Saturday, 28 January 2017

Review: Fiesta Del Asado

Fiesta Del Asado has been on my must-try list for some time. Everyone I've spoken to loves it, it's five minutes down the road from me in Edgbaston and it's part of the Lasan group. What's put me off is the emphasis on steak. It's an Argentinian steakhouse and steak lovers tell me it's their favourite place to get their meat-fix.

However, in my experience, a good steak house does other things well- the meatier fishes, chicken on the bone etc.  So I booked myself and Edd in for a January treat.

The restaurant is in Edgbaston, on the Hagley Road not far from Five Ways. It's a warm, dimly-lit, buzzy environment. We were sat by the pass and could see the massive slabs of meat being cooked over fire. It all smelled amazing but I was determined not to be seduced by the smell of steak. It just makes me feel tired and too full.

This is unlike me but I fancied some red wine, so we shared a lovely Argentinian bottle, which was light and tasted of berries. You are also brought a little nibble of complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic, which is a nice touch.

After discovering my love for padron peppers at Tapas Revolution last year, I always order them when I see them on a menu. These were soft, warm and sharp from lemon juice (£2.99).

Not only did I have fish for my main course, I had seafood for a starter. Gambas al ajillo (£8.79) were piping hot, juicy king prawns in a tomato,chilli and garlic sauce. As always, I could have handled a little more chilli but I loved the sweet hit of garlic and tomato.

Edd had chicken livers in a sherry sauce (£6.79) essentially posh pate and not really for me, but I liked the surprising addition of grapes.

Look how colourful my main course was! Bacalao a la plancha (£17.89) was a beautiful piece of cod loin, wrapped in serrano ham and cooked 'a la plancha' (on the grill). The ham provided the saltiness I craved and the cod was meaty without being heavy. The plate was filled with delicious, colourful roasted veg: peppers, sweet potato, carrots.

Edd chose a 12oz rib eye steak (£23.89). He appreciates a steak more than I do. It cooked medium rare as requested and was fantastically charred on the outside. I tried a bit and did enjoy the contrast between the rich, soft middle and the blackened outside but I couldn't have eaten more. Steak lovers though, I see why you like it here.

We ordered sides too but they may not have been necessary with all the veg and salad on the plates. Fries (£1.99) were just fries but had a pleasant bit of parsley and garlic on top.

Another favourite side dish of mine is a tomato and onion salad (£2.49). It's literally just raw tomato and red onion, but the marinade softens both texture and sharpness, making for a fresh and light salad; just what you need with rich, heavy food.

We were too full for dessert, as nice as they sounded. A bottle of wine, starters, mains and sides came to about £80 which is not bad for a fancy evening out. The service was friendly and efficient but I didn't particularly appreciate the air of surprise when I was the one to pay the bill. It's 2017 folks, I'm a strong independent woman and all that. I have a job. Perhaps this says something about the customers of Fiesta Del Asado- I don't know.

I don't want to end the review on a downer anyway. I'd certainly go back, particularly with family. Do not be scared to take your non-steak eating friends there, but I can't make any promises about vegetarians. Get yourself your protein of choice and a yummy salad and have a lovely time.

Fiesta Del Asado

Photos by Helen and Edd

Food and drink paid for myself. I'll say it again, it's 2017. 

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