Okay so we’ve been to Simpsons a lot and the mother-in-law who is most definitely in the ladies who lunch camp is there at least once a fortnight it seems. However, we’ve never taken the children – until now. They’re used to nice restaurants so it’s not that we don’t trust them to behave, it’s just never come up. So, when Grandma’s birthday coincided with the seven-week school hols we thought we’d give it a whirl en famille.
Let’s be clear, I wouldn’t advise taking your toddlers. It’s not a colouring and crayons sort of gaff. It’s a Michelin-starred, classy – not stuffy – wonderful place to eat. A jewel in Brum’s culinary crown, no question. We thought the kids were big enough (11 and 12) and appreciative enough (fingers crossed) to enjoy it.
Even in classy restaurants the children’s menu can lack invention and attention, but here the kids were treated like customers not an afterthought. When the amuse-bouche arrived the kids were included which was a nice touch I hadn’t expected. Leek oil with lamb stock slurped from little cups and a crisp salty ham hock bon-bon with a sweet pea puree were both stunning and a great start.
All of the grown-up food was superb as always, so we’re focusing on the kids and this was the best children’s menu of any we’ve tried. A starter of crispy squid was crunchy, flavour-packed and beautifully served in a scallop shell. Number one absolutely loved it. Number two plumped for a little pot of unctuous, moreish macaroni cheese which was apparently even better than dad’s. High praise.
Both girls went for the same main course – not a fish finger in sight. Chicken breast with pomme puree, broccoli and chicken jus. Not just plonked on a plate, the pomme puree was piped and the perfect chicken breast was served with a little jug of delicious gravy which they both enjoyed enormously.
Dessert was a gorgeous Eton mess for one and a top-notch chocolate brownie for number two. Seriously what’s not to love? It was a massive success all round and the kids keep asking when we’ll be going to Simpsons again.
And in case you’re wondering… the restaurant didn’t know we were coming and we paid for our meal, so there was no special treatment ¬– except special at Simpsons seems pretty much standard whatever your age judging by this experience.