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christmas at bistro 1847, birmingham.

'Tis the season of Christmas menus and bistro 1847's festive flavours most certainly didn't disappoint. With the likes of brussels sprouts, blue cheese and potato crackling gracing the menu, the Birmingham based restaurant have launched their Christmas 2014 offerings with an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan ingredients.

Amelia and I began the evening with a couple of Christmas cocktails to get in the festive spirit. I opted for a berry christmas, which as the name suggested is a mix of winter berries. Upon recommendation from the waitress Amelia went for a Mrs Claus; a blend of rum, chambord and fruit juice which had a indulgent mulled wine vibe. We also sipped on cucumber infused water, which was a nice fresh touch that I'll definitely be trying at home.

It wasn't long before our starters from the Seasonal mini á la carte arrived. Mine the brussels sprouts with wild cabbage and parmesan style dumplings, whilst Amelia opted for the lemongrass, chilli, coconut, potato crackling, cauliflower and wild mushroom. Although since she isn't the biggest fan of mushrooms, the chef was happy to switch this out with some parsnip. 

I'm a massive advocate of brussels sprouts, they're basically the second best foodie thing about christmas (after cheese) so this starter was a real treat. The homely potato dumpling, crunchy bite of the cabbage, slight bitterness of the sprouts and the creamy herb sauce were a delight to eat. The dainty herbs scattered throughout, which I learnt that evening were called sea beets and part of the beetroot family, had a slight aniseed flavour that I loved each time a strand sneaked onto my fork.

For mains, I sampled the tempura halloumi dish and amelia opted for the cauliflower & milk crumb, masala spices, caramelised cauliflower and spiced pease pudding. I already knew I was going to love the halloumi as I've tried a similar dish at bistro 1847 in both manchester and birmingham. in this case it was a medley of salty battered halloumi, crisp radish, silky wasabi peas and a rich and tangy tomato sauce. Again there were a few sea beets dancing through the flavours. clean plates all round. 

The only thing i would say is I'm not sure how festive these options were - I would have loved something with brie, camembert, a herby stuffing or perhaps a gourmet version of a nut roast.

To round it all up we both chose the sticky toffee pudding with smoke, whiskey and praline, with the vegan option paired with yoghurt instead of cream. A pleasure to eat; the dessert was infused by just the right amount of Christmas flavours and married with crunchy praline and a light cream scattered on the side. A sumptuous sticky, gingery pudding which my spoon cut right through.

A fabulous festive menu that will be thoroughly enjoyed by vegetarians, vegans, gluten free diners and carnivores alike. So if you fancy ditching turkey and all the trimmings this season, get yourself down to Bistro 1847.

Seasonal mini á la carte; £19 for two courses or £25 for three.
Five course festive menu; £32 

bistro 1847 birmingham
26 great western arcade,
colmore row, 
b2 5hu.

bistro 1847 manchester
58 mosley street,
m2 3hz 
(although we couldn't find straight away - look down nicholas street and you'll spy it)

note: i was invited for a complimentary meal to sample the newly launched christmas menu. all opinions are honest and my own.

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