Alfie Bird’s, Custard Factory

Lunch time in Digbeth is a very cool affair. It’s cosmopolitan, young and hip with the Custard Factory at its heart – no second city neuroses here. 

In the middle of the Custard Factory is the newly opened Alfie Bird’s. Their tagline is Gourmet Eats and Beats and after a whistle-stop tour of the place I could see why. It’s so much more than a restaurant. It’s a music venue, cocktail lounge, party space, wedding venue and when the sun shines a jerk BBQ. Behind a hidden door in a bookcase is a secret room called the Oobleck where regular gigs attract great bands.

INVENTIVE CHOICE

Onto the food. And drink… hic! It seemed a bit early for a cocktail, but it was after midday so I relented and slurped a tequila colada – you see what they did there? It was unique and refreshing with a warm punch of chilli. The menu is simple, but thoughtful, and includes inventive pizza, burgers and great looking salad. The chef created three pizzas with some of the more unusual toppings for us to try. The bases of the pizza were perfect for me – thin, crispy and not too heavy. The Peter Pipers picked pickle and pulled pork pizza (try saying that after a tequila colada!) was amazing although I’m not sure I could eat a whole one as it’s quite full on. The Thai green chicken was packed with flavour, with mint yoghurt that cooled down the chilli heat.

BITE OR BOOGIE

Smoked salmon with creme fraiche and horseradish was delicious and felt like the healthiest of the bunch and the goat’s cheese and red onion was really tasty with a sweetness from balsamic vinegar. I’d say if you haven’t been already, Alfie Bird’s is without question worth a look whether it’s for a bite to eat or a boogie. The food is amazing value as well as being delicious – all of the small pizzas are either £4.50 or £5. Also for such a hip place the staff are friendly and helpful and not, as sometimes is the case, too cool for school.

Alfie Bird’s, Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AA. Tel: 0121 270 6665 www.alfiebirds.co.uk