Refresh the Senses with Elegance at Simpsons in Birmingham

Stepping through the doors of Simpsons Restaurant only a stone’s throw away from the vivacious center of Birmingham you may mistakenly think you have walked through someone’s front door, that is until you spot the elegant welcome desk complete with brass bell. A brisk young waiter with the most astonishingly extravagant facial hair welcomes us warmly and leads us through into an intimate conservatory dining area with a window directly into the kitchen.  The décor is a mirage of white linen, glittering glass and slate black colors that in other eateries would appear a tad pretentious but set against the backdrop of the Grade II listed building suddenly seems graceful and effortless.

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Simpsons has clung onto their highly coveted Michelin star for over a decade and as the plates begin to whisk out of the kitchen it isn’t hard to see why. The potato foam and green wasabi amuse bouche arrives with a selection of delectable handmade breads, with the tapenade swirl falling to buttery pieces of delight upon the tongue. At this point we glance across the table over our globes of finely tuned wines and know that we are in for something special. The chicken and duck liver parfait arrive next with a sweet brioche for smothering and the quail with cracked wheat and pomegranate dripping tenderly from the bone.

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The affable waiter slips a plate of red mullet sleeping upon a bed of leeks onto our table, a stunning surprise as we had skipped this tempting dish to go straight for the mains. The delicate sea flavors blend beautifully with the wintery garden greens bringing a sense of freshness and health to the palate. Yet until I cut into the first slither of venison served as the main, I had truly never tasted sheer delight. Sweet morsels of venison fillet blushing pink literally melted on the tongue, flowing with gentle flavors especially when paired with the salt baked celeriac and slightly picked walnut puree.

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To refresh the senses something incredibly special arrived from the kitchen, a blood orange panacotta that burst with the brightest ruby juices to completely cleanse the palate. To finish the rum soaked baba with a wisp of coconut sorbet both drowns and dances on the tongue. The tidy wine list is hand selected with style and boasts only a handful of reds and whites. The bold Spanish Pedro Ximenez, Bodegas Hidalgo is as daring as can be whereas the bright notes of the Sauternes “Selection”, Rousset-Peyraguey conjures up sun dappled afternoons in the rolling hills of Bordeaux.

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Simpsons offers exquisite dining with a touch of true elegance and personal appeal. During the dinner the manager was often to be seen swinging by each and every table, indulging in hearty conversation and ensuring the balance on intimacy didn’t tip over the edge. The soft murmured soundtrack and the freedom to dine, to explore and to openly converse without fear of constant interruption or waiters hovering over our plate painted the perfect mise en scene for a glorious evening of fine food, delectable wine and upmarket surroundings that didn’t once fall overboard.

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Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes