1565 at Park Regis

One of our New Year’s Resolutions – yes we know it’s March – was to get away from the desk and have a proper lunch break on three out of five days.

So far, it’s more like one out of five, so we’re on the lookout for time-efficient venues serving delicious grub that will force us to leave the screen. Having fallen foul to menus that read ‘express lunch’ we’ve become a bit dubious. Some of the city’s express offerings are hardly swift at all with lunch taking well over an hour or conversely, so rushed that a soggy sandwich in the office would be preferable.

We got wind of an option that wasn’t on our radar – 1565 at Park Regis. While Rofuto’s one of our go-to dinner destinations, we’d never ventured onto the fourth floor of the hotel and found the restaurant’s glamorous interior and fabulous bar at its heart a beautiful surprise.

A snappy express lunch menu, while not the most inventive, was solid. A fresh zingy prawn and crayfish cocktail was spot on with a super sauce and a smattering of nostalgia chucked in for good measure. Smoked mackerel pate and beetroot salad, while safe, was done brilliantly and looked stunning. Classics are classic for a reason after all.

Not so successful was a grilled pork cutlet with fondant potato and wild mushroom jus. The meat was a bit tough and the fondant potato still had the skin on which seemed odd – having said that, the mushroom jus was utterly delicious. Brilliantly cooked salmon escalope with chive crushed potatoes and a caper and tomato dressing was superb and probably the stand-out dish.

We could have left at this point feeling happy, sated and back to work easily within an hour without feeling rushed, however dessert was winking. Poached berry cheesecake with macerated cherries and two spoons hit the spot nicely.

Great value at £14.95 for two courses or three for £19.95, this might just be our NY resolution saviour with a weekly trip on the cards.

1565 at Park Regis,160 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1DT tel: 0121 369 5555 www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk