You may remember Nosh &Quaff, the Birmingham eaterie with a focus on steak and lobster and a cool yet casual vibe. Well, after a bit of a makeover which has restored the stunning former bank building to its original glory, Nosh & Quaff is now Jailbird, still serving stunning, high quality food, but with a far more grown up, elegant feel. I was invited along last week to savour the menu, and have to say I was very impressed (and left feeling extremely full!)
Jailbird is based in Victoria Square, possibly the most beautiful square in Birmingham, and one which you are now fully able to appreciate due to the large picture windows which are just perfect for people watching. The downstairs space is now the bar, perfect for enjoying the range of cocktails and speciality gins that are on the drinks menu, but also great if you want to do a bit of work in a beautiful environment as most tables have power points for charging phones or working on laptops – always a bonus in our current times.
I started with a Madison Fizz cocktail, a delicious blend of mango and Prosecco that looked and tasted divine, and then we were taken to our table in the new upstairs dining area. If you remember the upstairs space before, you may remember it being rather dark, but with the windows now opened up there are stunning views across the square and it is a light and airy space, enhanced by stunning accents of Art Deco.
The menu is perfect in that it is just big enough to give choice, but not too big in that the diner is overawed. I opted for black risotto with prawns for my starter, it was so delicious, with the risotto being super creamy and buttery, and the prawns contrasting perfectly due to the kick of chilli and garlic. I have never tasted black risotto before, but this is a dish I could eat over and over again, and the fact that it can also be a main is a brilliant touch.
For my main I opted for chicken, although this was a tough decision as the flat iron steaks sounded amazing ( and I can confirm that they are huge – think half a cow). The flat iron chicken was a plentiful portion of beautiful, marinated chicken that was both succulent and tasty due to the mix of lemon, garlic and herbs. I was super impressed with the chips, no skinny fries here, but real, thick cut chips that were crispy on the outside and super fluffy on the inside.I love that the dishes are so filling, often the issue with fine food is that the portions are small tasters and leave you craving more, I couldn’t finish my dish which means that this would be a place that my husband would enjoy too.
I was struggling to fit in a dessert, but it is hard to turn down chocolate tart with clotted cream ice cream, and I was so glad I didn’t, as it was beautifully rich and well balanced.
Jailbird is definitely a new destination on the Birmingham Food Map, one that leaves you totally sated and wondering how soon you can come back.
*With thanks to Jailbird and Paul Fulford for the invitation.