Travel and food have always been inextricably linked… what better way to learn about a new place or culture than through the cuisine? Food is such an integral part of travelling that for many people where you can eat and the food you can try is the main selling point of the trip. So when spending a few days in Birmingham, we thought what better way to try the local food than go to Adam's Michelin Starred restaurant!
Édouard and André Michelin, the 2 French brothers who published the first Michelin Guide in 1900, had the same thought. What better way to increase the demand for cars, and therefore their tyre business, than through the stomachs of motorists! Their first guide had reviews of roadside restaurants with maps and other useful information included. And so the Michelin Guide was born, and over a century later, it’s now the holy grail for foodies the world over!
We wouldn't consider ourselves to be foodies, but as regular blog readers will know we love trying new and unique experiences! And so during a Troven work trip to Birmingham attending the British Tourism and Travel Show, we decide to head off early and be mystery bloggers for the afternoon.
Sneha was super excited at the prospect and was awestruck when we stepped into Adam’s restaurant… one of the most famous Michelin Starred restaurants in England! And not only that… as a late birthday treat Paul had booked the Chef’s Table and lunchtime tasting menu for a truly unique experience… perfect for celebrating special occasions!
First winning their Michelin Star in the 2014 Guide, Adam’s has also previously been voted the best restaurant in the UK and in the top 10 in the world, as well as holding 3 AA rosettes and a score of 7 in the good food guide. And there is absolutely no doubt on why it’s one of the top restaurants in the world, as it was definitely one of the best restaurants we had ever been to, and will possibly ever go to!
We arrive 10-minutes before our booking at 1pm and are led through the exquisite bar and restaurant areas, down some stairs, and shown to our seats at the horseshoe Chef’s Table looking into the kitchen. The restaurant in general gives both options… you can have your meal in the dining area and enjoy the delicacies, or you can enjoy the most unique Chefs table experience… sit right in front of the chefs and enjoy the artistic way in which they prepare the meals, garnish them, and make you want to try each and every dish on the menu! The work of a true artist where the kitchen is their canvas and the utensils their brush!
As we peruse the menu we’re served with our drinks… a gin cocktail and a coconut mojito mocktail (Paul being the designated driver for the day!). They’re both really nice, and Paul almost asks the waiter if his is definitely non-alcoholic as it tastes so good!
We discuss menu options with the very helpful waiter and opt for one 7-course tasting menu and one 3-course à la carte… we figure that way we’ll be able to try as many of the different dishes as possible! As the waiter points out, the drawback this way is the dishes won’t be timed with each other, but as we’re planning to share everything anyway, it works out perfectly!
But before we even get to the menu we’re served with some pre-appetizers to start with… a Camembert and Australian truffle, beef tartare tacos, and fermented sourdough bread with sea salt butter and a baconnaise shallot spread. And they are followed by muscles on a cucumber mix with cucumber sauce, topped with a bright purple petal which makes it look really unique! (we are still thinking on how cucumber sauce can be so delicious!!)
All are amazing and a great introduction to the meal we’re about to enjoy… (apologies if we get any of the ingredients slightly wrong… we are not a food experts and also being mystery bloggers, we didn’t want to make notes as we wanted to make sure that we share the experience that any other customer would get!)
The first starter of the tasting menu comes out, followed by the second and the starter from the à la carte lunch… and all are incredible! Cornish Mackerel with nori (dried seaweed), dashi and radish, Isle of Wight Tomato, and Veal Sweetbreads. The mackerel is soft and succulent, the veal is really flavoursome and tasty, and we don’t understand how some tomatoes and pickled shallot can taste so good?! Sneha says that she is not at all a tomato fan and still ends up eating 2 of them! To complete the starters (or are we onto the mains now?) out comes the Lightly Salted Cod and lobster, and again, delicious!
While we’re eating, the entertainment from the kitchen is great… the ensemble of chefs all working tirelessly on their speciality dishes, big cheers going up when certain orders come through and shouts of “service!” as dishes are expertly prepared, and quite a few angry shouts as dishes aren’t timed together or someone is slacking in doing their part! Some goat’s curd in particular is of frustration for the lad plating the food up… he loses his shit at the third time of asking and shout’s “can someone please bring me some fucking goat’s curd!!” Sneha doesn’t quite hear it and she asks Paul… “Are they asking for goats skirt?!”
Next up are the main courses… Duck Pastrami, which consists of slices of duck breast and liver with beetroot and blackberries, Aged Beef Sirloin with truffle and potato, and Scottish Halibut from the à la carte. The duck is out of this world… duck is Paul’s favourite meat anyway, and he was relishing every bite of it with utmost elegance!! The breast is full of flavour and rich, the liver is melt in your mouth soft, and the beetroot and blackberries add a lovely contrast to the taste. The halibut is quite firm and meaty just as it should be, although Sneha isn’t as keen on the accompanying clams and taste combination with the courgette and dashi… which means she ends up stealing most of the perfectly cooked steak! We also get a glass of gorgeous red wine to go with the meat mains… a German Pinot Noir recommended by the waiter which matched the food great!
Before dessert we have a melon sorbet with marigold leaves to cleanse our palettes, and then it’s on to the ultimate indulgence… Bruce Farm Strawberry, which is wild strawberries, pistachios, and parma violet mousse, and Manjari Dark Chocolate, a melt in mouth chocolate layering with sour yogurt, caramel and coffee. And as with the rest of the meal both are absolutely delicious!!
After the 2-and-a-half-hour lunch we’re both stuffed and decide to skip the coffee but there’s one last treat as we get the bill, as we get a chocolate macaroon and something else which we can’t quiet remember what it was… as we were almost completely full by this time by the yumillicious meal! Plus, a Blackberry and Honey Chocolate and shot of Cordial to take home to add to some champagne.. and we all always love a little memento that will remind us of our memorable days… that’s a good strategy we would say to make people miss the taste and be back soon!
For our first Michelin Starred restaurant experience it was absolutely amazing… the food, the entertainment sitting on the Chef’s Table, the service, the drinks. All outstanding! Birmingham has the highest number of restaurants in the guide outside of London, but we think we made a great choice with Adam’s, and we’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to try whether you’re a foodie or a newbie. And it’s the perfect place to give someone a surprise to make someone’s day extra special!
Being a Michelin star restaurant, it may not be that easy to get a booking for the very next day, especially for weekends. Hence its best to pre book well in advance!
1. You can directly book the slot on the website with a deposit required to protect against no shows. Which menu you then opt to go for can be decided at the restaurant, no need to pre-order
2. You can purchase vouchers in advance as per your choice
Travel Tips… Where is Adam’s?
To help make not only your meal, but also your full day eventful, Adam’s is well located in the heart of the city and very close to the train station… just a 5 min walk. So it makes it completely worthwhile if you are travelling to Birmingham to experience Adam’s as you will get a well packaged day out!
1. Birmingham has one of the most modern train stations which is integrated with Grand Central and the Bullring shopping centre which makes it a perfect day out to do some good shopping coupled with a perfect meal at Adam’s… if you plan to travel by train!
2. If you are travelling by car, park your car at the Town Hall Car Park which is only a 5 minute walk away
3. If you feel like having a stroll after your sumptuous meal, just step out of Adam’s and on the left you will see the Victoria Square and discover the attractive old Town Hall, built in 1832 and a masterpiece of Victorian architecture. Resembling a Roman temple, this impressive structure features 40 ornate Corinthian columns made of Anglesey marble.
4. Walk a minute further and relax at the courtyard with a fountain overlooking two memorials, one to Queen Victoria and another to inventor James Watt. The Renaissance-style Council House (1874), with its famous “Big Brum” clock (a slang phrase for Birmingham)
Top Troven Moments
- Sitting on the Chef’s Table… you can truly enjoy the culinary art and a great entertainment as well!
- Go for the tasting menu if you want to try a variety of dishes!
- The Duck Pastrami… delicious!! Must Try!!!!!
- The Manjari Dark Chocolate dessert… indulgence heaven!!
- Take a relaxing stroll in the Victoria Square and adjoining areas after a sumptuous meal!