“An experience worth paying for” writes a fan of Michelin-starred chef Adam Stokes’ eponymous restaurant. Occupying a one-time sandwich shop in Birmingham’s commercial district, this sophisticated gaff’s faux marble, globe lights, mirrors and a cathedral-like trompe l’oeil centrepiece all help to create a dramatic backdrop for the chef’s formidable culinary talents.
Stokes’ aim is simple: to excite guests with his meticulous preparation and cooking of high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Recognising that fine dining can be baffling for many, he and his partner/co-owner have worked hard to create an approachable environment where superb food takes centre stage.
On offer is a choice of two menus – a three-course set menu and a six-course tasting menu – both of which are defined by concise dish descriptions that are pleasantly poetic. Opening salvos might include a punchy combo of Anjou pigeon with cumin, carrot, dukkah and date, or Cornish crab with apple, dashi and radish, while mains might conjure Lavinton lamb served with Jerusalem artichoke and black garlic, or Goosnargh duck with plum and choy sum. Dishes definitely favour meat and fish, but special dietary menus, such as vegetarian, are available with prior notice.
Seasonally-inclined desserts round-off each menu nicely and could feature the likes of white peach soufflé with tahitian vanilla and lemon thyme or a decadent valrhona 64% manjari with teriyaki caramel, peanut and mascarpone. The set lunch is “a good option for client meetings” and a clever way to experience Adam’s for a third less than the evening set menu price, though wine drinkers will find it’s easy to up the total bill considerably. By-the-glass, bottle and flight options are all there, but whether you choose to be frugal or extravagant, this head-turning Brummie challenger is bang on the money for a city with an ever-rising foodie profile.