where to have a nice girly lunch in central Birmingham?

(40 Posts)
carocaro Tue 13-Nov-12 22:55:43

Any ideas, not mega ££££ but decent enough!

fivefoottwowitheyesofblue Tue 13-Nov-12 23:02:10

Jamie Olivers?

HanSolo Tue 13-Nov-12 23:05:52

What does a girly lunch consist of please?

mummatotwo Thu 15-Nov-12 14:01:20

penny blacks

How much per head do you want to spend? The chains, such as Strada, Cafe Rouge, etc. have good set menus, but service and atmosphere can be a bit hit and miss.

San Carlo is good - as long as you don't go too mad and avoid the fish specials then it also works out reasonable.

Hotel du Vin occasionally have lunch deals on - worth checking.

If you want to push the boat out then Simpsons is one of the best restaurants in Birmingham and has a set lunch menu, including half a bottle of wine for £43 including the 12% service charge.

stealthsquiggle Thu 15-Nov-12 14:09:49

Simpsons is lovely.

Glynn Purcell has just opened a bistro which looks quite fun as well.

carocaro Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:26

Thanks ladies, great suggestions, will look into them all.

I like Carluccio's in Brindley Place. Simpsons isn't in the centre of town but is probably the most revered in the city. Cielo is in Brindley Place and is an upmarket Italian which does a decent set menu for about 17 pounds iirc. Thai Edge is also in Brindley Place and does a v reasonable set lunch, but it can be a bit conveyor-beltish as they don't seem to like you hanging around.

Bluestocking Thu 15-Nov-12 21:14:05

Purnell's is nice. And then you can nip to Urban Coffee for the best espresso in town.

I like Cafe Blend, near the Mailbox, better than Urban Coffee.

Bluestocking Thu 15-Nov-12 21:18:41

Haven't been to Cafe Blend - will give it a go next time I'm in Brum!

BillyBollyBandy Thu 15-Nov-12 21:20:48


Or you can go here and tell me what it is like smile

Keep meaning to try Bodega and haven't got there yet.

Purnells bistro and gingers bar.

stealthsquiggle Thu 15-Nov-12 21:25:34

Bluestocking have you been to the Purnells bistro? We like the restaurant but haven't tried the bistro yet.

Bluestocking Thu 15-Nov-12 21:30:50

Hi squiggle, I've only been to the restaurant as well.

senua Thu 15-Nov-12 21:31:57

Would Druckers do, or not posh enough? The savoury menu isn't that amazing but you don't go for the savoury ...grin

<starts dribbling at the thought of cake>

Londonista1975 Thu 15-Nov-12 21:33:55

Cafe Ikon in Brindley Place.

Druckers has gone downhill a lot, I think. It's v untidy and the staff can be quite surly. Cakes not as good or fresh as they were 6 or 7 years ago too. I stopped going after it was appallingly messy once with v bad service. We complained to head office, who didn't seem to give a stuff tbh. It's also not really the place for a long lunch, even at its best, I don't think.

What's Bank like nowadays? Is it still there?

senua Thu 15-Nov-12 22:18:04

That's a shame.sad Haven't been to the Birmingham one in a while, didn't realise that it hd gone downhill. I used to love the one in Great Western Arcade - very poky, but that was part of its charm.
Why do they always ruin the good things.[double sad]

IceNoSlice Thu 15-Nov-12 22:30:46

Depends where you are/need to be.

Brindley place:
Bank is ok but the lunchtime set menu is a bit uninspired - better for summer cocktails. Cage ikon - didn't really enjoy it TBH. Piccolonos is lovely (just off Brindley place and would be my recommendation. Or Woktastic - a sushi place just under the old library near centenary square- fab is you like sushi (all you can eat for £10 is great), they also do noodles.

In town - probably hotel du vin, metro bar and grill or purnells (wee bit pricier though).

There is a nice (little bit hippy) vegetarian restaurant in digbeth called the Warehouse Cafe but it's a bit out of the way. And Buonissimo in Harborne is great (never been for lunch though).

The best place if you want veggie is Jyoti, but it's in Hall Green. Vegetarian Gujarati and lots of fantastic street food type starters - Ooh I love it!

Also if you like curry there's Lassan, which was a Gordon Ramsey fave.

Heavywheezing Fri 16-Nov-12 18:01:19

Is the noodle bar still open in selfridges on the ground floor?

Yes - but it gets insane at weekends so would depend when op wants to go. They have an Indian bit now too, with dhosas (slurp).

Remus - I was in Jyotis a couple if weeks ago but got overwhelmed and asked for chips blush which they don't sell. So gave up and left. What do you recommend?

They deffo do chips as a side, although they are not the best chips in the world (for the best chips in Birmingham, go to Maison Maci in Harborne!).

Okay - go with a couple of friends so that you can mix and match and order - (scuse spellings!)

a large mixed bhaji platter

some bhel (which is a kind of crunchy salad with nuts in and is delicious)

panni puree - little balls of poppodom type stuff, with onions and bits of crunchy stuff inside, which you fill with tamarind water and then eat in one mouthful

paneer spring rolls

phatra (which is unlike anything I have tasted anywhere else - it is made of a kind of leaf and gram flour and tastes all smokey)

Then order a couple of dhosas (the medium sized ones) and some of the paneer curries and a bowl of channa bthata (chickpeas with lovely fried breads).

Have made myself VERY hungry now! smile

Sounds lovely! It was very busy when I popped in, I was just passing and it smelt nice so wandered in. Are those sweets on the front counter? I was tempted to get some to take home with me. I will have to take the dc there for a meal I have no friends it sounds like a me u they would enjoy. I think I'm thinking of the right place - by the curry house (uses to be hall green tandoori but I think it's masala lounge now) and I think there is a solicitors next door to it, co-op slightly further down?

That's the one - and yes to the sweets. The barfi is some of the best I've ever had as it's so fresh: the almond one is especially gorgeous. The dds like the gelabi (sp?) which is bright orange syrupy swirls of instant tooth decay! They also do one which is a bit like Scotch tablet covered in nuts, which is v nice. The dds really like their samosas to take away too. They are brilliant with children too.

I love samosas, if they do pakora as well I will be in heaven! I'm definitely going to venture in after my next midwife appointment (the only time I'm near there) it'll give me something to look forward to after being sat around waiting for ages. The dc love instant tooth decay foods so might even bribe treat them smile

BillyBollyBandy Fri 16-Nov-12 19:17:11

Remus I think I have now met the only person DH would leave me for. Your knowledge of indian food is cosmic.

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 19:18:35

Without wanting to start a food fight, I am not sure why people give Jyoti's such massive kudos. The food is pretty mediocre. Admittedly, I don't think there are many other South Indian restaurants in Birmingham, so it doesn't have much competition, but it isn't a patch on the Woodlands restaurants in London, or the Saravana Bhavan chain.

Noooo The Woodlands not great ime. I would agree that Jyoti's main courses are a bit underwhelming, which is why I'd say go mainly for the dhosas - but the starters are excellent.

Billy - I am just v greedy. smile When I go to Jyoti's, I stuff myself so much that I need a nap as soon as I get home!

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 19:40:59

I think you're identified the problem - instead of concentrating on South Indian food, they also make rather dreary standard Indian restaurant food like paneer tikka masala. Would you agree, though, that South Indian food in the UK never quite reaches the fabulous deliciousness of the same food on its home turf?

Sadly, I have never had it on its home turf.

I did have some fabbo dhokra once (is that what it's called? The mustard seedy bread stuff?) but have never, ever seen it again on a menu. If anybody knows anywhere in Brum that does that, let me know!

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 19:47:13

Dhokla. It's Gujarati. Don't they do it at Jyoti?

Nope sad

HanSolo Fri 16-Nov-12 20:06:21

Have you been to chenai dhosa on Hagley Road?
DH always raves how good it is, but he's never been to joytis, so couldnt compare.

HanSolo Fri 16-Nov-12 20:07:30

...and I think South Indian food is too hot for most UKers- we have friends from Kerala, and some of their stuff is seriously uneatable for me sad

Not been there, no. Is that the huge one?

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 21:14:03

Chennai Dosa is pretty good. I think the dosas are actually better than Jyotis and it's very like a South Indian restaurant in S India - but it still does this thing of making dreary standard Indian restaurant food instead of concentrating on the S Indian.

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