Earlier this month I finally got the chance to dine at Purnell’s Bistro – a restaurant that had been top of my to do list for far too long!! So after a long day of Rib Nights Round 4 prep and meetings, me and Ahmed found ourselves wandering around Birmingham in search of somewhere for dinner. It was a long shot (this is one popular place!), but we decided to hedge our bets and try to get a table in Purnell’s Bistro. We started off in their cocktail bar Ginger’s Bar first for a Ginger Lady cocktail…it was so good that it made a reappearance during dinner too!
The service here was fantastic all night. From the professional, friendly bar staff that expertly created flawless cocktails, to the accommodating and welcoming maitre’d, to our lovely, attentive waitress. The restaurant has a level of sophistication that made the experience even more special, but with it still being relaxed. This is fine dining but without being overly formal or pretentious.
I’m not normally one for ordering a starter, but I could have happily ordered every single one off the menu here as they all sounded so good. In the end I went for the Honey and Black Pepper Glazed Confit Duck with Lentil Verdi. The duck literally fell of the bone and melted in my mouth it was so tender. Add to this the flavoursome glaze that generously coated the duck and the contrasting texture of the lentils, and it made for a truly excellent starter.
I managed to nab a bite of Ahmed’s Scotch Hen’s Egg with Grilled Black Pudding, Cream of Onion Soup and Sour Apple too. The Scotch egg was perfect, but we both found the cream of onion soup to be an odd pairing with it.
The starters had set the bar very high for the rest of the meal, and luckily for us it just kept getting better and better. I can’t get enough of chorizo at the moment, so I ordered the Poached Cod with Goat’s Cheese, Butter Beans, Chorizo and Spinach. The cod was light and succulent, and the combination of the goat’s cheese, chorizo and butter beans was just heavenly. It was the best and most memorable dish that I have ever eaten in a restaurant, and I’ll find it hard not to choose it again next time I go. Our other main was the Aromatic Pork Belly with Soy, Sesame Seed, Chinese Greens and Noodes – another excellently executed dish!
On first glance at the dessert menu, none of the chocolate-free options really jumped out at me. However I couldn’t not have a dessert as the rest of the meal had been so good, so I went for the Rhubarb & Custard ‘Alaska’ as I was intrigued to see what it would be like. Now for saying that I normally hate custard, this was honestly one of the nicest desserts I’ve had in a very long time. It was simply delicious – a sweet, crisp meringue dome encased a sharp, icy rhubarb sorbet, fruity rhubarb compote and a light soft sponge, and this was all surrounded by a creamy pool of custard.
As soon as I got home, I was already looking in my diary to see when I could visit next and telling all my friends just how good the food was here (I still am over two weeks later!!). The dishes are reasonably priced here too and worth every penny as the food was truly spectacular.
Disclosure: I paid for my own meal and drinks, and all opinions expressed are honest and my own