Review: Simpsons

Last year the prestigious Simpsons Restaurant in Edgabaston, Birmingham underwent something of a renovation. Previously sitting firmly in what one might call the old school fine dining camp, all white linen table cloths and formality, the revamp has taken the restaurant to a new level. It’s cool, contemporary and bang on trend, complete with a semi open kitchen and a tree in the middle of the dining room!

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el borracho

Review: El Borracho del Oro

El Borracho Del Oro is the latest opening from Alfonso and Emma Yufera-Ruiz, owners of the Authentic Tapas Group. It was always their dream to open in the beautiful leafy suburb of Edgbaston, and 10 years on from when they met, their dream is now very much a reality.

We have been to one of their other restaurants, Don Diego in Sutton Coldfield on numerous occasions, and love it so were very much looking forward to going to El Borracho Del Oro. Emma was kind enough to invite us to their launch party a few weeks ago, and we got a taste of Alfonso’s delicious Paella, so not long after we went down to try out the menu.

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the highfield

Review: Dip Your Own Asparagus at The Highfield

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in my Birmingham news post about Peach Pubs’ Dip Your Own Asparagus offer.

Until the end of May, to make the most of beautiful seasonal British asparagus they are offering a novel way way of serving asparagus – Dip Your Own. I went along to try it out for myself.

Along with fellow blogger Laura, we headed on down one evening last week after work for a quick bite to eat. Our service was lovely and friendly throughout. I particular like how they bring the specials board to you to talk through it and leave it by your table for a few minutes whilst you are reading through the menu.

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We both started with an English Garden cocktail, served in a large goblet glass. It was tasty and refreshing. Obviously we then both ordered the asparagus – it came well presented, in a quirky but accessible way with dipping pots of home-made Hollandaise sauce, grated egg and Parmesan. A classical combination, it was executed really well with the asparagus well cooked and I enjoyed it immensely, wishing the spears of asparagus would never end!

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For my main I decided upon the Crispy Beef, Crunchy Vegetable & Peanut Salad,
Crispy Noodles, Soy & Ginger Dressing. I really enjoyed this dish – it was packed full of veg, and the salty tangy dressing worked really well. My dining companion ordered the Breaded Cod Scampi, Skinny Chips & Pea Mayonnaise. She felt this dish was ok, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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For dessert I trreated myself to the Pear & Almond Tart, Pear Purée, Cinnamon Cream. Flavours were lovely, particulalry the cinnamon cream, although I found it a little stodgy after a while, possibly a smaller portion would have offset this.

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As usual, I had a thoroughly decent meal at the Highfield, with the Crispy Beef a highlight on this occasion. I would certainly recommended trying their asparagus for the remainder of the month!


Disclosure: Our meal at the Highfield was complimentary to try out the new dish. All opinion our my own

Review: Regards, Edgbaston

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Regards is an Indian restaurant situated in the suburb of Edgbaston. It lies in a small square off the main road, and is in good company, as also on this Square is Waters on the Square – which we are yet to eat at, but I’m assured is an excellent fine dining restaurant.

We were warmly greeted by the host and shown to our seats, poppadums were offered and accepted (not free – you pay by the poppadom) so don’t order too many! On a side note here – how do you actually spell ‘poppadum’? I see a different variant on every menu I look at! They were nice and crisp and came with traditional accompaniments.

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So what did we eat? My husband started with the Chatpati Aloo (£3.95) – Potatoes in spices, chopped onion and tomato sauce. He really enjoyed this – a sweet, slight spicy sauce and crunchy cubed potatoes. A bit like an Indian version of the Spanish classic Patatas Bravas. My starter was the Hara Bara Kebab (£3.95) – Deep green fried patties made of lightly spiced spinach and lentils stuffed with cheese. I’m not sure what I expected from this, but when it arrived it didn’t look the most appetising…

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It lacked spicing and flavour for me, and the cheese was on top and not ‘stuffed’ inside like the description.

For mains we ordered from the ‘Chefs Exclusive’ section of the menu and shared them with some Pilau Rice, which was well cooked. The two dishes we chose were the Kori Gassi  – Chicken cooked with chef’s own spices imbedded with unique sauce made with ground ingredients: coconut, peanut and sesame seeds, and the Murgh Asamki – Sliced chicken cooked with sliced onion, green peppers, mint, yoghurt with special herbs & spices, both £9.95. We thought both mains were excellent. Chicken was perfectly cooked in both, the minty flavour of the Asamki really lifted the dish and was a fantastic flavour, and the ground nuts and seeds in the Kori Gassi again was something quite different to your typical curry dish. We wolfed both of these down, and our decision of restraint for once not to order bread paid off as we actually finished everything else!

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The service throughout was friendly and polite, although the food came out the kitchen pretty slowly. They seemed to be churning out endless takeaways as well that Friday night, a testament to the food perhaps, but possibly impacting a little on the restaurant diners.

On the whole we really enjoyed the food, and think Regards is a decent neighbourhood Indian, one which we would certainly return to, were we local.

http://www.regardsedgbaston.co.uk

 

Disclosure: We received £25 towards our meal from Regards which cost £43, with 2 beers and 2 soft drinks. We were not required to write a positive review about the experience, all views are honest and our own. 

 

 

Review: The Highfield, Edgbaston

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The High Field Is the latest Restaurant & Gastropub from Peach Pubs who run a successful group of gastropubs in Warwickshire, Oxfordsire and further south. Peach Pubs are pretty familiar to me, given that my other half used to do a lot of freelance work for them when he was a chef, that took him to most of their pubs over the 3 years and meant I visited and ate at a fair few too, so its lovely to see one open a bit nearer to us in Birmingham!

We headed over during their soft launch to see how this new opening stands up. First impressions were very very good – the decor is beautiful in my opinion, all set around a central square bar, with bar and restaurant seating all very luxurious with leather booths & pale grey wicker seating complete with faux fur throws which makes for the comfiest of chairs! There’s an open kitchen at the back and patio area out to the side which will be perfect for the Summer.

There was a nice choice of drinks and cocktails, with a big nod to the on-trend gin based drinks. My Bellini and then non alcoholic Apple Mojito were fab!

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The pub serve food throughout the day, with different menus for different times, so whatever you fancy you’re likely to find something to meet your craving. The evening menu had lots of pub favourites, and some more modern dishes and they are certainly following whats ‘hot’ in the food world, with dishes such as  the Superfood Salad, and Deli Boards. I’ve had one of these before in another Peach Pub and they are great for nibbling and sharing.

So, what did we have to eat? To start I had the Brixham Crab Cocktail, Guacamole and Crispy Tacos whilst Lee had the Iberico Serrano Ham, Fig & Goats Curd Salad with Truffle Honey. My crab was very tasty, and Lee loved the truffle honey on his dish.

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For mains Lee had the Maple Cured Gammon Rib Eye with Chips and Poached Egg. I understand that the Peach Chef that ‘created’ this dish originally won an award for it! The gammon was very yummy – an unusual cut, but cured very well. I had the Pan Fried Sea Bass, Bombay Potatoes, Indian Salad and Cucumber & Mint yoghurt. This was a stunner of a dish and I enjoyed every bit, although I craved a bit more yoghurt to make it perfect.

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Desserts wise we went for an Iced Hazelnut Parfait & Hot Valrhona Chocolate Sauce and a Warm Valrhona Chocolate Brownie & Jude’s Vanilla Ice Cream, both of which very decent desserts.

Another successful addition to the Peach Pub Family, and I feel they are going to do pretty damn well over in Edgbaston.