The White Swan in Edgbaston has had a makeover, updating to a new stylish interior, with a sleek menu to match. Dave and I were invited along to have a nosy at their new look, and sample the menu.
The refit is gorgeous, and classic. The restaurant is painted in grey and deep green, with mismatched chairs in sumptuous textures of velvet and leather. We had a peek into the pub area too, and it’s full of cosy nooks, snuggly chairs and looks like the perfect spot for a winter evening. We grabbed a seat in a window nook and set about agonising over the menu, and trying to narrow down our choices from ‘one of everything please’.
Our friendly waiter suggested we order some Artisan Rustic Breads (£5.50)to nibble at while we made our very difficult choices, which were an excellent idea. They come drizzled in oil and balsamic vinegar, with a side of Nocellara olives. The olives were almost buttery, and utter perfection. The breads were crisp and delicious.
To drink, I opted for an Aperol Spritz (£7.95), which was not too sweet and looked gorgeous in a branded glass. An excellent pre-meal Aperitivo. Dave chose a Chocolate Orange Old Fashioned (£7.95), which is Woodford Reserve Bourbon, stirred with Grand Marnier and crème de cacao, served with an orange wedge. This was a great twist on a classic, adding a little background chocolate sweetness to the classic citrus flavour of a regular Old Fashioned.
To start, I chose the Deep Fried Somerset Brie (£5.95). A generous slice of brie is fried in panko breadcrumbs, and served with apricot and cumin chutney. The cheese is melty, gooey, lusciousness, oozing out when I cut it in a manner that should probably be illegal in public. Somehow a slice of fried cheese is not ‘too much’ and isn’t overpowering. The cheese is good quality, with a nice touch of sweetness from the chutney.
Dave opted for the Lobster and Tiger Prawn Pot (£7.95), which comes in Devon crab crème fraiche with toasted ciabatta bread. The pot was rich and full of flavour, with good, crisp bread. It vanished pretty fast, and Dave mourned the specks of fish he was unable to scrape from the very corners of the jar.
For my main course, I couldn’t resist the Roasted Pork Belly and Seared Scallops (£18.50) which comes with potato dauphinoise, tenderstem broccoli, panko apple and red wine jus. After my disappointing pork belly experience earlier in the week, I was praying this would be good. I needn’t have worried. The meat was juicy and tender, and rich. The curls of crackling were perfect. The potatoes were creamy and heavenly, and the scallops were flavoursome and perfectly cooked. The jus was a little plentiful for me, but this was my own fault for getting over excited and pouring the lot onto the plate. It is delicious stuff, but just keep your head when pouring!
Dave chose 15oz 28-Day-Aged Rib-Eye Steak On The Bone (£25.95) which looked amazing as it hit the table. The steak was the perfect medium rare, as ordered, and the accompanying chips were sensational, especially when dunked in the beef dripping sauce. The onion rings were crisp without a hint of oiliness, and basically Dave looked ecstatic the whole time he was eating.
Dessert was preceded by an Espresso Martini (£6.95), which the cheery barman assured me was the best one in Harborne. He may very well be right, as it was excellent. Not too sweet, creamy and comforting.
For dessert, Dave chose Ice Cream and Home-Baked Triple Chocolate Cookie (£4.95). Somehow, the cookie wasn’t too sickly, but was instead rich, and well baked. The ice cream was good quality too, rather than the after thought it so often is.
I won the battle of the desserts though, with something of a showstopper…
The Melting Golden chocolate bomb (£7.95) is quite the masterpiece. A chocolate shell is nestled in popping candy and shortcrust crumb, and is filled with caramel ice cream. You pour a hot toffee sauce over the shell, which melts and collapses and reveals the deliciousness within. It looked gorgeous, was presented with a flourish, and all tasted gorgeous. It was decadent and rich and generally wonderful.
We had a fabulous evening at the White Swan. The food was superb, matched by friendly, attentive service and cosy, chic surroundings. I’ll be moving in.
I was a guest of the White Swan. Our food and drinks were complementary in exchange for an honest review. All prices correct the time of writing. All words, images and opinions are my own (or extracted from Dave).