Back in May of this year I had the great honour of attending a very dear friend’s wedding. We drove up on my birthday, which was fine by me as I do love a good road trip, but decided that instead of going to the hen night, we would go out to dinner for my birthday. Don’t worry, I did check with the bride, and she said it was fine. Then she told me that we absolutely must, nay, had to go to Anderson’s Bar and Grill. So we did. I wasn’t going to take a restaurant recommendation from Gilly lightly.
She was absolutely spot on as to it being my kind of place. I would happily go here again and again and again.
The website be here: http://www.andersonsbarandgrill.co.uk/
First off, the words ‘bar and grill’ do not in any way do this place justice. It is far more than that.
It is hard to find, in that only the restaurant door is on street level, there is no frontage to speak of. The only clue is a sign sticking out above the door. We did hang about for a bit going “Where? It must be here somewhere…” It was. We were almost right outside it. Yes, we felt silly.
You descend into a cool, stone clad basement with lovely arches and a long bar, gleaming in the candlelight. Now, there, that word, candlelight. It is quite dark, so for us pathological food blogger photo taking types, this is a bit of a bother. I’m afraid the photos do not do the food justice, because I have to tell you, the food is absolutely top notch, first class lovely.
It took us a very long time to choose what we wanted. The starters alone took us an age. We perused the menu, in the proper meaning of the word. We were highly amused by some of it.
We decided against the momentary soup in favour of breads with warmed olives and roasted garlic. These are under the heading of ‘For the Table’ but are generous enough to make any self respecting table fall over and groan. Simon’s actual starter was a huge dish of moules mariniere. I tried one. It’s no good, I still don’t like mussels.
The warmed black olives made my delightful dining companion realise he liked them after all. Rats.
All was as it should be. Soft, slippery, toasty garlic, herbed olives with chewy bits of roasted lemon and lovely soft breads. That would have kept me happy on its own, but fear not, we ventured forth into the rest of the menu because There Be Steak.
However, first I really should mention my actual proper starter, which was a slow roast free range pork belly, with a sticky chilli and honey glaze. Perfect. Rich and juicy, with a very thin crisp of crackling and a deliciously sticky surface. There was enough glaze to dip the meat into as well, which made a nice change.
And then….oh dear sweet heaven, then there was steak.
I agonised over what to have. The rib eye nearly won out, but I always have that – and why not? It is my favourite cut of meat – but then I thought I should go for something different. A Dexter Sirloin Chop. I’d never had Dexter beef, and a sirloin chop was unusual, so that was my choice and I am very glad that I chose it. Simon chose fillet, and he was just as happy with his dinner. We both chose a brandy, Dijon and shallot sauce to go with and it was just heavenly. I could have eaten that with a spoon all by itself. Rich and creamy but not overpowering. Both cuts of beef were beautifully tender, but not squishy in texture, and the hint of char was just right. Next time I am so going for the rib eye, because I think I would probably be in beefy chargrilled heaven.
We went a bit mad, and possibly ordered too many sides but they all looked so lovely!
Basil and garlic roasted potatoes, buttered herbed carrot and courgette ribbons, buttered spinach and green beans with garlic. We like our garlic! I like to think that we did justice to it all. I think we only left a bit of spinach, to be truthful.
There was a moment of worry as to whether we could fit in dessert or not, but as we only had to go back to the hotel and lie down in our pants, we decided to go for it.
Chocolate brownie with peanut butter ice cream and cappuccino foam? Bring it on. I did get to taste a bit of the ice cream and that was stunning. The foam is served in a wee chocolate coffee cup! Cute, and tasty.
I had a white chocolate parfait, with crushed honeycomb and caramelised pineapple. It was like the most adult choc ice in the world. I couldn't get enough of it. Melting and chewy at the same time, with a paper-thin coating of chocolate that broke into shards as you applied the spoon. It was a dessert of absolute divinity.
We rounded all of that off with sublime coffee – and they even give you a biscuit with that!
This is definitely a place to go back to. The service was lovely and friendly, the atmosphere lively but not too loud, and the prices are very reasonable indeed. We enthused about it to many people at the wedding reception as well! When you find steak that good, you have to share.
10/10 Anderson’s Bar and Grill, thank you for a very lovely birthday indeed.
Anderson’s Bar and Grill - http://www.andersonsbarandgrill.co.uk/
30 Mary Ann Street, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham, B3 1RL