Sometimes it can seem like there’s a new food spot opening in Birmingham every time you look away for a moment. One of the most recent editions is pretty exciting though. Michelin star winning chef Tom Aikens, known for his appearances on Iron Chef and the Great British Menu, has opened a brand new restaurant and deli in the Mailbox.
Tom’s Kitchen already has four locations in London (and one in Istanbul), making this new opening a testament to the pull of the Birmingham food scene. Each of the restaurants has a real focus on British produce and top notch suppliers, farmers and chefs. The deli offers affordable, express versions of their food, as well as coffees and alcoholic beverages.
I went along to the launch of the Birmingham branch, and was given a tour of the restaurant by the manager. The relationship with suppliers is immediately clear. Photographs of suppliers and farmers with their produce lines the walls, and a large glass cabinet displays sides of meat, and whole birds. There is no ducking away from where your food comes from in this place. Should you feel like watching your food being prepared, you can book one of the two private dining rooms, which has large windows into the kitchen, and even a serving hatch straight from the pastry section. Perfect. The other private dining area also focusses on suppliers, with one wall dedicated to the venue’s wine offering.
The rest of the restaurant is made up of a main dining room, a faux ‘al-fresco’ section that juts into main Mailbox, and a bar area, with plenty of cosy booths. With dark wood and leather chairs, the place feels warm and has the vibe of an upscale country club.
If the canapés we enjoyed at the launch are a good indicator, the food at Tom’s Kitchen is going to be excellent quality.
Every member of staff we dealt with was incredibly friendly and obviously very proud of their new work place. The main restaurant is pricier than is perhaps average in Birmingham, with mains between £15 and £26, but would make a fantastic choice for special occasions, or corporate dining or parties in the private dining rooms. The deli, however, offers Tom’s Kitchen for a bargain price. Located in the main Mailbox concourse, the deli offers a lunch deal of a sandwich, crisps and a drink for £5. Mailbox shoppers can also stop for some bubbles, with two glasses of Prosecco for a bargainous £10 during the week, between 3 and 8pm.
Tom’s Kitchen is open now. To book a table, or find out more, visit the website.