I love surprises and this Friday date night might have been the best ever.
I had heard about Two Cats Kitchen from The Good Food Guide but don’t know anyone who has been. When I was told where we were going I was quite excited.
When you walk in it doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything special but when you walk in the door there is a relaxed and quirky atmosphere. The bare brickwork, tiled floor, classy but simple furniture gave the room a vintage Brummy feel. We were greeted by bubbly and inviting staff who showed us to our table.
As I didn’t know anything about this restaurant when I saw the menu I was pleasantly surprised. They have an excellent range of wine and impressive beer selection for a restaurant. I kept looking through the pages all I could find is wine and other beverages. It took me a while to realise that I had flicked straight past the seven course taster menu. I do like a tasting menu, I feel this is an easy way to experience new dishes and allows the chef to show their personality. From what I read I didn’t think I was going to be disappointed at all, not that I knew what each course was or had heard of all of the different elements of the dishes. The fact the chef was so confident to take risks and give so little away made the experience more exciting.
Chicory, Salo, Pickles, Fennel Seed
The light and crisp chicory topped with salo, pickles and fennel seeds was a great palate cleanser and introduction to the dishes that followed. There was nothing too strong or overpowering about this course. The salo had a slightly cheesy after taste, I had to google salo to find out what it was and I definitely wouldn’t have guessed it was raw fat. This is another reason why I like a taster menu as I know I would have prejudged this ingredient if I’d known it before I had eaten it.
Potato, Bone Marrow, Crab
Meaty and fishy, creamy and smooth, fresh and clean. I loved this! I could have ate a huge
portion of this. The crispy textures of potatoes, combined with the smooth crab and bone marrow was a perfect partnership.
Leek, Samphire, Black Garlic
This was the course that confused me the most. I like the sound of the ingredients but in reality I didn’t expect the forms in which they were presented at first. After reading more about Two Cakes Kitchen and their cuisine it made perfect sense and this is something I would expect from Baltic-Russian cuisine. The leek was perfectly cooked and tender and the pureed samphire was fresh. The black garlic was nothing like anything I had experienced before: it was sticky, claggy and crispy. Unusual but not unpleasant, just strange.
Monkfish Tail & Liver, Garlic Buttermilk, Dill, Eastern European Dark Bread
This monkfish dish did not disappoint at all, actually it was amazing. The tail was meaty and chunky but the shavings of monkfish liver was out of this world. The liver was rich, silky and sweet. This is the first time I have ever tried this and can’t wait to try this again.
Venison, Fermented Damson, Smoked & Dried Beetroot
I feel like I’m repeating myself but this meaty slab of venison was a great example of seasonal foods paired with complementary ingredients. The fermented damson was not strong and to be honest I can’t remember it but the beetroot on the other hand I can definitely remember that. The earthy tones of the beetroot melted in the mouth alongside the venison.
Sea Buckthorn, Linseed, Tarragon
This linseed crisp was the topping to a sea buckthorn and tarragon mousse. It was simple and the textures worked well together.
Birch, Oak, Pine
When I first read the name of the dish I think I said, ‘that’s not a dessert!’ What do I know?! I sincerely have no idea what I ate but I know I liked it and I was initially wrong. There were curls of something that I think was a biscuits, some crumbly green bits and ice cream but I couldn’t tell you what they were. The mystery of this makes it amazing and I really don’t need to know. It was just delightful.
And petit fours to finish, these slices of pear were the perfect ending to an amazing experience.
I would definitely recommend Two Cats Kitchen; actually I couldn’t recommend Two Cats Kitchen more! You have to make time to experience this amazing, surprising, delightful, refreshing and brave establishment. I will definitely be going back to see what the coming seasons bring.
Two Cats Kitchen
27 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham, West Midlands B18 6JQ
0121 212 0070