Jailbird – Birmingham

When I heard Nosh & Quaff no longer existed, and Jailbird had taken its place, I was very pleased. I was very pleased because the name ‘Nosh & Quaff’ made me want to rip my eyeballs out. Seems excessive doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you a little anecdote and see if you still feel that way.

It was August 2017 and I was walking through London’s Oxford Circus area, when out of nowhere I saw a restaurant called ‘Scoff & Banter’.

My heart started racing. I looked away. I was shaking. I must have imagined it. Was this a dream?! Surely they haven’t called their restaurant that? I slowly turned back to take a second glance – there it was, as clear as day: ‘Scoff & Banter’. I fainted.

The next thing I remember was waking as paramedics were trying to get me into an ambulance.

“Where’s my girlfriend?” I shouted.

“It’s OK Mr Foodie Boy, you’ve had a bit of a funny turn,” said the paramedic trying to calm me down.

“Unhand me! I need to find my girlfriend.” I got up and ambled away, blood pouring from my head.

“Sorry Sir, who are you here to see?” the receptionist at my girlfriend’s work enquired.

“Fuck off you square,” I screamed as I entered the lift.

“Rob, what are you doing here? What’s happened to your head?” The woman in my life asked.

“We need to go… NOW.”

“What’s going on?”

“There’s no time to explain, but something bad has happened and we need to go NOW.”

We went home, packed up our stuff and headed to Birmingham safe in the knowledge Brummies wouldn’t call a restaurant anything that dreadful.

It’s been great living in this fine city for the past nine months, with the exception of the involuntary twitch I’d get when too close to the sign for ‘Nosh & Quaff’. So, there you have it.

I was fortunate enough to be offered to try the menu at Jailbird by the most delightful Paul Fulford.

The space has changed considerably, with the downstairs bar area far brighter and more inviting than its predecessor. The upstairs restaurant is very smart, comfortable and has plenty of exposed brickwork which I enjoy stroking.

To start I thoroughly enjoyed scallops and bacon. The scallops were well cooked and the sweetcorn offered a pleasingly sweet contrast to the salty bacon. Sweetcorn’s sweet and bacon’s salty – who knew? I really am a fine addition to the food blogging world. Scoff.

For main I had a 16oz Flat Iron steak, mainly because the other steaks on the menu were 20oz, 28oz and 40oz – and I’m not manly enough for that.

It was medium-rare as requested and a decent piece of meat. The massive chunky chips didn’t do much for me, but then I’m not really into massive chunks of potato. I’d prefer frites with my steak, probably because they fit better in my delicate nosh hole.

We quaffed some Australian Shiraz, and I even managed to fit in a chocolate tart because my dedication to obtaining type 2 Diabetes is unwavering. Banter.

It was a splendid evening and the next time I fancy a considerable portion of meat it will be on my list.

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