Whilst in town on bank holiday Monday the other week we decided we wanted to go somewhere for lunch – we were in the Colmore Business District and I remembered the fantastic deal that Purnell’s Bistro is doing at the moment – Monday Madness. This offer sounded like absolutely great value – 50% off all food on their seasonal menu and off their bar food menu. We have been to the bistro a few times now, the last time being only at the end of May, so it was nice to see a few new and different things on the menu, although the deserts didn’t look to have changed at all.
It was quite quiet, with only another 3 or 4 tables eating. It surprises me this, the few times we have been at lunchtime, even on a Sat it is pretty quiet, but always packed to the rafters in the evening!
Due to the amazing prices, we thought we would have a couple of courses, so decided on starters and mains, as there was nothing new we fancied on the desert menu.
Lee firstly went for the Ham Hock Terrine – Homemade Piccalilli (which I had the previous time we were here and he was eying up at the time!) He thought it was lovely, and the piccalilli really good quality, crunchy and piquant and just worked really well with the ham. I went for a vegetarian starter ( this doesn’t happen very often…..) but it was really fantastic – Tomato Tart – Sweet Caramelised Onions – Goats Cheese – Chives. The flavours are really classical and often found together but can be something special if done well, and this was. I really enjoyed it.
Main courses I chose the Black Treacle Glazed Pork Belly – Apple – Creamed Cabbage – Pomme Purée and Lee had Roasted Sea Bream – Fricassee of Leek – Glazed Shallot – Potato & Gruyère Terrine. Lee felt his dish was excellent – really fresh and light, well cooked and well seasoned fish, a terrine that was oozing Gruyère and a gorgeous glazed shallot. A slither of shaved fennel on top added another dimension. My pork was also yummy – the pork belly itself was a large piece with a crispy crackling surface and the treacle glaze gave it a new depth of flavour. The apple sauce was tangy and cabbage creamy. My only criticism was that the pomme puree although deliciously smooth, was a little under seasoned, but as long as you didn’t eat it as a mouthful on its own, this wasn’t an issue at all.
At the 50% off prices, the food part of this 2 course meal cost us only £23. That’s cheaper than what we would pay for an equivalent meal at Nandos or Pizza Express and the quality difference is immense! ( Don’t get me wrong – I’m not criticising these places…I like them as much as the next person!) but this is just a little more special and memorable.
I think that this offer is great value for money and hope they continue to offer it ongoing.
Purnell’s Bistro and Ginger’s Bar,
11 Newhall Street,
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own