Nosh & Quaff is new on the food scene in Birmingham. I had been reading good things about it on various blogs and the photos certainly looked droolworthy so I decided to check it out for myself. I’m pleased to say that Nosh & Quaff lived up to the hype… the three of us agreed! Definitely worth the trip from Cambridge.
Nosh & Quaff is located in the heart of the city at Victoria Square. It’s in a gorgeous Grade II listed building on Colmore Row that I can’t believe was left vacant for so long. What a travesty. It’s obvious it used to be a bank as you can still see the vaults in the basement where the loos are located. The building was given a complete refit but still retained its beautiful marble walls and wooden panelling. I have to say, the new light fixtures are spectacular!
However, Nosh & Quaff isn’t merely a case of style over substance. They really delivered the whole package… great food, drink, service and ambience.
I made a reservation for 3 people and we were given a comfy circular booth near the front. Nosh & Quaff’s cocktail menu had some tempting drinks but Paulo and I both chose the Blood Orange Bubbles, made with Absolut vodka, blood orange, orange citrate and Prosecco. Service was great throughout our meal and the nice chap who made our cocktails even came by to ask if we were pleased with them.
The wine list had some good choices and we went for a bottle of Veramonte Chardonnay from Chile. The white wine was kept cool in an ice bucket stand by our table.
Nosh & Quaff’s menu isn’t extensive but it doesn’t need to be. There are a couple of options for burgers and ribs (pork or beef), chicken wings, lobster and hot dogs. The menu is true to their hashtag “let’s get messy” as all of it is meant to be eaten with your hands. Fret thee not, there are bibs provided… which adds to the fun! Nosh & Quaff don’t differentiate between starters and mains so all of our order arrived at the same time, which made for quite a feast!
The menu also features a Blooming Onion that’s meant more for sharing than a main. It’s a big crispy onion laid out like a blossom. It’s prepared by covering it in seasoned flour then deep frying. I’ve had onion blooms in North America and this was one was just OK. It was a little soggy and definitely could have been crispier, but I think with a little practice Nosh & Quaff could really nail it. The accompanying tarragon and truffle mayo for dipping was excellent.
I really liked the selection of Sides in the menu: salad, corn, mac & cheese, sweet potato wedges… even extra fries, pickles and relishes. Paulo and I both opted for the charred corn with butter, which consisted of two corn-on-the cob pieces in each serving, charred on the grill and slathered with butter. Absolutely delicious.
Another side dish was the macaroni & cheese with chives. The three of us ordered our own, as we are big mac & cheese fans. It was slightly watery on the bottom and not cheesy enough, but still good. I never had it with chives before so I really enjoyed those flavours.
Now was the time to really get messy! Our grilled fresh large whole lobsters were served with a salad, fries and a tasty garlic and lemon butter sauce. The Canadian lobsters were split and shell crackers and picks were provided to make eating them easier. The lobster meat was tender, juicy and firm to the bite. So good!
My son the carnivore went for the chicken wings and pork ribs. He raved about both of these dishes. They each were served with fries… so double score for my son! The free range Cotswold white chicken wings were coated in a smoked butter habanero sauce. My son is a spice fiend so he didn’t find these very hot, but he did find them very delicious. He really liked the accompanying dip made with stilton mayo, his favourite cheese!
The four-bone pork ribs of naturally reared Hampshire pig were spiced with a peppery, mustard rub. These meaty ribs were served with homemade slaw. I ate most of the slaw and it was fresh, crunchy and full flavoured.
For dessert, Paulo really enjoyed the New York style cheesecake of crumble and fruit (gooseberry, I believe).
I indulged in the Rocky Road chocolate brownie. It was topped with marshmallows, nut brittle, ice cream and chocolate sauce. It had a good combination of textures and wasn’t overly sweet. I loved it.
Nosh & Quaff is a fun, relaxing place to feast on some really good comfort food. They have a tantalising selection of cocktails… perfect for socialising and enjoying some time with family or friends in stylish surroundings. There is even a daytime menu (between noon and 4pm) where you can get a takeaway gourmet frankfurter or lobster roll.
Nosh & Quaff is a welcome addition to Birmingham and I can’t wait to find another excuse to make the trip from Cambridge!
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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