The King’s Head is a large independent Gastro Pub and Restaurant on the Hagley Road just on the outskirts of Harborne in Birmingham. The website suggest that they use seasonal ingredients and push the boundaries with food to come up with new and innovative dishes, all freshly prepared. It’s not some where that had come across my radar before, so when we were invited to come and try their new menu I was interested to go along. The space is very large, with a pub area, spacious separate dining room and outdoor terrace. On an early Friday evening with the first warmth of spring, all 3 areas were bustling when we arrived.
Looking through the menu there were an interesting array of bottled beers, alongside wines and a few of the more classical cocktails, all of which seemed reasonably priced. Service was friendly and enthusiastic, but could have done with being a bit more well informed in places – there wasn’t much knowledge of the menu or drinks themselves, and lots of ‘checking’ ensued when we asked a few questions. I had a virgin cocktail to drink – the Summer Breeze. A lovely mix of apple and pineapple juice with passion fruit syrup and lime. Lee went for Boston IPA lager.
The menu was large – including pizza, pasta and burger sections as well as classic mains and specials. It was a lot to read through and by now people will know I’m not that keen on humongous menus. I eventually decided on Duck with Thai Style Vegetables and Peanut Sauce to start. The duck was served cold which I wasn’t expecting, but the vegetables and peanut sauce were nice – for me it could have done with more of a kick of heat and spice. Lee chose the Boneless Honey & Ginger Chicken Wings with Sweet Chilli Noodles. This was a very decent portion for starter and Lee enjoyed it, apart from the fact that the wings were not boned out properly, and a fair amount of bone and cartilage was found. Not sure whether to blame the chef or the butcher they came from for this!
For mains Lee went for a pub classic staple – Sausage and Mash. These were Lashfords Pork & Chive Sausages with a giant mash portion! He felt it was entirely decent hearty meal with a lovely onion gravy. I chose the Lamb Rump with Sweet Potato & Chorizo Dauphinoise with Spring Cabbage. Although my lamb was overcooked, the rest of this dish was really good. The dauphinoise was different and very tasty with a smokiness coming through from the chorizo, buttered cabbage cooked perfectly and some crispy leeks giving a lovely texture to the dish.
We were a bit full for dessert this time, but the choices included classical things such as Cheesecake and Crumble. I can see what they are trying to do at the Kings Head, and with a little more attention to detail in some areas it could be a really lovely gastro pub.
That being said, it was busy all evening so they are definitely doing something right. http://thekingsheadbirmingham.com/
Disclosure: We were invited to come and try the menu and thus our food was complimentary but we paid for our own drinks. All views are our own and entirely honest.