Found along bustling Broad St, the Hyatt Regency is a stylish and modern hotel boasting panoramic views of Birmingham, along with indulgent spa treatments and luxury bedroom suites. Having been to the Hyatt for their festive afternoon tea, where the mood had been cosy and candle lit, I couldn't believe the Summer transformation. With stunning architecture and a high, glass ceiling, the sunlight streamed through the windows whilst we enjoyed a sunny evening meal in their Aria Bistro restaurant.
The decor has a turquoise and sage green colour scheme, with lots of greenery and sculptures on light, glass shelving. The restaurant is on a higher tier overlooking the lobby, with views of the striking spiral staircase and grand piano.
I sipped on a sparkling glass of Drappier Carte d’Or Rose (£14.00/£69 bottle) with a warm bread board whilst we scanned the menu. I was instantly drawn to the Grilled Green Asparagus and Poached Egg with Hollandaise sauce (£7.00) which although I can make at home is a sign of a good chef. My dining companion went for the Devon Crab Cocktail with avocado, tomato, cucumber and lemon dressing (£10.00) which I most likely would've had my eye on if I hadn't been off to Cromer that weekend.
The crab starter was well enjoyed, with a chunky texture and delicate taste - just how it should be. The presentation was, as you can see, fantastic, and was definitely not style over substance.
Much to my happiness, all elements of the asparagus starter were just right. To my excitement, I captured key moments of the ultimate gooey poached egg and drizzle-able hollandaise. The sauce was gorgeous, creamy and lemony, and I'm not ashamed to say I dipped my finger in the jug after finishing the asparagus.
For mains, we went for the Homemade BBQ Pork Belly with pea puree, grilled baby corn and chips (£15.00) and the Braised Leg of Lamb with spicy cous cous and garlic spinach (£18.00). Not being great for overly spicy flavours, I asked the silly question of how spicy the cous cous would be. Actually it was more medium and warming Moroccan inspired flavours so I was happy to give it a go, and it turned out to be lovely.
The pork belly was gorgeously sticky and sweet, and a great portion at that. The puree made a nice alternative to garden peas with pork and the charred corn kept with the BBQ style theme of the dish, The chips were delightfully crispy and even better - skins kept on!
My lamb wasn't what I was expected at all from the billed leg of lamb, but I actually enjoyed this even more. There wasn't a bone or any fat in sight, with the braising process having created a delicious portion of melting lamb with a rich flavour. The presentation of the cous cous and buttery spinach added a gourmet feel to a lamb tagine inspired combination.
By dessert, I was so full that I just wanted something light. Being in season, I went for the Fresh Strawberries with double cream and icing sugar (£8.00), whilst my fellow diner went for Bread and Butter Pudding with classic vanilla ice cream (£6.00). Vegans will be pleased to know that the menu includes a Soya Pannacotta, whilst those with a gluten free diet can enjoy the Créme Brulée. I just read their July menu includes an Earl Grey & White Chocolate Mousse which I totally need to go back for!
With a crispy topping and gooey, chewy middle, the bread and butter pudding was a hit. They'd also managed to put together what is traditionally a "bung it" recipe for stale bread into a rather lovingly presented pud.
My strawberries were fresh and fun. I can imagine enjoying dipping strawberries in whipped cream, pouring cream and icing sugar with a glass of fizz after one of their spa days. I did think at £8.00 it was rather steep considering the other desserts were £6.00, but it was still a nice and light option to have at the end of a meal.
Overall, it was a brilliantly presented meal with great service. The lightness of the restaurant is simply fantastic and perfect for Summer evenings and cosy Christmas meals alike. If you're staying at the Hyatt Regency, I can imagine it would be tempting to venture out of the hotel to see what Broad Street has to offer, but this is definitely not a restaurant to be overlooked.
Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham?
2 bridge street
Note: We dined as guests of the Aria Bistro. All opinions are honest and my own.