1847 is a restaurant that has fast become one of my favorite places to dine in Birmingham over the past 18 months. Relaxed and unassuming, this vegetarian restaurant is the perfect little hideaway for a working lunch or a romantic dinner for two. I was recently invited to a bloggers event organised by local food and lifestyle blogger Brumderland, and jumped at the chance to check out a selection from their new winter menu.
Nestled in the majestic Great Western Arcade, 1847 is a contrast to its traditional, historic surroundings. White wood paneling covers the walls, contrasted by simple grey egg shell and no frills carpeting. The place has a simple, fresh, Scandi-cool vibe. The large leafy canvas that extends both floors echoes the restaurant’s plant based menu and adds to the simple, ‘back to basics’ surroundings. This simplicity is carried into their presentation. Food is served on white crockery, slates and glassware. I don’t tend to enjoy over-thought tableware, I think it often detracts from the food, but here it works – a complement rather than a distraction.
I have enjoyed various different dishes here over recent months, but for this article I will focus on the spread of dishes I was invited to try as part of their new winter menu.
The meal was opened with a selection of simple nibbles – focaccia with shakshuka hummus along with confit garlic and smoked marinated olives. Shakshuka is a flavoursome dish, traditionally made with tomatoes and spices such as cumin and paprika. While I enjoyed chef’s spin on this by incorporating the flavours into a hummus, I felt that it lacked the level of depth and spice I would have expected from the description.
For my starter I chose maple parsnip, parsnip cream, apple and pumpkin seed. I very much enjoyed the simplicity of this dish. The sharp apple, contrasted well with the sweet parsnip. The cream gave the dish a richer level. Definitely the sort of dish you want to get a little bit of everything on your folk and taste together!
My main dish was chickpea flatbread, Calva Nero, mushroom, toasted quinoa, yoghurt and chili. Again, like my starter, this dish was simple but well considered. The flatbread was subtly flavoured and provided a good base for the rest of the ingredients. The light flavours of the mushrooms and kale were not overpowered by the chili and yoghurt. I liked the chef’s play on words for Cavolo Nero cooked in Calvados.
At prior meals at 1847, I’ve always found they fall down a little on dessert. My dessert for this meal was chocolate brownie, dehydrated chocolate mousse, white chocolate powder, soaked red wine blackberries. While the dish was generally pleasant, I felt it didn’t quite match the standard of the other courses. I often find when I order a brownie, it arrives and it isn’t a brownie at all, but a piece of chocolate cake. 1847’s brownie was exactly what a brownie should be, stodgy and rich. Not crumbly. I found that the accompaniments were too dry however, and the blackberries were a little underwhelming. Something lighter, and creamy would have complimented the delicious brownie better. Perhaps a berry coulis as well, or something using citrus? As a result, I struggled to finish as the whole dish was too rich.
To accompany our meal, we were served two blended Portuguese wines from the Alentejo region, a red and a white. I enjoyed both wines. The white had a soft, peachy flavour. The red had a berry aroma, and a soft tannin finish.
I really enjoyed my evening at 1847, the food, service and atmosphere was fab (as always). It was also great to be in a room full of fellow food lovers, talking* about my favourite thing and meeting new people.
While the bloggers event I attended was complimentary, I have eaten here on numerous occasions and can’t fault the price. Their menu is a fixed 2, or 3 course at £19.75 and £25.50 respectively. They also do regular discounts via their mailing list, and are a Tastecard affiliate. If you would like to visit 1847 I would recommend booking in advance as they are often busy at weekends. For those non-Brummies, you can also find branches of 1847 in Manchester, Bristol and Brighton.