Two meals out in a week?

Oh yes. I’ve been a busy little bee this week (it is payday after all).

First off was the work’s curry night at Cafe Rickshaw in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton. The restaurant itself is tiny, our group of 10 filled the whole place and we were the only ones there aside from the staff for most of the evening. The menu was… well, interesting. There weren’t many staple curry dishes on the menu, and considering the place is called Rickshaw Balti, there wasn’t a balti in sight! They had an Italian jalfrezi with curry spices and mozzarella cheese that to be honest, didn’t sound too appetising, however I did find myself torn between three dishes on the menu which all sounded lush.

I opted for the North Indian garlic chilli chicken, which proclaimed itself as the hottest thing on the menu, so for a spice junkie like me, this was a must. I also ordered a Pilau rice and naan bread to share with my neighbour, who opted for the Tandoori Mixed Grill.

I’ve heard Cafe Rickshaw are notorious for slow service, however the food arrived in what I thought was fairly good time, bearing in mind I was expecting a long wait. They could have been a bit more attentive to our wineglasses though.

My garlic chilli chicken arrived on a cast iron sizzling plate, so it was piping hot. The taste was really impressive, not too garlicky and a lovely flavour to the spices, only problem was I was expecting it to be as hot as lava, and unfortunately it was only about on par with a tikka masalla in terms of heat. Now I can comfortably enjoy a Madras so although the flavour was great, I’d have really preferred some more heat. Luckily for me there was a shaker of dried chillies on the table which ended up on my plate!

The naan bread was fantastic. Not only was it huge, it was really soft and delicious, and the rice was well cooked and tasted lovely, just could have done with a bit more of it, and my neighbour who I shared these with said she enjoyed her mixed grill but it was fairly dry and could have done with some sauce. All in all, a decent meal, but definitely could have done with some more spice and a bit more attention from the waiting staff.

Café Rickshaw on Urbanspoon

Onto my next escapade! Another works do, this time a treat from our sales manager and MD for our impressive performance last quarter. We were taken to the Rectory Bar & Restaurant in St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter, which is a classy little venue serving up traditional English fayre.

Our table was booked for 7 but there weren’t any problems when a few of us turned up late. We took full advantage of the 2 for 1 cocktail offers on the Thursday when we went. I found it a bit odd that the free cocktail had to be the same as the paid for one, but it wasn’t a problem for me as I just had two Singapore Slings all to myself! Although it has to be said, the cocktails were pleasant but not a patch on the Rose Villa Tavern also in the jewellery quarter.

Once we’d all arrived and had drinks, we were seated at a long table by a window which accomodated our whole group and had free reign of both the prix fixe menu and the main menu. I opted for Baked Brie Boxes with onion chutney for a starter which was delicious. Crisp breadcrumbs on the outside and gooey melted Brie on the inside, winning combination for me, and most of the others in our party! I then had the 8oz sirloin steak for my main course, which came with chunky chips, crispy onions and a thick mushroom sauce.

The steak was amazing, tender, tasty and cooked to perfection (I always have my steak rare) and the chunky chips were a thing to behold. The mushroom sauce could have been better, as it was a little on the bland side, however it didn’t take anything away from the fantastic steak.

The pork belly was also a hit with our group and looked fantastic when it turned up on the table. The crackling was crunchy enough to get everyone paying attention and the black pudding mash looked creamy and fluffy.

The service was somewhat sporadic as one of our group had to wait an age for her meal while everyone else’s had been served, which was disappointing, but on the whole it was a great night. The food was fantastic and I’d definitely recommend a trip to try the steak.

Rectory Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Then to top off all that I won a £10 voucher for Birmingham Wine School courtesy of Marketing Birmingham which I’m more than tempted to spend on the food and wine matching evening, although I’m definitely more one for the food than the wine!

So after a hectic week of eating, you’d think I’d give it a rest, but not me! I’ll be chowing down at my favourite Cantina Bodega on Tuesday for their Dia De Los Muertos celebrations.

I may not be young enough to go trick or treating anymore, but I can certainly enjoy Halloween treats for adults in the shape of cocktails, sugar skulls and a mountain of sweet potato fries! I promise I’ll take some photos before I eat them all this time.

Happy Halloween!