Edmunds, Brindleyplace

There’s no shortage of places to eat in Brindleyplace. It’s buzzing with bars, cafes and restaurants with many food genres covered.

From hearty Italian nosh at Piccolino to the big flavours of Thai Edge, it’s got the lot. Classic French has its place too in the form of Edmund’s, which has been on my to do list for a while. I’d been wowed by head chef Didier Philpot’s food during his spell at Brockencote Hall, so my expectations were high as I arrived for dinner.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

If first impressions really do count Edmund’s got off to a fabulous start. We were met with an infectious vibe that everyone in the room was having a great time and this set the tone nicely. The restaurant is small enough to feel warm and intimate and the décor is classically stylish. JC is a stickler for good lighting for which he gave Edmund’s the thumbs up. At the risk of sounding old, it’s also comfortable. There are many good restaurants that forego comfort in favour of high style. Edmund’s proves the two aren’t mutually exclusive with swish leather chairs that lend themselves to kicking back and having a good natter, as well as tucking into the food.

The wine list is great and pretty reasonable with a Chianti starting at £28. We went for a bottle of Gavi, which was very good. A selection of bread arrived, all of which was warm and delicious, not least the bacon bread which was ‘properly lovely.’

STARTERS

The menu read like a foodie’s dream and it took us an age to decide. Eventually I opted for the scallops with celeriac remoulade and celeriac puree, apple texture, caviar and coulis. JC chose a goat cheese panna-cotta with beetroot mousseline, beetroot and red current salad, beetroot crisp and balsamic dressing. It’s hard to describe how brilliant the scallops were. I’ve tried for a decade to force JC to enjoy scallops and I’ve failed every time. Yet one mouthful of these tasty morsels and he was a complete convert. They were unbelievably good and worked so well with the sweet apple, creamy remoulade and salty caviar. The goats cheese panna-cotta and beetroot mousseline was visually stunning and equally tasty. So far so good.

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW

For the mains I was won over by an assiette of British lamb. A slow cooked shoulder with caramelised sweetbread, a red pepper puree, confit garlic cream, boulangere potato, tomato and lamb jus. JC went for the Somerset prime beef fillet. This came with a beef bourguignon croquette, parsnip mousseline, potato gnocchi, parsley cream and bourguignon braising jus. Both mains were seriously good, but the highlight was the beef bourguignon croquette, which was a spectacular meaty bundle of loveliness.

DESSERTS

The dessert menu sounded really special. The British and French artisan cheeseboard caught my eye while JC chose the confit rhubarb with raspberry macaroons, fresh raspberries, Tahitian vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis. The cheese board was great with a small but perfectly formed selection. The rhubarb and raspberries looked pretty as a picture and tasted delightful. It didn’t have quite the same impact as the mains, but they were an impossible act to follow. Some superb petit fours and peppermint tea polished off a brilliant evening.

Edmund’s is everything you could want from a restaurant of this calibre and price bracket. The room is beautifully done, the atmosphere is warm and happy and the food is the best I’ve eaten in Birmingham. The staff have that magical knack of appearing just as you need them, without intruding when you don’t. On every level it’s a triumph. If it sounds like I’m gushing it’s because I am. There are no negatives here so what the hell. It’s a joy.

Edmunds, Six Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2JB www.edmundsrestaurant.co.uk Tel: 0121 633 4944