A few weeks ago marked our second visit for dinner to The Fig and Olive, located in Coppice Garden Centre near Sutton Coldfield. We first visited towards the end of September and our meal was a bit of a mixed bag of good and not so good food. Wanting to give the place another go before making our minds up about it we headed back.
Throughout both our recent meals the service has been good; pleasant and attentive waiting staff, and although they a looked a little stretched when it was busy they didn’t let it show.
As I mentioned before in my post about their great brunch, I love the surroundings and the set up. It’s a lovely combination of modern and rustic, and in the evenings the place really comes alive with a lively bar area as well as the restaurant.
The meals both seemed to follow a similar kind of theme really, I really enjoyed my starter on each occasion. Firstly was a Beef Teriyaki, Glass Noodles, Bean Shoots & Mooli Salad which was utterly delicious and I could have eaten it twice. The beef juicy and tender and the dish had a great sweet spicy balance. My starter on the second occasion was equally as good; BBQ pork ribs, Fennel, Chilli, Mint and Lime Slaw. The meat fell off the bone and melted in you mouth with a delicious BBQ sauce and fresh crisp and crunchy salad. My husbands starters on the two visit were a Hot Smoked Salmon and Heritage Beetroot Salad with Horseradish Creme Fraiche and Leek and Potato Soup. He enjoyed the smoked salmon salad, each ingredient being well prepared and classic combinations working well together. Again he thought the soup was good, a little lacking in salt for his palate, and his main criticism was the size of the portion – it was an absolute giant, easily twice a normal sized bowl!
Large portions seemed to be a theme through the meal, certainly the second time we went. Our main courses on this occasion were a Duck Breast, Confit duck Leg, Dauphinoise Potato, Buttered Cabbage and Raspberry and for Lee Pistachio Crumb Lamb Cutlets, Braised Lamb Breast, Buttered Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Carrot and Cumin Puree and Champ Mash. I can honestly say I’ve never seen such large plates of food out in a restaurant (well apart from in the US!) I mean it’s alway good to have slightly too much than too little, but this was a case of my stomach being defeated by what I saw even before I’d started eating. The flavours of my duck were nice, and I really enjoyed the confit leg and the parnsips crisps. Lee wasn’t as keen on his lamb – nothing specific was wrong with it, it just didn’t quite hit the spot although he like the mash and the cutlet. Our mains on our first visit were Seared Grey Mullet, Crushed Sweet Potatoes, Seat Salt and Pepper Squid and Chilli Jam and Crispy Slow Pork Belly, Bubble&Squeak, Black Pudding, Apple Compote and braising Jus. These were the two courses that really weren’t that keen on. My grey mullet was dry and overcooked as was the squid and the dish severely needed a sauce of some kind.
Overall we were a little bit disappointed in the Fig and Olive, some of it we really loved and some of it not quite as much. With highs and lows it’s difficult to say if we would go back soon for dinner or not. I would definitely go back for lunch, or again for brunch and would thoroughly recommend their brunch!
Have you been to the Fig and Olive? I’d love to know what you thought.
Coppice Garden Centre, Middleton, B78 2BU, England
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own