Winter Dining Digest!

SIMPSONS are celebrating a huge milestone this year: 25 years in business. The restaurant’s combination of elegant and relaxed surroundings coupled with exquisite food with professional service has made it the city’s number one fine dining experience.

Their journey began in 1993, when a young chef named Andreas Antona
decided to open his first restaurant in a former chemist in Kenilworth. The restaurant, offering West End standard food in Warwickshire, struck a chord with diners and gained a first Bib Gourmand from Michelin followed by a coveted Michelin star in 1999.

In 2004, Andreas took the major step of moving into its current premises in a grade II listed building in Edgbaston where it retained its Michelin star.

The heart of Simpsons’ success is the partnership of Andreas and Luke Tipping. Luke has always prided himself on the quality of ingredients, which makes his dishes a wonderful culinary experience. Andreas has a striking ability to nurture talent and his influence can be seen across the Midlands. The Simpsons’ alumni include include Glynn Purnell, Andy
Waters, Adam Bennett, Matt Cheal and Jerry Toth.

We dined on a sunny autumnal day, with the dining room full of light and elegance. We were greeted by new restaurant manager, Gianluca Austin-Rizzo, who was an absolute delight. He suggested the October offer of a 3 Course Lunch Menu with 1/2 bottle of house wine for £39.50 per person. We perused the wine menu as we enjoyed their famous original tapenade rolls freshly baked everyday.

Starter was the roscoff onion broth, onion mayonnaise, croutons, chickweed, with Colston Bassett stilton. Its bold flavours will make your heart flutter. My main was the Confit of Loomswood duck, lovingly nestled on top of grilled chicory, lentils, and an oriental sauce; a Simpsons classic. Our dessert was a joyful serving of Smoked chocolate cremeux with malted peanut butter ice cream. The proof is in the pudding, and its clear to see why Simpsons has retained it special place at the heart of the Birmingham’s fine dining scene.

From classy to funk, The Wilderness have finally launch their brand-new concept, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS and it looks amazing!

Located at 20 Bennetts Hill, in the City Centre, Chef Patron Alex Claridge has created a fun and inventive experience. The site, inspired by 80’s pop culture, will provide a culinary journey with ingenious drinks, bold flavours and afternoon tea unlike ever seen before.

Downstairs is home to a 42-cover fine dining restaurant, where the food draws heavily on the kitchen’s Konro charcoal grills, as well as eclectic influences from both modern Japanese and Chinese cooking. The restaurant will offer an ambitious and accessible taster menu for both lunch and dinner – as well as an à la carte bar menu across all floors.
Upstairs, the décor is bold and adventurous, offering ample room for up
to 60 people whilst two-time world class finalist James Bowker has developed a revolutionary cocktail menu inspired by colour and flavour.

ALUNA’S new food menu is on fire after some magic touches by London
consultancy Kinkou. The team are also renowned for creating visual statements with their dishes, using unusual ingredients and ornaments to create real impact – the perfect partner for Aluna’s highly stylised cocktails.

The new menu features small plates, sharing dishes, bigger plates and salads with signature dishes such as Pan Roasted Scallops with Wasabi Aioli, Crushed Pea and Purple Shiso, Tempura Fish and Sweet Potato Chips and Soft Shell Crab Burger and Fries.

Aluna’s loyal clientele had fallen in love with the venue for its sumptuously styled interiors full of plush velvets in hues of orange, its glowing copper surfaces, show stopping lighting and decadent wall art.
Now that it has garnered an enviable reputation for its great cocktail list the time was right to raise their game with their food offering too.


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