Birmingham’s restaurants seem to be bucking the trend for knocking Sunday lunch on the head, with Simpsons offering the Michelin-starred variety and now Marco Pierre White launching the family favourite.
We got wind of its introduction and hot-footed it over to the 25th floor for the roast’s inaugural service. We all know the views are stunning – one of the restaurant’s great draws, but we hadn’t banked on the kids being mesmerised. Spotting grandma’s house, the clock tower, QE, etc, was a game that ran and ran. The staff were child-friendly too speaking to them directly rather than through us which they appreciated. The place was buzzing and although the a la carte menu was on offer we reckoned there were more plates adorned with beef and all the trimmings than anything else. Half portions for the children rather than a dedicated kids’ menu was a winner. Not a turkey twizzler in sight. To start Mr C ordered cauliflower soup which, when put like that doesn’t sound too clever, but the warming, silky, flavour-packed liquor defied its name. I enjoyed the classic flavours of mackerel with beetroot and horseradish which looked like a work of art and tasted super. Duck rillettes for daughter number one with sticky chutney was a rich unctuous treat and number two nibbled olives and bread.
PUFFED UP YORKIES
All the girls were lured by the beef while Mr C plumped for the lamb. Both were top drawer nestled alongside proudly puffed up yorkies and individual jugs of rich gravy. I was surprised to see mashed potato as well as roasties, but it turns out chef Chris Haynes is a master of the pomme. In the words of daughter number one: “Best mash ever!” Another speciality of Chris is fish and he brought out a cracking turbot dish for us to try. Crisp skin, salty sauce with sharp capers was seriously lovely and worth a look if you can tear yourself away from the traditional roast. Dessert was sticky Sticky toffee pudding. The flavour was spot on, but the two younger diners commented that “it wasn’t really sticky-sticky and perhaps they should just call it sticky”. Picky, but fair comment. We don’t have many go-to Sunday roast hotspots preferring to dine at home, but for those weekends when you’d rather someone else sweated over a hot stove, this is perfect. Mind you, there is one down side – the family will never eat my substandard mash again…