When I first heard that Glynn Purnell was opening another restaurant in Birmingham it was an exciting prospect – we ate there in May 2012 for my husband’s birthday and were impressed. The re-branding of The Asquith to Purnell’s Bistro at the end of last year baffled me slightly – I couldn’t quite see why the change was needed.
Our second visit almost a year to the day later proved no less impressive, but I could see the swing in the philosophy behind the food, it was more hearty, less fine dining but none the less still delicious, exactly what I would expect from a Bistro.
The meal was started with a couple of cocktails in Ginger’s Bar, a place I am no stranger to, often drinking there of a weekend evening with girl pals. I can honestly say they are some of the best cocktails I have ever had ( and I know my cocktails!) I had a twist on a margarita – with charred lemon and cinnamon sugar and Lee one with Lamb fat infused rum, complete with its own rosemary twig. I even got an extra free one as the bar man had made too much while practising and the waitress noted that I was drinking them – now thats an example of attentive service.
The menu was small but perfectly formed with lots of appetising options. A la carte menus often pose me and my husband a challenge because I am adamant that he is not allowed to chose the same thing as me, so that we can sample more of the food and taste each others which obviously often leads to ‘disagreements’ across the table! However in this case without any deliberation we happily chose different things.
My starter was a ham hock terrine and homemade piccalilli – the piccalilli tangy and piquant completing the ham hock, my only complaint, not enough of it! Lee also enjoy his starter the potato rosti with black pudding and a poached egg yolk. There is rarely time when black pudding appears on a menu that he doesn’t choose it!
Main courses comprised of Slow braised Lamb shoulder for me, with moroccan spiced cous cous which was perfectly cooked and spiced with (not enough) red pepper puree. Lee’s pot roasted chicken with white beans and chorizo also devoured and thoroughly enjoyed.
On to desert and two more outstanding dishes. Both pretty as a picture with Lee’s strawberry parfait just edging out my white chocolate torte with raspberry and basil sorbet if I was forced to choose over again.
A fantastic meal; 3 courses with a bottle of wine and 2 cocktails for less than £100, very competitively priced. I’m sure there will be many a return visit and certainly a bucket load more cocktails.
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own