for those who see my constant stream of vegetarian meals and vegan baking over on social media, this review may come as a surprise. tofu and quinoa aside, i actually absolutely love a good quality rare steak, preferably rump or fillet, and choose my time to indulge. so where better for these sparing moments than at well received argentinian steakhouse fiesta del asado in birmingham? i was truly in for a treat.
since i follow lots of birmingham and midlands food bloggers, i'd seen the three magic words fiesta del asado crop up many times before. i don't usually do this, but beforehand i read every single restaurant review i could get my hands on, so i could get a grasp of what to expect from each steak. it had even impressed gingey bites, who once travelled to argentina to sample the real deal. with cuts like asado de tira, bife de costilla and anjura sin hueso, i wanted to turn myself into a professional butcher overnight in order to choose the best dish for me. luckily, some green olives, bread and oils graced my presence whilst i made the crucial decision.
the interior is mellow, with exposed brickwork, lashings of magnolia, an abundance of candles and low beamed ceilings. a cosy but premium feel, which felt more like a south american holiday than a few miles outside of the city centre.
to begin, we chose the chistorra artysan (£5.99) and morcilla curada (£5.89). the chistorra is a type of artisan cooking chorizo, which is made from lean pork and seasoned with paprika and garlic. erupting with smokey flavours, the delicious sausage was on a bed of sharp salad made up of tomato, red onion, fennel and garlic oil. it was just the right size for a starter too, a satisfying amount which teased me for the second course.
sam's starter, served on a similar salad base, was a traditionally smoked black pudding flavoured with caramelised onion and paprika. black pudding isn't for everyone and can be rather bitter if not done well. you'll have to forgive me for it not being the best photograph either, although the ends were practically spilling out with sausagemeat. fantastic quality and well enjoyed.
after much deliberation, i opted for the bife de angosto (£23.98) and sam the 11oz fillet on the bone, written as bife de lomo (£23.49). with these we ordered sides of creamed spinach (£2.49) and parsley and garlic fries (£1.99).
quite frankly, this steak blew me away. with the serving suggestion of medium rare, the beautifully cooked and well rested 16 oz angosto slices through with ease and disappears in the mouth. described as a single muscle taken from the loin with great texture and intense flavour, the billing couldn't be closer to the truth. i savoured it with their infamous malbec sauce and an ambient glass of red. i would say that i was expecting the malbec sauce to be creamier and wish i'd opted for the peppercorn. sam enjoyed his with classic chimichurri, a fresh and zingy parsley, garlic and oregano based sauce.
in addition to the fillet on the bone, sam opted for a fried egg on top. it was a nice touch that this came out on a small frying pan and was placed on your choice of plate position by the waitress. this was one of those meals where both of us were reluctant to share, so i guess i can trust his tastebuds that this was a winner.
after all that i bet you didn't expect to see desserts. well, how could i resist when there's an almond and amaretto tart on the menu? (we all know i love a bakewell!) paired with honey ice cream, it was like this was dessert was made for me. of course i loved it, however biased. sam opted for an apple empanadas pastry with creamy dulce de leche ice cream. as i don't like warm apple flavours this wasn't for me, luckily for him he could gobble the lot to himself. the desserts also featured the likes of their celebrated churros and rich chocolate pot.
in case you hadn't already guessed, i loved the place. if there was anywhere to treat myself to a delicious and decadent steak, this was it.
fiesta del asado
229 hagley road
229 hagley road
in case you wondered, there are also around 5-7 free parking spaces outside the restaurant.
note: i was invited for a complimentary meal to review. all opinions are honest and my own.