Tucked into the landscape of the thriving Eastside of the city, you’ll find Hotel la Tour, a recently built four star hotel.
Its restaurant has been cited by some as a serious culinary destination thanks to the creativity of head chef Dan Pearce and direction from “the chef’s chef” Marcus Wareing. We rocked up on a sunny Sunday to check it out.
1889 Kicking off lunch with Aalto’s house cocktail was a great idea. The 1889, named after the year in which Birmingham gained its city status, is a warming concoction of gin, ginger and elderflower that hit the spot nicely. The bar tender also rustled up some fruity ‘mocktails’ for the children, which they loved. The menu is small, but perfectly formed. JC’s starter was a warm salad with black pudding, a runny poached egg and bacon. A classic combination that worked a treat. I opted for the aromatic potted duck with leaves tossed in a soy dressing and crisp melba toast. It was excellent but served on a small wooden board – what’s wrong with a plate?
On to the mains and the carnivorous JC opted for roast beef which was thankfully served on porcelain. It was perfectly cooked and came with a generous jug of top notch gravy and delicious vegetables. I plumped for pollock which was pretty as a picture. Served with a canary yellow lemony sauce and crisp spring vegetables it was refreshing and light. The charred little gem lettuce was packed with so much flavour it was the star of the show. Very clever. The children cleared their plates of roast beef and lamb emitting lots of “Mmmm”.
Dining with three people who have incredibly sweet teeth makes choosing dessert a lengthy process. Every dish is a winner. I’m in the savoury camp, so opted for cheese. A mild creamy goat’s cheese, gooey pungent brie, nutty cheddar and a tangy blue served with sticky chutney was spot on. JC opted for a tonka bean pannacotta which tastes a bit like vanilla. A tasty apple and raspberry crumble was served with crowd pleasing custard and the chocolate brownie sundae was epic. Sweet, chocolatey, fruity and served in an old school sundae glass it was a dream pud. My sole gripe about little wooden boards is a bit picky as everything else at Aalto is so right. The food is great, the staff thoughtful, the price reasonable and the décor slick and well crafted. There was also, of course, the flamboyant mocktails. Smiling faces all round.