Living in Birmingham, you may imagine that finding really good seafood may be quite tricky, seeing as we’re one of the most landlocked cities in England. As a fish lover, I was delighted when Cardiff based Le Monde chose Birmingham’s Brindleyplace for their newest restaurant. Having just won the Bob award for best fresh food and best newcomer, I just had to get a taste for myself.
I finally got to dine there last week and I wasn’t disappointed. Walking up the narrow staircase to the restaurant, it’s surprisingly big once you get up there, and the Art Deco style décor is fabulous. It looks very sophisticated inside, yet feels welcoming and friendly at the same time.
The unique thing about Le Monde is the fact that all of their produce is laid out on a huge stainless steel counter, so you can scrutinise the produce and ask the staff questions about what’s on tonight.
With a huge selection of fish and seafood, as well as some delicious looking steaks and meats, I was impressed straight away. I also loved the fact that there was a daily specials board to choose from as well as the regular menu.
Having sat down and perused the menu, both me and my fellow diner decided to go for the special of Fruits De Mer – a sharing platter of oysters, king prawns, giant squid , sea bass and my favourite, lobster.
The dish was presented gorgeously on a tiered stand to showcase the natural beauty of the seafood with the oysters at the top, squid in the middle and the prawns and lobster at the bottom with the sea bass presented separately on a plate.
I really enjoyed the oysters, served in the shell with a simple squeeze of lemon and splash of tabasco. The squid was firm but tender and deliciously sweet. The prawns were served in the shell so they were juicy and delicious, and the lobsters were cut in half and served in the shell with lashings of butter and fresh herbs. The lobster was delicious and so succulent. The sea bass was also fabulous with delicate, tender fish and golden crispy skin. We had a side of fries but in all honesty we didn’t really need them!
We did, however, save some room for pudding. I’m a sucker for crème brûlée so ordered that. It came in an adorable teacup garnished with fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis and icing sugar.
The top was crunchy, the custard was thick and creamy and the tart but sweet raspberry gave the dish a refreshing burst of fruit flavour. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was a lovely end to my fabulous fish supper.
I have no doubts that I’ll be back here again soon to try some more of the superb seafood!