Lewis’s, Birmingham

Despite knowing that all things cool are born in Moseley, I live the wrong end of Birmingham for it, and actually rarely visit it’s many excellent eateries. However, the other week, after our final venue viewing for our wedding (naturally we’ve chosen the place we saw first), we found ourselves at a loose end in Moseley and in search of brunch. A quick plea for suggestions on the trusty Brum Bloggers Facebook group later, we were settled in Lewis’s.

Lewis's Moseley

the venue

Lewis’s is obviously a very popular spot, and it was full when we arrived. We didn’t have to wait long for a table, but there two or three groups waiting the whole time we were there The space is cosy, and feels like going to eat in a friend’s especially nice kitchen.

Lewis's Bellini

the drinks

I love a excuse to drink alcohol in the morning, and what better excuse than brunch and choosing a wedding venue? I had the Lewis’s Bellini (£6.95) which is prosecco with Chambord and passion fruit puree. It was great brunch fizz, sweet and fruity.

Moseley Deli

I also ordered a Latte (£2.50) which was excellent. They clearly use good coffee here. Dave had a Hot Chocolate (£2.55), which was piled high with cream and marshmallows.

French Toast

In a shock twist, my order involved neither avocado nor poached eggs. Instead, I chose French Toast (£7), which is topped with caramelised bananas and maple yogurt cream. The bananas had an almost crisp shell of sugar, and were beautifully soft. The toast was fluffy and soaked in syrup, and I didn’t miss my usual brunch staples.

Eggs Benedict

Dave went for Eggs Benedict (£7.50) with extra sausage (£1). The bacon and sausages were excellent quality, the eggs oozed beatifully and the Hollandaise was creamy. In a word, perfection.

the service

We had worried we wouldn’t manage to get a table, but a friendly waitress helped us grab a spot. The food came out quickly, but without making us feel rushed.

the verdict

Why have I never been here before? Delicious food, good coffee and nice surroundings. I’ll be heading back Moseley way.

We paid in full, and they didn’t know I was a blogger. Prices correct at the time of writing. All words, images and opinions are my own. 

 

Chez Mal Brasserie, Birmingham

Instead of going for the traditional giant roast, over the Easter weekend, Dave and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Chez Mal Brasserie.

Chez Mal Brasserie

the venue

Chez Mal in the evening is a very cool, dark, moody space with neon lighting and lots of leather furniture. Ideal for a date night! We grabbed a booth and enjoyed the modern, chic interiors.

Orange Pollen Cured Salmon

the food

We ordered from the Spring menu, which has the great deal of two courses for £19.95 or 3 courses for £24.95.

To start, I had the Orange Pollen Cured Salmon which comes with avocado and wasabi puree, pickled cucumber and a citrus dressing. The salmon was delicate and delicious, well accompanied by punches of heat from the puree and the tanginess of the cucumber.

Grilled English Asparagus and Serrano Ham

Dave had the Grilled English Asparagus and Serrano Ham, which comes with a rich, creamy hollandaise. The asparagus has plenty of bite, and the ham was salty and clearly good quality.

Gloucester Old Spot Pork Belly

For my main course, I opted for Gloucester Old Spot Pork Belly, which comes with fresh peas, baby onions and gem lettuce, and a choice of salad or new potatoes. I chose the salad, which was nice, but not needed at all. The portion size without was ample. The pork was perfect. The crackling was crisp, but not so hard it couldn’t be cut into with minimal struggle. The meat was full of moisture, and the accompanying veg was crisp and fresh-tasting.

Chicken Milanese

Dave’s Chicken Milanese was topped with a fried egg and truffle mayonnaise. The egg was lovely and runny, while the chicken was juicy inside with a good crisp coating. The mayo was tasty, with a good strong flavour of truffle.

Yorkshire Rhubarb Cheesecake

I finished with Yorkshire Rhubarb Cheesecake. This was a lot huger than I was expecting, but oh, it was good. I love a cheesecake with plenty of biscuit layer, which this had, with lots of ginger crunch. The cheesecake layer was creamy, topped with sharp rhubarb jelly and poached rhubarb.

Warm Pear, Blackberry Jam & Almond Tart

Dave had the Warm Pear, Blackberry Jam & Almond Tart. This was soft and light, with lots of fruit flavour, and a light crumb.

the service

The service was a little over-attentive at first, but we were right by the kitchen in a quiet restaurant, so I think was just the staff checking in as they walked past. It soon settled into friendly, helpful service that was ideal.

the verdict

We had a fantastic evening, and thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate. The atmosphere felt cool, and I’d happily eat there again, especially with the set menu being such a good deal.

We paid in full, and they didn’t know I was a blogger. Prices correct at the time of writing. All words, images and opinions are my own. 

 

Comptoir Libanais, Birmingham

Grand Central has a new member of the food family with a new branch of Comptoir Libanais opening up. Aiming to bring Souk-style Middle Eastern cuisine to the UK, the chain now has venues all across the country.

Comptoir Libanais

the venue

The restaurant is a riot of colour, with the walls groaning with woven baskets, fezzes and brightly coloured tiles. I did think they’ve crammed in too many tables; Emma and I sat at a corner table, and found we were trapped there once people had been sat either side of us. It’s a great atmosphere though, and there’s been a queue out the door every time I’ve walked past.

Bekaa Valley

the drinks

We chose a bottle of white wine to share, and went for Comptoir Libanais’ own label Bekaa Valley. I’ve not tried Lebanese wine before, but it was pleasant and fruity. It went down well alongside the food.

Mezze Platter

the food

To start, we split the Mezze Platter (£9.95). This portion is for one, but is a great amount to split as a starter. The platter is loaded with baba ghanuj, hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, freekeh salad, halloumi, pickles and pita bread.

All the parts were tasty, but we felt the proportions were off. I’d have liked less tabbouleh, which was tasty but took up half the plate, and a lot more halloumi, which was delicious, but small. The falafel was crisp, and excellent dunked into the creamy hummus.

Mixed Grill

We over-ordered as usual, and went for a Mixed Grill (£13.95) each, when I think one to share would have been plenty. The grill is made up of lamb and chicken koftas, chicken shish taouk and vermielli rice. The rice wasn’t super exciting, but the meat was good. The chicken was the highlight, lightly spiced and moist. The shish taouk was fresh and delicious, with tasty yogurt marinade.

the service

Service was friendly and enthusiastic and several members of staff made suggestions and recommendations on food, wine and how much to order (we ignored that last part). The place was busy, but we were served promptly and our order was quick to arrive.

the verdict

It was a fun evening, and I think Comptoir Libanais is a great addition to Grand Central for tasty shopping lunches in a vibrant, colourful space.

I was Emma’s plus one, so our food and drink were complementary. Emma was invited to review, but they didn’t know I was a blogger. All words, images and opinions are my own.