Birmingham is a changing city. Food options for vegetarians in restaurants, cafe’s and street vendors is improving, becoming more challenging and more aware that the vegetarian diner expects more than they used to in terms of style, presentation and choice on the menu.
Bistro 1847, named after the year the Vegetarian Society was founded is a contemporary and stylish little place which is quite Scandinavian in its minimalist clean white decor and style. Bistro 1847 is located in the beautifully Victorian Great Western Arcade near Snow Hill Station and department store House of Fraser, an arcade of independent shops and the superb Loki wine shop and tasting rooms.
Bistro 1847 sits comfortably amongst the cities business district where fine food and business meet. Originally opened in Manchester and Chorlton in the north.
Bistro 1847 is a beacon of light to homemade and British seasonal food. The restaurant is cosy and intimate with seating upstairs and downstairs, with a soft jazz beat to swing you through some stunningly good value food where dishes are about the craft, flavours and textures without the meat. There are real menu treats are on offer, with real experimentation and innovative execution. Bistro 1847 has a good bar too, serving cocktails, wines and draft beers.
So onto the menu and what myself and my wife Ruth ate. We had food from the evening menu of which is from Monday to Thursday as so, main £14, 2 course £17, 3 course £20 which includes a small glass of house wine.
As there is such a good choice I was unsure so I asked our waiter John who advised me to try a dish called
The Most Fun you can have with cheese’ which was stunning. A salted caramel vintage cheddar brûlée, with apricot relish and dippy soldiers. It carried a beautifully cheesy flavour, which the more you are the more caramel came through. A real delight of innovation and flavours.
Ruth chose a dish called Sweet Potato, which describes as sweet potato beignet, fennel and pineapple chutney and dark chocolate mole. She said it had a beautiful rich flavour with harmonious ingredients with the dark chocolate being so rich it was very indulgent without being heavy. A great choice.
For my main course I was advised once more to have
the Hen’s Egg. A Panko soft boiled hens egg, whiskey beurre blanc, curly kale, crisp potato, shallots, bourbon smoke. I can only describe it as a visual and taste sensation.
It was brought to the table under a glass cloche, which when at the table was lifted to reveal swirling smoke that was pure theatre, underneath a ‘Hens egg’ was revealed. I can only say that it is a superb dish, crispy smoked potato, surrounding a soft runny egg which has a crisp thin Panko crumbed batter around it. The flavours of the yolk and the whiskey beurre blanc were beautiful, a dish that was perfectly executed and a joy to discover. Superb.
Ruth ordered a very intriguing dish. It was called
‘The Great British fish and chip shop’ she said it was lovely and very moreish.
You can choose either beer battered haloumi or smoked tofu to go with chips with rosemary and seaweed sea salt, smoked paprika lemon curd, mushy pea mayonnaise, sailors ruin port ketchup, vodka pickled baby tomatoes, sea vegetables. She described it as tasting a lot like fish and chips. The tofu was encased, light and had a subtle smoky flavour that complimented the bite of the salt and vinegar and was an excellent dish of originality.
For pudding I chose a superb lemon posset dish that was very indulgent and had the mystery that with every mouth full more flavours were revealed. A lovely pudding.
We also enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and two stunning cocktails. They are to be recommended.
Throughout our meal the service was attentive, friendly and showed an enthusiasm for the dishes and the skill in designing them. The recommendations and advice was perfect in this friendly restaurant.
Bistro 1847 is joy. Their food displays skill and technique and a passion to develop vegetarian food that exalts to another level closer to fine dining. It is sophisticated and chef Alex displays a keen eye for artistic flair.
Good pricing and a commitment to innovate ideas are a major plus at Bistro 1847 with plans to develop new menus and food options in the pipeline.
Bistro 1847 is where textures and flavours take vegetarian food to a new level in Birmingham and with good value prices vegetarians and non vegetarians can’t go wrong.
Do go visit you won’t be disappointed.
26 Great Western Arcade
0121 236 2313
Before dining at Bistro 1847 we had a lovely glass of Prosecco at Loki Wine also in the Great Western Arcade. I well recommend a glass of wine at Loki before your meal. A great combo.
We paid for our own meal and my opinions are my own and unbiased,