British, Modern Restaurants in Birmingham
1. Maribel British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 6 Brindley Place - B1
On the Brindleyplace site that was once Edmunds (RIP), this April 2018 newcomer attracted some brilliant reviews in last year’s survey for Richard Turner’s accomplished cuisine. He departed, though, in mid May 2019, just before our current survey closed, to be replaced by Harvey Perttola: formerly a sous chef at Lichfield’s Swinfen Hall. The move seems to herald a desire for a ‘more relaxed’ (less ambitious) style of dining than previously and in the circumstances it seems sensible to leave a re-rating till next year.
2. Adam's British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 16 Waterloo St - B2
“No need to go to London restaurants that so often disappoint!” – Adam & Natasha Stoke’s “beautiful restaurant with a lovely bar and intimate dining area is in a central location that has parking outside”. Its food score remains the highest in Brum (by a very narrow whisker from Purnells) with practically all feedback describing “fine dining at its best” – “no over the top scientific nonsense”, just “food that continues to be innovative, beautifully prepared and presented” and service that’s “professional, never pompous and which knows how to connect without intruding”. “Enjoying the tasting menu downstairs at the chef’s table is a great experience.”
3. Purnells British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 55 Cornwall St - B3
TV-chef Glynn Purnell’s swish HQ in the business quarter was Birmingham’s most-mentioned restaurant in the survey last year and is often recommended as “Brum’s best” (with ratings on almost exactly level pegging with rivals Adam’s and Opheem). Criticism is most notable by its absence, with nothing but rapturous reviews for his “technically accomplished cuisine, with well-executed creative dishes” and “interested, attentive and well-paced service”.
4. Carters of Moseley British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 2c Wake Green Rd - B13
“Passion for food and drink” is much in evidence, “along with a really warm welcome” at Brad Carter’s “smart casual” fixture, which again scores top marks for his “fantastic” and “inventive” cuisine, from an eight-course tasting menu (for £90), or, if you go earlier in the week, four-course and six-course options. Added attractions include a “really imaginative vegetarian option” and a “passionate wine supremo” who also has some “really interesting alternatives to wine” up his sleeve (“quirky beers, plum sake, natural cider…”).
5. Harborne Kitchen British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham
Jamie Desogus has created a “vibrant, relaxed, open-plan environment” at the former butcher’s shop that he opened in 2016, and all reports are full of praise for his “exceptional” modern cuisine, available from a three-course à la carte (‘choice’) menu early week, or at weekends from six-course or eight-course (‘chosen’) menus.
6. Opheem Indian restaurant in Birmingham 65 Summer Row - B3
“Aktar Islam (ex-Lasan) is doing a fabulous job in his new venue” – a “super-stylishy”, 70-cover venture that’s immediately hailed as “Birmingham’s best Indian”, with “dedicated” staff delivering an “equisite” and “exciting” modern twist on Indian cuisine. “It’s is a little off the beaten track from the city-centre but well worth seeking out”. In October 2019, Michelin – unusually for a regional Indian – awarded it a star.
7. The Wilderness British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 27 Warstone Lane - B18
With its black-painted walls and punchy sound track, Alex Claridge’s decidedly rock ‘n’ roll Jewellery Quarter four-year-old has courted attention over the years with ants on the menu (and this year a social media campaign involving fake guns). There’s serious intent in the open kitchen here, though – “something quite unique happens, with a tasting menu that blows you away” and “beautifully crafted” drinks to go with it; “more restaurants should aim for an ’80s soundtrack too!”
8. Folium British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 8 Caroline Street - B3
You choose between five-course and seven-course tasting menus at Ben Tesh and Lucy Hanlon’s 28-seat pop-up turned permanent in the Jewellery Quarter, which opened in November 2017. “It must be close to a Michelin star” say fans, who feel the food is “outstanding” and the whole enterprise “beautifully run”. Portion size and wine matches were two areas where one or two reporters felt it fell short, but most reports are full-on raves.
9. Simpsons British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 20 Highfield Road - B15
“Totally worth the trip… and also great value for money” – this “magnificent” Edwardian villa of over a quarter century’s standing is one of Birmingham’s most firmly rooted culinary attractions. One or two sceptics feel that “it is still recovering from its decision to adopt a more casual-dining look” (“I would have expected proper table linen for the very high prices”), but there’s been no change in the scale of ambition of the cuisine – be it from the three-course menu for £75, or eight-course taster menu for £95 – and overall it maintains its ratings as one of the city’s top dining destinations.
10. Pint Shop British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 38 Bennetts Hill - B3
“Modern in décor but traditional in feel” – this new offshoot from the Cambridge original occupies a Grade II listed townhouse in the city-centre, converted two years ago into a hipster-ish pub. “The flatbread kebabs are a winner on the menu of pub staples and bar food (which is small compared to the list of gins and beers)”.
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