Birmingham, the second-largest city in the UK, is known for its rich cultural heritage, bustling streets, and some of the nation’s best food - including the renowned Birmingham Balti. But aside from the Balti Triangle and popular street-food venues like Digbeth Dining Club, the city also has an extensive range of fine dining restaurants. From Michelin-starred establishments to intimate eateries, Birmingham has something to offer to every food enthusiast. Brigad has picked out some highlights that every fine dining enthusiast should look out for on their next trip to the Midlands.
Simpsons Restaurant, located in Edgbaston, is one of Birmingham's most celebrated fine-dining restaurants and is now celebrating 30 years of service. The restaurant, which has held a Michelin star since 1999, offers an exquisite dining experience - “set in a gorgeous Grade II-listed Georgian villa, the decor is bright and modern but respects the building’s elegance and heritage. The food, too, respects classical tradition but with a contemporary take on British cuisine - combining influences from around the world in dishes based on fabulous impeccably sourced seasonal ingredients.”
The menu is constantly evolving, and you may only find out once you arrive at the stunning restaurant what you’ll be eating that evening - however, the restaurant promises to “source the finest seasonal ingredients from the most trusted sources and ensure they are treated with respect, skill and imagination to create contemporary classics”. Vegan and Vegetarian diners will be pleased to know that PETA has recognised Simpsons for their outstanding plant-based options.
Adam's Restaurant, situated in the city centre, is another of Birmingham’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Adam’s was opened in 2013 by husband and wife team Adam and Natasha and offers A La Carte taster menus, as well as daily lunch courses and a world-class wine list.
The restaurant's menu focuses on locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, which means their dishes could be changing on a daily basis - ideal for repeat customers. The sample menus give nods to regional specialities, including ‘Cornish Brill’, ‘Orkney Scallops’,’ Yorkshire Rhubarb’ and ‘Isle of Wight Tomatoes’, among other British staples, like pork belly, aged beef and chalk stream trout.
Although you might not know the restaurant’s menu before arriving, they note that ‘Vegan, Vegetarian and Pescatarian Menus are available and other dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.’
Purnell's Restaurant, located in Birmingham city centre, is a contemporary fine dining restaurant founded by Glyn Purnell. Nicknamed the ‘yummy Brummie’, Purnell founded his restaurant after “training with top chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Claude Bosi - Glynn travelled abroad to work with well-known Michelin-starred chefs in Europe. He went on to be awarded Birmingham’s first Michelin star back in 2005.”
Purnell prides itself on delivering top-quality British contemporary food, with inspiration also coming from France and the far east. Glynn says of his restaurant: “I like people to laugh and enjoy the food. I like the presentation to be flamboyant. When you come to a restaurant it should be all about the experience, and presentation is a huge part of that. Food should be colourful, romantic, funny… it should be like a rollercoaster when you’re eating it. This ethos is what defines the plates served at Purnell’s.”
Opheem, situated in the Jewellery Quarter, is a modern Indian restaurant that has received numerous accolades since its opening in 2018, including a Michelin star. Founded by Aktar Islam, he “strives to push the boundaries with Indian flavours”, infusing cooking techniques from all over the world, some traditional, and some very modern.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Aktar Islam brings the highest grade of Indian food to the city, he says that his “mission from a young age was to cook the food of Kings and Emperors. And that’s how we ended up here.”
Carters of Moseley
Carters of Moseley, located in the leafy suburb of Moseley, is a Michelin-starred restaurant that has been making waves in the Birmingham dining scene since its opening in 2010. The restaurant's menu focuses on using locally-sourced ingredients, they say that their “menus evolve on a daily basis & are developed by following the natural rhythms of the British season. The mission is to innovate by replacing foreign ingredients with native alternatives” They also promote a sustainable menu: “we aim to treat our ingredients with the utmost respect & admiration by reducing waste. Foraging, championing ancient preservation techniques & celebrating whole animal butchery are the foundations of our ethos.”
Whilst a vegetarian menu is available, they do state that they cannot accommodate the vegan diet.
Fine dining in Birmingham
Birmingham's dining scene has grown significantly in recent years, with an extensive range of fine dining restaurants to suit every palate and occasion. Combining British classics with the city’s Indian trademark, and taking inspiration from cuisine from all over the world - there is something for everyone in Birmingham. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner or a special occasion, Birmingham’s range of fine dining restaurants will have you covered.
If you’re in the hospitality industry and looking for work, or you own a business and are looking for reliable, experienced self-employed professionals, reach out to the Brigad team today.