Before flying off to Rome for my birthday (sorry not sorry) I had a gorgeous lunch at El Borracho de Oro with some friends and family.
The Edgbaston restaurant is somewhere I’ve enjoyed tapas before, and more recently I scoffed a lot of owner Emma’s grub at 1000 Trades, where she had a successful pop up stint in the kitchen. When deciding where to spend my birthday her restaurant was the first place I thought of. Because if you’re going to turn 33 you may as well have a table full of cheese, copious amounts of good wine, and the people you love around you.
Opposite Boston Tea Party in Edgbaston, the restaurant is warm and inviting with plenty of stylistic nods to sunnier climes. With Birmingham enjoying an unusually warm spell we decided to eat outside on the terrace, which come lunchtime is an absolute sun trap.
The menu offers an imaginative and loving adventure into the Mediterranean, leaning more towards Spanish flavours and dishes. The choice is vast, including meat, fish and veggie options, as well as Paellas. With a group of 12 I decided to just mass order and share the bounty, doubling up on the popular classics to keep everyone happy. I actually ordered a ludicrous amount of dishes, so what you see below is merely a taster of the feast.
As well as a ridiculously lovely Chicken and Chorizo Paella (£15.50), the Seafood Fideuà (£17) was a big hit around the table. This uses a special pasta instead of rice, and was something many of the party hadn’t tried before. I’ve only had this once before myself, when I visited Cataluña in my teens, and this version tasted just as good. Sticking with authentic dishes, several portions of Tortilla Al Borracho (£5.75) were well received. Here the traditional Spanish omelette is made with leeks and smoked cheese and took me right back to back streets of Barcelona with my mum last year.
Pinchos de Pollo (£8.55) kept the meat eaters satisfied, and I’m glad the last minute decision to swap the chicken wings for these was made. Mejillones Al Borracho (£5.75) made the seafood fans rather happy, mainly because of the luxurious creamy broth the mussels were swimming in. For the vegetarian dishes, Berenjena con Miel (£7), a plate piled with crispy aubergine discs flavoured with honey and sesame, made for an interesting veggie dish but it was the simplicity of the Alcachofas a la Gallega (£6.95) that made me ridiculously happy. Artichokes cooked Galician Style, this was one of my favourite dishes from the lunch. And of course there was a cheese platter, because.. well, cheese is just brilliant.
As well as a Meat Platter (£14.50) that quickly got demolished by my husband, the boys all raved about the Chorizo al Vino (£6.95) and Croquetas de Jamón (£5.50) made with cured ham. It’s the quality of ingredients that makes each dish special here. Even the olive oil (brought over directly from Spain) that came with the bread to start was glorious. And the olives, good lord make sure you don’t overlook the olives.
In the essence of full disclosure, I booked in advance and asked Emma to create a bespoke lunch for us, and boy, did she deliver. This also took the stress out of hosting my birthday lunch which, with my erratic mental state half the time, you can’t put a price on.
The service before and during the lunch was faultless, the staff are warm and effortlessly friendly, and the food is a real love letter to the Mediterranean. My dad, who is a lifelong lover of Spanish food, raved about the tapas, which in my book counts for more than I can offer in this post. Special thanks to Emma for going above and beyond to make sure I had a brilliant birthday. Gracias cariño!
Are you a fan of El Borracho de Oro? What dishes do you like most? Let me know in the comments.
El Borracho de Oro, Harborne Court, Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3BU
Disclosure: we paid in full for the meal. All words, photos and unusual levels of positivity are mine because it’s my birthday and I love life.