The former site of Carluccio’s Brindleyplace has been transformed into a glamorous gilt-edged bar and restaurant that screams, ‘you’re in for a good night’. Actually, we went for lunch, but you get the idea. It’s all fancy-pants lighting, dramatic interiors and Instagrammable neon and we found ourselves crossing everything that the food lived up to the vibe.
As you’d expect from the lovely people behind Aluna and Siamais, cocktails are a very good idea at Lulu Wild with or without booze. The Hainan Cooler (without) is one of the most refreshing things we’ve ever tasted, full of mint, watermelon and zingy lime, while the China Rose (prosecco, gin and citrus) hit the spot very nicely.
The menu is a cracker. There are small plates, brunch, Christmas set feasts as well as the lunch/dinner menus. We consulted our fantastic waiter, Uri for his recommendations. Rather than the couple of dim sum dishes to start that we’d planned, he recommended the Wild Platter of dumplings for maximum sampling. He was right.
The platter included four steamed and four fried dim sum with accompanying black vinegar and soy sauce and was ideal for two people. The meat (pork, chicken) and seafood (prawn, scallop) versions were flavour-packed and moreish, while the mushroom ones were a bit more timid on the taste front. The steamed dim sum were incredibly pretty, a couple with pastel pink and green skins, however, the colourful skins were a bit thicker than the non-coloured dumplings making them a bit heavy.
A sweet and sour pork dish with tart pomegranate and sweet pineapple was excellent and accompanied by lots of ‘oohing’ as was a punchy Sanpei chicken with sweet basil, spring onion, a warm hit of chilli and Shaoxing wine. We scooped up every last dribble of sauce from both dishes with jasmine rice. Really delicious.
Despite the pastry chef not being in the kitchen on the day we visited, the chef rustled up a gorgeous mango mousse-like dessert with grapefruit and an intense mango sorbet on the side. It was the perfect zingy palate cleanser.
We left feeling like Lulu Wild definitely lives up to its bouji vibe – an all-rounder with substance as well as style and a fantastic addition to Brum.