Sunday, 20 January 2019

Food: Fiesta Del Asado, Shirley

Style: Steakhouse    Price: ££ (Steaks around £20, others between £15 and £20)      Location: Shirley

The location

You may know Fiesta Del Asado from its sister site in Edgbaston. A hugely popular steak restaurant, it also caters for people like me who prefer fish, chicken or lamb. While I'm not advising vegetarians to rush along, don't be put off if you don't like steak.

Opening a branch in Shirley was a great idea. Shirley High Street has some good chain restaurants but not many independents and there's so many people in the area. The building used to be a Marks and Spencer but clever design has made it into a warm and intimate space. Lots of greenery, soft lighting and some curves make for a pleasant  place to spend a couple of hours.

As you walk in, there's plenty of seating if you'd just like a drink and some nibbles; something I could see myself doing. There's a cocktail menu and range of wines, spirits and beers available. I was driving so I chose to have a soda water with lime. I was impressed with how my freebie soft drink was presented carefully in a cut glass tumbler, with a sweet circle of lime perched on top.

Later I chose a gin and tonic. They've got a short and sweet gin list including classics such as Tanqueray, which I had, and Nordes, a Spanish gin. Perfect while tucking into olives (£3.49) and padron peppers (£4.49).

The food

As I said, they're known for steak.  Argentinian steak, cooked over fire. This gives their steak a delicious crust on the outside, while the meat stays tender. So whenever I visit Fiesta Del Asado, I do enjoy a bite of someone else's steak, but I find a whole one too rich.

The joy of the flame-grilled restaurant is that they can grill other things on there. Such as chicken, which is what I chose. I absolutely love a half roast chicken. The crispy skin, the different cuts of chicken all together, the garlicky marinade. It seems simple but it's actually quite a challenge to balance all those things. I've had a over-cooked, dry half chicken on many occasions, or one with soggy skin, or an insipid sauce.

Happily, Fiesta Del Asado's Chicken Parilla (£15.99) ticks all of my chicken boxes. It was clearly a very good quality chicken, the meat was moist and the skin perfectly charred. It had been marinaded in garlic and thyme, which certainly came across. It came with a chimichurri, which could have had a tad more acidity for me. Alongside it was a lovely tomato and onion salad. The menu mentioned capers but I missed them.

Another sign of a good steak restaurant is its sides. I picked my main quite easily (although prawns and orzo pasta is on my list for next time) but I stared at the sides for a while. I knew I wanted some vegetables and I was pleased to see several possible dishes; not just chips and generic veg mix! A cucumber and chilli salad, butter beans in pesto and honey glazed carrots all sounded amazing.

Paul picked some chips (£1.99), Alev chose creamed spinach and roast potatoes and I went for roast peppers and butternut squash tossed in butter and we all shared. I loved the decadent spinach. My veg dish was deliciously oily which probably made it less healthy than I'd imagined when I ordered it! But life is for living. Chips and potatoes both added a tasty bit of carb to proceedings.

After all that, I couldn't eat another thing. I fancied Pannacotta but I definitely would have been far too full. One for another time.

If you like the original Fiesta Del Asado you'll like it here just as much. A win for anyone living on this side of the city who enjoys their meal. Thank you Paul Fulford and Fiesta Del Asado for the invite: I can tell it's going to be very successful here.  

Fiesta Del Asado, Shirley High Street

Photos by me except for the first two, which are courtesy of Fiesta Del Asado.

Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes. 

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