Adams in Birmingham
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Adam’s has been in Birmingham since 2013 and was opened by Adam and wife Natasha as a “pop-up” whilst they looked for a more permanent home for their restaurant. 2016 saw them find one in Waterloo Street. Adam’s is a contemporary British fine dining restaurant and well-spaced tables with their brushed velvet chairs make for a stylish and intimate occasion. The grey and dark wood colour scheme also presents a modern look no doubt to accompany the menu. There’s a separate area for about 12 people for meetings and we hear a chefs table is also available. The décor certainly lets you know you are sitting in a top restaurant and the Michelin Star at the entrance confirms the food to be of the highest quality.
Pook booked and chose this restaurant for my birthday treat. As she heard from friends and clients of how good this place is. Adam’s hast been voted second best in the UK and 11th best in the world and also in Europe’s top ten restaurants according to trip adviser in 2018.
We had been greeted and been seated at the bar first. As it’s my birthday so I choose a sweet bourbon drink whilst choosing from the menu. It arrived with a large single ice cube and was aromatic and smokey. Pook chose a gin cocktail and said that it was fruity with a slightly sour ending.
We had opted for the tasting menu and a bottle of 2012 Chateau Lamothe-Cissac. A Haut Medoc wine a bit of a kick to it. Before the first course arrived, two waiters delivered a cheese roulette and an apple cheese white onion in soft choux pastry filled underneath. It was delicious.
Part 1 was a pre-meal and it consisted of three dishes. First there was a Tuna Mooli carpaccio with sesame seeds. At one end of a rectangular wooden plate is Tuna pickled radish or turnip sliced wafer thin sprinkled on top with toasted sesame seeds. On the other end is smoked cheese gougère bun. The tuna was divine and its salty-sweet meaty texture contrasted beautifully with the sharpness of the picked radish.
The tuna once eaten was quickly followed by an amuse-bouche of horseradish ice cream with beetroot gazpacho poured over. Beetroot is in my view one of the most versatile vegetables and the combination of sweet beetroot didn’t disappoint and again worked well with the hint of spice from horseradish ice cream - delicious!
The final part one dish was a roasted tomato brioche swirl. A good brioche should be light and sweet and this little yeast bread did not disappoint. The waiters work in pairs and collected our plates whilst Richard (our sommelier) brought both chosen bottles for us to check.
The tasting menu was £95 and begun with Oakney Scallops served with seaweed. Salty, creamy sauce delicately coated each scallop and black fish eggs and bacon crisps balanced out a very well put together dish. The sauce held together very well and we loved both the taste and different textures… we could have eaten it all day.
Following the scallops we were presented with different coloured Heritage Tomatoes with cows curd and a crystal clear consommé. This was all topped with a delicately laced tuile. The consommé was stunning and even inspired Pook into making a tomato consommé herself earlier this month.
The next dish was the Atlantic cod and I’d been looking forward to this. Served with small, precisely cut segments of asparagus it looked lovely. The creamy butter sauce held the chopped chives and underneath was a base of possibly pea puree. Tiny bacons bits gave the dish some bite and added a saltiness to it. Pook found that this dish started brilliantly with the cod just literally melting in her mouth but after a while felt the salt in the sauce took over and ruined her dish. By the time we’d finished this dish we weren’t impressed much! The next course was a squab (young) pigeon breast with a cumin spiced yoghurt and a pigeon jus. It was cooked to perfection and served with dates and Dukkah. In case you’re unaware, Dukkah is an Egyptian herb/nut mixture served often as a condiment for dipping vegetables or bread in to give them a nutty spicy flavour. It tastes nice and in this case added a hint of Indian/Asian origin to this dish.
At this point, Pook and I parted company for she does not like Lamb. Instead they offered her a Wagyu brisket with BBQ Shiitake and sliced mushrooms… I’ll admit to being a tad jealous. That said my Lavinton lamb also looked fabulous. Lavinton Lamb is produced by shepherdess Sophie Arlott who farms her native breed sheep in the small Lincolnshire village of Lenton, known historically as Lavinton. She has a flock of 200 ewes – Southdown, which are used as sires, and Hebridean, Lleyn, Cheviot and Romney ewes. This combination is award winning and produces a sweet flavoursome lamb with great texture. Any fat had been rendered away and this was served with courgettes, a wild garlic pesto and goats curd. I got a bit of both shoulder and rump. The shoulder was beautiful, soft and almost brisket-like. If I was being a tiny bit critical I think I would have preferred a little less jus so that the lamb could have shined through more.
Of the Michelin starred restaurants in Birmingham, Simpsons seemed the most formal to us. Adams is a relaxed place to eat, we’ve also eaten at Carters in Moseley and this compared well to that. Pook said she thought Adams was “comfortable and good quality”.
At this point we were offered a Coconut rice pudding transition. This was a sweet take on Thai green curry which they have made into the foam and served with a miniature portion of the famous Thai dessert Coconut sticky rice pudding and aromatic Alfonso mango. Garnished with Puffed long grain rice and coriander teases it had a peppery second hit. Perfect!
Fully transitioned we were presented with a Jaconde sponge seven layered gateaux. Rich, sweet, light, stunning to look at; this was presented with a teriyaki and caramel peanut slab On top of this was a chocolate and light caramel ice cream. Delish!
We came away from Adams very impressed and despite it being the sort of place to eat only on special occasions we felt it was our favourite Birmingham restaurant. We decided it was GOOD value for money and we’d happily travel 75 miles to eat there again…. The fact that it is only 25 means we will be back, well done Adams! A great place.