Iâ€™d been wanting to try out one of Hotel du Vinâ€™s bistros for quite a long time, so when our one-night stay at Malmaison Birmingham turned into a fun little road trip, I decided to top off our adventure with a special evening meal at the Bistro du Vin Birmingham.
As weâ€™re bargain hunters we managed to come across a great little deal online that was Â£25 for a Â£50 gift card that can be used at Malmaison and Hotel du Vin bistros, so that definitely sold the idea to the other half.
Table booked, we taxied over to Hotel du Vin and Bistro Birmingham to discover a really beautiful building with some wonderful, friendly staff. The ambience and dÃ©cor makes it obvious that this is a great choice for any special occasion events, so Iâ€™m glad we dressed up for the occasion!
Â Get taken to a different world
Stepping into the bistro you feel like youâ€™re entering a different part of the world, almost like youâ€™re visiting the home of a rich, historical family living in provincial France. Old paintings, maps and photos line the wall, with vines and fruit hanging around the windows â€“ itâ€™s a really beautiful backdrop for a special night out.
The service was impeccable, and our waiter was both fun and knowledgeable, giving us advice on which dishes heâ€™d recommend and why, and answering any questions we had.
While we perused the menu some delicious fresh bread was brought to the table with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which was topped up whenever we wished â€“ always a plus point for me, as Iâ€™m a fiend for bread!
I started my meal with patÃ©, which although tasty was rather salty. It was a decent sized portion, but as with most places in my experience, the bread to patÃ© ratio was just wrong (so hurrah for the basket of bread still on the table!).
After a long discussion with the waiter, Justin decided heâ€™d give steak tartare another go. A lover of rare meat, heâ€™d tried it once in Paris, and was hugely disappointed with the experience, especially as he thought it was something heâ€™d love. This time round he enjoyed it more and was glad heâ€™d tried something â€˜differentâ€™, but still felt it was a little lacking in flavour.
Iâ€™m happy to say that my main meal caused food envy, as it was absolutely delicious. I went for beef bourguignon, and this was, without doubt, was the best Iâ€™d ever tasted. Out came a bowl filled with exceptionally rich gravy, beef that fell apart on your fork and chunky pieces of pancetta. I paired this with creamy mash potato, and although I adored it, it was even too rich for me to finish!
Justinâ€™s choice of Mussels and frites was again â€˜okâ€™ but he felt the portion could have been bigger and that the mussels themselves were rather small, but he did adore the chips, which he regularly dunked in my hedonistic gravy!
Although it really wasnâ€™t the best move as I was so full, I was enjoying the food so much that I persuaded Justin to share a dessert with me â€“ solely for review purposes of courseâ€¦
A dessert to die for!
And thank goodness I did! The treacle tart was simply put, a little piece of heaven on a plate. Warm and gooey it just dissolved on my tongue, and I honestly couldnâ€™t stop grinning at how delicious it was. It was so good I left the clotted cream ice cream to Justin, just so I could fit in one more bite. A true taste sensation!
Overall I loved our experience of Bistro du Vin Birmingham. Our meal wasnâ€™t without faults, as Justinâ€™s food wasnâ€™t as enjoyable as my own menu choices, but I could not fault my main and dessert. Itâ€™s not the cheapest restaurant in Birmingham by any means, but Iâ€™d definitely recommend it for a special occasion or trip to the city, and if you can find a Hotel du Vin discount as we did, it actually ends up not too expensive.
Have you ever visited a Hotel du Vin and Bistro? What were your thoughts on the food? Weâ€™d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below…