July saw the launch of a summer menu at Cosy Club so I went along to sample some of the new dishes available alongside a few cocktails. For those unfamiliar with this bar come restaurant, it’s an eclectic mix of plush furnishing, peculiar paintings, and over the top decor. It manages to feel like a vintage boutique-esq hotel and your mad old aunt’s house simultaneously; combining sleek and shabby, taxidermy and unrelated portraits. In the former Midland Bank, Cosy Club (part of a UK wide chain) offers informal dining and casual drinking, and sits opposite Lost and Found on Bennetts Hill.
I attended the launch when it first opened its doors in 2015 and became a regular for the first six months, enjoying food at the weekend and after work cocktails from time to time. But I found that as the venue got busier the standards slipped, and after two poor meals (one of which was unfortunately on my birthday) I spent my money elsewhere. However, with a new food menu now available, it seemed fair to give the place another chance. Spoiler alert: I’m so glad I did!
We arrived early evening on a Monday night to find the restaurant filling up but were seated and served (by a lovely waitress called Vicky) at lightening speed. The restaurant itself is split over two levels and as far as I can see hasn’t changed much since the opening. True to its name the area still feels warm and cosy, and with so much soft lighting it’s an ideal spot for a first date – or a disco nap.
Vicky guided us through the summer menu additions and we ordered our drinks whilst deciding on our meals. My dining partner had a pint of Estrella (£4.65) and I chose the English Rose (£7.75); a sparkling cocktail combining Bulldog gin, lemon juice, rose water, muddled strawberries and a healthy glug of prosecco. A refreshing and delicate summer cocktail, it was fragrant and just sweet enough. Later on I also tried the Vanilla Espresso Martini (£7.75) which combined coffee liqueur, vanilla vodka and a double espresso for a sweet caffeine injection after dinner; the creamy vanilla undertone was delicious.
The menu itself has undergone a transformation for summer although certain elements remain prominent, such as burgers and Tapas. There’s plenty of ‘comfort food’ inspired choices as well as some slightly more fancy options, and there are decent seasonal ‘healthy’ options too – annoyingly rare to find in restaurants around this area so bonus points for that.
To start we ordered some sharing plates from the Tapas menu, which at £11.95 for 3 is an economical way to enjoy a starter without breaking the bank. Our three dishes included Garlic Tiger Prawns, Pork Belly Squares, and Buttermilk Chicken. The shell-on prawns were juicy, tender and well cooked with a subtle hum of garlic; I’d have perhaps liked a bit more but then I’m a fiend for it. The cubes of pork belly were meaty, and came with a delicious sticky BBQ glaze that was both sweet and smoky. Finally the fried chicken goujons arrived with a paprika mayo dip, and we both enjoyed the crispy texture and tender fillets. I wish we’d also added the Mac and Cheese Balls, in hindsight.
My main – from the Splendid section of the main menu – was the Roasted Chicken Breast (£13.95) which was stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomato and pesto. Arriving wrapped in smoked streaky bacon and served with cavolo nero (an Italian cabbage similar to kale – no, I didn’t know what it was either), it also came with slivers of roasted orange peppers, parmesan crusted potatoes, and a shiny balsamic dressing. The chicken was moist, tender and had a bright and tangy tomato filling. I’d have liked more of the pesto flavour to shine through the chicken’s cheesy stuffing, but it was still very tasty. The halved baby potatoes were delicately flavoured by the salty parmesan, and I enjoyed my first cavolo nero experience; it’s nice to be offered a more exciting vegetable and you can order this as a side separately. All in all a really flavourful and robust dish, actually.
My dining partner opted for the Roasted Lamb T-Bone Chops (£13.95) with sautéed potatoes, green beans, spinach and tomatoes, drizzled in a basil and garlic oil. One of the summer additions to the menu, he enjoyed the tender lamb and commented that the dish’s individual elements tasted light and fresh. The hint of mint was a nice touch and the herby oil left behind was delicious mopped up with some sourdough bread left from the starters. There was nothing left on his plate once he’d finished so I’d assume it was just as good as he said it was before devouring it all.
For dessert I ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding (£5.95) which came with vanilla ice cream and a warm butterscotch sauce. I have to say, and I have eaten a lot of STP over the years, this was delightful. The sponge was light and fluffy and the sauce rich and thick, which combined with the ice cream made for a creamy dreamy pud. We also tried the Warm Chocolate Brownie (£5.95) with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream which was nice (with the additional chunks of nut) but not as satisfying as the other dessert. It wasn’t bad, at all, it’s just that the STP here is ridiculously good. Like, I wanted another bowl there and then.
All in all a good meal, great service, and a nice setting for a mid week date night; the food has improved tenfold since my last visit. The menu is varied and the seasonal additions are ideal for summer dining. If cocktails are your bag you might like the Teatime Tipple offered Sunday-Thursday (from 4-8) when you can get 2 cocktails for £9.95, and Cosy Club also does Tapas Tuesdays which is great value deal.
Cosy Club, 33 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN
*Disclosure: I was invited to try the food and drink in return for an honest review. All opinions, photos (and over excited pudding chat) are my own*