Craft Dining Rooms, ICC

You don’t want to see us when we’re hungry. It’s not pretty. Team that with being caught in a biblical downpour minus a brolly and we’re best avoided. With rain literally (proper meaning) dripping from the end of our nose and mascara stinging our eyes we bungled into Craft feeling less than tip-top.

If the staff were alarmed, they didn’t show it. They whisked the sodden jacket away while I composed myself. The other half was already seated – he was alarmed. A drink was eagerly welcomed. A glass of local Severn Vale Sauvignon Blanc was recommended by a waitress who was so knowledgeable we thought she was the sommelier.

It turns out the staff at Craft are trained really well with visits to vineyards, meetings with producers and tastings as standard and it showed. Launched over the summer – traditionally a quiet time in the restaurant game – Craft has been building in confidence and honing skills so the team is ready for the onslaught of the busy period we’re in now.

When we visited it was still in this honing period and we found some of the food mixed. We ate some wonderful dishes like buttermilk chicken with a crunchy flavour-packed coating served with a curry emulsion and puffed rice. Then there was unctuous pork belly with a deep rich jus we wanted to slurp straight from the jug.

But there was also a confusing duck egg wrapped in chewy filo pastry with an orange salad and slightly overdone halibut that was served with a brilliant butter sauce and a truly delicious broccoli puree – four words we thought we’d never write!

Dessert was entirely a triumph. Rice pudding, but not as you know it, had a crunchy crème brulee style top and was served with a perfect jam, while a chocolate choux dish we’d wanted to try since reading about it, lived up to expectation and then some.

The main menu is on the pricey side while the set menu is a steal and the wine list is inventive, largely local and different to others in the city. It’s one to watch and we’d definitely recommend a trip.

Craft Dining Rooms, Unit 10, ICC, Birmingham, B1 2EA. Tel: 0121 655 5550 craftdining.co.uk