The Cosy Club has now been open on the corner of Bennetts Hill in Birmingham for just over 2 months. I’d originally gone along to their soft launch where it’s fair to say there were some teething problems in places with the food and the service. Since then though I’ve heard a few good mentions for their brunch menu but some less positive reviews too.
The old bank building itself is beautiful with it’s high ceilings, keeping some original features but with a wealth of eclectic furnishings making it fit into their brand. I’ve heard some negatives about the decor, but I like it, and I’d rather the decor be ‘on trend’ and a bit quirky instead of the presentation of the food!
We went along for a relaxed lunch last week. The place wasn’t packed, but there was a good steady spattering of custom across the two dining areas. We found the service to be very good on this occasion; efficient, timely check backs and a friendly demeanour. I would like to see how they coped on a busy evening service.
They have a lot of drink choices, including cocktails, craft beers, ciders, wine and endless artisan soft drinks.I started with a Watermelon Iced Tea from the soft drink menu and later on a Sherbet Lemonade. Both were light and refreshing, perfect for a summers day. Lee chose a Brooklyn Lager, one of his current favourites.
The food menu reflects the drinks and is rather large. For lunch there was the option of the brunch section, sandwiches, paninis, burgers, tapas or the normal starters and mains. It must a pretty difficult job for the kitchen! It was nice to have the offer of a full vegan and gluten free menu as well if needed.
We chose a selection of 3 tapas (for £11.50) to share for our starter
- Buttermilk fried chicken with chipotle mayo,
- Mini fish fingers with tartare sauce
- Sweet potato and basil falafels with mint & cucumber yoghurt.
By far and away the best of these three were the falafel. Well flavoured and well cooked. I also really enjoyed the chicken, small pieces but it retained its moisture and the chipotle mayo had a sweet but fiery kick which was great. The fish was the weakest of the three, I found it dry.
I chose a Seared Yellowfin Tuna with aloo gobi, onion bhaji and mint & cucumber raita (£14.95) for my main. The tuna was seared really well with a nice pink inside which I was really happy to see. The aloo gobi was delicately spiced and made a pleasant and unusual accompaniment. I found the bhajis a little floury and there were three on the plate – a bit much in my opinion. One nicely cooked one and a bit of dressed salad would have gone down better for me, I found it a bit heavy because of this although I enjoyed the flavours. I’ve not seen tuna paired with Indian flavours before, but I liked it.
Lee chose one of their sandwiches – a New York-style Steak Ciabatta with fried onions, Emmental cheese and mustard mayo served with fries and house salad (£9.95) He was offered a choice of how the meat was cooked and he was pleased to see it came nicely pink, just how he wanted it. He polished the lot off in what seemed like milliseconds so I’m taking that as positive praise.I noted the addition of roasted peppers in his house salad, always good to have something a bit more imaginative than salad leaves out of a bag. Skin on fries were decent but I doubt very much homemade on the scale that they need to serve them for a place this big.
For dessert we tried the Treacle Tart with clotted cream ice cream and the Salted Caramel Cheesecake with sweet and salty popcorn, both £5.50. Both met the requirements for a decent dessert – very bad for you and too much to finish! I liked the addition of the crunchy popcorn on the cheesecake adding a much needed texture to the creamy pud.
Overall I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the Cosy Club on my second visit. For food in this kind of category it was decent stuff but it’s probably not going to rock your world. I would like to head back and try their brunch menu which has some tasty sounding dishes on offer like Ham Hock Hash, Avocado on Toast and the Cosy Club Muffin – probably a darned site better than its McDonalds counterpart!
The Cosy Club 33 Bennetts Hill Birmingham B2 5SN
Disclosure: We were invited down to try out Cosy Clubs summer menu with no obligation to review. The food was complimentary but we paid towards our drinks. All opinions are entirely honest.