Saturday 4 April 2015

Food Review: Gas Street Social, Mailbox Birmingham

The launch of Gas Street Social has been eagerly anticipated by Birmingham ladies and gentleman for many a month. One of the new names to join The Mailbox is Gas Street Social, a social eating ad drinking house with a real focus on social.

Raspberry & Rhubarb Cocktail

With a number of openings taking place, I was invited along to the press dinner along with a number of familiar faces to the Birmingham food scene.

The evening was an opportunity to try the food and drink on offer, explore the venue and also meet managing director, Adam Freeth.


Starting off at the bar, where many a good meal begins, I took it easy with a Raspberry & Rhubarb, a temperance cocktail before making my way over to the gorgeous long, wooden table.

A sidenote here on the interior design; it's all very industrial chic. Inspired by the city's industrial heritage, think rose gold metals, exposed wood, long tables for easy sharing and snug booths for intimate meals. Along with sharing platters, hence the social element of the venue, there are also sharing drinks on offer.

Charcuterie Board

I digress. To whet our appetites we started off with mixed olives the size of walnuts and beautiful charcuterie sharing boards of wild boar, truffled salami, lomo and chorizo sourced from The Forest Pig, served alongside bread from local bakery Peel & Stone and two chutneys (apple and onion). Coupled with a Negrogie cocktail, their take on the classic Negroni, the our tastebuds were truly beggining to tingle.

We managed to squeeze in a glass of Albarino next, with a delicate poached pear flavour and hints of vanilla and cinnamon.

Seared Scallops

Onto starters, I opted for Seared Scallops ahead of the other options of Beetroot Tart, Slow Cooked Ox Cheek, Wood Smoked Loch Duart Salmon Skewers, Crispy Chicken Vol au Vents and Crispy Arancini Balls.

Duck Breast

The scallops were full of flavour, crisped on the top and bottom and rich and buttery. In a classic garlic and lemon sauce and topped off with salty capers, this was a nice little dish.

Rib Eye Steak

Next came the Rib Eye Steak, which I chose instead of the Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Duck Breast, Seabass Fillet and Mushroom Gnocchi. A hefty 10oz portion served with a choice of sauces (herb butter for me), this was very tender. The sides here deserve a very special mention. We shared the triple cooked chips which were good sized, extremely crispy and by far the best I've ever eaten as well as root veg and creamed kale which was divine! Please do try the sides because trust me, they are delicious.

Slow Cooked Pork Belly

Finally, we rounded off the meal with dessert, which for me was Poached Pear to cater to my gluten free diet. This was an absolute delight, perfectly cooked, not too hard and not boiled away to oblivion either with some fantastic cinammon and vanilla flavours. I would heartily recommend this dessert, and it's fruit too which means it's allowed. For my fellow diners, the Pistachio Creme Brulee went down very well.

Poached Pear

Popping Berry Parfait

Pistachio Creme Brulee

This was all rounded off beautifully with an Old Fashioned, just to ensure we'd been given a taste of the fabulous drinks available too, served from a casket at the table. How very social.

The menu is a great combination of small plates for one or for sharing, as well as larger plates just for you. I have a feeling the sharing plates are going to be a huge hit, and the charcuterie board in particular is just a world away from wasabi peanuts.

The guys behind Gas Street Social are encouraging visitors to share their moments on Twitter and Instagram using #iamsocial and it's already becoming quite a well used hashtag in our fair city. At the next available opportunity I will be back to carry on what I've started and work my way around the cocktail menu and try out the Cheese Baord, Fish Board and Seabass.

Thank you for having us Gas Street Social - we will be back! You can take a look at the menu here and the website can be found here.

*With thanks to Adam, Vicky and Natalie for inviting me to the meal.

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