Brum - Tapas Revolution - tortillaeach, and a couple of meet dishes and a side each was plenty for us, so with a pint dinner will probably set you back about £20 a head.

I’m relieved that Grand Central haven’t filled the place with McOutlets, and very pleased to find that the places I’ve already tried are good.

Posted in Area: Central Shopping, Area: Grand Central, Area: The Bullring, Cuisine: Spanish, Price: Average, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Selfridges LIVE+LOUD 2015 – FREE events Fri/Sat/Sun

Selfridges Live Loud 2015Hot on the heels of Birmingham’s “Super Saturday” which saw the city host the South Africa v Samoa rugby world cup game at Villa Park, the opening weekend of Grand Central shopping centre and John Lewis, Style Birmingham, and the Big Weekender dance project, this weekend sees Selfridges LIVE + LOUD. After probably the busiest weekend in Brum ever, perhaps you thought this weekend the city may take it easy? Think again.

Selfridges are offering a host of free events, both in their Bullring store and offsite in collaboration with London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), under the banner “ICA off-site”. You can party in store at special beauty, fashion and art events, on the dance floor with live music performances in store, or at their Digbeth ICA Off-Site. Participants include Fergadelic, Tim & Barry/Just Jam, Tyrone Lebon, Ben Sansbury, and Ashley Williams.

Digbeth ICA Off-Site
Tickets are required for some events and you’ll be able to find those, and directions, here:

  • Fri 2 Oct: Tim & Barry present Tom of England: 8-12pmSelfridges Live Loud 2015 DJ Art
  • Sat 3 Oct:Exhibition opening hours: 11am–6pm
    Just Jam present, Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Scratcher, Tsunga, 8-12pm
  • Sun 4 Oct: Exhibition opening hours: 11am–6pm

In Store
There’s also a whole host of activity in store, from a Michelin starred dinner in The Balcony restaurant (Thursday – you’ve missed it!), to a pop up Bollywood cinema. Some events require you to book, others are free and you can just turn up.

Beauty From Within: Thur 1 October, 5-9pm
“Today beauty is more than skin deep – it goes below the surface and combines with technology, nutrition and inner wellbeing to create real solutions for your lifestyle.
Selfridges Live Loud 2015 Ashley Williams Fluffy Pink Coat on CatwalkJoin us to explore these exciting concepts with pampering treatments, a live DJ set by Yasmin Evans and exclusive treats from your favourite brands during an exceptional evening of extraordinary experiences. Including the opportunity to meet Beauty experts such as Nikki Cooper, founder of and Lauren Armes, founder of Well To Do London.”
Tickets are £10 redeemable against beauty purchases on the night.
To book please call 0121 600 6718

Birmingham City University School Of Art: Thur 1 – Sun 4 October, throughout the day
Discover new and emerging talent from Birmingham’s creative quarter with the Birmingham School Of Art as they present an exciting programme of performances, installations and research projects for the city. Home on Level 1.

Itihaas Bollywood Cinema: Thur 1 – sun 4 October, throughout the day
Itihaas invites you to enjoy a taste of Bollywood, screening 20 minute Bollywood movie highlights and serving Bollywood style Street food creations. Foodhall on Level 1.
The pop up cinema daily film timetable is:
Maine Pyar Kiya – 12.40 until 1pm
Sholay – 1.40pm until 2pm
Mr India – 2.40pm until 3pm
Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge – 3.40pm until 4pm
Songs of Bollywood – 4.40pm until 5pm.

Tilbury Taxis: Fri 2 – Sun 4 October, throughout the day
Join Charlotte Tilbury’s backstage make-up artists in her Tilbury Taxis on Rotunda SquareSelfridges Exterior from Clive Reeves PR for a complimentary signature ‘Quick Trick’ makeover.
Rotunda Square, Bullring.
Jimmy Choo Cinderella Shoe: 1 – 4 October, throughout the day
See Jimmy Choo’s exclusive glass slipper design. One of only few pieces in the world! Shoes on Level 4.

Live Music Schedule: Sun 4 October, 12-4pm
Selfridges have teamed up with Punch Records to create a unique showcase of live music featuring the very best in home-grown talent. This locally owned, locally delivered music programme celebrates the next generation of UK artists making waves across the international music scene. Emerging artists include energetic rapper and female MC RoxXxan, eclectic soul/jazz artist Call Me Unique and upcoming artist Namiwa Jazz, all performing live sets throughout the day. Headline act, internationally renowned British soul singer Jacob Banks will be taking part in an exclusive Q&A session before performing an exclusive acoustic set.

The Art Room: Sat 3 – Sun 4 October, 1-5pm
For the first time in Birmingham, The Art Room is delighted to be able to showcase The Art Room practice using art as a therapeutic intervention for children and young people facing difficulties and challenges in their daily lives. The Art Room is hosting a series of interactive workshops, inviting children to experience how art can help them be creative and confident. Drop into a Workshop.

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Grand Central Eateries

We thought we’d bring you a round-up of the eateries currently due to be opening in the shiny new Grand Central Shopping Centre due to open its doors to the public on 24th September.  We hear that not all will be opening on 24th September and that all opening dates are currently TBC.

At the moment we’ve identified 22 venues that you can grab a spot of food at.

We can’t recommend any of them yet apart from YakiNori, brought to you by Ali, the owner of Woktastic (now closed due to the demolition of Paradise Forum) and the already much loved first branch of YakiNori in Selly Oak (where I’ve just in fact eaten a tasty kokonatsu curry for my dinner).

I make no apology that the words have been taken from websites and press releases – you may want to mentally remove a superlative or two!


Yakinori LogoYakiNori

YakiNori is a Birmingham based, independent Japanese Noodle and Bento Bar, brought to to you by Ali Karakaya of much loved Woktastic. Expect vibrant colours and manga-style graphics, plus an open kitchen and counters where you can grab-and-go or stop for a quick bite to eat. Serving sushi, bento boxes and quick, fresh food from a teppanyaki grill.


1440514317383All Bar One 

All Bar One New Street Station is a city bar where you can catch up with friends, unwind after work or simply find a space to indulge in a selection of food and drink.


Café Concerto

Indulge in one of their lip-smackingly good Italian-style gateaux, pastries or ice creams. Made on the premises, these creations come in just about every size, shape and flavour imaginable. Sandwiches, quiches, savoury snacks, cold and hot beverages and high tea are also available.


Drop into Carluccio’s and dine from an array of authentic Italian dishes, prepared on site daily by Carluccio’s chefs, using the freshest ingredients. With recipes developed by Antonio Carluccio himself, diners can look forward to light antipasti, salads, fresh handmade pastas and risottos as well as hearty meat or vegetarian choices, and a selection of desserts.


Cocomacs is the UK’s first luxury coconut macaroons micro-bakery and café.Expect mouth-watering freshly baked coconuts macaroons in a range of scrumptious flavours.


Costa is a favourite destination for  coffee lovers, serving authentic Italian coffee, hot chocolate, teas and frescato. 


Crêpeaffaire is a place where you can enjoy freshly prepared crêpes whatever your craving, at any time of the day. A fun and relaxed spot where great food is prepared in front of you.

image_1158_v20121212_091940Ed’s Easy Diner

Ed’s is a much loved retro-American diner that successfully captures the spirit of the classic US originals, complete with restored 1950’s juke boxes. Customers can relax at a booth or table and enjoy the great Ed’s service, or sit at the stools and watch the food being prepared in the open kitchen right in front of them.


Traditional Italian food using only high quality and healthy products such as locally sourced Italian pastas, extra virgin olive oil, and organic tomatoes to develop our luscious sauces and dressing based upon traditional Sicilian family recipes.


The Fizz! Bar at Frizzenti offers sparkling and still wines on tap, Prosecco, Italian tapas, high-quality coffee and pastries perfect for people needing a break from shopping or waiting for a train.


Freshly cooked food, served to the sound of great music – guaranteed to make you feel good.

The menu is inspired by the best flavours from around the world including, stacked high burgers, fresh salads, pasta, steak & grills together with a selection of cocktails, beers and global wines.

3b033573865e88962893a92746cfce62-imageHandmade Burger Co

 With more than 40 delicious varieties of burgers and fresh cut chips, made from scratch every day, handmade burger Co have a tasty and exciting menu for you to enjoy.

joe_and_the_juiceJoe & The Juice

 Coffee, juices, shakes and sandwiches


Leon is a restaurant group, based in London, specialising in seasonal, naturally fast food. It was founded by chef Allegra McEvedy with Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent and was named after Vincent’s father. Leon created their naturally fast food concept & opened their first outlet in Carnaby Street in 2004. Six months after opening, Leon was named the “Best New Restaurant in Great Britain” at The Observer Food Monthly Awards.

new_logo Muffin Break

Serving premium coffee and ethically sourced muffins and cakes, baked on site each morning. Muffin Break at Grand Central is sure to make your breakfasts and lunchtimes delicious.


 Try Nando’s legendary, delicious flame grilled PERi-PERi chicken here at Grand Central and find yourself embraced by traditional Portuguese warmth, hospitality and fun. Whether you visit for a quick bite, a family party or a fun night out with friends, it’s not just your taste buds that’ll be invigorated.


PAUL is a family company built upon a foundation of time-honoured production methods that have been passed down for five generations. From humble beginnings in 1889 as a small bakery in Lille, Northern France, PAUL’s recipes have been nurtured within and between families of keen bakers for over 125 years to create today’s well-known and internationally respected brand.


 Authentic Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho will be opening with a great location overlooking the hustle and bustle of the station concourse below.

logo Square Pie

 At Square Pie we’re proud that we never cut corners with our food and believe that great food should be simple food – that’s why we keep ingredient lists down to a minimum and avoid over complicating things.

Our chefs use only great natural ingredients and avoid artificial additives or hydrogenated fats. The same principles apply to everything we sell from our proper mushy peas that don’t come from a tin, our freshly made mash in store or organic Monmouth Coffee.

Logo-2 Tapas Revolution

 Tapas Revolution brings a little bit of Spain to Birmimgham, serving traditional, authentic Spanish food and wines. Take time to relax over a glass of cava and a selection of “tapas” at the bar for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or treat yourself to freshly made “churros con chocolate”, or simply grab a “bocadillo” to go.


 Tortilla offers California-style burritos and tacos, providing an exciting dining option in Birmingham that is fresh, authentic and fantastic value for money.  Awarded Zagat’s ‘Best Buy’ and ‘Top Mexican Restaurant’ 2013, you can choose from burritos and tacos made from a choice of toppings and enjoy with a selection of refreshing beers or a frozen Margarita.

 YO! Sushi SingleYo! Sushi

 The iconic conveyor belt sushi bar comes to the busy shopping hub of Grand Central.  Enjoy over 80 delicious and nutritious Japanese inspired dishes at YO! Sushi including hot classics, sashimi, tempura, salads, hand rolls and desserts. So whether you love meat, fish or vegetables don’t panic, you’re catered for


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Food by Nomad: the Man and the Myth

Out In Brum - Man And The Myth - King Oyster MushroomI feel a little like I stalk chef Alex Claridge as this will be the fourth, and not final, review of his food I’ll post having followed him around from The Warehouse Cafe, to Bistro 1847, then on to the Food by Nomad projects – Nomad pop-up at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, and now “The Man and the Myth” pop-up, currently located at Urban Coffee on Church Street in the city-centre. Of course, chef-owner Alex is not the only brains in the outfit, as he works closely together with Nomad head chef Brian Smith and head chef for The Man and the Myth Tom Harrison, putting together the menu that changes daily, selecting ingredients from their own allotment.

The format for Man and the Myth is what you make it. There are around eight dishes priced individually on the menu, from about £3 to £5 each. You can have one, two, or a Out In Brum - Man And The Myth - Cauliflower and Salt Codfew, or if you want you can have a “kitchen roulette” option like a tasting menu for about
£30. The eight or so wines are available by the bottle or by the glass but you won’t be able to pick by wine name or grape type – you’re given just tasting notes and a price by size £3.50 for 125ml, £4 for 175ml, £18 a bottle. We had a few glasses of the “white peaches and tangerine, crisp finish”, and the “old school and boisterous, rich blackberry flavours” – still don’t know exactly what they were but they were delicious and complimented the unusual food.

Out In Brum - Man And The Myth - Gem Lettuce Ham Nasturtium CapersObviously we chose to have all eight dishes, in the interests of research or course. Much of Alex’s food is non-meat focused, more-so than most other chefs I think, and there’s always something clever and unusual on the menu. My favourite dish on the menu the night we were there was the King Oyster mushroom cooked in beef dripping. With its dense texture and flavours of beef fat you’d be hard pushed to tell the large golden fried mushroom wasn’t something much meatier.

Out In Brum - Man And The Myth - cheese Figs Summer TruffleThe cauliflower dish was served with citric flavoured wood ants (citric from their natural formic acid), with coriander, fishy borage and and salt cod. The ants are becoming a bit of a signature menu item, and much as it may put people off, I’d urge you to try them – they really do add a lemon crunchy note to the dishes.

A dish of bitter blackened gem lettuce and ham was garnished with grated cured duck eggs and nasturtium capers, a horseradish flavoured fresh ingredient that I’d not had before, which had been picked that day from their allotment. Vibrantly green “risotto” of peas and broad beans was served with a strong black pudding and peppery nasturtium leaves, and was also picked out as a favourite of one of our diners.  We finished with a cheese course (summer truffle, blue cheese, and fresh ripe fig), and then finally a sweet of wild blackberries, blackberry sorbet, caremelised yoghurt, and mint.

There’s an emphasis on foraging and seasonality and indeed if you’re eating there this week you may well end up with plum’s from @DanOffTheRadio‘s garden, as he delivered a batch to the team after eating there last week.  He described the experience of the food succinctly as “unusual, beautiful & delicious” – a sentiment I agree with.

The Man and the Myth will run for the next couple of months ahead of the opening of Bar by Nomad slated for late October with head chef Tom Harrison.  Alex’s and his team’s food is a Out In Brum - Man And The Myth - Blackberrygreat value way to try some high-skill interesting cooking. Try and get to The Man and the Myth if you can, you can book by using this booking link.  To see what other exciting things are going on follow Nomad Restaurant on Twitter to see how the concept develops in to the bar, and their own restaurant in the new year, and no doubt other projects before now and then.

We ended up with a couple of freebies, though we paid for mostly everything – see our reciprocity promise here.

Posted in Area: Central Shopping, Area: Colmore Business District, Birmingham Restaurant, birmingham restaurant review, birmingham review, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: Average, Price: Cheap as Chips - Inexpensive, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nosh & Quaff

Out In Brum - Nosh & Quaff - Beef RibsWhile restaurant and bar openings in Birmingham are a frequent occurrence nowadays, a new venue that has the associations of Nosh & Quaff is rather more rare, for it comes from the same stable as the much applauded Lasan, Fiesta Del Asado, and Raja Monkey, this being the fourth eatery from Chef Aktar Islam and his business partner Jabbar Khan.  Those not recognising those names may recall the Lasan team won Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word Best Local Restaurant in 2010.

The massive conversion they’ve undertaken on the beautiful Grade II listed Edwardian Baroque style building in the city’s historic civic district is impressive.  Original features are repaired and complimented by an industrial look of metal and exposed brick, softenedOut In Brum - Nosh & Quaff - Dining Room by leather seating and the original ceramics and intricate plasterwork.  The ground floor and basement are particularly impressive, and I’m very pleased that they’ve kept so much of the original.  The basement corridor for the toilets is a great place to see some more of the original detail with floor to ceiling tiling and the original bank vault.

The branding does seem to be at odds with the building.  When we came across it for the first time we were somewhat surprised: Nosh & Quaff.  For those unaware of the rather sexual connotations of the word “nosh” then you can check the Urban Dictionary definition here.  Frankly if a branding agency has come up with that naively, then they’re not doing their job properly.  If on the other hand they’ve done it to be provocative, it’s sleazy and a step too far.  As is having waitresses wandering around Victoria Square advertising the brand by wearing t-shirts with something like “I like Noshing” on them while holding “Floozy, Nail the Blond”Out In Brum - Nosh & Quaff - Chicken Wings branded balloons (“Floozy” is the house lager).  I’m not sure their dads would approve.  I don’t like the “#letsgetmessy” hashtag either, quite apart from it missing an apostrophe, it’s just a little lowbrow isn’t it.  The question is, would the food be as tasteless as the advertising?

When we arrived we sat on the first floor with a beer (two-thirds of a pint are sold here as is de rigeur at the moment) and cocktails.  The Floozy lager is unremarkable but we did enjoy the cocktails including one with blood orange juice.  We moved down to the ground floor to eat.  Some of the tables aren’t very spacious but the waitress moved us without complaint when we said we’d rather have a round table for the four of us.  We ordered a reasonably priced bottle of wine while we looked over the menu.

Out In Brum - Nosh & Quaff - Blooming OnionThe menu here revolves around lobster and currently fashionable barbecued meat.  Their #letsgetmessy motif is plastered on plastic bibs provided to all diners.  I’m not sure who does want to get messy while eating, but it isn’t me, and I also don’t know who wants to wear a plastic bib.  We asked for cutlery, which isn’t provided by default, and it was delivered to us without complaint.  Finger bowls would be a good addition because even with cutlery wine glasses were soon sticky with barbecue sauce.  We did get wet towels when we asked for them – the service was good on the whole, with bar staff and waiting staff affable and efficient.

We ordered the chicken wings (£12), they were served under a strong vinegary sauce that was unpleasant.  We also ordered the beef ribs (£18) which are visually appealing, looking like something Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble would have eaten.  Size wise the portions of ribs seemed different, but I suspect they were weighed the Out In Brum - Nosh & Quaff - Corridorsame.  Unfortunately they were chewy and tasted of uncooked tomato paste and chilli.  We ordered a couple of portions of macaroni and cheese (£3.95), one was like wet pasta in a tasteless white emulsion, the other was fairly successful.  Finally we ordered a blooming onion (£4), which was  greasy.  The sides of fries were good.  We have been told by a veggie friend that their truffled macaroni and cheese “burger” (£12) is very tasty, if a little heavy, and that their house salad and charred corn is also very good.  We’ve heard from another chef friend that the lobster (£20) is very good.  So in summary on the food, on our visit on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks after opening, we were very disappointed, but we’ve heard mixed reviews across the board.  Perhaps it’s just inconsistent?  Though to be honest at this price-point (averaging more than £16 a main) consistency should be a given.

Regardless of anything it will almost certainly be a success – because of the connection with the Lasan Group, and the novelty of the bibs and low-brow branding, and in time when the kitchen becomes a bit more consistent then hopefully for the food too.  We’ve already been back for drinks in the airy upstairs bar, and will invariably be back over the next few months to see whether the food is up to scratch.


Posted in Area: Central Shopping, Area: Colmore Business District, birmingham restaurant review, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: Average, Price: Get your dad to pay - above average, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Cocktail Bar, Venue type: Restaurant, Venue type: Wine Bar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rico Libre

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the side streets off Digbeth High Street, but if you are Out In Brum - Rico Libre - Exteriorthen you may well drive down them at 40 with the doors locked and windows closed. They do not feel salubrious, and I wouldn’t wander around them alone after dark. On a Summer’s Thursday night we finally tried a tapas joint that everyone has raved about for months – Rico Libre, on Barn Street. Walking from the High Street past dilapidated factories, knackered motors, and graffiti covered lock-ups you won’t come across some modern palace, but you will come across the vividly painted restaurant.

It isn’t much to look at from the outside. It isn’t much to look at from the inside either. Tables that estate agents may refer to as “compact” provide a perhaps overly intimate Out In Brum - Rico Libre - Tapas Platessetting for dinner, underneath a polystyrene hung ceiling covered in posters to hide the damp spots.

But there the problems stop. We arrived to jovial hosts with a sales patter that would put to shame that of many of the better restaurants in town. A request for a larger table for our party of five was duly granted and tapas started to appear, first bread and olives while we reviewed the menu. We got cracking on our Bring Your Own Booze (the restaurant isn’t licensed) while we ordered a bunch of dishes to share.

The restaurant tell us they prepare and cook everything in house, and it shows. The food we had was really good. It’s served like proper tapas i.e. each small plate will arrive at the Out In Brum - Rico Libre - Asparagustable when it’s cooked, it won’t all come together as starters and mains. As well as over a dozen dishes in the three for £12 list, there were another five specials at £5 and more specials on the blackboard. There was plenty of choice. We had a bellyful of food and it came to about £12 a head, I left fit to burst. So it’s a total bargain.

I tried earthy chicken livers with chorizo in a syrupy red wine sauce which was my favourite dish of the evening. The garlic mushrooms were in pungent melted butter, great to be dipped in to by the fishy lightly breaded whitebait. Also, we tried the sweet fleshed fried fish of the day which was in a light batter. The calamari was soft and again in a light crisp batter. Patatas Bravas offered some tomoato spicy carb. We also had the prawns, Out In Brum - Rico Libre - Whitebaitlemon chicken with quails egg, meatballs and more!

The area may not have been tasty, but the food certainly was. Good service, good food, and great value – got to be worth twelve quid of anyone’s money.

Posted in Area: Digbeth, Cuisine: Spanish, Cuisine: Tapas, Price: Cheap as Chips - Inexpensive, Venue type: Cafe, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments