Inspired by the food of Buenos Aires and serving up some of the best steak in Birmingham, Fiesta del Asado is somewhere you’ll be hard pressed not to have heard of by now.
Found on Hagley Road, Fiesta del Asado has made a name for itself as an oasis for steak lovers. Part of the Lasan Group (the same folk behind Lasan in Jewellery Quarter and Nosh & Quaff by Victoria Square) it’s been on my must-try list for far, far too long. Being that I live on the other side of the city, this area isn’t one I’m hugely familiar with, but based on what I sampled here last week it will be from now on.
Pimientos del padron (£2.99) kick start our food journey. The pan fried padron offered a burst of colour, the charred green pepper flesh softened by heat and liberally sprinkled with rock salt. These would also make a cracking bar snack, as well as an unofficial starter to your starter. We grabbed some fat queen olives to share too.
Despite seeing some glorious looking lamb cutlets fly past me, I wasn’t going to visit this place and not try the steak. My husband would never forgive me. Wanting a fairly lean cut but with more flavour, Marucha Sin Hueso (£26.99) ticked the box. A 20oz beauty of a flat iron steak, this whopping cut is taken from the chuck and blade section of the cow.
Subtly marbled yet incredibly lean and tender, it’s served medium rare. You can gently ask for a longer cook (I’m usually a medium girl) but just trust them on this. Pink and juicy, the flavour was stunning, licked by flames for a smoky sear with delicate bovine flavour. It’s a glorious slab of grass-fed meat; if this can’t turn a vegetarian to the dark side I don’t know what can, quite frankly. There’s a varied array of cuts available if you fancy something with more chew and fat. If you’re not sure what you’d like, ask the servers who know plenty about what they’re delivering to you.
Choosing a piece of beef that’s the same size as your head means you don’t really need chips, so I opted for a Tomato and Red Onion Salad (£2.49) to cut through the richness. The garlic spiked oil glazing the fresh tomatoes is a dreamy addition, as is the pot of chimichurri which comes with all steaks. This was all washed down by a glass of Malbec.. when in Argentina and all that.
Despite having a steak baby bump, we ambitiously took on dessert. It turns out these are as massive as the mains, and I left the restaurant with more of a waddle than a stride. My biggest gripe with desserts in restaurants is that so many are bought in; not here. My pudding, Santiago Tart (£5.49) was rustic and beautiful, an imperfectly fitting pastry lid topping a dense tart packed with almond flavour and a hint of liqueur. After a main like mine you could easily share this between two though; it’s quite heavy and I only managed to eat half.
Friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff make dining here an absolute delight. From taking our coats on arrival to being on hand to explain the cuts of beef, the service was top notch. Most notably, this place represents incredible value for money when compared to Gaucho, and both the food and the setting are much more interesting than the likes of Miller & Carter (where I actually had the worst steak of my life a few years ago). Better yet, flash your Independent Birmingham card and you’ll get a 10% discount: winner!
Few places in the city are often actually worth the hype surrounding them, in my opinion, but Fiesta del Asado is one restaurant that has nailed its offering. It prioritises authenticity and flavour over theatrics and nonsense, and I for one am absolutely onboard with that style of cooking. It’s honest and it’s excellent.
Fiesta del Asado, 229 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 9RP
Disclosure: On this occasion I was a guest of Paul Fulford and did not see the bill. Words, pics and opinions are, as absolutely always, mine