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Memorable eats

Purnells Restaurant Birmingham Fine Dining

Here I will be talking about Birmingham’s most well renowned fine dining restaurant and holder of single Michelin Star, Purnells. Owned by the infamous Glynn Purnell. Seen regularly on television making fame from programmes such as the extremely popular ‘Great British Menu’.

Glynn Purnell had his first taste for cooking at 14 when he secured a work experience placement in a hotel. After leaving school he gained experience anywhere he could, from banqueting to the a la carte Terrace Restaurant. It was from these experiences that he realised his passion lay with fine dining.

He started experimenting with new flavours/combinations of food that he fed to his siblings and ended up as the award winning talented chef he is today. He has worked in many restaurants, won countless personal awards and also appeared on TV, but his ultimate dream was to win Birmingham’s first Michelin Star. He achieved this in 2005, this guy is unstoppable!

For my Make A Wish day I wanted to do something memorable and special, so for me it was between Raymond Blanc’s ‘Le Manoir’ and Purnells. I came to a conclusion shortly it had to be Purnells.

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From the moment I stepped through the door the staff were attentive, polite and welcoming. They were on hand to help with anything and they immediately made me feel at ease and comfortable. Within seconds I was holding a cocktail recommended by the waiter and just as I was about to take my first sip I was suddenly aware of a presence at the table. It was only Glynn Purnell himself! I was so overwhelmed to meet one of my favourite inspiring chefs, and I soon realised that all the rumours are true that he really is the most genuine, funny down to earth guy. We chatted easily about our tattoos, food and the menu and decided i would try a few dishes from both menus, a couple of which were made famous on tv programme ‘The Great British Menu’.

It was an absolute honour to meet him and something my family and I will never forget. The evening was off to a great start and was only set to get better with the arrival of what was set to be mind blowing food, and an attack on the senses.

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I won’t be giving the whole of the experience away but I will provide just a few of many pictures taken to give you an idea of the sheer brilliance and highlight my four particular favourites from the evening.

One of my favourite excellent starter courses for me was the: Woodland mushroom hollandaise – egg yolk – crispy potato – black truffle

I am a big fan of anything truffled and this dish was subtly flavoured with winter truffle and earthy mushroom. It was magnificent.

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My next favourite course was a take on surf and turf with a difference: Carpaccio of beef – red wine octopus – home cured beef – salt beef – sour cream – sweet and sour onions.

Every single taste and texture worked in perfect harmony to create a beautiful balance of flavours.

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Thirdly a succulent pork dish: Fillet of pork with black pudding – celeriac – cabbage cooked in apple juice – pork nuggets

Very meaty and enjoyable crunchy nuggets of pork with soft pieces of fillet and sweet apple sweetened cabbage. Depth and richness came from a very high quality of black pudding, a Slightly more familiar layout deconstructed.

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Last but not least Venison lovers beware this dish was an excellent example of bringing out the deep rich flavour of a piece of extremely high quality meat: Balmoral venison – winter green purée – leeks and lettuce – liquorice

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I lost count of all the courses but every single dish was nothing short of awesome. I recommend the restaurant to anyone looking for a truly memorable dining experience right here in Birmingham.

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Visit www.purnellsrestaurant.com for a brief look at the menus and book your experience, its a must.

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A big shout out to the staff at the restaurant, it was exactly what you’d expect in a fine dining restaurant, the wine flight between courses was enjoyed thoroughly by the females, the wine expert was highly knowledgable and naturally good at what he was doing. They are the best of the best we all felt well looked after they were so attentive and were never short of bread and butter, oh and the bread and butter words cannot describe how light soft and fluffy. If there’s one thing I regret it’s not stuffing my pockets with that bread for my scrambled eggs the following morning.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Glynn himself for a truly magnificent evening the small touches made it unforgettable for me and my family. I 100% stand by my decision to use my make a wish foundation grant to visit the restaurant and aim to make it to the Bistro in the near future if i can build up some strength. Thanks Chief!

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To wrap up my short review i would say Purnells Restaurant is a must visit for anyone looking for immense fun, experimentation and damn good food. Right from the get go the experience is unforgettable and great memories are waiting to be shared with whoever you carefully decide to bring along for the sheer roller coaster ride of gastronomy and pure genius.

I cannot wait to book the bistro when ive built my strength back up. I know for a fact after this establishment it couldnt possibly let me down.

So what are you waiting for? Book your experience right now.

Bon Apetit!

 

 

 

 

Forty Dean Street

Spending the weekend in London not knowing where to eat is a pain, a thousand interesting looking eateries and two days to eat at as many as possible.

The first night in Soho it was late for food, me and my fiancée debated going out for food but as I didn’t want to miss a single opportunity we moved on it. We scouted Soho for a casual joint we had heard of called “Burger Lobster”. Lobsters, burgers and chips but fairly good reputation and reasonable prices. We found the place and the line was out the door around the corner all the way to gatwick, it was ridiculous we weren’t waiting outside so we slowly walked away and only a couple doors down noticed a quaint little restaurant looking lively by the name of “Forty Dean Street”.

The name instantly rang a bell in my head, I’d read about it and recalled nothing but good unpretentious criticism. No more searching no more waiting our appetites couldn’t cope, we had found restaurant number one.

We were seated immediately and the place was very very cool playing funky jazz music serving authentic italian dishes, the menus were obviously changed everyday as they were hand written on pieces of paper at the table. The place was brilliant an absolute diamond in the dirt.

Perfect Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham starters soft pale fresh veal on a bed of the best garlic mash i could ever imagine and salmon and squid ink tagliatelle mains this truly was a great meal. I beg anyone staying in the soho area give this a go, find dean street then number forty. Thank me later.

www.fortydeanstreet.com

 

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Rick Stein’s SeaFood Restaurant

An extremely special and memorable restaurant we visited was located in Padstow, Cornwall.

The entire trip was focused on this particular meal as I am such a fan of the owner, tv chef Rick Stein who’s speciality is the wonderful delight of seafood.

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The meal was nothing short of incredible, I chose a whole Dover soul, the Rolls Royce of the sea, it was filleted at the table for me, served with a simple parsley butter, padrone peppers and baby new potatoes. The fish was cooked to absolute perfection, it fell apart as it entered my mouth and can honestly say the best fish dish i have ever sampled. It took balls not to order the obvious Lobster or the magnificent Fruits de mer, fruits of the sea to you and me.

I would say to any fan of shellfish and seafood to make this a future must visit, a special occasion never to be forgotten. I was also told by my fiancee who’s a massive fan of fish and chips that it was the best cod and chips that had ever touched her lips, cooked the old fashioned way when people worked off their dinner with hard graft, cooked in beef dripping, the unbeatable.

Visit www.rickstein.com for an idea of pricing and menus etc. I insist you put this one on your foodie agendas.

 

Whole Dover Sole

Sublime Asian Style Lunch

Beef Ho Fun

Today lunch consisted of essentially an Asian style ‘surf and turf’. Beautifully seasoned a perfectly pink steak sliced thin and rather large prawns hidden underneath a large amount of flat rice noodles with crunchy vegetables in a black bean sauce. The restaurant is www.bamboodle.co.uk a hidden gem in Stratford Upon Avon. Any fan of Asian noodles fusion cooking should give it a go! Wagamamas has nothing on the fresh produce that comes out of this place. Full marks!

To eat in or take out! Bonus.

Paella Perfection

Paella Perfection

A long day of sightseeing travelling around the city of Barcelona and starvation kicks in.

The next restaurant when we come out of this side street is being attacked we decide. We came out and there was a long row of restaurants all looking very similar and generic al fresco style two or three people sitting outside each nothing stood out in particular so we chose the closest.

I attempted to make the waiter sell me the place he basically told me to wait and see. We ordered a couple of two person mixed paella and waited patiently for 45 minutes, my mind set on it being a letdown.

The paella arrived at the table and we tucked in and with a squeeze of lemon it was the most flavourful dish i have ever experienced on my numerous Spanish visits. An explosion of fresh flavours came bursting out positioned opposite the harbour the shellfish tasted as though it was caught at 3pm and served at 4. A very memorable time for me that keeps Barcelona fresh in my memory to this very day.

Unfortunately i didn’t take the time to recognise the name of the eatery but if i were ever in Barcelona again which one day i pray i will make it back, it’s the first place I’m headed.

 

Paella itself elf is a great easy dish for feeding groups and entertaining. Anyone can throw together some rice stock meat shellfish but i think the key to an incredible paella is all in the fish stock. Great care should go into the stock using various shellfish shells, fish heads and generally the things that get thrown away as it’s where all the beautiful flavours hide away waiting to be uncovered. Don’t forget your fresh well sourced produce and you’ve given yourself a head start to a brilliant dish in the flavour department.