Have you ever heard of Annexe? I hadn't up until recently, but it seems that this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant has a great reputation in Birmingham. Opened five years ago, the restaurant is pretty sophisticated, with a French feel in the evenings thanks to its intimate atmosphere and traditional wooden decor.
I was invited along to the new menu launch a few weeks ago and was able to try a number of dishes created by new chef, Daniel Andrade.
Walking into the intimate space, we were welcome with champagne and the sultry sounds of live jazz. With bread and olives to snack on, we perched by the wine table before mingling with the crowds and saying hi to the assembled Birmingham bloggers.
Soon, the samples started to arrive in tiny, carefully arranged plates.
We had been invited to sample dishes from the new menu's, and there is both a three course and five course option priced at £39 and £59 respectively. These have been carefully wine-matched and come in at between £19 and £49 depending on the number of courses ordered and how big a glass you'd like (such a good idea!).
There's also a huge amount of choice, on these menu's, with between four and six choices per course. This being said, I'd definitely recommend researching the menu before you visit.
Chicken and Black Truffle
Some of my highlights from the menu include the sea bass chowder, artichoke, fava and Jersey Royals, rabbit rillette, cherry and pistachio texture, lobster corn bavarois corn bisque and dill and scallop ceviche, watermelon, yuzu, chervil and mint.
I was also especially taken with the beetroot slaw, goat's curd fritter and marcona almonds.
Although I couldn't taste everything as not every dish was gluten free, the dishes I did try were full of interesting combinations, unexpected pairings and delicate flavours. Some of the more unusual flavours included mozzarella ice cream and strawberry gazpacho, dishes that you probably wouldn't expect to see in a restaurant that isn't Michelin-starred or AA Rosette rated.
The wine matches were also good, offering plenty of classic favourites and new matches.
Mozzarella Ice Cream
I'd love to come back here for a proper trial of the food. There are very few places to try a five course tasting menu for less than £60, and based on the samples I tried I'd be excited to go back and try out the dishes properly.
Have any of you been to Annexe?