It’s a really hard life sometimes. Being asked to eat food and to give your honest thoughts on a menu can be a real curse… especially when there’s no room for dessert! Just the other week, The Bureau Bar situated on Colmore Row in Birmingham kindly invited me to sample their food and to gulp a few cocktails down along the way. I have to give it to them – a slap on the wrist goes to me for not sampling the grub sooner, I was actually quite impressed with the high standard of drinks and dishes available. But really, how good can ‘bar food’ actually be? You’d expect bog standard pub grub with a few greasy chips thrown in for good measure. However the Bureau Bar (the little dark horse) completely won me over that Friday night. I’m actually encouraging anyone who reads this to sample their delicious cocktails and to try some of the nibbles – if not only for the Award Winning Duck Scotch Egg, you won’t be let down!
The Bureau Bar prides itself on using locally produced and sourced deli/bar food, alongside promoting an intriguing drinks menu, I can’t fault them for this! We were greeted with a smile by a member of staff who led us to the nearest booth directly opposite the bar. This did mean, on the odd occasion, that the man out with his pals kept putting his glass on the table while we were eating. I must have huffed something under my breath and he soon stopped! I saw another area used purely for eating, so I feel they should definitely push this more if someone is coming in for a meal. I didn’t let this ruin our meal and we were offered samples of cocktails to try. The manager came over to chat and told us Bureau Bar has won three 1st class cocktails in a few competitions. I picked something sweet with a lemon base and was thoroughly impressed with the vast range of drinks on offer. They are soon to release a new cocktail menu, so I might have to go back with my girls on a Friday night to see how they’ve upped their game!
The menu ranges from burgers to bar bites, deli hotdogs to a variety of fish options. Unfortunately, the Beer Battered Fish ‘n’ Chips & Mushy Peas (£11.50) which I asked for was off the menu that night. Josh and I have an inside joke that I apparently and ‘unknowingly’ always opt for the most expensive item on the menu. So to balance my options out, I opted for the most expensive thing on the menu – the 8oz Rump Steak (£19.50). The meal was a tempting 8oz rump steak, dry aged and matured for 28 days by butchers in Droitwich Spa. My expections of steak from bars are not always complimentary. And If I’m completely honest, I figured it would come out as a shrivelled up piece of meat. I was completely and utterly shocked when a large, thick, tender piece of beef came out with tasty garlic butter and a tin of chunky chips. It also tasted better than it looked!
I was asked if I ‘liked duck’. What kind of silly question is that. I love duck! I eat duck for breakfast some mornings. When this Scotch Egg was brought to the table, it looked like a dino egg. Being the centre piece of the table, I dug in my fork in and took a bite. WOW! The Duck Scotch Egg (£4.00) is a soft boiled duck egg surrounded in slow cooked confit duck meat, herbs & shallots. Deep fried in a crispy breadcrumb shell and served with a delicious onion jam on a nest of mustard cress. If you do happen to visit BB after this, make sure you order one of these. They are sensational and completely different than just tasting a normal Scotch Egg – words can’t really describe how great they are…. well I actually can. Josh wanted another.
Josh ordered the Half free range chicken (£13.00). It came out chargrilled and served with a dressed mixed leaf salad. I had a bite, and it was juicy as hell – not dry like something you’d pick up at the Harvester! The chicken was well seasoned and the portions were decent. The chicken only came with salad so we had to order another portion of chips to go alongside the meal. Josh is a big eater and said he could have eaten more but considering the pub was established as ‘pub grub’, we were both throughly impressed with the menu and the food. The chargrilled menu alone is relatively small and reasonably priced. The rest of the menu is full of snack food but would best be described as perfect ‘date night’ food. The atmosphere was a typical Friday night, busy and groups of men swanning in, top totting with their mates. I am not entirely convinced I’d go back for a full meal on a Friday night, but I’d highly recommend the Duck Egg and the steak and simply going back for the warm welcome and lively atmosphere.
Address: 110 Colmore Row, Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3AG
Disclosure: I was invited to The Bureau Bar to sample a main meal and cocktails. I have written an honest review on my own accord and opinions are my own. For two meals, several cocktails and sides, the meal would have come to just over £50.