Pure Bar & Kitchen

As the Pure Bar and Kitchen turned one last month we thought it’d be rude not to celebrate. Any excuse you might say, but on the contrary it was such hard work.

The extensive selection of beers was a real chore as was the inventive menu. Decisions, decisions. In fact, we found choosing one beer so difficult we went for four wee ones instead in the form of an inspired beer flight. There were a few flights to choose from, ours was a Trip to Europe that included a third-of-a-pint each of Belgian Houblon Chouffe, German Sunner Kolsch, Maisels Weiss and the Czech Bernard Dark Lager. The stand-out was the Sunner Kolsch, but we had no complaints. They all slipped down a treat. A special menu to celebrate a combination of the bar’s first birthday and St Patrick’s Day was on offer. It seemed an odd link but I went with it. The small plate from the specials sounded right up my street. Deep fried oysters, oyster mayo, smoked salmon, shallots and capers served with homemade soda bread was entirely fresh and delicious and made me feel all spring-like.

SATISFYINGLY OOZING

The friend went back on piste with the standard menu and scoffed a scotch egg with beer ketchup enthusiastically. A scotch egg isn’t high on my list of things to eat, but I tried this and I’m a total convert. It was satisfyingly oozing and packed with meaty flavour. The ketchup was unusual, but it worked a treat. The Dunkel beer BBQ chicken served with crunchy coleslaw and frites resembled old-school chicken in a basket, but tasted far from naff pub grub. The chicken was juicy and tender served two ways – one glazed in the beer and another coated in spices and deep fried. It was seriously good and the frites were perfect. I liked the retro presentation – literally a plastic basket, but my friend thought it was ill-conceived. I argued he probably wasn’t cool enough to get it. We’re still friends. Just. I blame the beer. Moving on… The roast beetroot, red onion and Woolsery goats cheese salad was fresh, herby and zingy. It was a bit light on the goats cheese, but tasted really lovely. I found the small plate version was the ideal size which at £6 was an absolute steal. We skipped dessert in favour of heading back to the office, but could’ve stayed all day and sampled many more beers. As we left the place was pretty much packed. A gaggle of suits propped up the bar and groups of mates and loved ones gathered around tables. Despite the interior being super cool and industrial, the vibe was relaxed and happy and not at all self-conscious. Happy days.

PURE BAR & KITCHEN 30 Waterloo St, Birmingham B2 5TJ. Tel: 0121 237 5666 www.purebarandkitchen.com