One of the latest restaurants to hit Birmingham City Centre is Jailbird, a brand new seafood and steak restaurant which has replaced American diner Nosh and Quaff. I’d only heard about the place when Paul Fulford dropped an email into my inbox inviting me along to try out the new menu during a midweek dinner.
A step up from previous Nosh and Quaff food options, Jailbird characterises a New York vibe and prides itself on an easy-to-read menu. Boasting an array of risotto, crab, lamb and vegetarian dishes for starters, to follow, main courses allow complete indulgence in hearty steak and lobster, alongside various other fish courses. The showstopper Butcher & Monger Platter (£59) combines the best steak and lobster portions and throws them onto a sharing board. I didn’t try this but it sounds incredible and more than enough for 2-3 people.
The restaurant upstairs where we dined is spacious, and has a great view overlooking the ‘floozie in the jacuzzi’ in Victoria Square. Encapsulating an industrial feel of wooden tables and flooring, artwork of the ‘Big Apple’ and New York skyline, hanging lights and brick walls; it proudly reflects the New York’s Upper East Side. The downstairs section showcases a classy cocktail area with marble walls. I’m not entirely sure if the marble fits in with the overall vision of the restaurant, but this won’t put you off the food at any rate.
Starters and drinks at Jailbird
Paul Fulford did the honours of ordering a bottle of Shiraz to the table. Simon from MeatandoneVeg asked beforehand if I’d prefer red or wine. To guzzle down alongside the wine, Simon and I both ordered cocktails which were deliciously sweet. For the first course, I was swayed by the Soft Shell Crab (£10.95) that was served in a sea salt and cayenne crispy batter. On the side was a a wedge of lemon and asparagus salad. It was a minimal dish, but tasted fantastic. The crunch of light batter against the tender crab was a winning combination. I’m a lover of fried foods anyway, so this slid down extremely well. I admire the dish as it wasn’t over-complicated and showcased the dish for what it was, a perfect portion of crab meat. It was a pricey starter compared to some of the other options, but I’d certainly order it again. Simon and Paul ordered the ‘Scallops n Bacon'(£9.90) and Black Risotto with Black Garlic (£5.95) which can be served as mains.
Main Meals at Jailbird
With quite a few dishes to choose from, I was first tempted by the 28 Oz Delmonico Steak (£29.50) renowned as a ‘large hunk of meat famed for its special texture and deep flavour‘. I was soon told this steak is actually HUGE so I didn’t think I would finish it. My next best option was the 16 Oz Flat Iron (£26) described as a ‘juicy cut of meat full of flavour, texture and love‘. Served alongside thick seasoned hand-cut chips, the steak is served medium rare. When it arrived, I stared at my plate for a good few minutes because the steak looked AWESOME. It was also cooked to perfection. It cut like butter and the juicy tenderness of the meat made my mouth water, even whilst eating it. It had crispy onions on top too. A truly winning main meal paired well with a deep red wine, it’s not one I’ll be forgetting in a hurry.
What I liked most about my steak was that there was no ‘fluff’. It was served on its own with a side plate of chips. There was no unnecessary salad or sauce. In my opinion, if you do need to ask for sauce alongside your steak, it probably means it’s going to be dry. My Flat Iron Steak however was delightful. Perfectly seasoned and as promised, a juicy piece of meat, I would order this again without hesitation. The portion was a bit too big for me to eat still, so I asked to take the remainder home. We spotted a few people asking to take their meals home too which suggests the portions might be too big. Nevertheless, it was an extra treat for me the next day. I also managed to grab a few snaps of Simon and Paul’s grub too – they went for the Flat Iron Chicken (£13.50) which is a half cut, mothered in a fresh lemon, garlic and herb gremolata dressing. The other was the black risotto as a main course. Simon ordered the Flat Iron potato as a side.
With full bellies, we skipped dessert. My overall thought of the food is that it’s certainly a step up from the previous N&Q food, and the steak is truly delicious. I liked the calm ambiance of dining upstairs and tables are set out quite far apart from there’s no snooting on other people’s food. There’s no doubt Jailbird is pitching more to the higher end of the food market and had a stylish, relaxed setting. I hope this place does well because the food is really good. I’d like to go back on a weekend to see how busy it can actually be. Jailbird also do a two course lunch for £12.95.
Open Monday – Saturday: 11am to 11pm / Sunday from 11am to 10pm.
Located on Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BS
Please note, I was invited to Jailbird as a guest of Paul Fulford. Food and drinks were comped in return for honest feedback. As ever, all opinions are my own.