Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chez Jules in Birmingham

Birmingham - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - French

Ah, Birmingham - I go every year for the Spring Fair. We decided to beat the crush travelling back to London by eating in town first. I chose this place due to it’s mostly good reviews and as a change from our more usual Indian.

Chez Jules is just off New Street very close to the Station. It’s on the first floor, and the rather grubby entrance staircase doesn’t prepare you for the handsome, large, split-level dining room upstairs. There was a great buzz, even on a pre-Valentine grey tuesday in February. We got a big welcome by the friendly and mostly efficient staff.

The smoked salmon pancakes arrived very swiftly. Obviously pre-prepared much earlier in the day and refrigerated sadly flattening the taste of the fish and it’s herby pancake wrapping.

A trainee waiter took away my cutlery at this point, so when my main course arrived I had no knife and fork. Frantic waving to flag down someone to help ensued.

My main was an accurately cooked, meltingly tender chicken chasseur. The sauce was well-judged, not overpowering the chicken. To accompany it I had the house’s famous potato gratin, which comes in it’s own little frying pan - absolutely delicious; perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s night.

To finish, a large slice of tarte tatin - pastry not as crisp as I would have liked but there was an amazing depth of toffee apple goodness, served on a wash of excellent custard.

In all, we felt it was a delightful, characterful yet unpretentious sort of place serving honest, good food. A good choice, and for the price, very deserving of 4 stars.

Check out my review of Chez Jules - I am hedgiecc - on Qype

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