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Jo Dyson Gives Us The Lowdown On Browns

We got a phenomenal response from you when we announced that Browns Bar and Brasserie will be opening at Spiceal Street during winter 2011. It seems you are all very excited about sampling the modern menu and sipping on the cocktails of which the restaurant is famed for so we decided to take Jo Dyson (Jo’s Kitchen Blog and founder of the Midlands Food Bloggers Group) to Browns Victoria for a sneak peek of what’s to come. And here’s what she thought…

I, like many other Birmingham foodies are eagerly awaiting the new Spiceal Street development. I’ve been very lucky and have been able to sample some of the excellent food that Browns serves, before it arrives at Bullring.

Emma, the wonderful Editor of this site, and I took a trip to London to visit Browns Victoria.  The newly renovated restaurant is located a stones throw from Victoria train station in a modern undercover shopping and eating area. Upon entering the restaurant, you are immediately struck by the black Grand Piano in the centre of the ground floor, beneath the twisting staircase. The bar area is well lit and very open, perfect for an after work drink or a quick snack.

Emma and I were led upstairs by a friendly waitress to our table in the restaurant. The restaurant is open plan, like the bar downstairs but has a more refined slightly more private feel, with booths and candles in the evenings. It is the perfect spot for a relaxed meal at any time of the day. There are even private dining rooms that you can hire to celebrate your event in style!

We were shown their modern European menu and were left to make a difficult choice as to what to have. I decided to go for the Baked Pancetta Mushrooms with spinach, garlic and rosemary as a starter and Chicken Schnitzel, with garlic and parsley butter and a baby leaf, cherry tomato and cucumber ribbon salad, with a side order of seasoned chips as my main. Emma had Steak Frites as a main with a lemon, parsley and peppercorn butter, confit tomato and seasoned chips.

Emma’s steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, and it was complimented beautifully by the lemon, parsley and peppercorn butter. Both our chips were gorgeous and very crispy. The skins were left on the potatoes, giving them an interesting texture and moving them beyond the average chip. My Chicken Schnitzel was golden brown and swimming in lovely lemon butter. The chicken was moist and delicious. The cucumber salad was refreshingly sharp in contrast to the chicken.  We both enjoyed our mains so much that we could not find room for a pudding, so I finished the meal with a virgin Mojito. It was a fantastic version of this classic cocktail which I love so much.

Overall, we had an incredible meal at Browns. The staff and the food were amazing. The place was buzzing with a fantastic atmosphere. I am now going to wait, not very patiently, until Browns arrives in Spiceal Street. Thanks to all the team at Browns Victoria for looking us.

There’s lots of yummy-looking pictures for you to take a look at and as always we’d love to hear your thoughts. Simply comment below…

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