British, Modern Restaurants in Birmingham
1. Black & Green British, Modern restaurant in Barnt Green 49 Hewell Road - B45
In June 2022 (after our annual diners’ poll had concluded), Andrew Sheridan of Birmingham’s Eight (see also) with partners Sam & Emma Morgan opened this new 16-seat restaurant in a small village outside Brum (near the intersection of the M6 and M42). It serves a duo of seven-course and eight-course ‘micro-seasonal’ menus for £60 per person and £70 per person.
2. Adam's British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 16 Waterloo St - B2
“Easily Birmingham’s top dining destination” (of the modern European variety), say fans of Adam & Natasha Stokes’s local luminary, which is entering its tenth year of operation. Its “exquisite and inventive food has evolved and reinvented itself over the years and just keeps amazing with new creations and combinations of flavours”. “Impeccable service” is “that lovely combination of being professional but also engaging” and “the general feel of the restaurant is classy with Art Deco influences”. All this plus the “comprehensive wine list” you would expect. Top Tip – “the kitchen table experience is a well-designed and great experience”.
3. The Ivy Temple Row Birmingham British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 67-71 Temple Row - B2
“You wouldn’t go for ‘haute cuisine’, but as a jolly place to eat comfort food in a spectacular setting, it is hard to beat” – that’s the upbeat view, anyway, on this now-“ubiquitous” brasserie chain. Eight years and 40 openings later, the spin-offs increasingly eclipse the Theatreland original (see also), whose Edwardian features provide the style-guide for its nationwide ‘roll out’. “Even if the unchallenging food reaches no heights, there’s a consistent buzz”, which makes them a “posh”, “fun” choice for a get-together, if not a particularly foodie one. This is particularly the case at the landmark London off-shoots: at ‘Chelsea Garden’ (“gorgeous greenery”); Kensington (“slick”, with a “pretty glitzy crowd”); and on the Thames (“great views over Tower Bridge”). But while it’s always been acknowledged that the mass offering is “a shadow of the mothership’s” – with “average grub at not-so-average prices” – the feeling that the brand has become just “a chain that does not excite” is gaining ever-stronger currency. Service seems more “stretched” nowadays, and a sliding ambience rating is making the whole offering seem ever-more “overrated, for all its modern art and perky décor”.
4. Opheem Indian restaurant in Birmingham 65 Summer Row - B3
“The tasting menu is an exciting journey” at Aktar Islam’s increasingly famous dining room a little out of the city centre, which is “going from strength to strength” as Brum’s most commented-on destination; one of the top-10 most mentioned outside London in our annual diners’ poll; and with some claim on being “the best Indian restaurant outside of London”. The “elegantly presented” cuisine is rooted in the subcontinent, but might equally be described as “European with Indian flavours and spices”. However you define the kitchen, it provides “a great experience with subtle spicing and some unique touches and flavours” complemented by “outstanding wine matches”. The main dining room is a dim-lit, modern and stylish space and among improvements in recent times “the new lounge in particular is a fabulous addition”.
5. Purnells British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 55 Cornwall St - B3
A gastronomic “tour de force”, this “fun and playful” Business Quarter flagship from exuberant locally born chef Glynn Purnell – aka ‘the yummy Brummie’ – continues to thrill both regulars and first-timers with food “so good we went back 3 times in 6 months!”. “Being served by the man himself (twice) brought my wife to tears” – “the tasting menu was a revelation, from the showmanship of the mint choc chip dried ice to the intensity of the flavours throughout”.
6. Folium British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 8 Caroline Street - B3
2022 Review: Ben Tesh & Lucy Hanlon’s four-year-old pop-up turned permanent in the Jewellery Quarter showcases Ben’s “really exceptional” cooking, with up to 15 servings of refined and adventurous food to taste from a choice of ‘long’ or ‘short’ ever-changing menus. The chef developed his own approach after a stint in the kitchen at Noma in Copenhagen, and now earns consistently rave reviews.
7. The Wilderness British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 27 Warstone Lane - B18
“Edgy cuisine and environment, backed by friendly service and a rock ’n’ roll playlist” (played loud!) is the distinctive formula of Alex Claridge’s ‘full-on’ Jewellery Quarter venture, with black walls and black-leather furniture, and an open kitchen on display. As with some previous years, it doesn’t generate a huge volume of feedback in our annual diners’ poll, but fans say it’s “outstanding”. There are two tasting menus offered, a £70 version and more extensive and longer £130 option. Typical dish? – ‘Childhood Reflections in the Shape of a Banana’.
8. Simpsons British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 20 Highfield Road - B15
Andreas Antona’s attractive Edwardian villa in posh Edgbaston remains one of the city’s most commented-on dining destinations, and all accounts are upbeat, with numerous reporters having their “best meal of the year here” and declaring it “a real experience”. A 10-course tasting menu is available for £130, but they haven’t ditched à la carte here, sometimes enhanced with competitive wine-inclusive deals. Chef Luke Tipping’s cuisine is “top class” , service is “particularly impressive” and there’s “a lovely atmosphere”.
9. Plough British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 21 High Street - B17
2021 Review: Yummy brunches, fine coffee and stone-baked pizza are the top attractions at this funkily decorated pub, on the high street (which has a good garden for the summer months).
10. Harborne Kitchen British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham
This cleverly converted and relaxed former butcher’s shop showcases a range of “exceptional” tasting menus from Kidderminster-born chef-patron Jamie Desogus, who worked at Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus before returning to the Midlands in 2016. Not a huge volume of feedback this year, but ratings remain strong across the board.
11. Carters of Moseley British, Modern restaurant in Birmingham 2c Wake Green Rd - B13
“The Chef’s Table experience is one of the best dining experiences ever”, according to fans of Brad Carter’s fine-dining fixture in Moseley, which – since its opening in 2010 – “has developed over time into a fine modern restaurant”. Early week, there’s a slightly slimmed-down 6-course option available, but over the weekends the choice is between a 9-course or 11-course tasting menu.
12. Toffs British, Modern restaurant in Solihull 16 Drury Lane - B91
Local boy Rob Palmer, previously head chef at Hampton Manor – where he won the hotel's Peel’s restaurant its first Michelin star in 2016 – opened this tasting-menu spot in a former computer game shop in Solihull in early 2022. No reports as yet, but this looks like one to watch in this plush Brum ’burb.
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