Despite being a big fan of Cafe Opus and Bar Opus, I hadn't previously made it to original restaurant Opus. Trying out their bargainous Friday evening menu was the perfect excuse.
Opus is a fine dining restaurant in the Colmore Business District, with a focus on fresh, sustainable, local-where-possible produce. Their website states that they wait to see what fish has been caught and what veg has been dug up before writing their menu.
I took a seat in the light and modern restaurant with some fellow bloggers early evening one Friday. We nibbled on chorizo bites and pakoras with cute little ice breaker questions on them. I answered the social media one you can see- I chose being unable to use search engines because you can find plenty of info on social media!
We then had a swift tour of the kitchen and the Kitchen Table, which guests can book to have their dinner in the kitchen. The kitchen was a peaceful place, with everyone diligently getting on with their prep. Opus has a push on taking in apprentice chefs and hiring the best ones- they are always on the look out for new talent.
We settled down at our table with a glass of wine and some delicious home baked bread. For £25 per person on a Friday evening, you get bread, half a bottle of wine and two courses of delicious food.
I usually go for a starter over a pudding but I checked out the options anyway. The options were ice cream or a peanut and caramel delice. Neither of these knocked me sideways so I chose a starter and a main.
Whipped Rosary goat's cheese with heritage tomato and English radish salad sounded too exciting to pass up. This was a beautifully dressed plate of food. Peppery edible flowers and leaves, crunchy fresh radish and juicy, sweet heritage tomatoes were a perfect contrast to the whipped cheese. I haven't tried goats cheese like this before and it was an interesting texture- very smooth and light while still retaining the flavour. I wished I hadn't eaten all my bread as I think it would have been nice to have something to spread it onto.
The other option was tomato soup, which others around the table enjoyed.
Onto the main. There were three choices on the standard menu- pork, fish of the day or a beetroot risotto- but there is a separate menu for those with dietary requirements.
I was tempted by the fish, which was cod, but I decided to go for the pork cutlet as you don't often see this cut on a menu but it's something I cook quite often myself. This was a much bigger and juicier cut than I would get from the supermarket, so you can really see they go for the good quality produce. It was served with a creamy, tasty mustard mash, caramalised apples and just enough gravy (jus?) to keep the whole thing moist. I loved the greens, taking it from a winter to a spring dish.
One of my fellow diners had the vegan option- the chef's selection of vegetables. She felt everything tasted nice, the vegetables were cooked well but it was more like a side dish than a filling main.
I didn't speak to anyone who had the risotto but it certainly looked appealing.
The fish was probably the most popular dish around the table. Well cooked fish (look at that crispy skin) and fresh vegetables made this a simple, elegant meal. I was interested to see ingredients such as the radish recurring through the courses- they make the most of the produce they have.
I didn't have a pudding as I chose the cheese starter over the dessert option. Emily of Good Girl Gone Brum had it so you should have a look at her blog to get the real opinion.
£25pp for light, elegant food like this, PLUS bread PLUS half a bottle of wine is a stonking bargain. I highly recommend it. Remember, the menu changes based on what is available so my meal is just an example.
As well as this set menu, Opus have special evenings such as a seafood evening, with five courses and a demonstration on how to prepare seafood. Check out the Opus website for more information on this.
Bar Opus and Cafe Opus both have new food menus, with certain plates 241 at Bar Opus Tuesday-Thursday. Again, have a look at their websites for more.
Opus, Cornwall Street, Birmingham
Photos by me
All food and drink was complimentary.