Opus at Cornwall Street, Birmingham

I visited Opus at Cornwall Street to celebrate the end of final year exams. I had heard lots of great things about the place and so wanted to check it out for myself. With it being a 2 AA Rosette restaurant with some of the finest, seasonal ingredients it is a top end restaurant with prices to match, but we were celebrating so decided to take the plunge.

 

We were greeted by a gentleman who took our coats set the standard for the service to come. Not only are you paying for the food here but a seamless and professional service. We were offered two menus: the Market Menu and A La Carte. The Market Menu consists of 2-3 dishes per course for a reduced rate that changes everyday. The A La Carte had considerably more choice with 6-7 dishes to choose from. Both menus are tweaked daily to make the most of seasonal produce which I love. After much consideration we decided to go for the A La Carte because after all we were celebrating and several things jumped out at us.

 

We began with a few oysters each. Served with shallot vinegar and fresh horseradish, they were delicious. Wonderful and fresh, they slipped down without a second thought. The dish they were served in (pictured below) meant the table remained clutter free. We had some bread at the same time, which was served warm. The butter was perfectly soft and easily spreadable. A touch I really appreciated; I hate spreading butter fresh out of the fridge onto bread because it doesn’t spread!

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For starters, Danny and I went for the same, pan-fried breasts of quail, confit leg, fresh peas and watercress salad. It was wonderfully juicy and tender. I love the combination with the apple which gave it a really light and fresh taste. My favourite part of the dish was the centrepiece of the dish (see picture below)which was nice and crisp on the outside yet still juicy on the inside. A wonderfully light dish which set the path for the star of the show.

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Now the main… the main was delicious, John Dory, scallops, crushed salad blue potatoes, spiced cauliflower fritters and a spiced cauliflower purée. The John Dory was perfectly cooked and the skin was beautifully crispy. The scallops were huge and meaty and lightly browned on the outside and the curried parsnip purée and fritters were sensational. Finally, the potatoes, were lovely and soft and more BLUE (how exciting!). This dish really was delicious and I will be dreaming of it for weeks to come; an ideal dish as summer draws closer.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this extravagant evening (for a student). I would love to head back soon but fear for my bank balance. Nonetheless, this is not to say it is overpriced, you pay for what you get and that is brilliant service, delicious food and an upmarket but relaxed atmosphere. I would really recommend Opus and would love to go back to try something from the Market Menu.

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Rib Nights Round 4

Rib Nights Round 4

The Rib Nights team have really perfected this quirky and unique banquet style evening. I wrote a review for Round 2 which you can read here to get the jist of the evening. Round 4, in my opinion, bought the best selection of Ribs that Rib Nights has seen so far…

Andy Annat BBQ Crackerjack vs Racks of Ruin BBQ Pit Crew

The winners for Round 4: Andy Annat BBQ Crackerjack

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If you like the following things then Rib Nights is the ideal Sunday gorging fest for you…
1. RIBS (accompanied with delicious sides – chips, coleslaw, bread)
2. Welcome shots to whet your appetite
3. Banquet style dining to get to know fellow rib lovers
4. Cocktails
5. MAGIC
6. Music
7. A chance to win an incredible piece of art whilst contributing to a great cause
8. A friendly, happy and passionate selection of teams, from cooking the ribs to delivering them to your table

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Is there anything missing? Pudding? No worries, a surprise is served up at the end… just in case you’ve got space. It was brownies for Round 4… perfect brownies.

So if you’re up for an evening of ribs and so much more then you know what to do….

https://www.facebook.com/ribnights

Chop & Wok

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I was drawn to the idea of Chop & Wok after hearing ‘takeaway’ and ‘healthy’ in the same sentence. What really should have been said was, a ‘healthier’ alternative to your standard Chinese takeaway. Mainly because you order your one box of goodies and that’s you done. No dibbling and dabbling in a bit of this and a bit of that… after all I come from a family who orders a selection of dishes and then we all share. I am very aware that this infuriates some people. Well to them I say, Chop & Wok is your place. It took bang on an hour to arrive, as stated it would on the website. We ordered on a Friday night at around 8pm so we were ready for the wait. One thing I loved about this takeaway was the fact that there was NO washing up at the end, nothing, not even a fork. The delivery arrived with chopsticks, plastic forms, wipes and of course came in the iconic Chinese takeaway boxes. Also, we got a freebie with our order, a free side! With every order over £15 Chop & Wok give you a free side. No choice so it’s pot luck as to what you get. Luckily I’m not fussy so this wasn’t as issue. Personally, I thought we should have got 2 free sides because we spent over £40 but that’s me being greedy. Plus, they forgot our prawn cracker which we paid for!!

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The online menu is really cool, letting you choose from a huge selection of goodies. I went for rice noodles, black bean sauce, salmon, prawns and pak choi. They were pretty stingy on the salmon, prawns and pak choi so it was pretty much a huge pile of noodles with a flake of salmon here and there. I wouldn’t choose the rice noodles again as it was a little mushy. The annoying this was that I tried my friends ones and there’s tasted MUCH better. They all either had egg noodles or rice, had meat (duck or chicken) and had Tokyo honey and lime sauce. Isn’t that the worst… when you’re bitterly disappointed with your own meal and the next person is munching away having a brilliant time.

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So, I’m willing to give Chop and Wok another go. I’m sure I got the rotten end of the stick on this occasion (I hope anyway – I don’t want too many more rotten sticks). If you’re going to give Chop and Wok a go, learn from my mistakes… get something meaty! No flimsy noodles or fish.

The Lost and Found, Birmingham

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Finally. Finally, I made it to The Lost and Found. Before going I had only heard positive things about this quirky bar/restaurant and it did not disappoint. I went with my boyfriend for Valentines Day and although I expect they do this everyday of the year, the evening was full of cute, quirky little surprises, like the table reservation above. The interior is incredible, apparently an old bank! It’s got a shabby chic feel to it with cute ‘up-recycled’ bits and bobs decorating the incredible, high ceilinged room.

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I have been for both lunch and supper in the past couple of weeks. I think that shows I am already a dedicated fan. I’ll start with the supper as this was the first meal I had there.

Homemade Bread Sharer: with garlicy herb butter, fresh pesto and oil and balsamic vinegar (£6.50)

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I can safely say that this bread combo was the best bread I have ever eaten at a restaurant. You could tell it was freshly baked and it was lovely and warm. There were two types of bread, one which was almost like a croissant, it was incredible. Not only this but the accompaniments were also top notch. I would buy that pesto in Costco style vats if I could.

Grilled Half Lobster Thermidor & Fat Chips (£15)

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This was my first time trying lobster so I am no expert but this was delicious. I ate the lobster in approximately 3 minutes as it was so tasty. I could have done with ‘Grilled Five Lobster Thermidor’ but the bank balance would not allow that. Although it was small, the portion of fat chips, fluffy yet crispy on the outside filled me up nicely.

H.G.W’s Steak Burger With Cheddar & Bacon & Fat Chips (12.25)

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I had a bite of this wonderful burger as it was my boyfriends and that’s all he allowed me. The meat tasted of good quality and again, surrounded by some great bread.

Cocktails

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I had two cocktails. Between 5-8pm on weekdays, the ‘Found’ cocktails are £4 so I jumped on this offer. The first one I had quenched my thirst. It was a Raspberry Lemonade which was sugary and sharp, two things I love in a cocktail. Also, I really loved the glass it was served in! Overall, it was a top quality, elegant cocktail. Secondly, I had a Ms. H.G Watson (usually priced at £7.50!), another cocktail I really enjoyed. A Bombay Sapphire based cocktail with blackberry purée, apple juice, lavender syrup and homemade sugar syrup! The slight lavender flavour was so different, I’ve never had it before but again, another wonderful cocktail. I felt like I got them both for a bargain!

Next up, lunch…

The menu on the website http://www.the-lostandfound.co.uk is a little outdated unless you download it (download button on the bottom of the menu in the ‘Food’ section). Also, the Lunch Menu isn’t on the website, anywhere, and this is where most of the goodies are! So, drop them an email or a call and I’m sure they’ll share it with you. It was a toss up between the Pulled Pork Pita (which came for a mustard & honey mayo, chunky apple & onion marmalade and a spicy coleslaw) and the Watson Hot Dog (topped with cheddar cheese, tomato & onion caramelised marmalade in a hot dog bun) both served with fat chips of course. I went for…

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Yep. The hot dog (£7.95). Once the waiter put it down in front of me, I didn’t look back. There is nothing bad to say about this. Two sausages, in a bun, covered in delicious tasty sauciness, thank you very much. The sauces also come in tiny jam jars which I love. We also shared a side of poppy seed onion rings. I know, I know, all that for lunch? Well, the only answer yes. Yes, I ate it all. Again, absolutely nothing to complain about with these little goodies.

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There are so many things on the menu that I need to try. The Lost and Found is definitely a new favourite, somewhere I will be taking my friends and family when they visit. The waiter and waitress we had whilst there on both occasions were brilliant. Friendly, chatty and attentive. Water was provided within 10 minutes of arriving and they kept coming back to check on us so we felt well looked after.

Until next time The Lost and Found, I hope it’s not too long.

Bodega, Birmingham

To celebrate handing in our dissertations, some fellow Geographers and I headed to Bodega for food and cocktails. It was the second time I’ve been and I cannot wait to go again!

We had to order our food the day before our booking as we were a large group. This worked out well because the food came quickly and it meant paying at the end was much easier as we all worked it out beforehand. We ordered drinks straight from the bar and paid as we ordered which kept everything simple. Luckily we were sat right by the bar so it wasn’t any hassle.

The cocktail menu had so much choice, I didn’t know where to start. I’m a sucker for cocktails with elderflower in them so I started with a Pepino.

 

Pepino

 

 

This was delicious and not short on alcohol! It’s  a pisco based cocktail with pear syrup, elderflower and fresh lime!

 

 

 

 

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Next up was a Blueberry and Elderflower Margarita! Delicious and the sugar coated glass rim was a treat! This time some tequila, el jimador reposado and cointreru!

 

 

 

 

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Finally, I had a Angélica’s Caipiriniha which was less zesty and sharp than the previous two, a bit more refreshing! It had rum in it and créme de banane, fresh lime and pineapple! All the cocktails were £4 each! Between 5-7pm the majority of cocktails are reduced to £4 which was great and we all made the most of it!

 

 

The cocktails are in the order in which I had them with my meal but they are also in rank order, with the first being my favourite. This is not to say that I was disappointed by any of them! Next up, food….

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I ordered the slow pulled beef Bodega burrito (£9.50) which came with salad, sweet potato fries and a selection of dips (salsa, guacamole and sour cream). There was a mix up with the order and some of us only received the burrito but the waitress quickly corrected the mistake and bought out the rest of our meal! The meal was absolutely delicious. With my parents being beef farmers I had high expectations, and they were all met. The beef was wonderful, it just melted away in my mouth. There was some more salsa in the burrito itself with rice and cheese… lets just say, the healthy eating plan was scrapped, but I would happily grow old and fat with a Bodega burrito by my side. The fries were perfect, especially with the dips. I also had some of the sauce provided on the table called Pip’s Hot Sauce which was SPICY but with a little sour cream mixed in was full of flavour! I’ve seen this sauce being sold at farmers’ markets around Birmingham and was thrilled when I saw it on the table so I had to try it. The only thing I would change for next time is to order the Medium burrito as opposed to the mild. I can handle a bit of spice but for some reason I was over cautious when ordering but the mild wasn’t spicy at all. That was my fault though, I cannot fault anything provided by Bodega. I cannot wait for my next visit. Some of my friends had the bean burger which is definitely something I would like to try. Last time I had the Mahi Mahi fish dish which came with sweet potato mash. Another fab meal but I would recommend the beef burrito just because the beef is so wonderfully cooked.

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