On the outside, the Summer House Bar and Grill is pink. Very pink. It sticks out like a sore thumb when coming to the busy crossing on Shaftmoor Lane. You can’t miss it.
A number of restaurants (and pubs) across Birmingham make it their mission to serve mixed grill platters. From experience, some are bland and others, rather tasty. I’m happy to say The Summer House Bar & Grill grill falls under the latter part but for me personally, it’s the location of the place that I’m struggling with. Their simplistic menu offering focuses predominantly on the true essence of Indian food and they offer a large quantity of veggie dishes also to balance the scale. I feel there’s something mesmerising about watching a plate full of meat crackle and sizzle in front of you after being brought to the table, but I am a meat eater after all.
It’s a quiet Tuesday night when I arrived with my friend, Lorna. We walked from the car park – which has plenty of space if you don’t plan on DUI – to the main entrance. Once inside, you’ll see yourself face to face with the bar area. Walk a little further to the right and you’ll come to the restaurant. It’s a modern, spacious room that gives an open view into the kitchen. I enjoy being able to see my food prepared by chefs – it makes the experience so much more worthwhile. Inside the restaurant area, there’s another small bar where people can still come in and get drinks if needed, although table service dominates here.
Never having visited The Summer House Bar & Grill before, I found out it recently underwent a major renovation. Re-opening in October 20th 2018, what was once described as a tired pub has now been given a new lease of life. It’s a good setting for couples, friends and families wanting to enjoy hearty food and there’s a playground area outside for the kiddies to use in the height of summer. The main menu serves everything from mixed grills, to signature curry dishes, fish and vegetable alternatives, and even a ‘Chinese choice’ for those wanting an oriental alternative. The gourmet selection further highlights classic pub options, burgers and wraps. Food is cooked on a charcoal BBQ and you can taste certainly taste the difference. The menu is not dissimilar to other grill menus across the city and starters vary between £3-8. Mains range up to £19 for the larger plates and grills. See full menu here. On this occasion we tried the Large Mixed Grill, spice rating medium – consisting of chicken wings, chicken tikka, lamb kebab, prawns and lamb chops (£15.95).
On the side, we ordered a small Green Salad (£2.50), Naan Bread (£2.95) a recommended serving of Cod Fish Pakora (£6.95) and small plate of Masala Chips (£2.50). Our feast was easily big enough for 3-4 people to share and perhaps we over ordered as I ended taking up half of it home with me. With just enough spice – but not too much to blow your face off – the chicken wings were tender with a crispy coating and were by far the best part of the platter. Prawns were also carefully charred, and weren’t too chewy. The lamb chops have an added spice and were soft enough to cut through. The additional Cod Fish Pakoras, encased in light batter, were enjoyable but felt they could have done with a little note of spice. In fairness to them, they gave relief to the meat mountain placed before us. The portion sizes are undeniably fantastic.
The presentation of food was simple and not in any way pretentious. I didn’t think much of the Masala Chips, they came across as bland and were perhaps unnecessary for the amount of food we ordered. The restaurant started to fill up as we finished our meal around 8:30 so we refused pudding and drank the last of our wine. Overall I enjoyed the meal – the meat selection was good, with a variety of options to choose from, but it’s fair to say the restaurant is a little far for me to visit frequently. Perhaps if this place was in the centre of town, it would do really well. Staff were attentive and the setting is modern, light and welcoming. Considering the location of the pub, it would be a stretch to say I’d return in a hurry, but if passing by or if near the area again, I would certainly pop in again for the platter – if not only for the lightly charred chicken wings.
Thanks to Delicious PR for the invite. Please note, the meal and drinks were complementary in return for feedback on my social feeds and blog.
Summer House Bar & Grill is 266 Shaftmoor Lane, B28 8ST.