There’s no doubt that Autumn is my favourite time of the year. Not only do I have an excuse to wrap up snug and warm in winter coats and scarves, but being a food blogger also means that I get to sample some fantastic Autumn inspired dishes around Birmingham. One of the first being the new Game menu at a newly renovated local pub, The British Oak in Stirchley. Throughout the night, Executive chef Paul Maders and his team perfectly executed five tasting dishes; all accompanied by either a wine or beer flight.
First course: Pigeon
I’ve only ever tried pigeon once before. It wasn’t that memorable and came out somewhat hard in texture. Judging by the standards last night, this is clearly not how it’s supposed to be. Our first course was a perfect pink breast of pigeon, accompanied by tantalisingly warm carrot puree which worked well. For decoration, a sprinkling of celeriac remoulade and mild, sweetened roasted shallots.
Second course: Pheasant
Two slithers of tender, succulent roasted pheasant breast with crispy skin, accompanied by confit leg bon-bon was certainly the most visually appealing dish of the night. Albeit small portions, the meat was presented perfectly and accompanied by apple and pear root vegetables providing wonderful sweetened flavours. The potato fondant on the side offered that little savoury kick it needed to bring the dish to life. I considered this little tasting menu to be a smaller version of the best roast dinner I’ve ever had.
Third course: Loin of Venison
Paired with a belly-warming deep red wine, this combination of succulent rare venison, wild mushrooms, crispy potato rosti, braised red cabbage, wilted spinach (my favourite!) accompanied by a red wine sauce was certainly the winning dish of the night. Overall, a stunning effort of both textures and flavours and putting all the components together created one extraordinary dish. I’d certainly like to try this again!
Fourth course: Raspberry sorbet
Tis’ the season to be eating raspberry sorbet as I’ve eaten it twice at different restaurants in the last week alone. This version however, blew the other straight out of the water. The refreshing palette cleanser was the perfect afterthought to a meat filled menu. The little raspberry on top made the dish pop with colour.
Fifth course: Pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream
To end the night, a perfect portion of pumpkin pie. A symbol of harvest time, the pastry was cooked to perfection, no soggy bottoms here and crumbling with every forkful. I wanted to smell the aroma of pumpkin and ended up covering my nose in vanilla ice cream, it was worth it. A chorus of ‘mmmm’s and ‘oooohs’ echoed throughout the room as spoons clattered on the plates, most emptied within a minute. Topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, this dish is certainly one I’ll be ordering next time I visit the British Oak.
What do you think of this little testing menu, is it something you’d be interested in trying for yourself? I must also note, a selection of wines were accurately paired with all of the dishes. I walked home very happy indeed. I was kindly invited to sample the Game dishes at British Oak, 1364 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2XS