Christmas is well and truly over, new year weight-loss resolutions of small portions, more greens and less meat, have been rigorously followed, and because it’s nearly February, its probably time to get back in the swing of things with some mega food. You may have thought talking about Christmas is a strange way to begin a food post, especially when the festive season is not long gone and you are almost glad to see the back of it, tinsel firmly back in its box, china wrapped for another year, and trees stuffed into the attic, however, one thing i’m absolutely glad to see the back of, is meat!
So a month has passed and i’m just about beginning to miss the succulent chicken, mouth-watering beef, and all the trimmings, then out of the blue I have the opportunity to visit an Argentinian Steak House in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Well it has been a month, so time to get back on the horse!
Fiesta Del Asado is Birmingham’s first Argentinian restaurant and surprising as this may sound, the first time that either myself or Mini Gourmand have visited a restaurant of this kind. We have passed similar establishments, glanced at the menu and obviously liked what we have seen, but always thought it the kind of place to visit for special occasion, and honestly just never got round to trying it. Another slightly obscure reason is Mini Gourmand doesn’t often order steak if we go out for food, often choosing something from the menu that she’s not likely to get at home, almost like a treat. Luckily for Mini Gourmand after leaving Fiesta Del Asado, she realised that what she had just eaten was NOTHING like he gets at home!
We visited Fiesta Del Asado on a quiet Sunday afternoon at midday, not really thinking too much about food if i’m honest. We even had scrambled egg on toast for breakfast which is quite a hefty breakfast for either of us when we know we are going for lunch. We drove up to Birmingham and found the restaurant very easily, it was only a short distance outside of Birmingham located in a beautiful building, alongside many equally beautiful buildings in this area. Walking through the main entrance of Fiesta Del Asado and first impressions were good; very clean, deceptively large, and attractive décor allowing me to relax into the comfortable surroundings. Although there was only a handful of guests in at this early time the dining space was very relaxed, however, there was a buzz about that place indicating it would be really special and lively if visited during the evening. Before I forget, the staff, as common these days, were extremely pleasant, well dressed, and politely lead us to our table, immediately providing a high chair for Baby Gourmand before bringing water to the table while we looked through the menu. They also offered some olives and free bread which helped whet our appetite. The olives were gorgeous and had quite a spicy kick to them, a lot bigger kick than expected. The bread was warm and delicious, and the accompanying balsamic vinegar and olive oil perfect for dipping chunks of bread in!
Aceitunas marinadas, Marinated gordal olives stuffed with guindilla (£2.99)
Mini Gourmand was distracting Baby Gourmand and asked me to order for her; the menu was pleasantly large, but not so large to water down the experience. I ordered two starters that we decided to share between us. First was Pastel de cangrejo, Crab cake served with sweetcorn salsa. (£5.79). This was a good starter, stuffed full of crab, including the meat from the claws, and was accompanied with a delicate side of dressed salad leaves.
Thankfully the crab cake was light and thank god it was as you will discover as you read on!
The second starter was Rabas fritas, Crisp baby squid rings with aioli sauce. (£5.79). Oh my, this is definitely one of my favourite all time starters. The squid was perfectly cooked, not chewy, but just enough bite and consistency to cut in half if you bit into it hard enough. The garlic, buttery sauce was also delicious, even baby Gourmand seemed to have a taste for it when we caught him dipping his chips in and sucking the garlic off which then turned into just dipping his fingers in!!
Time for the mains!!
Mini Gourmand had the Asado de Tira, 16oz 4 bone cross cut beef rib; cooked on the bone for a fuller flavour. (£18.79). Oh my god, when this came to the table she nearly jumped out of his skin! and so did the guests sitting alongside us! The smell was intoxicating, a char-grilled spectacle. The waiter instantly noticed the startled look on Mini Gourmands face, he must have seen this face many times before when serving up a monstrous plate of meat like this. He lent down next to Mini Gourmand, like we do to Baby Gourmand when explaining something simple for the first time, and gave some very useful advise on how to work his way through the mountain of succulent beef. “start with the middle two sections.” he said, ” then cut the slightly tougher parts (pointing at the left hand side of the rib on the photo) into small chunks, and if you finish that, cut out the remaining chunks from between the ribs.” Mini Gourmand followed his advice and half way through the second rib was boasting how she was going to easily finish this dish off, yeah right! The smells, sight, juices, accompanying chimichurri, in fact everything, was a complete package. It was a work of art, not too reliant on flavourings and smokiness, it was perfect. In fact looking at the photos bring back the mouth-watering taste over, and over again. It was one of those meals, something you will remember, and even years down the line, a feint smell will bring back the taste-recall of this exquisite meal. Suffice to say, Mini Gourmand did leave some, but to her credit, not as much as i thought when he started.
I ordered the Brochette de cuadril, Skewered chunks of beef rump with peppers onion and tomato basted with rosemary and garlic. (£16.99) I’m not sure why I ordered this as I love nothing better than a bloody hunk of meat on my plate but something drew me to this dish and I’m very glad I picked it. After seeing the monster that Mini Gourmand was left to contend with I thought mine would be an easy feat however I was stuffed by the time I finished. The steak was cooked to perfection and to be honest when I was half way through I started to wish I hadn’t been so greedy by ordering side dishes. Just like Mini Gourmands steak, my meat didn’t rely on any fancy flavourings as the meat alone had such an amazing taste which lingered on my tastebuds long after I had finished.
Ok, about now you are probably thinking surely they didn’t order sides as well…well, we did. We did go simple though with Salteado de vegetales mixtos, Selection of vegetables tossed in lemon and butter. (£2.99). Very simple and very nice, butternut squash and peppers. delicious, but possibly one dish too many.
Then of course was the second side. Papas fritas con perejil y ajo, Fries with parsley and garlic. (£1.99). Possibly in the top 5 of my favourite chips of all time? We nibbled at these in between giving up on the main courses, then back again, and again, and again. Delicious!
Lets not leave out Baby Gourmand. We had no idea what he would like so decided on chicken and chips. Alitas de pollo, Grilled chicken wings served with mixed leaves and hand cut fries (£3.95). Lets get one thing straight, on any other given day this one dish would have been perfect for anyone in the Gourmand clan. The chicken had the same char-grilled flavour of the main courses and the salad was outstanding. In fact, this dish pretty much became the third starter as we took it in turns blowing on the food, one bite for Baby Gourmand, one bite for Madame Gourmand….
Overall I rate this place highly. Yes, I couldn’t go every weekend, and yes you could probably rack up quite a bill if there was a group of you and the red wine started flowing (which I can imagine happens often!), however, you get what you pay for, and I would describe the Fiesta Del Asado experience as reassuingly expensive. The restaurant feels quality, tastes quality, the staff excellent, and happily went the extra mile, including at one point the manager coming over to help entertain Baby Gourmand after spotting the tell-tale sign of being in the high chair for too long.
One thing I would like to add is that Leamington Spa NEEDS a Fiesta Del Asado, I’ve even been planning in my head where I think it should go!
If you would like the Fiesta Del Asado experience you need to head to 229 Hagley Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B16 9RP.
*We received a deduction off our bill in return for an honest, impartial review*