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Simpsons Birmingham ~ Man does not live by bread alone

Luke Tipping & Andreas, Simpsons, Birmingham

Luke Tipping & Andreas, Simpsons, Birmingham

Man does not live by bread alone (Deuteronomy 8: 2-3)

An old friend of mine, a former Egon Ronay Chief Inspector, once explained that one sure-fire way of evaluating a really good restaurant was by the quality and variety of their homemade breads. There is no doubt that Simpsons more than satisfies this criteria not only because of the excellence of their breads, but because my colleague – who is a celiac – was immediately offered and brought some suitable bread.

However we had not gone along to Andreas Antons’a smart Edgbaston restaurant to eat bread but to enjoy the delights that come from the stove where chef Luke Tipping is in charge.

A glass of Ruinart Brut and one of their Rosé for my colleague, fortified us while we looked at the menus.  Nothing daunting, just a choice of two well-constructed three course menus for a most modest £30 including a half bottle of their house white or red. And if that isn’t outstanding value in an elegant Michelin starred establishment, then I don’t know what is! In fact so good is the food, so polished the service, that I would not be the least surprised if Simpsons was not on its way to receive a second Star.

We chose to have one menu each.  They were:

Menu One

Pumpkin risotto scallops ginger & spring onion
Duo of Cornish lamb roasted salsify, braised lettuce, creamed wild mushrooms
Grapefruit jelly, apple sorbet, praline tagliatelle, warm praline milk

Menu Two
Terrine of Cotswold White chicken & ham hock, Mustard lentils, leek & parsley, toasted country bread
Fillet of plaice, pine nut crust, Swiss chard, lemon and vanilla purée
Coconut mousse. Nyangbo chocolate cream & pineapple

The amuse bouche was a feather light offering of deep fried chicken on leaves dressed in a mild mayonnaise with a tiny slice of gherkin to give it a kick.  Just the things to get the taste buds working

As well-seasoned ‘foodies’ we used our raving forks to excellent effect, enjoying ourselves enormously.  Glasses of a pleasing Chardonnay Marsanne blend form the d’Oc certainly added to our pleasure.  But then, as those who know me well will tell you, I am never satisfied with what’s on offer and ordered a half bottle of Aimé Guibert’s delightful 2007 Mas de Daumas Gassac that I have seen described as the La Tour of the d’Oc,  It certainly didn’t disappoint enhancing enormously the sweet flavours of the lamb.  An example of the true joys of wine and food.

A word about the pre-dessert. an apple foam topping a multi-coloured tower that combined delicate fruit flavours with a crunchy nut finish.   The coffee was among the very best I have encountered, hot, pungent and almost spicy.  My colleague’s mint tea was presented in a little ceremony that would delight the Chinese.  First the hot water from the tea pot was used to warm the cup, then the pot was emptied, into a reservoir set into the wood base on which it was served.  Then the brewed tea was poured out of its preparation pot into the serving pot and so into the cup.    Oh and a word about the petit fours, don’t neglect the green one … it is a green olive cream between two green macaroons!

It is not surprising that as well as business leaders entertaining clients and those fortunate enough to be celebrating whatever anniversary they choose, you will find regulars who go back time and again just to experience the food, the setting and the service.  I know I do.

View the full Simpsons Menu Selection HERE

© Philippe Boucheron 2009 for Eat the Midlands

Contact Simpsons (Mention Eat-the-midlands.co.uk)

Simpsons Restaurant, 20 Highfield Road, Edgbaston B15 3DU.
Tel: 0121 454 3434 | Fax: 0121 454 3399 | Email: info@simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk


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