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Purnell's, Birmingham


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Had dinner at Purnell's last week and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

The food was quite outstanding and there was nothing pompous or stuffy about the restaurant service which was so good to see.

Really enjoyed looking around the indoor market in Birmingham too. Long time since I saw boiling fowl and fish heads for sale.

Lapin

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  • 1 month later...

Plenty of happy, smiley, people at a full lunch service yesterday.

I tried for a table,a week ago and this was the first available.

We were lucky again to park virtually outside the restaurant again, however, beware the parking meters in Birmingham, on three separate occasions we have had problems with them resulting in a ticket last week(not here) making our lunch an expensive outing.

Nice olives in the lounge/bar area whilst waiting for our table. We were pleasantly surprised when a party of four backpackers entered, and were shown to a table.

Good to see they have their priorities right :smile:

Lets talk tables first.As you may (or may not) be aware its a pet hate of mine to be seated facing a wall,I'm nosy you see and also enjoy the animation, and of course you can watch the food arrive at the tables,yum,yum :smile:

We were given what turned out to be 10b which normally I would have asked to change, however I was not fussed today as I could catch sight of Mr P at the pass as the staff went backwards and forwards into the kitchen.

In future I may ask for 9 or 14b.

We opted for the still excellent value lunch menu, 2 courses £21 or 3 for £25. This now includes coffee and petit fours.

Salad of Quail-smoked ham hock-slow poached egg yolk-celeriac-wholegrain mustard.

Or

Ballotine of Mackerel-beetroot textures-natural yogurt foam.

We both went for the Quail,we used to buy it whenever we went to France and sadly do not have a local supplier, so we were really looking forward to it.

As it was a starter, only the leg was served, sitting atop some pea shoots? The egg yolk perched on the celeriac, and a couple of discs of ham.

Unmistakable flavour of Quail, melded well with the ham and egg,the celeriac was a bit mild in taste. Pretty decent start this

Bread was by the way, wholemeal and focaccia served warm, we both preferred the latter.

Blade of Beef-Puy lentils-creamed onions and baby leeks-marinated shallots-onion puree

Or

Sea Bream- Foie Gras-vanilla and parsnip puree-Savoy cabbage-pear.

As always I guessed what the wife would have, it was a bit harder for me as I fancied the fish especially with the foie gras element to it.

As it was we both opted for the Beef ( I knew we would )but requested the fish as an extra course, at a supplement.

Sitting on top of the Puy lentils with just a tiny puddle of sauce,the Beef was decorated with a baby leek, a couple of red potato crisps, and a tiny ring of marinated shallots. to its side was the onion puree, and to the other side was the onions and creme fraiche with a smattering of rock chives.

It looked smashing, but I was concerned with the lack of sauce,as I assumed the beef may be a bit dry-ish.

I was of course completely wrong, no hint whatsoever of dryness, it was a delight to eat and oh so moist. A winner.

The Sea Bream dish was terrific, a decent size chunk of Foie Gras teamed up with the crisp skinned, and perfectly cooked fish, The savoy cabbage was a delight, vanilla is used quite a bit by Mr P as is pear, and for me they added to the overall effect of the dish.

Coconut parfait-slow cooked banana-chocolate sorbet

Or

Pavlova- blueberry jam- blueberry jelly & iced yogurt

Desserts were ok, nothing special, although we have been spoilt on previous visits, so by way of comparison , they did not hit the heights so to speak.

Coffee was excellent and petit fours, (peanut butter,marshmallow,sourcassis)a good ending to the meal.

To sum up.

Its quite a few months since we dined here,and as we all know time just flashes bye. I'm glad everything is as good as we remember it to be on our previous visits.

Service as always was excellent,Jean Benoit, in particular was well on form, Mr P and his seven merry helpers put some highly enjoyable food on our plates, long may it continue.

Nearly forgot

2 x 3 course lunch £50

1 x extra course £10

1 x Bottle El Paso £20

Service charge £10

Severn Trent water FOC

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Just booked a belated birthday lunch for the Missus and I in december. Really looking forward to it, the last star rated meal was at le campagnon sauvage, and if i'm honest was a little bit of a let down. I'm sure Mr. Purnell will deliver!

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Plenty of happy, smiley, people at a full lunch service yesterday.

I tried for a table,a week ago and this was the first available.

We were lucky again to park virtually outside the restaurant again, however, beware the parking meters in Birmingham, on three separate occasions we have had problems with them resulting in a ticket last week(not here) making our lunch an expensive outing.

Nice olives in the lounge/bar area whilst waiting for our table. We were pleasantly surprised when a party of four backpackers entered, and were shown to a table.

Good to see they have their priorities right :smile:

Lets talk tables first.As you may (or may not) be aware its a pet hate of mine to be seated facing a wall,I'm nosy you see and also enjoy the animation, and of course you can watch the food arrive at the tables,yum,yum :smile:

We were given what turned out to be 10b which normally I would have asked to change, however I was not fussed today as I could catch sight of Mr P at the pass as the staff went backwards and forwards into the kitchen.

In future I may ask for 9 or 14b.

We opted for the still excellent value lunch menu, 2 courses £21 or 3 for £25. This now includes coffee and petit fours.

Salad of Quail-smoked ham hock-slow poached egg yolk-celeriac-wholegrain mustard.

Or

Ballotine of Mackerel-beetroot textures-natural yogurt foam.

We both went for the Quail,we used to buy it whenever we went to France and sadly do not have a local supplier, so we were really looking forward to it.

As it was a starter, only the leg was served, sitting atop some pea shoots? The egg yolk perched on the celeriac, and a couple of discs of ham.

Unmistakable flavour of Quail, melded well with the ham and egg,the celeriac was a bit mild in taste. Pretty decent start this

Bread was by the way, wholemeal and focaccia served warm, we both preferred the latter.

Blade of Beef-Puy lentils-creamed onions and baby leeks-marinated shallots-onion puree

Or

Sea Bream- Foie Gras-vanilla and parsnip puree-Savoy cabbage-pear.

As always I guessed what the wife would have, it was a bit harder for me as I fancied the fish especially with the foie gras element to it.

As it was we both opted for the Beef ( I knew we would )but requested the fish as an extra course, at a supplement.

Sitting on top of the Puy lentils with just a tiny puddle of sauce,the Beef was decorated with a baby leek, a couple of red potato crisps, and a tiny ring of marinated shallots. to its side was the onion puree, and to the other side was the onions and creme fraiche with a smattering of rock chives.

It looked smashing, but I was concerned with the lack of sauce,as I assumed the beef may be a bit dry-ish.

I was of course completely wrong, no hint whatsoever of dryness, it was a delight to eat and oh so moist. A winner.

The Sea Bream dish was terrific, a decent size chunk of Foie Gras teamed up with the crisp skinned, and perfectly cooked fish, The savoy cabbage was a delight, vanilla is used quite a bit by Mr P as is pear, and for me they added to the overall effect of the dish.

Coconut parfait-slow cooked banana-chocolate sorbet

Or

Pavlova- blueberry jam- blueberry jelly & iced yogurt

Desserts were ok, nothing special, although we have been spoilt on previous visits, so by way of comparison , they did not hit the heights so to speak.

Coffee was excellent and petit fours, (peanut butter,marshmallow,sourcassis)a good ending to the meal.

To sum up.

Its quite a few months since we dined here,and as we all know time just flashes bye. I'm glad everything is as good as we remember it to be on our previous visits.

Service as always was excellent,Jean Benoit, in particular was well on form, Mr P and his seven merry helpers put some highly enjoyable food on our plates, long may it continue.

Nearly forgot

2 x 3 course lunch £50

1 x extra course £10

1 x Bottle El Paso £20

Service charge £10

Severn Trent water FOC

Wow! one the most flowery reviews i've ever read, I think I've got indegestion. Nothing to do with Purnells just the writing..... :wink:

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Plenty of happy, smiley, people at a full lunch service yesterday.

I tried for a table,a week ago and this was the first available.

We were lucky again to park virtually outside the restaurant again, however, beware the parking meters in Birmingham, on three separate occasions we have had problems with them resulting in a ticket last week(not here) making our lunch an expensive outing.

Nice olives in the lounge/bar area whilst waiting for our table. We were pleasantly surprised when a party of four backpackers entered, and were shown to a table.

Good to see they have their priorities right :smile:

Lets talk tables first.As you may (or may not) be aware its a pet hate of mine to be seated facing a wall,I'm nosy you see and also enjoy the animation, and of course you can watch the food arrive at the tables,yum,yum :smile:

We were given what turned out to be 10b which normally I would have asked to change, however I was not fussed today as I could catch sight of Mr P at the pass as the staff went backwards and forwards into the kitchen.

In future I may ask for 9 or 14b.

We opted for the still excellent value lunch menu, 2 courses £21 or 3 for £25. This now includes coffee and petit fours.

Salad of Quail-smoked ham hock-slow poached egg yolk-celeriac-wholegrain mustard.

Or

Ballotine of Mackerel-beetroot textures-natural yogurt foam.

We both went for the Quail,we used to buy it whenever we went to France and sadly do not have a local supplier, so we were really looking forward to it.

As it was a starter, only the leg was served, sitting atop some pea shoots? The egg yolk perched on the celeriac, and a couple of discs of ham.

Unmistakable flavour of Quail, melded well with the ham and egg,the celeriac was a bit mild in taste. Pretty decent start this

Bread was by the way, wholemeal and focaccia served warm, we both preferred the latter.

Blade of Beef-Puy lentils-creamed onions and baby leeks-marinated shallots-onion puree

Or

Sea Bream- Foie Gras-vanilla and parsnip puree-Savoy cabbage-pear.

As always I guessed what the wife would have, it was a bit harder for me as I fancied the fish especially with the foie gras element to it.

As it was we both opted for the Beef ( I knew we would )but requested the fish as an extra course, at a supplement.

Sitting on top of the Puy lentils with just a tiny puddle of sauce,the Beef was decorated with a baby leek, a couple of red potato crisps, and a tiny ring of marinated shallots. to its side was the onion puree, and to the other side was the onions and creme fraiche with a smattering of rock chives.

It looked smashing, but I was concerned with the lack of sauce,as I assumed the beef may be a bit dry-ish.

I was of course completely wrong, no hint whatsoever of dryness, it was a delight to eat and oh so moist. A winner.

The Sea Bream dish was terrific, a decent size chunk of Foie Gras teamed up with the crisp skinned, and perfectly cooked fish, The savoy cabbage was a delight, vanilla is used quite a bit by Mr P as is pear, and for me they added to the overall effect of the dish.

Coconut parfait-slow cooked banana-chocolate sorbet

Or

Pavlova- blueberry jam- blueberry jelly & iced yogurt

Desserts were ok, nothing special, although we have been spoilt on previous visits, so by way of comparison , they did not hit the heights so to speak.

Coffee was excellent and petit fours, (peanut butter,marshmallow,sourcassis)a good ending to the meal.

To sum up.

Its quite a few months since we dined here,and as we all know time just flashes bye. I'm glad everything is as good as we remember it to be on our previous visits.

Service as always was excellent,Jean Benoit, in particular was well on form, Mr P and his seven merry helpers put some highly enjoyable food on our plates, long may it continue.

Nearly forgot

2 x 3 course lunch £50

1 x extra course £10

1 x Bottle El Paso £20

Service charge £10

Severn Trent water FOC

Wow! one the most flowery reviews i've ever read, I think I've got indegestion. Nothing to do with Purnells just the writing..... :wink:

I just wish that we could get a lunchtime table at some of the other Michelin starred Midland restaurants Mr Bear :wink:

That is a big part of the appeal with Purnells, reasonably close, top notch food, excellent service, value for money, and no I'm not on the payroll, as you well know. :laugh:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 4 months later...

Roast Duck rolled in ash, liquorice puree, with tamarind and lime, the meat skewered with liquorice sticks, may not seem to everyone's taste, however it most certainly works.

How about, Pork fillet, with vanilla dipped potatoes, black pudding crumble and glazed pear, or Marsala spiced Monkfish, red lentils, pickled carrots and coconut.

Or Roast pork with carrots cooked in toffee, cumin and passion fruit with smoked salt?

The above dishes in some form or other regularly appear on the menu I am glad to report. So don't be shy jump in with both feet, you will be pleasantly surprised.

This is what we had on our recent lunch,

Naturally smoked Ham hock-pickled red cabbage-horseradish-wasabi

Textures of Beetroot-red sorrel-watercress-warm Rosary goats cheese foam.

Cod - Indian lentils - carrot cooked in toffee, cumin and passion fruit - coriander - red pepper.

Daube of Beef -English asparagus - leek, onion and creme fraiche fondue - purple potatoes.

Followed by,

Hazelnut parfait -chocolate wafers - chocolate sorbet - caramel

Pavlova - blackberries - Chantilly cream - blackberry sorbet - tarragon.

Now if you have been following this thread you can see that I am a big fan, but Mr P is not without his critics. Another chef e-mailed me last year to say he thinks his food is feminine and portion size on the mean side. Well all I can say to that is that his food appeals to my feminine side but I suppose if I was pushed on portion size I may perhaps agree, but there again I am a bit of a glutton :smile:

The simple fact of the matter is that we have never had anything other than very good food on each and every occasion that we have dined here and in the years to come Glynn's cheffy offspring will no doubt be doing their own take on the Purnell tried and trusted formula in their own restaurants.

One thing is for certain, the easily accessible lunch menu has much of his distinctive style of cooking for a bargain basement price, so you won't feel at all short changed.

Our lunch left us pleasantly sated and just looking through the photos on my phone its good to be reminded what the dishes looked like before we devoured them.

The Cod dish was the most enjoyable just trumping the beef. I am slightly bemused however at the English asparagus, it must be forced? as the season to my knowledge has not started yet. I,m not nit picking now, just curious.

The textures of Beetroot was nicely presented also and simply highlighted what a talented chef can do with such a humble ingredient.

Puddings never disappoint and coffee and petit fours are included in the price.

I would be most interested to read any other recent reviews just as a sort of comparison.

Happy eating :biggrin:

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Hey David, sounds great, just hope he gave you a wet wipe on your way out!!! for your brown nose!!!!...............

:laugh::laugh::laugh::biggrin::wink:

I've never even met the man.

Your only jealous because I've not reviewed your place yet

I know he's your mate and have tasted his food,what do you think, is it good?

Am I right or wrong?

What about a review Mr B..............Please.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Hmm, asparagus before St. George's Day seems very fishy to me. I've recently been in the Evesham/Pershore area and there's zip to be found yet. Hardly surprising considering the appalling weather we've had, I would have thought a late start to the season would be predicted?

I really like Glyn's food but I find the ambience of the restaurant and the stuffiness of the service quite out of character. I'd rather front of house was run by loud and friendly brummies than going for Michelin-style slickness. One of the things I love about Simpsons is the waiter we always seem to have who is through and through brummie and its a real refreshing change to be given fine dining in such relaxed settings.

Just to clarify, I'm not a brummie myself, nor do I only eat in restaurants staffed by brummies ;) I just like my restaurants to feel friendly, relaxed and true to their roots.

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i believe your talking about Geoff? chap with brown hair always on a lunch time? me and my friend had him one time and he was the best waiter ive had there on my numerous trips. he makes it feel real, local and hell dare i say it friendly?

agree with you on that, lets get some brummies in the front of house of purnells. start protests, marches etc. i want a brummie who can tell me how he makes his liquorice charcoal as well as the date they started work at bournville, a chap who can tell me where the asparagus has come from as well as who scored the winner for birmingham city at the 1963 league cup final without having to ask glyn.

local food, local people! brummies are happy people, the french/polish front of house in many michelin star restaurants bring their stuffiness to the table and ruin the experience. unless of course you want to be treated like youre being served by people who are slagging you off the moment they walk back in the kitchen.

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in brum last night and tried to book purnells, but they are currently closed for a bit of a renovation. thought about simpsons as it is close to our b'ham office but in the end after finding lasan fully booked and fancying a curry, went to shimla pinks. very average but very expensive for what it was, i wasn't expecting fireworks btw.

you don't win friends with salad

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@eatenmess

Yeah! I know the foie gras lobby sometimes campaigns outside Purnell's, perhaps we could go down with We Want Brummie Waiters (And More Fois Gras) placards and start a scene!

Sounds like it might be Geoff, yeah. He's a nice bloke and definitely works hard to put you at ease.

I really think his particular style of banter would improve the service at Purnell's immeasurably and it would fit with Glyn's persona well.

But I guess Glyn may be unlikely to change things much as the current formula is obviously working out well for him, its certainly quite hard to get a table.

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  • 2 months later...

A touch of deja vu about our last meal here, it seemed that a fair few of the customers are lunchtime regulars, indeed most of the faces were familiar.

I did not take any notes on the day and indeed apart from the above I can't remember much about the food but as I took some pictures I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

image_0001.jpg

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image_0006.jpg

Needless to say everything was up to scratch :smile:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 1 year later...

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I can't quite believe that it is nearly two years since we were here. I'm pretty sure that we must have had a meal after the one above, but it is at the very very least one year ago since our visit.

More than ever I wanted to compare the food here, up against the two Michelin starred place that we ate at last week.

Now then, we have been fans of Glyn Purnell's cooking for some time, but during that time we have never spoken to him or had, (nor asked for) any preferential treatment. We have of course paid in full for each and every meal and that is how we like it.

I booked the table under another name and Maitre D, Jean Benoit was surprised but pleased to see us. He thought that we were walk ins.

Of some surprise, a number of the tables were unoccupied which made me think Birmingham has suffered badly in the recession. Normally it is full to overflowing at lunch and we have struggled to get a table more than a few times. Sometimes having to book well in advance. As time went by though nearly all the tables were taken with just one solitary table a deux remaining.

We were seated by the wall, next to the kitchen where the "Yummy Brummy" was barking out the food orders to his crew.

As a point of interest, we have never eaten the tasting menu, "The Tour". We just don't seem to get past the set lunch menu, there is always something there to tempt us. Not at all because we are poor or mean or anything like that its just that we know that the quality does not waver whatever we choose.

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Pain de Campagne( country bread ) was a change from our previous visits, and a step up. I'm fairly certain it would have been baked on the premises, but did not verify. Up there with some of the best that we have eaten. Like a big soft sponge inside and a thickish tasty crunchy outer.

Amuse bouche was Leek and Potato velute with some crunchy Japanese black rice and cubed feta cheese.

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Quail was on the menu, my favourite, so I will talk you around the plate Ballotine of Quail.

The ballotine of quail, of course, propping up the pan fried leg. Quails egg, some gorgeous crunchy pigs trotter nuggets, bang in season wild garlic, sweetcorn and garlic puree.

A really enjoyable plate of food.

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My wifes starter next, Slow cooked Pollock with scorched baby gem No complains from across the table, I enjoyed it too.

Oh btw some of the other components. Some arty squeezed watercress puree slashes, marinated shallots, confit lemon.

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Cor, I wanted the next dish badly but my missus wanted it more. I'm sure this is Purnell's playfull take on the many curries I assume he has eaten since being a lad. Indian lentils seems to feature on other dishes on the menu, as do carrots, as in his signiture " toffee carrots". In fact as I understand it, quite a few of his dishes have links to his past.

Daube of Beef with Indian lentils, red pepper, "carrots".

IMG_2006.JPG

A corker of a dish. My wife gave me a taste between me taking snaps of the food and getting tucked into my plate before it went cold. The carrots were confit, there was a red pepper puree and the lentils were lightly curried although don't ask me what spices were in there. On reflection I should have ordered this dish myself instead of the Grey Mullet.

So my dish next Grey Mullet with a basil emulsion. pickled cucumber, quinoa, capers.

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I'm always surprised by many fish dishes in restaurants. Not my first choice normally, at home, or in a restaurant. I'm a meat and game man by nature. This was a good eat in any event. Texturally interesting, very decent flavour on the fish, even though it is not that highly prized by some chefs. Take note of the caper ball.

Head pastry chef at Purnells, Pete Casson, can certainly knock out some pretty decent desserts and he did so today.

Poached English rhubarb, custard and meringues.

IMG_2015.JPG

So, textures of rhubarb, sorbet, jelly, puree, etc.

I'm fairly certain that I did see this on someone's twitter page and wanted to eat it as soon as I saw it. Initially I thought the rhubard needed sweetening up a bit, but I was wrong of course. It would have made the dish too sweet. As it was, the main sugar hit came from the custard and the meringues.

Across the table was Passion fruit and vanilla panacotta

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Another good dessert, note the compressed pineapple, and pineapple sorbet, oh and an orange tuille.

Yep, well worth the journey down a windswept M6.

We both thought Mr Purnell had upped his game a bit since our last visit, and without hesitation can suggest that you pay him a visit.

What's more because of the lunch price of £27 for three courses and my desire to cut down on my drinking a bit we managed to get through the door for around £80, nearly a third of the price of another meal last week.

The above price included two glasses of house wine, a beer for me and service charge.

Pretty darn good I would say.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Now then, we have been fans of Glyn Purnell's cooking for some time, but during that time we have never spoken to him or had, (nor asked for) any preferential treatment. We have of course paid in full for each and every meal and that is how we like it.

I booked the table under another name and Maitre D, Jean Benoit was surprised but pleased to see us. He thought that we were walk ins.

Why would you feel the need to book under a different name? Are you writing about food professionally now?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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  • 1 month later...

There has been much written recently about Purnells. I have seen a number of good reviews (including on this forum) from people whose views I respect, so I decided to visit during a recent trip to Birmingham.

I had visited the chef's previous restaurant, Jessica's, many years ago and hated it. I disliked the room, felt the service was up its own back side and the food did not impress me - I don't remember why, only that I didn't like it. I vowed never to return. That vow carried over to Purnells. I was really pleased I broke that vow!

I arrived early and had a drink in the bar area. The decoration of the bar and the restaurant oozes class and has enough that is interesting to take it far from the bland, safe hotel style that so many starred restaurants seem to strive to achieve. To accompany my drink there was a Parmesan choux puff which was flavoursome and light. Served warm it was pleasant and different. A good selection of olives were also provided. Numerous drinks we available (as you would expect) although somewhat unusually they also offer Krug by the glass (£30).

There was no a la carte on the night I visited. You were offered a choice of an 8 course 'tour of Purnells' (all their signature dishes) for £80 or a 6 course seasonal menu for £60. The seasonal menu looked lovely but I opted for the signature dishes. A selection of wines is offered for £65.

The food was excellent as was the service.

A small sliced loaf of bread appeared with a very lightly whipped butter and a small pile of salt. The bread was plain, nothing fancy, but with great flavour and one of the best breads I've had served in a restaurant.

A amuse bouche of leek and potato velouté started the tour. It was served with crispy pearl barley, crime fraiche and chive oil. It was tasty and a nice freebie. I wasn't sure what the crispy barley added, except texture, and why there was a need for a large quantity of creme fraiche. There was nothing wrong with having the barley or creme fraiche but just no real reason.

The first course was poached egg yolk, smoked haddock milk foam, cornflakes and curry oil. This was good, although described as smoked haddock milk foam there was plenty of flavour and chunks of haddock. The cornflakes didn't add anything apart from texture (a bit like the barley in the amuse bouche). It was very enjoyable although came served tepid. I always prefer something to be hot or cold, that luke warm feeling I'm never convinced works. It arrived with a couple of very tasty and crisp smoked haddock croquettes. It was served with a very interesting white wine from Japan.

Next up was described as emotions of cheese and pineapple on sticks "soixante-dix" with an excellent Macon. This mix of pineapple, goats cheese, whipped curd and dried pineapple was fun and had good flavours.

A salad of crab, apple and celeriac purée and smoked paprika honeycomb followed. With was delicious. The apple and crab complemented each other perfectly.

Next was the highlight (for me). Carpaccio of beef with red wine octopus, home corned beef and pickled onions, served with a full bodied Pinot noir from new Zealand. Everything about this dish worked, the octopus was a tender as I have ever had and the combination of flavours was just amazing.

Then came monkfish masala with Indian red lentils, pickled carrots, coconut and coriander. The flavours were exactly what it said on the tin, a fun play on a Birmingham curry. The monkfish was cooked to a superb standard, tender and flavoursome. It was spicy without being mouth numbing hot. This was served with a Gewürztraminer.

The main course was slow cooked lamb with basil emulsion, braised fennel and pickled cucumber. This was my least favourite dish. There was nothing wrong with it, it just was not to my taste. I found the lamb a little to fatty and rich after eating so much.

We then moved onto the desserts.

The first dessert was simply described as 'chocolate'. It was a very sweet, rich and slightly warm chocolate mouse served with a mango sorbet. It came with a couple of chocolate and passion fruit truffles. This was served with a glass of Krug.

Next up was one of the nicest puddings I have had for some time. A custard cream served in an egg shell. This was served with red wine soaked strawberries. In terms of wine there was a perfectly acceptable dessert wine but interestingly they were offering a glass of Chateau d'Yquem 1996 as a supplement (£40 for 50ml). A real treat.

Mention was made on the menu of cheese being available at a supplement (£9.50) but it wasn't offered to me so I can't comment on their cheese selection.

Coffee and petit fours followed and were included in the price.

It was a really good meal, with interesting well executed cooking and an imaginative selection of wine. I'm disappointed that it had taken me so long to visit and I would certainly go again.

Andrew

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