I have a well documented love affair with Malmaison, and having discovered my foodie friend Fay (try saying that with your mouthful) hadn’t tried the delectable Sunday Brunch the place is so hyped for I immediately booked us a table.
The three course feast at Chez Mal starts with soup and access to the Chef’s Table (more on this later), all followed by a main dish. Options include roast dinners, burgers and brunch dishes. The menu also changes seasonally.
The food is delicious and for £19.95 it’s also a bloody bargain, sitting a cool fiver under the very similar version offered at Hotel du Vin. You can also add unlimited prosecco for £15 or try one of the Chez Mal cocktails if you fancy making it a boozy brunch.
Chez Mal, found through the bar, is a good size and has a fairly swish but laid back atmosphere, ideal for a lazy Sunday lunch with family or friends. Soup of the day kicks off our epic lunch and our smiling server tells us it’s Highland Vegetable Broth which is self serve. It’s light and nice enough (although nothing particularly to write home about on this occasion) but by no means the main event anyway.
The Chef’s Table is where the real magic happens, and diners can visit as many times as they wish. A whole room adjoining to the dinning area, you’ll find platters of chilled smoked fish and seafood, serrano ham, Ibérico chorizo, salchichón and terrines, plus Artisan breads, pickles, and various salads and veggies.
It’s literally my favourite room on earth and, despite trying to be reserved on this occasion, I still managed to pack away a towering plate of cold cuts and salads. It’s like Boxing Day gone wild in there. The quality of the cured meats and fish available was excellent, and the variety to choose from makes for a real feast. Also, the balsamic pickled onions are my new favourite thing on earth.
Time for mains, with Fay choosing Poached Smoked Haddock and Shellfish Chowder and my choice: The Mal Sunday Roast. Hereford Picanha rump is served with a huge homemade thyme and rosemary Yorkshire pudding and a selection of roasted root vegetables, buttered greens and, most importantly, a host of crispy roast potatoes. Delicious as it was, in hindsight this was a somewhat ridiculous choice after the previous course, even for me. I could just about manage half of this roasted feast, but it was homely and tasty. The beef especially was perfect – tender, blushing, a decent portion – and I liked that our server asked how I’d like my beef cooked.
Dessert can be added for £3.50 – current puddings include treacle tart, apple and sultana crumble, and sticky toffee pudding – and there’s a variety of cocktails available if that’s your thing. The menu changes seasonally but there’s always great quality food and excellent service; book in advance and give it a go.
Chez Mal, Malmaison Birmingham, 1 Wharfside Street, B1 2JR
*Disclosure: I paid in full and did not make anyone aware I was a blogger. All views and photos are, as always, all my own. As is the overexcited cheese chat*