Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WINNE EATS: ANNEXE

Annexe Interior
I often write about food on this blog, reviewing places in London but I should really pay more attention to my own city as Birmingham has plenty of great places to eat. The Birmingham food scene has a pretty good reputation. It's the only UK city outside London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff to have 4 Michelin stars (yay, go Brum!) While, I've yet to eat at any of the Michelin starred restaurants, I intend to visit them all...so watch this space. I recently visited Annexe, a little French/Italian inspired restuarant which I found after searching for decent places to eat that weren't the usual run of the mill. It has amazing reviews on Trip Advisor and my cousin and I decided to see what the fuss was all about. The location isn't far from the city centre (about a 15 minute walk from the Bullring shopping centre) and located opposite the iconic Victorian Law Courts. As you walk in, the decor really hits you, it has a nostalgic, vintage French cafe vibe with black and white films projected onto screens and walls. It's a pretty cute set up. It's cosy, has plenty of ambience and the staff are attentive and friendly. 

Let's talk about the food! The starter was lovely - the fritti perfectly crisp, well seasoned and there wasn't too much mozzarella for it to be overly noticeable. I could have eaten two of them.
Annexe starter
Porcini mushroom, polenta, sage and mozzarella fritti, sauted spinach and nutmeg with truffle oil
For my main, I opted for the slow roast pork belly. When it comes to a menu, pork belly is always a safe choice but quelle horreur if they don't get the skin nice and crisp! I needn't have feared as it was perfectly crisp and the meat really tender. Everything worked so well with the coarse grain mustard jus which was sweetened by the honey from the roast vegetables.
Annexe Main and dessert
Slow roast pork belly with pancetta, honey and sesame roast roots, tarragon and course grain mustard jus
Apple and caramel brioche pudding with pear sorbet and gingerbread crumble.
The dessert was good but not exceptional and the brioche was tricky to eat out of the cup. However the pear sorbet was my favourite element by far as it was refreshing and really delicious with the gingerbread crumble. The food on the whole at Annexe was pretty good and I'd certainly make a return visit. On a side note - we got 25% off the whole bill as my cousin is a Gourmet Diners Club  member which made the meal unbelievably good value, it's paid membership but if you know someone who is a member, bring them along! I'd love to bring more friends here as the vibe was quite eclectic and cool. They also have 'show nights' which are meant to evoke the golden era like the Moulin Rouge, Old school Jazz and Film Noir. All the more reason to come back...
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23 comments

  1. All your photos are so lovely!

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    http://breakfastataris.blogspot.com

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  2. Looks very cozy and nice! I love that they have black and white films playing :) The slow roast pork belly sounds and looks yummy! (I'm so hungry right now... bad idea to read this! haha)


    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  3. Oh wow this looks absolutely incredible. I'm drooling at my keyboard!
    Sophie
    x

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  4. I know, I thought I would prefer the brioche more but that pear sorbet was amazing :D

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  5. It was so cosy - such a lovely place for dinner and the food was delish!

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  6. Haha, it was really good! I could have eaten two of everything but I'd be a total fatty.... :P

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  7. Sometimes the lightly sweetened fruit desserts are the best pick!

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  8. Sweet idea for the discount. This place does look very fancy, not my usual boiger-go-to but I never rule anything out. I'm in Brum early next month.

    Buckets & Spades

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  9. Yup, tis a little fancy but there are some other really decent places. You should try Bodega for some great south american food or Topokki for authentic Korean dishes - both are my some of my favourites. What are you doing in Brum?

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  10. Helen Chik-Dohrmann22 January 2015 at 21:36

    Great post! The mains look delicious and you've now made me incredibly hungry at 8:30am here in Sydney ;P

    I've recently relaunched my website CH1K.com and would love if you could stop by and check it out! Let me know what you think xx

    Helen xx
    http://CH1K.com

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  11. thestylecrusader22 January 2015 at 22:04

    This place looks really cool. Love your honesty about the dessert. Pear sorbet sounds pretty delicious and I love the thought of having some slow roasted pork belly. Yummy. Lovely review of this place Winnie!

    xx

    http://thestylecrusader.com/theblog/

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  12. I'm doing a project with The Liquore Store, so I'll tweet you when I'm going to see if you're about.

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  13. This looks beautiful and I love the idea of the 'show nights'! I'm craving that fritti so bad...

    Becky :: accooohtrements.wordpress.com

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  14. I just love the idea of "show nights"! This definitely sounds like a restaurant I would love to visit!

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  15. Thanks Helen! I'm sure Sydney is a lot warmer than the UK right now :D
    Will check out your site :)

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  16. Thanks Jen! It takes a lot for a dessert to win me over, I'm so much more about the savoury dishes but yes the sorbet was pretty good!

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  17. The Sorbet was definitely actually probably the most memorable out of the whole meal thinking about it now!

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  18. I know, I definitely need to plan a trip back soon so I can witness these show nights! Oh the fritti was so good. I would SO eat that as a main :D

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  19. You'd love it! There are so many more restaurants to visit so I'm keen on reviewing a lot more - so watch this space :D

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  20. Had never thought of using Trip Advisor to find great restaurants. I love the decor of this one and the food looks amazing!

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  21. Yeah I use it a lot - great to discover new restaurants too. I've now got quite a list of places I'd like to visit :)

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