AnneXe is tucked away in Birmingham, right at the top of Corporation Street, and after my very first visit to it I feel it’s a bit of a hidden gem! Well, it was certainly hidden to me as I know very little about it, but since going and posting some photos on Twitter and Instagram after our meal, lots of people have commented to me how much they love it, so it obviously isn’t hidden to a lot of people, just a gem!
The restaurant serves French and Italian food, and it has a lovely traditional feel to it, with dark wooden tables and chairs, white linen tablecloths, red linen napkins and traditional artwork on the walls. There was even a black and white movie playing on low, projected onto the back wall. The staff were also fantastic – so polite and seemed to really enjoy their jobs.
The menu was interesting and varied, but kept those core mediteranean flavours and favourites at its heart. A lovely Focaccia arrived first, warm and glistening. I chose the Pheasant, Venison, Rabbit & Pistachio Terrine to start. This was a lovely coarse terrine, with a delicious fig chutney and the brioche was meltingly soft. A lovely way to start. Lee had the Warm five spiced Confit Duck Salad, Pickled cucumber – fennel – dates – pomegranate – cashews. This salad really had everything – the textures and flavours were excellently balances with the crunch of the nuts, sweet sharp pomegranate seeds, sourness of the cucumber and then the warming shredded duck.
The brilliantly executed food continued with our mains. The 8oz Rib Eye served with wild rocket, balsamic onions & parmesan, hand cut chips & peppercorn sauce for Lee and the special fish of the day for me – Pan Fried Seabass Fillet with Green Beans and a Tian of Tomatos, Capers and Pine Nuts, with a side of Garlic Sauté Potatoes. We could find nothing to fault in either dish – it was rustic hearty cooking at its finest. Small details, like my fish having a beautiful crisp skin, and the beans being cooked Al dente, which can often be done so badly were all spot on, as was Lee’s perfectly cooked steak and delicious peppercorn sauce.
My pudding didn’t quite hit the heights of the savoury courses, but it was quite passable Chocolate Indulgence; Hazelnut crocante cheesecake – Malibu hot chocolate shot cocoa brownie, stracciatella ice cream. Lee’s cheeseboard had some nice cheeses, in keeping with the French and Italian theme, but could have done with coming out the fridge earlier.
Never-the-less, this didn’t detract from a really enjoyable meal all round. I would really recommend AnneXe for an excellent rustic Mediterranean meal and am including it in a Bloggers Guide to Birmingham, which is being compiled by Millennium Hotels.
Disclosure: This meal was paid for by Millennium Hotels as part of their Bloggers Guide to Birmingham Campaign. All views are our own