I will usually choose an indepedent restaurant or cafe over a chain but last week, after attending an emotion minute silence in town due to the horrible events in Manchester, I found myself looking for something quick and easy in the sunshine that wouldn’t wreck the vaguely good work I’d done in the gym.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t been to Cafe Rouge in years, but the food smells and sunshine drenched terrace were too much to resist and I grabbed a table overlooking the Bull Ring.
I was surprised to find there was space outside to be honest, due to it being 1pm and the fact that the terrace itself is a total lunchtime sun trap, but I was seated in a matter of seconds and a server provided me with various menus before coming back 2 minutes later to take my order.
For a drink I chose the French Garden Fizz (£3.25) mocktail which was a sparkling combination of elderflower, lemon and lime. Totally gorgeous and really refreshing, I absolutely loved it – in hindsight I wish I’d added a gin to it haha.
There’s a 2 courses for £12.95 spring menu as well as the main menu with some lovely sounding dishes, although I was craving something virtuous so I opted for one of the salads from the daily menu: the Warm Tuna Niscoise Salad (£12.95).
The salad arrived within ten minutes and looked good; larger than I expected. The tuna steak was seared and warm to the touch. Upon cutting it I was delighted to see it wasn’t overcooked or dry, actually having a line of pink running through it.
The boiled egg was perfectly cooked, still having a soft set centre, and proudly sat alongside anchovies and a fanned avocado half which sat below the tuna.
The green beans and baby potatoes were all perfectly tender and still warm, which alongside the salty olives and mixed heritage tomatoes ensured the dish had a summer centred fresh kick too.
The vinegarette was lightly drizzled over the tuna although I maybe should’ve asked for this on the side so I could enjoy it with the vegetables too. A small gripe really.
An interesting and delicious salad which, from my previous experience of Cafe Rouge, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much. Zingy, sunshine flavours and a great tuna steak portion which makes the £12.95 price tag less horrifying.
Cafe Rouge, Upper Mall West, Bullring, Birmingham B5 4BG
*This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own*