Sunday, 30 August 2015

Review: Sunny's Soul Shack at The Sunflower Lounge

Opening night at The Mockingbird

Right at the start of the year, The Sunflower Lounge had the decorators in and changed their food offerings. For those who don't know, The Sunflower Lounge is a bar on Smallbrook Queensway in the city centre which has live music as well as DJ sets. I've been there for a few nights out and love the music but had never thought about going for food before this year.

In January they teamed up with Big Papa's to release a menu of soul food classics such as buttermilk fried chicken, ribs and mac'n'cheese. I went along to the launch night, to a blogger event and several other times as I was so impressed by the food.

Well, Big Papa's have now moved on to their own bistro at The Mockingbird in the Custard Factory. I was intrigued to see what would happen to the food at The Sunflower Lounge. The soul food must have been a success for them as they have now teamed up with Sunny's Soul Shack- serving up soul food!

I was very pleased to be invited to sample the new menu along with a few other bloggers. I was keen to see whether the food would be exactly the same, completely different or somewhere in between.

And more importantly- would it be as good?!

I settled down with a G&T to look at the menu. Yes there were similarities- fried chicken, sweet potato, hot dogs, nachos- but there were also differences- catfish, chicken wings, beef hash. But there was still that final question to answer...

The chefs brought us a selection of all the starters to share and we chose an individual main course each.

Sunny Soul Shack
 Sticky Bourbon Chicken Wings. I am a sucker for a good chicken wing and these went down very well. The coating had a kick but not too much to burn your tongue and there was a reasonable amount of meat on there.

Sunny Soul Shack
 Homemade nachos. Since having the homemade nachos at Bodega, I've become a bit fussy and I was so happy to see these appear! Huge nachos topped with fragrant salsa, sliced chillis and guacamole and sour cream to cool things down.

Sunny Soul Shack
 Blackened catfish. This dish prompted a conversation about what catfish even is with phones being pulled out to google pictures of it. I don't think I've tried it before and it was a tasty, juicy fish in a southern fried coating. It was served with something called succotash, which is a mix of sweetcorn, beans, chilli and lime. I really enjoyed this, haven't tried it before and will definitely be replicating it at home. Brilliant to have two things I haven't tried before on one dish.

Sunny Soul Shack
 Sunny's Hash. Beef brisket with potatoes, egg and BBQ sauce. This went down very well on the table. I managed to get a bit of runny yolk and it was lovely with the other ingredients. This would be great to share.

In fact, all of the starters would be great to share. All of the starters were delicious, I can't pick a favourite! I enjoyed them so much that I may have gone a little overboard and was rather stuffed by the time it came to the mains I was feeling a little stuffed.

Sunny Soul Shack
 Buttermilk fried chicken. I had said I wasn't going to have this but I looked at the menu and it just SPOKE to me. You could have it with sweet potato fries or rough cut chips. I went for the rough cut chips just to be a little different. This was exactly as it should be- a generous cut of chicken, succulent meat in a tasty, crispy coating. The chips had a lovely cajun seasoning and the corn on the cob was soaked in melting cajun butter. I just wish I'd left a bit more room as I couldn't finish it!

Sunny Soul Shack

Gluten free diners are well catered for with the option to have cajun spiced chicken breast. This looked delicious and tasted delicious too apparently! Check out Alev's blog as she will have something to say about it soon.

Sunny Soul Shack

Most of us on the table went for the chicken but Emma's boyfriend went for the burger topped with beef brisket. He mentioned to us that he wished it had bacon on it but have a look at Emma's blog for a full review soon.

I was very pleased with everything I tried at The Sunflower Lounge. I was especially happy that Sunny's Soul Shack clearly have their own way of doing things and there is a clear difference between the new menu and the old Big Papa's one

If you haven't tried the food at The Sunflower Lounge, now is the time to give it a go. And if you haven't been for a while, head down and try out the new menu. They will be launching a new menu for winter in the next month and I'll be sure to check that out and see what has changed.

Sunny's Soul Shack at The Sunflower Lounge, Smallbrook Queensway. Conveniently located five minutes from Birmingham New Street Station.

Photos by me.

I was invited by The Sunflower Lounge to try the new food and also received complimentary drinks. I was not obliged to write a positive review.


Kezzie said...

MmmmmmmM!!!! The cat fish looks so tasty as does the buttermilk chicken! I don't think I've had cat fish but in Bali, when I lived there, there was a stall in the market which sold Cat-fish and it had a sign with one drawn as a cartoon saying "Pecel Lele" which is the Indonesian for catfish!x

Unknown said...

Fantastic write up, and your pictures are excellent. Thanks for the mention, my review will be out later this week! ❤️