On a warm sunny Sunday a few weeks ago we took a walk down the canal to the Mailbox (a stylish shopping and lifestyle destination in Birmingham). There we made ourselves comfy at the Birmingham Malmaison for their Sunday Brunch to celebrate the boyf’s new job (he’s landed a rather snazzy job in London – yeah, I know, I’ve only just moved to Birmingham. Typical eh?). I had already been to the Malmaison Brunch about six months previously but it was the boyf’s first time and he was pretty desperate to try out the Chef’s Table, which is arguably the best bit.
Now, I had had a mixed bag of experience last time which I blogged about because I believe in fair and honest reviews. And I hope my readers appreciate that. But I also think you should give places another go and I had given my feedback to the Malmaison directly. This time I am pleased to say that some changes have been made and some of my issues addressed. Hoorah!
We had a lovely long leisurely brunch in a cool air-conditioned brasserie. Our waitress was attentive and polite. She explained the brunch set-up to the boyf, who was new to it and promised not to bring out our mains until we were ready. Awesome. So we were able to mosey up to the Chef’s Table as often as we wanted. And I can tell you, that was often.
The Chef’s Table is filled with the best buffet ingredients you could hope for. There is a huge charcuterie board with all manner of cured meats, some delicious smoked fish and a hand-carved leg of Iberico Ham. There is a huge bread basket with a range of different breeds and the most delicious pastries (the boyf enjoyed the pain au chocolate so much he had seconds!). To balance the rich meats and fish there is an array of salads and chargrilled vegetables. Dressings, olives, cheeses and pates are on offer too. At the other end of the table, another chef is on hand to prepare fresh omelettes, pancakes or waffles with your choice of fillings – you can sweet or savoury. The Chef’s Table is filled with a lot of deliciousness.
All of the food tasted incredibly fresh and tasty. I was particularly taken by the smoked warm salmon and the Iberico Ham. The bread was moreish. And I very much enjoyed the balance of salad with all my cured meat.
(I am clearly very excited about my chicken and waffles in this picture)
The menu has been updated since the winter and there was the welcome addition of American-style Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Waffles and Maple Syrup. True Southern style, yep. As most of the menu is beef-orientated (which neither of us eats) we both opted for the Chicken. I was really excited to try something new, and I was not disappointed. I love the contrast of sweet and savoury in a dish. It was unusual but tasty. But, I think it might be a marmite kind of dish though as the boyf wasn’t as keen. It was too weird for him. I thought it was most excellent and I have been thinking about it often
For dessert, I ordered the mint choc chip ice cream and the boyf had the strawberry sundae. This might be the only course that was not quite on par. The waiter came out and poured hot chocolate sauce on my ice cream that was way too bitter (and I like dark chocolate so that’s saying something) and the heat melted my ice cream too quickly. I mentioned it to the waitress and she fed this back to the kitchen straight away as I noticed that the table next to us were given their sauce on the side. The ice cream was fine though and the boyf enjoyed the strawberry sundae – it could have done with more strawberry and less cream.
All in all, it was a lovely brunch. The Chef’s Table alone is worth going for and for £20 each it’s not bad value if you like to fill your boots on a Sunday. It’s worth the treat.