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Run by “the nicest and most unassuming people”, this stylishly sophisticated restaurant is the latest offering from Michelin-starred chef Adam Stokes, who made his name at Glenapp Castle in Scotland before defecting across the border to open a standalone gaff in bullishly food-conscious Birmingham. What was a sandwich shop in the city’s commercial district has been tricked out with faux marble, globe lights, mirrors and a cathedral-like trompe l’oeil centrepiece to create a dramatic backdrop for Stokes’ formidable culinary talents. On offer is a choice of “incredibly good” tasting menus defined by clever, playful conceits and terse dish descriptions – from ‘scallops, pea shoots, mint, red mustard’ to ‘fallow venison, beetroot, cocoa, radish’ or ‘beef, turnip, carrot, shiitake’. Opening salvos might include a refreshing combo of salmon tartare, oyster and cucumber, while desserts could feature raspberries in company with violet, milk and almonds. Lunch is a more straightforward prospect, but whatever you choose, this head-turning Brummie challenger “never fails”.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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