Amused Bouche in Brum

Purnell’s, Birmingham 30th March 2010. GEM ALERT!

Eight course Michelin starred escapade with Luke, Alex and his lady and the Bragazzi’s boys; Tim and Matt.

Here’s what we had:

Amuse Bouche (can’t remember what).

Poached egg yolk, smoked haddock milk foam, cornflakes, curry oil.

(In the shape of a fried egg, the foam was wonderfully fishy and the cornflakes gave flavour as well as texture).

Royal of goats’ cheese and pineapple on sticks, watercress puree.

(A nostalgia trip reminiscent of my parents cheese and wine evenings in the 70’s, but far more refined! Loved it.)

Salad of Devonshire crab, apple, celeriac, smoked paprika honeycomb.

(Loved the combination of crab with apple).

Monkfish masala, Indian lentils, coconut, coriander, pickled carrots.

(Not what I wanted to eat after a month in Bangladesh! but the fish was great and the dahl far better than over there!)

Breast of duck, liquorice charcoal, butternut squash terrine, cep & liquorice purees, quinoa

(My favourite course and the best duck I have ever eaten. Wonderfully concentrated mushroom puree, left the liquorice one though. Quinoa has left me cold in the past, but again this was the best I’d ever tasted!)

Warm, dark chocolate mousse, mango & rosewater sorbet, mango leather.

(Filled the need but drowned the sorbet, which was very nice)

Burnt English custard egg surprise, blackberries, crystallised tarragon, blackberry sorbet.

(Memory going but was great at the time! Crystallised tarragon!)

Coffee and petit fours

(Nice little machiato. Matteo rated the coffee highly so it must be good!)

The wines, waiter’s handwriting permitting were:

Michel Arnold Grand Cru, Verzency Rose

(Refreshing pink fizz to start)

Jordan Estate Chenin Blanc South Africa 2007

(Lovely honey coloured, good legs, great with the cheese and pineapple).

Akaishi Sai Junmon Sake, Yamada Nishiki rice, Japan

(Rather unsettling nose and dry leaf taste but very interesting. Like no other sake I had ever tasted, even after three years of living in Japan. Amazing when combined with the crab salad).

Gewurtztramiener Austria, Willi Opite, Spaatslese 2006

(Went very well with the spices and the monkfish)

Merlot Coonawana, Western Austrailia 1999

(Perfect accompaniment for the duck, pure bliss)

Pineau des Charentes, South of La Rochelle, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot of Cognac, no vintage

Colecaian (?) 125, late harvest Moscatel, Julian Chinte, Navarra 2005

(Wonderful, clear singing dessert wine that reminded me of Muscat di Trani)

£150 all in, worth every penny 🙂

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