Cau, Birmingham

January is without doubt the worst month of the year. It’s cold, it’s dark, you’ve got no money left after Christmas and you’ve had to go back to work. Luckily, restaurant January deals are here to save us, so we can a night out without busting the budget. Steak restaurant, Cau, are currently offering vouchers for 50% off steak. I got my hands on some vouchers, and Dave and I went along to the Brindley Place branch for his birthday dinner.

Cau

The restaurant itself is very cool, with dim lighting, funky moulded chairs and plush white booths. The music was louder than most eateries, but we found it was perfectly balanced; we could hear each other across the table perfectly, but we couldn’t hear the conversations of the tables around us, and instead the music adds to the vibe of a cool hangout for the after-work crowd.

Cocktails

The drinks menu is sizeable, with a few nice options for Argentinian beers, a good cocktail list of classics and house recipes, and a whopping wine list. I immediately knew I’d be happy here when I realised they divide their wines into red, white, rose and Malbec. Yes, they have a whole seperate Malbec list. I had a glass of the Trasandino Malbec (£6.75) which is from Argentina, alongside my main course. It was juicy, full of rich fruits, and was a great pairing with the steak. We also tried a couple of cocktails.

Cau cocktails

Negroni

Dave’s Apple Pie (£8.50) is a El Jimador Tequila shaken up with apple pie syrup, apple and sweetened citrus juices and finished with burnt cinnamon. It was sweet, without tipping into sickly, and struck me as quite festive with cinnamon flavours. My Cau Negroni (£7.50) was like myself, short and boozy. It was strong, exactly how I like it.

Shrimp

To start, I had the Shrimp Chicharron (£6.95). Crispy fried shrimp is served in ají amarillo sauce, with a scattering red jalapeño, spring onion and coriander cress. The onion is plentiful and strong so I’d suggest avoiding this if you’re out with someone you’re hoping to snog later, but the dish was absolutely delicious. The shrimp was fresh and plump, with a light batter.

Empanadas

Dave chose Empanadas (£7.50). You can choose two of four fillings, and Dave selected Spicy Beef and Spanish Chorizo and Cream Cheese. The pastry was light, with no oiliness. The beef filling was not too spicy, giving a gentle tingle instead. The chorizo and cream cheese paired brilliantly.

steak

Rib-eye

We both ordered the 260g Rib-Eye (£18.95), cooked medium rare, with sweet potato fries, a béarnaise sauce (£1.95) for Dave and a Classic Chimichurri (£1.50) for me. The steaks were perfect, pink in the middle, seared on the outside, with a nice hint of charred flavour from the grill. They were juicy and flavoursome. My Chimichurri was gorgeous, full of fresh, zingy flavours, which cut through the rich meat.

To share, we ordered Truffled Mac and Cheese (£3.95) and Dirty Rice (£3.25), which is basmati rice with BBQ brisket, pepper and onions. The Mac and Cheese was gorgeous, with a strong taste of truffle, plenty of cheese and a good gooey texture. The Dirty Rice reminded me of paella rice. The rice itself was tasty, but I found the brisket a little dry. Dave had no complaints though, so that seems to be a matter of taste.

I found the service between starters and mains a little quick off the mark; we had a very small gap between courses, which makes you feel a little rushed. This is my personal preference though, and all the staff were super friendly and helpful. I’d just have liked a larger gap to digest my starter.

Apple Pie Cheesecake

churros

We had a much better gap between mains and desserts though. Dave chose the Apple Pie Cheesecake (£5.95) which to our surprise came topped with a tuft of candy floss. For me, I’m not a big fan of gimmicks for no real reason, and while I couldn’t quite see what the floss added, Dave enjoyed it thoroughly. The cheesecake was creamy and tasty, and really did taste exactly like an apple pie. My Churros (£5.25) were perfection. They were beautifully crisp, lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar, and served with a pot of Dulce de Leche. Delicious.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, a great dinner and all for a good price. Without the voucher, this would have been a pricier night out, but for a special occasion, Cau is a great pick.

We paid in full, using a voucher available to everyone. I didn’t tell them I was a blogger. All words, opinions and images are my own.