How refreshing is it to find an independent restaurant and bar in Solihull town centre. Amongst the same again chains and cheap and cheerful Broad Street like drink offers sits the Met Bar & Kitchen.
The Met Bar & Kitchen is located in the centre of Solihull close to Mell Square & Touchwood. It’s an independent all day bar and restaurant that offers something different in Solihull Town Centre to the dominant chains that are nearby.
Inside It has a modern decor with some urban touches, that keeps these thankfully to a minimum and has a cosy and relaxed ambience that has a buzzy touch on the Friday night Ruth and I visited.
With a well stocked bar of local ales, craft beer, cocktails, bubbly and a good and reasonably priced wine list it appeared a good bet for a relaxed but serious drink on a weekend without the loud music and teeny vibe of other venues locally.
I was invited to try out the vegetarian dishes at Metro Bar & Kitchen as They had asked me to have input in their Spring menu for Veggie Month. They have introduced some new dishes to their menu and expanded their daily and weekly specials to encourage more customers to try a non meat and fish option as well as attract more vegetarian customers.
We began in the smart and relaxed bar area with a glass of Prosecco, which is lively but unobtrusive area and we felt was a good place to begin the evening if dining at Met Bar & Kitchen.
Once seated at the table in a smart booth section of the restaurant we ordered a Couple of cocktails: A Negroni and Margarita. I was impressed with my Negroni, it had a good Campari kick with the complimented vermouth and was an aromatic aperitif of good quality, which would have been even better with less added ice.
Ruth’s Margarita tasted fine, but disappointed her as as the rubbed salt around the rim of the glass was omitted, could it be classed as a margarita? The flavours were good the tequila, and triple sec gave it a fresh and crisp zingyness.
Ruth decided she was grazing on meat for the night. Good for her I say as she doesn’t eat it that much at home.
I chose my starters off the specials menu. It’s with the changing specials that the bulk of the vegetarian dishes find themselves.
So take my Roast Apple and Parsnip Soup. A soup that was full of good warming flavours, mellow, but zingy, the biggest compliment I could give it was that it reminded me of my Mums version and was a delectable starter of sweet parsnips and tangy apples, creamy and smooth. Lovely.
Usually when I find a curry on a menu outside of an Indian restaurant I wouldn’t choose it. Partly because we eat a lot of curries at home and Ruth in particular makes many superb Vegetarian curries.
So what attracted me to this one? Well partly because it was a Goan Curry from Goa and not often found on general menus, and partly because it has a coconut spiced masala (gravy) base which gives it a unique flavour. I love coconut in curries or stews.
With its gentle spices it was a very flavoursome curry, a lovely glowing but light colour, gave it an attractive depth. Spicy rather than hot, with a nice chilli hit, the curry may have benefited from steamed or basmati rice as an option as the Naan was only ok, and a bit soggy underneath.
A lovely veggie option that wasn’t oily or fatty, but tasted healthy, comforting and light with the addition of some nice tender squash (always a winner) with the subtle hint of coconut. A taste of coastal scents and sunshine.
The desert menu at Met Bar & Kitchen has some good options so proved to be quite a lengthy process to decide what to choose.
Eventually, I chose the Steamed Orange & Poppy Seed Sponge, Clementine syrup, mascarpone ice cream. The sponge, light, airy, though could have done with more clementine intensity for me, to give it an added luxurious lift, though it did provide a lightly scented aroma, which was nice. The Mascarpone ice cream offered a smooth and grown up, creamy delight to the pudding. Excellent.
We also enjoyed a double espresso and Hennessy Cognac after our deserts plus two glasses of Argentinian full bodied Malbec with our main courses.
We were both very impressed with the Met Bar & Kitchen in Solihull. The Vegetarian dishes I ate were comforting, warming and very well made. Both good value with good strong punchy flavours it shows how you can make simple vegetarian dishes attractive and Moreish with a good culinary technique. What the Met Bar are not trying to do is divide diners or confuse them by creating food that is seriously complex, but instead creating classics with a twist that can appeal to non vegetarians too. It’s better to make dishes well than overdo bold dishes badly and they do this well on the whole.
Credit is due to them for wanting to increase their Vegetarian options and I’d like to see this as been the begining of a journey not them reaching their destination in Veggie Month. What though sticks out is that the Met Bar & Kitchen is an excellent All day place to eat in Solihull town centre and been independent deserves praise for having the foresight to improve food and drink options in the area. Don’t go there expecting foraged and rare ingredients like at Nomad in Birmingham, but a place instead that delivers good solid food.
For Vegetarians who like to eat out in Solihull, its surely long overdue.
Met Bar & Kitchen, 680-684 Warwick Road, Solihull town centre, B91 3DX. 0121-705-9495.
You can find The Met Bar & Kitchen on the Gastro Card: for details and offer.
Thanks for reading,
Ruth and I were invited to the Met Bar, our food and prosecco were complimentary. Other drinks were paid for. This doesn’t affect my honest opinion as a fair and honest review was required.