Turners at 69, Harborne

Clearly we eat out a lot at Brum Living Towers. Perk of the job and all that. However, in recent times it’s all got a bit poncy.

Bank-breaking tasting menus with bouncy waiters spewing the merits of each dish have their place, but sometimes (often) we just want a delicious meal with great friends and much chatter and we don’t mean with a waiter about sous vide salmon. Cue Richard Turner who has given his Michelin-starred gaff an overhaul. For starters it’s now called Turners at 69 and the tasting menu is off. The set lunch is £18.99 for two courses increasing accessibility (i.e. you’ll find us nestled in a corner tucking into ox cheek every Friday). We plumped for the a la carte menu rather than the set lunch as we wanted to try a few dishes. We couldn’t help feeling a couple more set lunch options would have been marvellous.

MASTERFUL

Although the menu is easier on the pocket Richard hasn’t scrimped on quality or inventiveness. Yes, the classics feature. There’s a lip-smackingly good steak and duck fat chips with béarnaise sauce and a moreish duck liver parfait done brilliantly served with crispy chicken skin as well as warm brioche. A masterful cheek of Iberico with tastes of apple and prune sang a sweet, sticky, unctuous song. Dishes like a silky veloute of smoked haddock with a crispy egg which was smoky and comforting sit alongside fresh, punchy heritage tomatoes and Innes farm curd with edible flowers. A work of art both visually and gastronomically it was one of our stand-out dishes along with the smoked haddock. From a décor point of view the bijoux restaurant has the same deep blue walls, but they’re now teamed with classic grey banquettes and comfortable chairs that add to the more relaxed vibe.

The service was faultless. Our waiter had cut his teeth at Le Gavroche, so knew the fine dining ropes like the back of his hand and was attentive not intrusive. Genuinely, the only differences we could see were positive – the price and the more relaxed atmosphere. We loved it a lot. Can you tell?

Turners at 69, 69 High St, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9NS. Tel: 0121 426 4440 www.turnersat69.co.uk