So once more Ruth and I were let out of the house together, as parenting duties were suspended for the evening. Not only were we let out but we ambled up to the big smoke (City Centre) nosebleeds in tow and wondered how long it may have been since we ate together in the city centre. Awhile in fact is the answer, so bless Tom’s Kitchen for having us and been trusting with our rusty city etiquette.
I’ve known a few Tom’s in my time. Sound as a pound chaps who’ve been reliable and good to hang around with. My son likes the Tank Engine chap and he says he’s cool so that’s ok with me, though that Controller chap I’m not sure of to be fair.
This Tom is Michelin Starred Tom Aitkens. You may remember him from The Great British Menu. Other outposts of the restaurant are in London and Istanbul.
Tom’s Kitchen in The Mailbox is a natty place. It has a Chic feel, step inside to cosy booths, dark wood, a sophisticated feel and a nice warm atmosphere and you have the makings of a good meal. With its dim lighting It has a nice romantic feel too which gives it an edge in an area of more vociferous chains and pale imitation Food. In fact Ruth and I felt relaxed as soon as we entered.
I start with the insanely good Macaroni Cheese with added Truffle. Loveliness in a warming bowl, not made for pretty photos but a depth of rich cheese, with that just perfect hint of truffle running through, An ingredient when overdone can slam bam ruin a dish in one foul swoop, trust me! A dish to devour and then devour it again, a comfort food award winner, though annoyed i didn’t order any bread to mop up the runaway cheese. Humph!
Now, here’s the thing. I’m not one to order a mostly cold salad like dish in the evening. I’m more of a lunch time punter for that accolade. But then I go and do it. Why? Oh why? Because in this instant I fancied been a revolutionary soul in my own skin. Away from my son, anything goes. Well only if it’s veggie or vegan.
The dish in question was the Courgette Dukkah, fennel and Turmeric. A zingy dish of complex flavours that had a lovely Summery taste. The Dukkah, breadcrumbed courgettes that added a warmth to the cooling salad with fennel. A lovely dish that was well worth diverting from the norm for.
Some quality shared chips.
And, afterwards Chocolate and peanut butter Marquise.
Chocolate decadence, sticky, beautiful and rich with the good things in life. Eat it slow as it’s too nice to rush. Taste it and sigh.
Staff were lovely. Though we sat early evening for dinner we didn’t feel rushed or pressurised to order quickly. Enthusiastic, professional service goes a long way.
There were some grumbles. I’d like to see a vegetarian main course dish on the specials, especially with the abundance of fresh veg produce in Autumn and maybe the mains themselves (apart from
The Dukkah) could be a bit more adventurous and vary and not just follow the burger (though I hear it’s seriously good) or risotto route, though I’m not doubting they would be lovely examples of two fine dishes and well worth trying.
Tom’s Kitchen is an excellent and smart restaurant. The use of fresh seasonal produce is done well. The veggie dishes have simple bold flavours which show off the key ingredients well and demonstrate a real skill in the kitchen.
The dishes follow a British staples line and are comfort food made well. I like the fact the portions are generous and the wine list is excellent and offers good choices that compliment the dishes.
The added cocktail menu that included for us a superb Negroni and dry Gin Martini, are good examples of the quality on offer. They were both done well.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tom’s Kitchen for Vegetarians. Especially if you
are with meat eaters it’s a good choice to make everyone happy and with dishes made well and changing seasonally it’s well worth discovering.
We also drank a delicious glass of Trebbiano and Sangiovese. Top notch wines.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks to the lovely PR company Rewired for the invite, and for their patience with the arrangements. Our food and drinks were complimentary (at the restaurants discretion) and all opinions made are my own.
Tom’s Kitchen, 53 The Mailbox, Wharf side street, Birmingham, B1 1RE.