Monday 10 December 2018

Food Review: Aluna Birmingham New Menu

Whilst there's plenty of choices when it comes to eating and drinking in The Mailbox, Aluna is one of my favourites for the inventive cocktails, great service and smart but chilled vibe.

Many of you will know Aluna as a cocktail bar, and whilst they've always offered food, they've upped their game big time with the arrival of the new food menu.

Designed by London consultancy Kinkou, the new menu features Asian fusion dishes inspired by the teams travels and training in London, New York and Shanghai. 

Tempted to try more? I was treated to a first look at the new menu.

Arriving at the Canalside bar and restaurant, I headed straight to the bar and ordered a Flaming Ginberries (Beefeater, Hayman's Sloe, Blueberry, Cranberry and Lime) cocktail to get things started. Aluna is well known for it's expansive cocktail menu, so picking a drink is harder than you think.

I was then seated in a booth style table with a host of Birmingham's finest media stars. The staff came straight over to explain the menu, the difference between the small plates and large plates and how many to order of each. In the end, we decided to share many of the plates within smaller groups so we could all see and taste the new menu.

The new menu is split into appetisers; plates to share, small dishes, salads and sides meaning you have the option to either share or order individually.

Some of the plates to share we ordered were the Red Scallop Curry, Mitsuba Fillet Steak and Wasabi Lamb Chops.

We also ordered some small dishes including the Chilli Salt Squid, Pan Roasted Scallops, Spicy Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawn Cookies (not GF).

Sides included Skinny Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Steamed Seasonal Vegetables (I ordered these in the interests of being healthy!)

The staff were really helpful when it came to checking what was gluten free, and although the menu is not marked, our server checked with the chef what I could and couldn't eat. Please bear in mind that I can eat soy sauce though!

My favourite dish from the above has got to be the Red Scallop Curry. Rich, creamy and full of balanced flavours including sweet and sour, this was an absolute showstopper. Everyone who tried it agreed it was delicious, so definitely try this if you do come in.

Next, the Mitsuba Fillet Steak and Wasabi Lamb Chops. Great quality meat, a little spicy seasoning and great cooking just the way I like it (pink please).

I also tried the Pan Roasted Scallops, which were perfectly translucent, plump and chargrilled to bring out the flavour, and Chilli Salt Squid, which had quite a kick.

Onto the desserts, the rest of the table ordered the Praline Mi-Cut and Lemon Ginger Cheesecake. The Praline looked incredible, with an oozing rich chocolatey nutty centre.

I ordered a French Martini for dessert, as you do.

Overall, I was really impressed with the new menu. I haven't eaten at Aluna before so although I can't compare, the new menu is exactly right for the venue. As stylish as their signature cocktails, these dishes are picture perfect, light enough or filling enough to be eaten with or without a drink and more importantly full of flavour.

I would happily come back to eat here and order a few meat and fish dishes, although I'd probably admit defeat on the vegetables next time!

Aluna has seriously upped its game on the food front, offering not just tempting cocktails, but food that wouldn't be out of place in the trendiest of London bars.

*With thanks to Aluna for the complimentary meal