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Having been awarded six Michelin stars in the 2020 guide, Birmingham now has more stars than any other UK city outside of London. It's also the UK's capital of Indian cuisine and the location of a burgeoning street food scene, meaning attendees of kbb Birmingham have a whole host of eateries to choose from during their time in the city. With everything from innovative fine dining to indulgent comfort food, we round up the best restaurants in Birmingham.
Best fine dining restaurants in Birmingham
Promising 'not to baffle, but to excite and enthuse' diners, Adam Stokes puts the spotlight on quality British ingredients at his eponymous one-Michelin-starred restaurant, Adam's. Seemingly simple when written on the menu, the dishes take familiar flavours and carefully considered ingredients and transform them into experimental culinary creations through the use of contemporary cooking techniques. The elegant dining room is ideal for evening entertaining and private dining is available as well as an intimate chef's table that looks directly onto the kitchen.
Carters of Moseley
Having held onto its Michelin star for the past four years, Carters of Moseley is a headline act on Birmingham's dining scene. With the mantra 'simple, affordable and fun', the restaurant takes the pretention out of fine dining. The tasting menus are designed to impress but also fill with hearty dishes inspired by traditional British cuisine. Produce such as Orkney scallops, Highland pheasant and Cornish hogget are likely to appear on the tasting menu, but vegetarians are well-catered to with plant-based dishes available upon request.
The Oyster Club
The second Birmingham restaurant from Michelin-starred-chef Adam Stokes, The Oyster Club serves platters of oysters that have been sourced from all over the UK with the choice to have them plain or dressed with Japanese dressing, bloody Mary or tempura. Diners can also choose from refined seafood dishes such as smoked haddock Scotch egg, Wild Harbour mussels and seared tuna sashimi as well as caviar and crème Fraiche blinis. Marble-topped tables, a pastel and gold colour palette, and a sweeping bar lined with leather barstools create the upscale, glamorous interiors.
Revered chef Glyn Purnell helped put Birmingham on Britain's culinary map with Purnell's – one of the city's longest-standing fine-dining restaurants. Having opened back in 2007, it is still one of the leading restaurants in the city and has successfully held onto its Michelin star for more than a decade. Against a playful backdrop of bold colours and mismatched patterns, Purnell's presents a menu of British dishes featuring French and Asian influences.
Another firm favourite on the city's culinary line-up, Simpsons has retained its Michelin star for the past twenty years. Set within a Grade II-listed townhouse that underwent a major renovation back in 2016 – including the addition of a bright and airy extension – the restaurant now beautifully juxtaposes historic architecture against Scandi inspired interiors. The food, however, is the real showstopper with inventive British plates and mouth-watering desserts. There's also a cooking school on site as well as a chef's table that can seat between eight and ten diners.
Best Indian restaurants in Birmingham
The former workplace of Opheem chef Aktar Islam, Lasan is one of Birmingham's stand-out Indian restaurants. The venue has made a name for itself by putting a fine-dining twist on Indian cuisine with chilli battered soft shell crab, guinea fowl korma and slow-braised lamb samosa all featuring on the menu. The puddings are also not to be missed with British classics such as Eaton Mess, chocolate fondant and sticky toffee pudding being given a flavoursome Indian twist.
The recipient of Birmingham's newest Michelin star, Opheem crosses the boundary between fine dining establishment and vibrant Indian restaurant. With a focus on 'progressive Indian cooking', owner and chef Aktar Islam blends culinary traditions with modern cooking techniques to serve a menu of flavour-packed dishes from all across India. The team grind their own spices and pickle and ferment many ingredients to elevate creative plates to new heights.
A colourful Indian café, Zindiya serves authentic street food likely to be found on the streets of Delhi or in the markets of Mumbai. The tapas-style menu is designed for sharing with an exciting array of small plates on offer, and there's an entirely vegan menu for plant-based diners. Cocktails, meanwhile, take drinkers on a flavour journey around India with a number of fragrant creations.
Having been awarded The Plate in the 2020 Michelin guide, Asha's has been recognised for its authentic regional cuisine and signature street food. With everything from lamb saffron biryani to tender muscat gosht, the restaurant promises to offer a broad spectrum of contemporary Indian cuisine, and diners can sample a wide variety of what's on offer thanks to the sumptuous President's Platter.
Best British Restaurants in Birmingham
Offering a refined yet relaxed dining experience, Folium sees Yorkshire-born chef Ben Tesh put an imaginative spin on seasonal ingredients to present dishes that are simple to the eye but rich in flavour. The stylish mid-century modern interiors are handsome yet minimalist, ensuring all attention is on the food, while daily changing tasting menus allow diners to sample a broad range of Tesh's experimental creations.
With moody interiors and upbeat music, The Wilderness sees chef Alex Claridge put a rock and roll twist on fine dining with the promise of a relaxed, unstuffy experience. British dishes are given a refined, playful and exotic twist with a wagyu tartare 'Big Mac', a Cornish mackerel taco, and milk and cookies some example plates while the open kitchen adds another theatrical element to the occasion.
Serving ambitious six and eight-course tastings menus (or 'chosen' menus as the restaurant calls them), Harborne Kitchen delivers bold, punchy flavours through experimental dishes such as chicken liver parfait with white chocolate and smoked eel doughnut with cauliflower velouté. Vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians are all catered to with carefully adapted menus and wine pairing is also available. Adding a theatrical twist to the evening, diners can see the chefs in action thanks to an open kitchen.
Best hotel restaurants in Birmingham
The Michelin-starred Peel's Restaurant is the headline act of Hampton Manor – a charming restaurant with rooms set within a pretty Thomas Mawson-designed garden. In the acclaimed restaurant, chef Rob Palmer dishes up experimental yet classic dishes in a sophisticated and convivial setting. The Maker’s Table hosts gin, sparkling wine and whisky tasting sessions while the Tasting Room offers private dining and a view of the kitchen for groups of four to eight.
The High Field
The High Field is the sister pub to The High Field Town House hotel, which can be found right next door to the pub. Part of the independent Peach Pub Company, the high-end gastropub serves classic British dishes and a good selection of real ales in preened Art Deco surroundings. For sunnier days, there's a large garden and terrace for al fresco dining, and if you're a fan of cocktails, be sure to head across the road to The Edgebaston for an after-dinner nightcap.
Set within the old boiler room of The Grand Hotel on Colmore Row, Tattu is a new fine-dining Chinese restaurant. Having been closed since 2002, the historic hotel is set to re-open this year following a major restoration and Tattu is one of the first aspects to be revealed. Split across two floors, the spectacular setting boasts eye-catching interiors with traditional Chinese lattice, marble floors and moody tones while the refined menu showcases contemporary Chinese cuisine. A number of signature sharing menus for large parties are available.
Best comfort food in Birmingham
Original Patty Men
Counting Drake as one of its fans, Original Patty Men serves arguably the best burgers in town. Self-branded as 'purveyors of filth', the restaurant presents a menu of mouth-watering, overloaded burgers with chicken, beef and vegetarian varieties while indulgent sides include spicy Korean wings, deep-fried chicken thigh nuggets and triple-cooked spiced fries.
Fried chicken takes centre stage at trendy eatery Bonehead, where diners can tuck into succulent and crispy burgers topped with garlic mayo, gherkins and slaw. Four different types of wings, two types of strips and loaded waffle fries are also on the menu alongside a curated selection of craft beer. Open since 2018, the restaurant is a relatively new addition to Birmingham's dining scene but has built a strong fanbase since launching.
Baked in Brick
Following the success of his street food stalls, Lee Desanges – the winner of Best Street Food Trader at the British and European Street Food Awards – has now opened Baked in Brick, his first bricks and mortar restaurant. Pizza is the restaurant's speciality with thirteen varieties to choose from while small plates and street food include wasabi garlic bread, truffle mac 'n' cheese and harissa lamb shawarma. On Thursdays, there's two for one on all pizzas and selected drinks.
Tiger Bites Pig
Offering a contemporary take on Chinese cooking, Tiger Bites Pig puts bao buns and rice bowls on the menu. Diners can choose to fill their buns with char siu pork, smoked duck breast, braised beef shin or salt and pepper tofu while rice bowls come topped with white cut chicken, king oyster mushrooms and braised pork belly. Wash it down with sake or Japanese beer.