When Searcys invited me along to an evening to sample their new restaurant at Selfridges, Birmingham I couldn't wait. I eagerly jumped on the train after work and made my way to their new space, aptly named The Balcony due to it's location within Selfridges which overlooks The Bullring shopping centre. Searcys has a few London restaurants including one in the Gherkin but it has ventured north to the Midlands, with one restaurant in Birmingham's REP theatre and now their latest addition, The Balcony. Describing itself as a 'British Brasserie', their menu includes some classic British dishes along with some creations that offer a bit of a twist. It's a welcome addition to the thriving dining scene in Birmingham - which is actually pretty great, I still need to visit the Michelin starred Purnell's in the New Year.
One of the more unique creations is their Club Sandwich Martini - a deconstructed club sandwich. Unusual elements included tomato jelly and lettuce puree. Not so good if you're not very adventurous with food as the lettuce is quite bitter but it worked well with the refreshing and tangy jelly and the bacon was perfectly crisp.
The Clam Chowder was really lovely - creamy and fragrant. It was quite strong so I'm not sure if I could eat an entire bowl, but served in a little expresso cup as a taster, it was just enough.
We were served a trio of sliders, a mix of the different sliders that they have on offer including, Beefburger, Falafal and Squid and Chorizo all served on a mini brioche bun. The squid was my favourite - really flavoursome and not at all chewy.
The monkfish thai green curry with quinoa was really delicious. I love seafood and Monkfish is one of those meaty fishes that I've grown up eating at home. I'm not sure if I've ever had quinoa before and I would never have thought to put it with curry - mainly because rice is such a core ingredient with my normal Chinese diet, but it worked really well and so much lighter than rice.
This was a taster version of their Slow cooked duck's leg, soy and honey with Asian Salad (I think the 'Asian' refer to bean sprouts and possibly some pak choi in the dish below). I'm not really into Asian inspired food so it's not something that I would usually order. I thought the the taster versions looked a little like yuk shung (which my parents sell plenty of at their take away) but despite my initial reservations, it was sweet and refreshing and the actual dish below, looked amazing!
There is always room for dessert and we sampled mini Eaton Mess and Snickerbockerglory. The Eaton Mess with the sticks of meringue (they really look like sticks of chalk!) was fruity and not too sweet. The Snickerbockerglory surprised me with the coco pops and was rich, caramely and nutty - possibly my favourite out of the two. The larger versions are below and you can see that the Eaton Mess would normally be a little more deconstructed. We were also shown their Afternoon tea too which was adorable as they use little novelty picnic tables.
Before my visit to The Balcony, I would never have thought to go there for food but since the space has been taken over by Searcys, it's a different story. It's classy and a quiet place to have food after shopping and right in the centre of the Bullring - without feeling like you're in a shopping centre. After perusing their menu, I NEED to try their chicken and waffles for lunch one day.
Food post aside - I hope everyone is ready for the Holidays. I have just one more day of work to go before I have some time off where I get to have lie ins, eat lots of chocolate, watch Christmas TV and lots of family time. I can't believe Christmas is just 3 more sleeps....