I can’t believe it’s been a month since my Mum last visited for a weekend in Birmingham (read all about it here). So after a week of exams – 5 in 4 days!! – I was more than ready to celebrate the end of a stressful, hard week by the time it came to Friday evening. And what better way to spend it than a girly weekend with my Mum, eating great food and drinking fabulous cocktails!!
Following an AMAZING brunch at Ju Ju’s Cafe last month (check out my review here), we knew we had to go back for an evening meal here so decided to book a table for the Saturday night.
When we arrived, we once again received the warm, friendly welcome that is always guaranteed at Ju Ju’s; Julia was as lovely and attentive as always and was a brilliant hostess, moving from table to table to chat with all the diners. Though it was only just after half 7 when we arrived (relatively early for a Saturday night in a restaurant), it was bustling with life and every table was already occupied. There was a fantastic ambiance in the restaurant, with the constant buzz of conversation, soft background music, and wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen.
I’m always dubious of ordering a Sex on the Beach in bars as it’s the cocktail that me and my friends usually order on a night out; cue lots of very very bad, but very cheap, versions of this classic cocktail. So it’s actually been a very long time since I’ve had a good Sex on the Beach cocktail. But I decided to give the Sex on the Canal off the menu here a try, and it was honestly the greatest version of this classic cocktail that I’ve ever had. Perfectly balanced, beautifully presented and just delicious.
Also on offer are a handful of other classic cocktails – Mojito, Cosmo, Bloody Mary, Pimms Cup and Amaretto Paradise. Yes the cocktail menu is short and they’re aren’t any crazy bespoke creations, but Ju Ju’s isn’t a cocktail bar and what they do is offer classics that everyone loves and absolutely perfect them, delivering them to a standard higher than some cocktail bars I’ve been to.
For my main I chose Ju Ju’s ‘Belly Busting’ Pork – Succulent Pulled Pork, Cumberland Sausage, Black Pudding, Sage and Onion Stuffing in a Brioche Bun served with our House Gravy and Apple Sauce. From the description, it was basically my idea of heaven and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed! Every element of the dish was cooked perfectly and the flavour combination was spot on, with everything complimenting each other.
The pulled pork was deliciously tender and bursting with flavour; pulled pork is so hot right now, but it was nice to see it served in a different way for a change rather than the usual chipotle or bbq smothered option. As gravy goes, Ju Ju’s delivered a pretty much perfect gravy; it was thick, super tasty and I was later told that it had been made with some of the juices from the pork (100% the best way to make gravy!!). I’m now itching to visit on a Sunday for a roast dinner so I can have some more of their delicious gravy! The apple sauce was sweet yet sharp, and added flavour and a new dimension to the dish. I am a huge fan of brioche buns at the moment, and this one didn’t let me down; it was super soft but managed to hold its shape despite all the filling and the gravy it was sat in. Initially I gave my Mum my black pudding as I’ve never tried it or wanted to, but feeling brave I had a nibble of it and immediately took it all back off her plate! It was so tasty and worked perfectly with all the other flavours in the dish.
I thought that it was the perfect portion size too – I wasn’t too full and had plenty of room for dessert (my favourite course!). If anything, I wish I’d said yes to a side of their Twice Cooked Chips, especially when I saw how good they looked on a nearby table!
My Mum went for the Mushroom and Leek Stuffed Chicken Breast – Supreme of Free Range Chicken with Garlic Mushroom and Bacon Sauce, served on a bed of Colcannon Mash. She absolutely loved her meal, commenting on how creamy the mash was, the tenderness of the chicken and wonderful flavours from the filling and the sauce.
When we saw our all-time favourite dessert on the menu at Ju Ju’s, we knew we had to order it. And so two portions of Sticky Toffee Pudding were eagerly ordered! After our fantastic mains, and the fact that it’s one of my favourite things to eat, we had high expectations for dessert and luckily we weren’t let down. Was it the best sticky toffee pudding I’ve ever had? Yes. Yes it was. A moist, light sponge covered in lots of sticky, gooey, rich toffee sauce and topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream which melted into the pudding. It was deliciously indulgent and absolutely heavenly, and I could have happily eaten another.
Did Ju Ju’s live up to the exceedingly high expectations set by the brunch we had there a few weeks ago? It 100% did and more! Ju Ju’s has everything – fantastic service, flawless food and even brilliant cocktails too.
Disclosure: I paid for my own meal and drinks, and all opinions expressed are honest and my own