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This summer saw the launch of Craft Dining Rooms, a modern British restaurant located within the city’s International Convention Centre.
Opened by entrepreneurs Sam and Emma Morgan and led by Executive Chef Tom Wells, the eatery celebrates British culinary craft, shines a light on the UK’s artisan producers and brings together the best produce from the country’s farmers, cheese mongers, brewers, distillers and vintners.
The menu has seasonality at its core, with a focus on simplicity and quality of ingredients. Small plates include such delights as Brummie Bacon Cakes, wild boar & black pudding sausage roll and curried cauliflower. Main courses include cod loin, confit pork belly and herb & garlic-roasted Cotswold white chicken supreme.
Sundays focus on traditional sharing-style roasts, with British cuts carved tableside. Meat options available are slow-roasted Blythburgh pork belly, Cotswold chicken, Irish rump cap beef and Cornish lamb.
Guests can enjoy cocktails made from a range of British gins, vodkas and spirits. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine and gin menu.
Our starters arrived a couple of sips into my ever-so-moreish rhubarb & custard tart cocktail (which featured Chase rhubarb and brambly apple gin, Edinburgh raspberry liqueur and custard syrup).
I chose one of my favourites, steak tartare, while my partner opted for the BBQ whole black prawns served with blackened avocado purée. The purée was absolutely delicious and a concept that I’d never seen before. Thick and creamy in consistency and strong in flavour, it was the perfect accompaniment to the juicy and nicely cooked prawns. A simple yet enjoyable starter.
Combining the classic core ingredients - raw beef, capers and shallots - my well-executed steak tartare was just as palatable. It slightly shifted away from the classic presentation, the chef having cleverly separated up the egg yolk as opposed to using it whole. Served with croutons for that additional and welcomed crunch, it was a dish I'd be very happy to order again should I return in the future.
Having heard great things about the beef wellington, I chose it for my main course; my partner opted for the lamb.
My dish was beautiful! The meat was cooked to absolute perfection, as was the pastry, while the paté was packed with flavour. The wellington was accompanied by caramelised onion and creamed potato mash topped with Wiltshire truffle. The mash was smooth and creamy, while the earthy taste of the truffle nicely complemented the beef. It was very much a five-star dish and the highlight of the evening.
On the other side of the table, the lamb course proved to be a triumph too. Featuring perfectly cooked roasted rump of Cornish lamb served with buttered Jersey Royals, summer pods and mint jelly glaze, the presentation was excellent, the flavours amazing.
For the finale we chose the Bakewell tart soufflé served with toasted almond ice cream, and the James Cadbury Love Coca Chocolate Choux. The baked egg dish was perfectly risen, light in consistency and featured a subtle hint of Bakewell tart.
The star of the show, however, was the chocolate dessert. Boasting crunchy chocolate choux domes with mouthwatering Jersey milk salted caramel and pecan praline ice cream, it made for a fantastic finish to our debut visit to Birmingham’s newest all-British eatery.
Not only was the food of a high quality, the service was too. Our waiter was friendly and attentive, took us through both the food and drink menus and made some excellent recommendations along the way.
Open seven days a week, Craft Dining Rooms is a great addition to Birmingham’s thriving culinary scene. I just hope the location works for them - they deserve every success!
**** Lauren Foster
Posted on Fri 10 Jul
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