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Brum Brum


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  • 5 weeks later...

I ate at Jessica's this week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The scene was set by the classical music in the cab (are all Birmingham cabs like this?). The room is modern - white walls and tablecloths with the obligatory wooden floor. There is a main room and a similarly sized conservatory that I imagine would be lovely in summer.

And to the food. We were greeted with olves and a lovely salty choux pastry. Pre-starter was melon soup with feta and pepper. I'm not convnced this worked although the melon flavour was intense.

My starter was a ballotine of foie gras and duck with vanilla-dipped potatoes and an onion cream. I'm always a sucker for fg but it was the vanilla potatoes that drew me in. And they worked.

Loin of french veal with a fricasse of squid and white beans garlic and parsley followed. The squid did go well with the veal.

I struggled to choose a pudding and in the end went with the cheese and received 4 of good quality.

Service was excellent throughout. I sometimes thought that there was a bit of a delay but they read my mind and brought the next course. All 4 of us enjoyed our meals - this is great cooking in a nce setting with good service. What more do you want?

At £30 for 3 courses I think this represents good value (although my value-ometer is London based). Wine started at £14 a bottle I think.

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Jay Rayner gives it the thumbs up in the Observer today, which comes as a slight relief to me as I suggested he try it out.

I went a few weeks after they opened and had a superb starter of "sauteed scallops with salad of cauliflower mackerel, coconut cream" which despite the bizarre menu language was utterly delicious. Although virtually two seperate dishes on the same plate, the cream work extremely well with the scallops that were arranged on it and the spanking fresh, crisply pan fried fillet of fish was nearly as good as the ones I had at Margots in the summer. I forget how the cauliflower came into it, but a forkful of everything on the plate was surprisingly harmonious.

I found the main of veal a little underwhelming, especialy compared to a beautiful looking blade of beef that went to the next door table. A plated selection of cheeses was good but dessert of "marinated pineapple, mango with marjoram & natural yoghurt with creamed rice pudding" was just too healthy fro my tastes. The creamed pudding played a bit part to the fruit, which although indicated by the order in which they were listed on the menu, was still a disappointment when the dish was placed before me.

Service was extremely good, the dining room very attractive and the whole experience had an assurance and authority for such a young venture which seemed to indicate that it will only improve with age.

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  • 1 year later...

Any recommendations for accomodation near Jessicas, as we are going next week, and have just decided that we don't really want to drive if it can be helped.

Many thanks

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Jessicas is a 5 minute taxi ride from all the major hotels in Broad Street. The nearest one is probably The Marriott at Five Ways. If cost is a consideration, there is a Travelodge, also on Broad Street. I've stayed in The Jurys which is ok and got a very good walk up rate from them (around 50.00 if I remember correctly). The City Inn is very nice and not too expensive (although I got a very good corporate rate.)

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Montague Road is going to be just off the Hagley Road - which is chock a block full of hotels and B&Bs .... so you should be able to get somewhere to walk to/from the restaurant. (Traffic on Broad Street can be horrendous!)

Also saw on their websites that they mentioned some serviced apartments next door for £65 so that's an option?

Perhaps just ring the restaurant and ask them about the pick of the bunch ...

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If you were doing other things while in Birmingham, it would be more convienient to stay in Broad Street, but if you are just in and out for Jessicas then staying closer makes sense I suppose. I personaly wouldn't want to stay on the Hagley Road, but next door to the restaurant would be very pleasant.

I wandered up from my hotel for a drink at the Marriot and picked up a cab from there and so avoided the worst of the traffic, although Broad Street isn't exactly Oxford Street in the rush hour.

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The apartments look lovely, but are available on weekly lets rather than nightly. Might just give them a ring!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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i cant think why anyone, especially someone eating at somewhere like jessicas would want to stay at 99% of the places on the hagley road, ok if the dss are paying for it, or you're waiting a decision on your asylum claim but thats about as far as it goes!

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MMM...I'll DEFINATELY be ringing them. Can't say I'm warming to the B&B idea!! :blink:

Edited by erica graham (log)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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i cant think why anyone, especially someone eating at somewhere like jessicas would want to stay at 99% of the places on the hagley road, ok if the dss are paying for it, or you're waiting a decision on your asylum claim but thats about as far as it goes!

Spot on - stay away from anywhere on the Hagley Road. I wouldn't touch Broad Street either as it's trashy at night times and if you're not being accosted by Chavs handing out 'buy one get six free' drinks vouchers in their 'clubs' then you've got drug-dependent (supposedly) homeless vagrants begging for money

I agree with the City Inn suggestion. Stayed there over The May Day weekend and it did exactly what it should do for the all in price of £99 for two people, for two nights.

As for Jessica's, it is very good, but went through a hit and miss period some time ago. It's fine now (or so says Mr Bibendum)

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I wouldn't touch Broad Street either as it's trashy at night times

Exactly why I like it.

City Inn is just off Broad Street. Your other option would be Malmaison in the Mail Box, which is just aroud the corner from, you guessed it, Broad Street. There's no getting away from it really is there?

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Sounds like I'll be reliving my student past!! Can't wait- good food followed by an oppurtunity for some outrageous behavior (not in the same place of course!!) :biggrin:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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There are plenty of decent options in Birmingham without having to go anywhere near Broad Street. In fact, you don't even need to set foot on Broad Street to get to either City Inn or Malmaison, but it's there if you're sad enough to want to take a peak. Mustard gas would be to lenient to those who frequent it on a weekend. Chav central.

To put it into prospective - if the powers that be in Birmingham's licensing commitees hadn't insisted on ensuring that all pubs and clubs had staggered closing times, an estimated 65,00 people could, in effect, all be on the street at kicking out time. Burberry abound.

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we're going on a Tuesday so I think we will miss out on the the festivities Broad Street Style!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I'm sure they'd like you to dine there, but a rather tasteful choice for that neck of the woods would be the rooms at Simpsons, a short walk down the Hagley Road from Jessica's - Simpsons - starts at £140 a room so not in the bargain end of the end of the market.

Have to re-iterate postcode's point about Broad Street - big, but far removed from clever. Living in Brum I don't 'stay' in Brum, but Hotel du Vin gets good feedback on the pillow front and you should be able to get something less expensive even factoring in the cab fare

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Many thanks to everyone for all your advice. I haven't been to Birmingham since 1989, so I'm really looking foward to it. We were just going to go for a quick look around in the afternoon and then dinner, but now we are going to make a longer trip and really have a good explore (especially looking forward to seeing what they did with the bullring!!) I'll let you all know how we get on.

Erica

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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(especially looking forward to seeing what they did with the bullring!!) [right

The Bullring (Or 'BULLRING' as it's now rebranded itself as) gets mixed responses from people. Some love it, some hate it. I personally think it's a stunning building and a vast improvement on the concrete jungle that was there before it. Ok, so I'm not big into shopping, or shopping centres, per se, but they've done grand job in pulling in tens of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, into the city centre.

Birmingham's grown up in the last few years, and despite it constantly getting ribbed for its daft accent (and Liverpool, Newcastle, Essex and Yorkshire ones sound nicer??) it's actually a very pleasant city to visit

As for Jessica's - not a bad wee spot. Enjoy!

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From the map, I think the Thistle Hotel is pretty much next door to Jessica's, on the Hagley Road. My parents stayed there when it was the Strathallan in, err, 1980 (wow! tick tock tick tock!) and it was - then - a functional modern hotel. That was probably the last time I was in that immediate area (but I did go to the botanical gardens last year).

SJB

Edited by Stephen B (log)

Stephen

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