After a very busy April, I completely forgot to post this review of The Rose Villa Tavern from when I visited back in March! But better late then never, here it is…
At the end of March, my Dad came to visit me in Birmingham for some food and a catch up. I’d never visited the Jewellery Quarter before, so we decided to head here and go to The Rose Villa Tavern. This pub, which has recently taken on a American cocktail diner theme, is part of Bitter n Twisted venues along with Bodega, The Jekyll and Hyde, Island Bar, New Inn and The Victoria. When we arrived there was a great atmosphere – it was buzzing with conversation and music (they played a good selection throughout the night, although it was a little bit too loud at some points), but it also had a chilled vibe and we felt relaxed and comfortable here.
I decided to start off with one of the cocktails from their happy hour menu; this selection of cocktails are only £4 from 4pm-7pm during the week, all day Saturday and from 4pm on Sunday. I ordered the Paloma – Olmeca Blanco Tequila with Fresh Lime Juice, Served Long with Ting Grapefruit Soda. Although it was refreshing, I found it too sour and sharp for my taste and then lacking in any other flavour, and I wouldn’t order it again.
However my second cocktail, a Pornstar Martini – Cariel Vanilla Vodka, Fresh Lime and Passion Fruit Topped Off with a Splash of Prosecco – was fantastic. Our waitress asked if I wanted it to be stronger in vanilla or passion fruit flavour, but I asked for just a balance between the both and I was definitely delivered this. The first flavour I got was the sweet vanilla, which was then followed by the refreshingly fruity passion fruit. It was a complex but perfectly balanced cocktail, and one of the nicest ones I’ve had recently.
The Rose Villa Tavern are known for doing great burgers, and I can happily say that the rumours are true…they make a decent burger here! My Dad ordered the classic Rose Villa Burger, but with bacon and cheese on top too. I’d say it went down well as it was gone within minutes and he described it as a “Proper Burger”!
I’m a sucker for pulled pork, so I chose the Carolina Burger – a Double Patty Burger Topped with Pulled Pork and Homemade Slaw in a Brioche Bun, served with Fries. The burgers were flavoursome, meaty and juicy. However, it needed to be topped with a LOT more pulled pork as they’d only put a tiny amount of it on. There was so little of it that I can’t even comment on the taste or texture as it was pretty much non-existent!! I was so disappointed as this was the component of the burger I had been most looking forward to, and they just didn’t deliver. It also wasn’t served in a brioche bun as they had stated on the menu, but in a standard sesame seed bun instead. Despite the lack of pulled pork and absence of the promised brioche bun, it was still a decent burger.
The coleslaw was good too; it was made with purple cabbage and not lathered in mayonnaise as some can be, which made it lighter and a better match with the burger. I’m not normally a fan of skinny fries (chunky, homemade chips every time please!), but I also enjoyed these. The fries were consistently crispy and tasty, and they worked well as a side with the huge burgers. The only flaw was they were slightly too salty for my taste, but then I hate salt on anything!
Dessert is always my favourite course, but unfortunately they don’t have a very extensive selection on this front here. On offer were American Pancakes with a choice of 5 toppings, and as we both love pancakes we decided to give these a try. I ordered the Stack of 3 American Pancakes with Mixed Berries, Whipped Cream and Butterscotch Sauce. However the pancakes were really not good and it was a very disappointing end to what had been up until that point a nice meal. They were bland, tasteless and so dry that I just couldn’t eat them. There was also no butterscotch sauce at all on the dish as promised either, and only a tiny amount of whipped cream. My Dad had the Stack of 3 American Pancakes with Maple Syrup, which were also dry and unappetizing too. We both agreed that the pancakes could have done with a big scoop of ice cream on top, and that they really need to work on adding some flavour to the actual pancakes too. We were told at the time that they were new to the menu (back when we went in March) so hopefully they have tweeked and improved them by now!
Although there were a few errors (on two occasions the food wasn’t delivered as stated on the menu, with the lack of brioche bun and no butterscotch sauce), I think I’ll come back again to give The Rose Villa Tavern another chance for either a chilled evening meal or at lunchtime. I’ll also definitely go back to The Rose Villa Tavern for drinks at some point too as I loved the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere here and they had a great selection of quirky cocktails on offer.
Disclosure: I paid for my own meal and drinks, and all opinions expressed are honest and my own