Annexe holds a dear place in my heart. It was one of the first non-chain restaurants I went to in Birmingham as an adult and Edd and I have returned there several times over the years. The front is styled after a French bistro but the back is more 1920's inspired.
They regularly have themed nights, with live music, cocktails and special menus.
Previously, the food was French inspired and a la carte, but they have a new chef and have changed things up a bit.
I went along to the launch of their new Mediterranean-inspired menu. You can now choose from a three course menu for £39 or five courses for £59.
There is also a very affordable wine-matching available with both menus. The maximum you could pay for five courses with large glasses of wine is about £120 per head, which is not terrible for fine dining, for a special birthday or similar. Equally, you could have three courses with small glasses of wine for half that.
We were treated to a vast array of samples from the menu. I was impressed with the presentation of each little dish and with how the staff managed to ensure everyone had some food and a wine sample even though we were all standing around in groups. We felt dietary requirements could have been better catered for but I am sure this would be better at a sit down meal.
We tried a variety of vegetarian, fish and meat starters and mains as well as a few desserts. Everything was beautifully cooked and the strength of flavour in each dish impressed me. I can't wait to book myself in for a full meal!
This little beetroot and goats cheese dish, available on the five course meal, was one of my favourites.
The mozzarella ice cream got everyone talking! I love savoury ice cream and this worked perfectly- creamy, slightly tart and a perfect companion to the heritage tomato.
Lavender and fennel duck was stunning and I don't often use that word. It took me back to one of my favourite ever meals, at a French bistro in Valencia, where three courses was 20 euros and there were red and white checked table cloths. I had lavender and honey duck there and I still think about it now. Sigh!
Desserts were lovely. I particularly enjoyed pistachio and olive oil cake with a little chocolate bon bon.
I should mention that there were also some slightly different drink pairings, including a cocktail and a vodka. I like it a lot when it's not just a 'wine' pairing- I remember having a Japanese beer paired with a dish at Nomad (The Wilderness) which was fantastic.
Although this wasn't a sit down meal, I was really impressed with the quality of food I tried at Annexe. It's definitely time for me to revisit.
Check out their website to see more of the menu and to find out when their next theme nights are.
Annexe, Corporation Street, Birmingham
Photos by me and by Edd.
Food and drinks were complimentary to showcase the new menu.