Located in the Great Western Arcade In the business district area of Birmingham, Bistro 1847 is an innovative vegetarian restaurant trying to change the way vegetarian food can be perceived. Originally opened in Manchester a few years ago, the Birmingham branch has been open almost a year.
Obviously Lee and I are both blatant meat&fish lovers so it takes a lot for us to enter into an evening where we know that we can’t get our fix, but after hearing so many good things from many sources over the past 10 months, felt it was time we popped down.
The Bistro is small, with plain clean decor and simple furniture, with the odd quirky touch such as the salt and pepper flasks.
The wine list is compact, but with several available by the glass, the Viognier we went for was a great wine.
I’ll start by saying I love the witty names the dishes have been given – it draws you in immediately. I went for the Hit me Bhaji One More Time – Spiced Shallot Bhaji with pea emulsion, greek yoghurt , tomato and coriander salad. A great start to the meal for me with a light bhaji and some subtle and delicately spiced accompaniments. Lee had The Most Fun you can have with Cheese – a salted caramel vintage cheddar bruleé with apricot relish and dippy soldiers. He loved the premise of this, and the relish was delicious. He felt the cheese flavour could have been a little stronger, but then he likes his cheese mature and running of the plate usually!
Main courses were a huge huge hit. My Great British Fish & Chip Shop – Beer Battered Halloumi Lollipop, hand cut chips, smoked lemon curd, sailors ruin port ketchup, mushy pea mayonnaise, pickled tomatoes& sea vegetables was outstanding. The ketchup and lemon curd tasted amazing and cut through the halloumi really well, and I loved the sea vegetables scattered on top. Not to mention chips that were dead on perfect. Lee had the Hens Egg – panko soft-boiled with seasonal greens, shallot, crispy potato and a whiskey sauce. He wolfed it down and I daresay would have eaten it all a second time over too given half a chance.
Puddings, and a good time to mention the great service we had all night. This was topped off by an offer of a glass of milk it my pud – because ‘it just goes so well’ He must know me, coz I love a glass of milk with chocolatey puddings, so I gratefully accepted! My Chocolate and Ale cake, with a muscavado & malt ice-cream was very moreish and yummy. Lee had the Who lives in a Pineapple under the Sea? Ingenious name, and a lovely dish.
At the end of the meal we were lucky enough to meet and have a chat to Alex, the head development chef and it was great to hear his passion about the food he cooks. The menu set up of Bistro 1847 will soon be evolving and changing, with some parts having an even bigger emphasis on local and foraged foods, which sounds really exciting. Alex was even kind enough to send us away with a goodie bag of some rosemary from the allotment and some foraged ‘chicken of the woods’ to play with at home. Whilst we are never going be converted away from eating and enjoying meat & fish, we loved our meal at 1847 and can’t wait to see what the new menu launch brings.
Disclosure: We paid in full for our meal, but our goodie bag of mushrooms and herbs was a gift! all opinion thoughts and images are our own