“The best local restaurant I've been to”, declares a fan of this admirable neighbourhood eatery in a row of shops close to the centre of Moseley. Brummie chef Brad Carter brought it all back home when he pitched camp here, and with partner Holly Jackson running front of house, the place is an amiable set-up noted for its mix of classy informality and award-winning British food of the best sort.
“Simple, yet refined” sums up the restaurant’s approach, and that goes for the setting as well as the food. With just the one dining room, Carter’s is cosy without being cramped and comfortable without being flashy. Other than the wine wall – filled with an exciting and diverse range of mostly organic or biodynamic bottles – and a couple of works of art, the space is decidedly distraction-free, allowing diners to focus on the chefs, visible through an open hatch, hard at work.
Carter believes quality food needn't be pretentious or complicated, so he’s taken the menus back to basics. There’s a choice of four or six courses for lunch and four, six or eight for dinner, with drinks pairing available on selected days. Menus are created by following the natural rhythms of the season so change almost daily, but examples of clear-flavoured dishes you might encounter include Orkney scallop salad with Exmoor caviar or Cornish turbot with crayfish sauce.
Spanking fresh ingredients are the key, whether it’s a snack of chicken liver cereal, a serving of lamb sweetbreads with laverbread and mutton bacon or a dessert involving sea buckthorn and wood ants. Vegetarians have their own menus, meals are interspersed with lots of trendy extras, and the food is supported by a fascinating choice of global wines and beers. These, too, change with the British seasons to mirror the shift in produce, so don't worry if you're unsure about what to choose – the super-friendly staff will happily guide you through.