If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Birmingham city centre, you won’t go much wrong than to take the 5 minute walk from New Street station through the Mailbox hub (which is currently undergoing an extensive renovation) and into Birmingham’s iconic landmark, The Cube. Standing tall above the city skyline this 24 storey structure designed by award winning Ken Shuttleworth is home to office, retail, hotel and restaurants.
Inside The Cube is where Bun & Bowl Birmingham, a deluxe burger and shrimp resturant is situated. With a glass floor to ceiling frontage situated next to much their sister restaurant Rodizio Rico, Bun & Bowl is a laid back set up and home to some of the most delicious shrimp I’ve ever tasted. Whilst in Birmingham for a trip to the Christmas markets we were invited along to dunk our baguette slices in a bowl of shrimp and try out the cocktail menu of this relatively new eatery. After a late afternoon of mulled honey wine we headed to B&B at 8:30pm where we were greeted by a quiet buzz in the restaurant and a super friendly hostess who showed us to our booth for the evening. The interior is a perfect mixture of contemporary tables and chairs, exposed stone walls and black and white pictures.
After feasting our eyes over the menu with a cool glass of Rose wine, I decided to follow the promise of delicious shrimp and ordered a bowl of Shrimp in Garlic, Parsley and Lemon sauce which comes served with a side of bread ideal for dipping up the excess sauce. I’ve never had shrimp quite like these: succulent and full of flavour with the zesty lemon of the sauce balancing out the garlic – after an obligatory finger dip of my sauce I even managed to convince Dan to try his first shrimp, which was met with a seal of approval. Dan, a lover of all things garlic laced went for the Signature Garlic Bread – three slices of soft ciabatta bread drizzled with a garlic sauce and accompanied by a bowl of garlic dipping sauce. This was not your standard garlic butter dip, this olive oil based mixture was heavy on the garlic and when soaked up with the bread transformed good old garlic bread into a taste sensation.
After cleansing our palettes with some more with wine (and a beer for the gentleman) we were ready to order our main courses. After the success of the shrimp on the starter and my love of a good steak I ordered the Surf & Turf – a 7oz sirloin served with grilled tiger prawns. I chose the seasonal vegetables and golden fried potatoes as accompaniments and a side of their creamed spinach after spotting it being served to another diner – I got food envy to say the least. I’m a medium-rare steak eater, I like my steak cooked just enough to leave it red and keep the juicy flavour and this steak was cooked to my exact requirements. Being one of the tenderest cuts of meat, the sirloin was practically melt in the mouth delicious and being topped with two tiger prawns dressed in a garlic sauce it had soaked up some of that delicious sauce and was a taste to behold. Ever eaten a tiger prawn? They’re messy buggers to say the least after cracking free the meat from the shell but after all the hard work they’re finger licking good – I may or may not have had a little bit of help at this point after coming over a little squeamish. A selection of crisp trimmed beans and carrot batons and the golden fried potatoes finished this meal off perfectly and I felt as though my eyes were bigger than my belly as my creamed spinach sat unloved. Fear not dear readers, I found the inner strength to finish off half of the bowl (I begrudgingly saved some for Dan). What to say about the creamed spinach? Cream + spinach – what’s not to love? It was the Pulled Beef Rib Sandwich on a ciabatta bun with salad and a mouth watering Jack Daniels Honey Barbecue Sauce. Served on a rustic wooden tray with a side of crisp salted fries this was the ultimate in a man burger. I tend to find that quiet intervals, head nods and lip licking is usually indicitive of good food when it comes to men and this was no exception.
To follow our main we were met with Bun & Bowl’s signature post meal shot – a mini Bloody Mary served with a grilled shrimp garnish. Comprising of Worcester sauce, celery salt and tomato juice, this shot is certainly an acquired taste which we followed up by a couple of cocktails from their impressive cocktail menu. I went for the Charleston, a mix of Amaretto, Strawberry pulp, vanilla Monin and Lemon juice garnished with a single strawberry and Dan went chose an alcohol laden version of lemonade the Lynchburg Lemonade comprising of Jack Daniels (the boy loves JD), Cointreu and sugar syrup all topped off by lemonade and fruit cocktail cocktail concoction.
As for dessert, I allowed the cocktails to be my bit of sweet after nursing a steak and shrimp food baby after my main course. We rolled out of the restaurant like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka at around 11pm, our tastebuds fully satisfied and vowing to return for a full serving of their “The Mediterranean” shrimp bowls.
Ever been to Bun & Bowl? To take a look at their menu or to book yourself a table for a burger or shrimp feast be sure to visit their website.