Slim Chickens – Grand Central Birmingham

Full disclosure: I paid for this entire meal, well other than a pot of BBQ sauce. I can explain though. You see, I couldn’t spot anywhere on the electronic terminal to add ‘extras’ such as sauces. A kindly member of staff (probably realising who I was) offered me it for free. However, please don’t let you think this has clouded my judgement on the shit food.

As my grandfather used to sing, “Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, let me cover you in buffalo sauce and put you in a tortilla you stupid, fucking bird.”

Grandfather was an angry man, but boy did he love fried chicken. He used to serve it to American fighter pilots during one of the wars probably.

Next scene

Grand Central. “Just popping to Grand Central to run some errands,” we’ve all been there. You see, my watch doesn’t work properly. The hand designed to count seconds just slightly juts back and fourth between 34 and 35. The manufacturer of said timepiece told me to go to one of their stockists, and blow me down there was one in Grand Central.

To cut a long story short, they wanted to charge me £25 to send the watch to the manufacturer.

“Couldn’t I just do that myself?” I asked.

“Yes,” the shop assistant responded.

“Very well, I shall have my watch back and I’ll go and get myself some lunch”

That is LITERALLY what happened, there’s no room for exaggeration here.

What to eat though? Terrible macaroni cheese? Crap tapas? No, let’s go and try that new chicken place.

Slim Chickens

First things first: the name. Is it a play on ‘slim pickings’? As in, there’s not much choice? Or is it something to do with Louis Burton Lindley Jr, better known by his stage name Slim Pickens,  who was an American rodeo performer and actor? I guess we’ll never know.

The other reason it’s a crap name is it makes me think of weird, skinny chickens trapped in cages. I want to eat big, fat fucking chickens not scrawny bastards.

There was quite a queue when I approached, a queue I briefly joined until I realised they’ve got those electric payment terminals, I hopped over to one and competed to get my order finished before the bloke next to me.

A buffalo chicken wrap, fries and a sparkling water was my order. What? Yes, sparkling water, look, I’m watching my figure.

Let’s start with the fries – shite. Bland, lukewarm, shite.

Buffalo chicken wrap – quite shite. A modicum of buffalo heat on a miniscule amount of quite reasonable tasting chicken encased in a noticeably cold wrap.


You’d have got the same thing and better chips for less than a fiver from McDonald’s.

A burger from Bonehead would have been 45p cheaper. Christ, that’s just made me sad.


If you want to watch someone rubbing the raw chicken in buttermilk grab this seat for  the hottest view in town.


Copper Fox Grill – Birmingham

If I told you there’s a pub in Quinton knocking out very decent Indian food you’d probably say, “OK, fair enough.” If I told you this pub is owned by Tosh from the Bill and Samantha Fox you’d probably say, “seems plausible, tell me more.” I give you the Copper Fox Grill.

A few weeks ago with a hangover at seven on the sickter scale I decided to get out of bed and go for a walk.

As we all know, the old saying goes, “if you find yourself hungover, get out of bed and walk to Quinton,” and who am I to break with tradition?

What actually happened is I walked to Grove Park in Harborne and then carried on wandering, then like a wise man spotting the star – I spied a pub in the distance.

What happened next will shock you.

The sun was out, so I sat in the outside bit, the football was on, I had three pints, some chilli chicken, daal makhani and a small mixed grill and my hangover disappeared. Magical.

The chilli chicken is one of those things you know you probably shouldn’t be eating with a slightly luminous orange sauce, but ideal hangover material.

Lamb samosas were filled with a keema matar type filling and went down better than your mum.

The daal makhani was very good and plentiful, so plentiful it comes in a bucket. Perfect.

The mixed grill certainly isn’t the best you’ll get in Birmingham, the chicken tikka wasn’t up to much sadly, but it was decent and cheap.

Well done everyone.

The end.

Apocalypse Cow at Ghetto Golf Birmingham

GIFTED – that’s right, I didn’t pay for this. Sure, you can stop reading now if you think that means you won’t be getting good, honest opinions, but then ask yourself – why would I lie to you? Have I ever lied to you? Why are you so suspicious all the time?

If I lied to you then I’d possibly start lying to other people – like a domino effect… I’m going to be honest with you here, I shoehorned in ‘domino effect’ so I could do an analogy about the Vietnam War throughout this review, to relate to the name of the folk supplying the food at Ghetto Golf.

However, I don’t think I can be bothered. Let’s see how we get on. Like John F. Kennedy’s escalation in Vietnam, let us begin.

Lasagne bites at Apocalypse Cow in Ghetto Golf Birmingham

Apocalypse Cow. Think: Burgers and Fries. Got it? Good. Now forget burgers and fries because before I ate any burger or fries I stealthily ate some Lasagne Bites. I hid amongst the neon dildos to avoid detection, like the Viet Cong may have done, and greedily stuffed them down my throat. They were surprisingly nice as I’d anticipated them tasting like something from Iceland.

Burgers at Ghetto Golf Birmingham
Burgers at Ghetto Golf Birmingham

Burgers. We had a Blue Moo and a Mother Clucker – one of them is beef and one of them is chicken, I’ll leave you to decide which is which.

The Moo is a single patty, with some brisket on top and blue cheese. Sadly I couldn’t taste much blue cheese, the brisket didn’t add much. Similar issues with the chicken burger, it didn’t taste of much and the chicken was a little tough.

Unlike Lyndon B. Johnson’s involvement in the Vietnam War, things got significantly better.

Salt and pepper chicken fries at Apocalypse Cow in Ghetto Golf Birmingham
Salt and pepper chicken fries at Apocalypse Cow in Ghetto Golf Birmingham

We ordered the salt and pepper chicken loaded fries. Time for another disclaimer (see I’d never lie to you). I feel it necessary to inform you that I fucking love chips. I love chips like a fat man loves chips. And no, I’m not being paid by big potato (although if this is possible I’d be happy to – I’m looking at you AHDB Potatoes).

These chips came with some crispy chicken, spring onion, chilli, hoi sin sauce and sriracha. If I’d been pissed / hungover I predict I could have polished off about 400 portions of these, before having a massive heart attack and having my corpse incorporated into a mini golf obstacle.

Cheesecake at Apocalypse Cow in Ghetto Golf Birmingham
Cheesecake at Apocalypse Cow in Ghetto Golf Birmingham

Just as Richard Nixon did, we ended the war with Reese’s Cheesecake. Cheesecake covered in Reese’s pieces, chocolate and peanut butter sauces.

(Nay)face palm here, it was very nice indeed.

The Oyster Club Birmingham

Let’s play a word association game, I’ll say a word and you have to say the first thing that comes into your head.

Me: Oysters


Whoa there, well I’m certainly glad you didn’t accompany me to The Oyster Club last week.

As a man of impeccable taste you won’t be surprised one bit to hear that I like oysters, there’s something about slurping something from a shell and dribbling sea juice down my chin that really does it for me.

Having dined at Adam’s a couple of times I had high hopes for this place (I could have used the word eatery there but I wouldn’t do that to you).

Seeing tempura oysters on the menu filled me with joy and nostalgia. I first had something similar at The Merchant’s Tavern nearly six years ago, it was the night I told my wife I love her on the top deck of the 242 bus – a simpler time.

Here, I found myself declaring my love once more, the tempura oysters were delicious. I could have sat eating them until I needed an awkward hospital visit.

“What seems to be the problem, Mr Boy?”

“I ate 400 oysters in 15 minutes.”


For my main I had halibut and chips, I’d read a few people mention the price of this – and having to buy the chips separately, I could be wrong but I think they’ve amended their prices. Now, I know some of you are never going to agree that paying £23.50 for fish and chips can be justified, however, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.

It was so good, I went all quiet as I ate it. The light batter on the perfectly cooked fish was a delight. The big, fat chips perfectly salted and vinegered.

Washed down with a reasonably priced glass of Picpoul it’s a perfect pay day treat.

My only gripe was the dessert, we shared a chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream. The ice cream didn’t taste of much and the fondant didn’t taste too dissimilar to one you’d get in an M&S 2 for £10.

So, in summary I’d highly recommend perusing the menu at this Birmingham city centre eatery.

Wing Wah Birmingham

*Picks up mic, turns cap backwards*

♫ I’d really love to be alone without all the
Ache and pain and the April showers
But it ain’t long before I long for you, like a
Ray of hope, coming through the blue moon

When it all gets dark again
The whole thing falls apart I guess
It doesn’t really matter ’bout the rain
‘Cause we’ll get through it anyway
We’ll get up and start again

‘Cause we could be gifted, gifted, gifted
We could be gifted ♫

That’s me using the Lighthouse Family song ‘Lifted’ to inform you that I didn’t pay for this meal.

“Very clever,” you’re thinking.

Well, hang on a second and let me tell you that this night also involved karaoke, where if you were so inclined, you could sing the Lighthouse Family.

“Wow, you really are the most important thing to ever happen to food blogging in the Midlands.”

Dim Sum in Birmingham

I’ve been craving dim sum for a little while so when Paul Fulford was kind enough to invite me along to Wing Wah I was delighted to accept.

On arrival I was greeted with a Bellini and a chat about rice wine, which resulted in me downing a shot of rice wine – my kind of hospitality.

We enjoyed an extensive Dim Sum menu which included prawn dumplings, sweet char sui pork buns, soup dumplings and buns shaped like mushrooms with a salty and sweet custard inside.  

Dim Sum Wing Wah Birmingham

I particularly enjoyed the scallops cooked served with glass noodles and the abalone – mainly because I’d never think to order abalone but now I would.

We were then hit with a selection of the larger dishes from the a la carte menu, highlights included fillet steak with truffle, very tasty crispy aubergine and duck in plum sauce.

Beef and truffle
Beef and truffle

Karaoke in Birmingham

Full of wine and very tasty food a few of us headed downstairs towards the karaoke rooms. These private, themed rooms include Bollywood, Mongolian and traditional English pub.

Buble warning:


Will I return? Yes. Where will you find me? In a karaoke room, knocking back rice wine, singing the Lighthouse Family and ordering plenty of dim sum.

A weekend in Nottingham

“Where would you like to go for your birthday, dearest?” My wife asked.

“Oooh, ideally a university town.”


“One where most the tossers I attended school with went.”

“I’m not sure there are any good restaurants in Loughborough.”

“No, Nottingham you fool!”

Is there any better way to celebrate turning 34 than by going to Nottingham? Probably, yes.

Is there any better way to celebrate turning 34 than by going to Nottingham and spending more money on food than you’ve ever spent? Also, probably, yes, but that’s what I did and you’re going to have to get over it.

Any food blogger worth their truffled salt knows that 34 is the peak time for food blogging, your taste buds are at their prime before they give up and die.

With this in mind I thought a Michelin star job was the only way forward. I looked at where I could get to from Birmingham without a car, or spending £400 on train fares, and settled on Sat Bains in Nottingham.

I read a lot about the venue – it being by a motorway and a big pylon. Some commentators seem to have an issue with this, but frankly if you don’t see a pylon and immediately start salivating I don’t know what the fuck’s wrong with you. I like pylons so much I actually asked if we could eat outside but was informed this wouldn’t be possible. Here is the pylon. 

We were fortunate enough that this year my birthday fell on a Saturday, meaning that Mr Saturday Bains would be in cooking that evening. I hear his brother Thurs Bains isn’t anywhere near as good.

What was the most expensive meal I’ve ever had like? Well, the service was excellent, the sommelier was fantastic, the wine pairings were great and of the 11 courses we had I’d say five of them were superb, I didn’t get the fuss about one and one was pointless.

Shall we discuss some of the courses I loved? OK.

Smoked eel /apple/turnip/seaweed /Manjimup truffle. YES, if you’ve bothered to read any of the rest of my reviews you will know that if you stick smoked eel in front of me I will bark and lick your face like an excited Cocker Spaniel.

Glazed veal sweetbread /celeriac/remoulade/thyme. The sweetbreads were finished in butter in the pan at the table. A wonderful reminder of how delicious butter is, and how we’re all going to die.

Something called Sherwood Forest or something similar – think it was venison. It had a sort of gel dome. I’ll level with you, I can’t be arsed to describe it, go and find out for yourself.

Dessert: Lenton lane inspired by the rocky road. YES BITCHES. This was splendid. The first bite of chocolate I was all, “Whoa! That just tastes of fags.” It’s been infused with tobacco you see, HOWEVER, when you had the chocolate with the rest of the components of the plate it was fantastic.

Indifferent to

‘From the embers’ – potato/kombu/caviar. I think this is one of Sat’s signature dishes, and I’m sure it’s actually amazing, and you all love it and I’m wrong, but to me, it was just fine.


Coddled egg additional course. When you’re doing a tasting menu and there’s an additional course you’re always tempted, it’s basic psychology (probably).

You think, “I’m spending all this on food anyway, what’s another £11?” Well, it’s £22 in total if there are two of you, it would have been £77 if there were seven of us, and so on. When it doesn’t really taste of anything it’s upsetting.

Prior to

Before Sat Bains we had a couple of cocktails in Cottonmouth in Nottingham city centre. Sensibly they’ve put the word ‘cotton’ and ‘mouth’ together, as otherwise you Google ‘Cotton Mouth’ and get results such as:
“Cotton Mouth is a disease your fish can get and it needs to be dealt with quickly.”

Fortunately diseased fish mouths were the last thing on our minds here. Quality cocktails, our favourite was the Sabbatical – Gin, white port, dry vermouth, Riesling and pineapple. Sure to perk up even the most miserable of Pike.


The next day I really wanted to go to Alchemilla but they’re shut on Sunday.

Instead, we ended up at Bar Iberico for some tapas and it was right good. Have a picture.


If upon hearing I’ve returned from three nights in Florence you were to ask me:

“How many paintings of the Baby Jesus did you gawp at?”


“How many marbled penises did you fondle?”

I’d be forced to shout, “NONE,” at you. I’d then explain that instead of queuing up to stumble, chin-strokingly, around art galleries I instead took to the streets, eating and drinking – an endeavour I proudly take on just for you, the avid reader.

Italian food consumed:

Pasta, cheese, meat.

Italian drink consumed:

Red wine, espresso.

You simply cannot argue with my choices.


I used to not really be into Italian food because I’d always eaten it at crap restaurants. Then a few years back I got a job which entailed eating and drinking in Italy quite a bit and I, quite sensibly, fell in love with it.


Italians can be right funny fuckers when it comes to food, everything has to be done a certain way and use certain ingredients and ‘nonna first made this 4,000 years ago’ etc – but I’m starting to get it.

For example, the pasta sauces I had in Florence were all so rich and beautiful they could have made a lesser man weep. One I had at an Italian in Birmingham recently was watery and soulless and actually made me weep. Honestly, they had to drag me out of the place kicking and screaming.

Where and what

On our first day we popped over the river to get away from the tourists. We ended up spending most of our time over there in the Oltrarno area, and frankly I want someone to buy me a flat near Santo Spirito. Do email me if you’d like to take up this opportunity

We first stopped off at Il Santino wine bar for a glass of wine and a snack.

A couple of glasses of Brunello Di Montalcino and a plate of crostini later and I could have died a happy man. The crostini, of what was essentially sausage meat on toasted bread with slightly melted, truffled pecorino on top, was every fat man’s dream.

Crostini and wine at Il Santino

If you visit Il Santino it’s worth also popping into their bakery S.Forno which is the most Instagramable bakery you’ll ever see.

We also ate in their restaurant on our last night Il Santo Bevitore. My wife tells me she enjoyed it, however I can’t comment massively as I was pissed. You see, she only wanted a glass of wine with dinner but I accidentally ordered a bottle of some fancy fizz and a bottle of red which I had to finish to myself because I am a dedicated drunk.

Unexpected lunch

One day it actually bloody rained, a real kick in the teeth for this staunch Remainer. I’d planned most of our eating destinations but my wife, mentioned above, suggested we get out of the rain and just go into a restaurant for lunch without even letting me Google it. It hardly bears thinking about, horrible, reckless behaviour.


Annoyingly, it was really good. La Ghiotta doesn’t look like much, and it’s full of actual Italian people which was somewhat disconcerting. Half a litre of house red wine was €4 and a delicious plate of parpadella with duck sauce was €8.

One of my planned meals was a slight curveball – Io Osteria Personale is more tasting menu district than big bowl of hearty like mama used to make land. We went for the 6 courses chosen by the chef. The standouts were beef tartare with an intense mushroom powder on top, slightly torched mackerel with sea vegetables and a bergamot broth and an octopus dish – which was almost fantastic. The octopus cooked to perfection on a celeriac cream but then ruined with a lime sauce dotted on the side that tasted like it would unblock your kitchen sink.


And finally, the one thing I’d really been looking forward to eating – bistecca alla Fiorentina. Massive, big manly meat.


A big, ol’ Porterhouse steak arrived at the table. The cut we got was without doubt a bit fatty, however, the meat (and most of the fat frankly) was divine. Like, so good I keep thinking about it..

We also had a pasta starter made up of lampredotto and salsa verde – lampredotto being the fourth stomach of the cow. Great work, cows.

We had this at Osteria dell’Enoteca washed down with another fantastic Brunello – these chaps also run a wine bar which we tried out – Enoteca Pitti Gola E Cantina.

If you want a more traditional lampredotto head to Simeone’s for it in a sandwich.


If sandwiches served to you by lovely, Italian men is your thing you should also head to Semel. A tiny, one-man shop serving up an array of ‘panino’. The stand out one for us was the pear, truffle and pecorino.


So, in summary, if you want to spend too much money on great food and great wine you might enjoy Florence. I do hope this information is helpful to you.

Atrium at University College Birmingham

When I heard there was a restaurant run by UCB students studying chef, food service and hospitality courses I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to inspire the next generation of the food world.

On arrival, we sat in the lounge area and an adorable young man told us about the cocktails of the day.

Patronising? Me? No. The reason I found him adorable was because I’m completely deluded and still think I’m 24/26, so when I see 16/18 year olds I think they’re about 10. I settled on a Manhattan that was not bad at all. It left me wondering if I’d be allowed to start propping up the bar here dispensing wisdom at these youngsters on a daily basis. They’d love that.

We went through to the very nicely done dining room and took our seats. The waitress who poured our water was so nervous she was shaking. A young lady clearly clued up on the food blogging sphere and knew she was serving a FoodieBoy!

The menus came out, they’re in a leather case and when you open them they light up Which delighted me because I’m a simpleton.

There was an amuse bouche described as pork banh mi – it was a small piece of pork belly, a blob of mash and some sultanas. It was tasty, but I’m not sure where the ‘banh mi’ bit really came in.

My guinea fowl starter was really good, the scotch egg that came with it was exceptional, better than some of the ones that get wanked on about in the city centre that’s for sure.

An interesting aspect of the menu was the fact it had the carbon footprint of each dish next to it. It’s nice to know the guinea fowl put some effort into making it possible to be eaten by me (16.9KG Co2) compared to the lazy potato dish (1.1KG).

My cod main came in at 5.6kg.

“Excuse me, young man. Could you tell me how 5.6kg of Co2 converts into miles, I’d like to know how far it swam to get here.”

“I’m… not sure, I’ll go and ask.”

With that, the French lady who was overseeing the evening’s operation came over.

“Hi, I hear you have a question.”

“It was a test, and I’m delighted to say your student passed with flying colours.”

A hefty chunk of cod came with a horseradish gremolata, potato purée and asparagus and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, the dish of the night was the chocolate dessert. I ordered it despite the description having the word liquorice in it, that’s how dedicated I am to chocolate.

A set mousse had a liquorice insert, that rather than overpower, actually enhanced the chocolate flavour. If I’d been served that at one of the city’s Michelin starred restaurants I wouldn’t have batted an eye lid.

Not bat an eye lid, what the hell is that all about. Why did I just write it? If it’d been shit would I have batted an eye lid? No, I wouldn’t.

For three courses it was £30, exceptional value. It gets slightly more expensive if you have a cocktail first, two bottles of wine and a dessert wine to finish – but it’s good to show the kids how it’s done properly.

You will find the The Atrium and Brasserie Restaurant at University College Birmingham, Summer Row, Birmingham B3 1JB.

Tattu – Birmingham

“Any chance I can have a female waiter?”

“I’m afraid you’ve got me,” the male waiter replied.

“You really need to be female.”


“For the purpose of a blog. I’m a very famous food blogger and I want to do a gag about ‘all the things she said’ in my review of this place.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“The Russian lesbian pop act…”

“Can I take your order?”

Wow! What a space! It’s got a big, dead tree in it and everything!

Thing is, I’m not here to tell you about the space am I? I’m not a ‘Space Blogger’ am I? And if I was, it’d all be about that weirdo Tim Peak not trees in basements.

“Good point, how was the food then?” Thanks for asking. The food was alright.

There’s a small plates menu and a mains menu, we decided to stick to the small plates until I got greedy and decided to try a main too.

The mixed dim sum basket had a soup dumpling which tasted of satay which was interesting, a pork one with spicy iberico pork that wasn’t spicy and came in a pointless ‘beetroot dough’ and another one that didn’t really taste of much.

The dips accompanying this were soy, sweet chilli and a more interesting coriander and jalapeño concoction.

The chicken truffle shumai tasted of nothing but truffle, which is OK as I like truffle.

The prawn and lobster toast just tasted like prawn toast I get from my local Chinese takeaway where I get about twice the amount for half the price.

The beef and foie gras gyoza were genuinely quite interesting, although I couldn’t taste any teriyaki sauce they were supposed to be in.

The beef short rib was my favourite of the small plates, what’s not to like about ribs covered in sticky soy sauce?

The other standout dish was the XO fried rice which was very pleasing, I suppose it would be as XO sauce is delicious. It had bits of pancetta in it too which worked well.

I settled on the red pepper lamb chops for the main to try. It also said ‘hot and sour pumpkin’ under the title of the dish – I’ve got no idea why. These didn’t really taste of anything other than a slight char. Thank the lord baby Jesus Christ almighty that it was the final days of the soft launch when I visited as these would have cost £24 normally. £24! Fuck! TWENTY FOUR POUNDS.

I’m glad we went to try it out, it was fine – if I’d paid full price I think I’d currently be weeping on the bus (I’m writing this on a bus).

Will I be going back? No, well, not unless I start having an affair with the wife of a lower league footballer and want to impress her with a big pink tree, my ability to piss money away and a trip home on the 23 bus.

You’ll find Tattu Birmingham at 18 Barwick St, Birmingham B3 2NT.

Bistrot Pierre

“Bonjour, est Peter dans la maison?”


“Wae’aye! Is Pierre in the house, like?”

That’s just a short snippet of a conversation that dragged on for over 45 minutes. Eventually, it became clear that Peter was not in the house. It was at this point too late to find anywhere else to eat, so we agreed to take a table for two.

As a top #FoodBlogger I’m often first to know about the big news in the food industry, for example, I knew about fennel, salted caramel and razor clams before anyone else. However, very few things have blown me away compared to when I discovered that Peter Beardsley had opened up a chain of French Bistros across the UK.

That’s correct, set up in 1994 originally under the name ‘Bistrot Beardsley,’ it was decided that not enough people would want to eat there, same for ‘Bistrot Peter’, and eventually ‘Bistrot Pierre’ was born.

Pierre’s website

“What would Pete eat?” I said to the waiter who’d asked for my food choice.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” he replied.

“Don’t worry, I’m a food blogger, I know about the whole Peter Beardsley thing,” I whispered.

“Can I take your order?”

That’s just a short snippet of a conversation that dragged on for over 45 minutes. Eventually, it became clear the waiter was unwilling to talk about the former Newcastle winger. Frustrated, I ordered the first two things my eyes set upon: goat’s cheese to start followed by the fishcake for main.

My ladywife was uninterested about the whole Peter Beardsley thing, well, until I told her that the beef bourguignon she’d ordered was actually using a recipe Peter had perfected during his spell at the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1982.

Peter perfecting his beef bourguignon recipe in Canada.

My starter of goat’s cheese, sourdough, pear and chicory was perfectly reasonable. It was great to finally try Pete’s Pears straight from his orchard in Stockton-On-Tees.

My fishcake main was less successful, a stodgy salmon affair with a poached egg and a Dijon sauce.

Disappointed with my main, the next day I drove to the Middlesbrough branch of Pierre’s and was lucky enough to catch Peter on his way out.

“Pierre!” Pierre!” I shouted as he walked towards his car.

“Not me, fella.”

“Peter, I know that you’re Pierre. I want to talk to you about your fishcake.”

“No idea what you’re talking about.”

“It was very stodgy, Peter.”

And with that, he drove away, leaving me feeling like Matt Allwright.

To conclude, if you want average food, reasonably priced, cooked by a former Premier League star – you can’t beat Bistrot Pierre.