Baked in Brick, Custard Factory

We all know Digbeth’s as cool as you like – one of the coolest spots in the UK according to the Sunday Times – with foodie credentials like nowhere else in the city. Digbeth Dining Club has changed the face of the area’s food scene knockout event by knockout event and Baked in Brick, which started life on the street, set up shop in the Custard Factory just four months ago and we finally made it.

Firstly, you could pick Baked in Brick up, pop it back down in London’s Shoreditch and it would fit right in. With the industrial skeleton of the ceiling on show, a roaring pizza oven, an actual Mini crashing in through a back wall decorated with graffiti style art, it made for a great first impression. Eating out is an expensive business – even at an average chain you’re talking £50-plus for a fairly bland experience. At Baked in Brick, not so. There’s nothing vanilla or over-priced about it.

The menu is a corker with pizza all blackened and blistered from the oven, laden with inventive toppings like pork and fennel meatballs and yellow pepper ketchup which we couldn’t ignore. The meatballs were superb and could have been a dish in their own right. Teamed with the sweetness from the yellow pepper ketchup it was properly memorable which is rare and a massive compliment.

A special spicy lamb kofta was served with a refreshing mint yoghurt that cooled things down, a punchy slaw with sweet pomegranate running through it and a mountain of rice that would have served three hungry people – they don’t do small! A side of corn on the cob with wasabi, sesame and comte was revelatory and if you’ve never grated comte on your corn, we urge you to do so.

We went off-piste with dessert sampling a cheesecake chef had been working on that wasn’t on the menu. If you like Oreos and you like baked cheesecake, it’s a no-brainer.

From a beer list that rocked our world, we thoroughly recommend Dancing Bear or, and we never thought we’d say this, the non-alcoholic German blonde Maisel’s Weisse. We headed back to the office eventually feeling like we’d started the weekend early. Don’t expect pretty, but do expect big, punchy flavour-packed nosh in a lively room full of feel good vibes.

BAKED IN BRICK, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA. Tel: 0121 740 1256,