Despite the somewhat lacklustre weather we’re having, Harvey Nichols at The Mailbox are offering sunshine on a plate and in a glass with their summer dining menu, Wine, Dine and Sunshine: a 3 course meal with a cocktail for just £22.
I was invited to review the menu last week, so I headed over after work on Thursday evening.
The restaurant itself has a very fashionable interior, with lots of copper, grey and marble. What struck me most was how it didn’t feel like a typical department store eatery, it actually looked and felt like a restaurant, aside from a few strategically placed mannequins at the entrance.
My friend, who joined me for dinner, and I, were seated at a table with a view of the kitchen and presented with both the summer dining and a la carte menus.
Despite being a streamlined selection, the summer menu had plenty of delicious sounding dishes, with meat, fish and vegetarian options, and two cocktails to choose from.
I had the Bombay Sapphire Mint & Ginger Twist, which was really refreshing with just a touch of warmth from the gin.
Both of us chose the prawn and crab ceviche with wasabi avocado, lime crème fraîche and mango to start.
The dish was presented beautifully, with the kind of tweezer precision you’d expect from fine dining.
The crab was tasty with plenty of fresh herbs, and the prawns were tender and delicious. The mango provided some complimentary sweetness, though I would have enjoyed more wasabi.
My only criticism was that the dish was very small. I know, I know, it was a starter, but it was really lovely and I could easily have eaten more of it.
For mains, for me it had to be the tandoori-spiced fish, while my friend opted for confit duck leg.
I was really impressed with the tandoori-spiced fish. As well as looking beautiful, it was a gorgeous dish with perfectly balanced flavours and textures. The fish had a crispy coating and softly flaking fish underneath. The spice was mild and complimentary, enough for the flavour of the fish to come through, served on a bed of soft, turmeric infused potatoes with a zingy pineapple salsa on top.
My friend Sarah had the confit duck leg, which had been slow cooked in its own fat for hours, served with beetroot and heritage purple potatoes. She let me steal a piece of her duck, which was also very well cooked with a lovely flavour. She described it as “so tender it was falling apart.”
For dessert, nostalgia took over and I opted for the Pimms jelly with strawberries, mint and cucumber sorbet.
The cucumber sorbet acted as a great palate cleanser, and while the pimms flavour of the jelly was very subtle, it was a nice end to the meal.
I wasn’t blown away by the food, I must admit, but the service was fantastic, and the tandoori fish truly was a standout dish that I would highly recommend.
The biggest point for me is that if you’re expecting a typical department store food hall or cafe, then you’re in for a real treat at Harvey Nics. The whole environment, the menu and the service is all very slick and luxurious, much like its surroundings; and for just £22 for a three course meal with a cocktail, you’ll get restaurant quality food for a fraction of the price.
The Wine, Dine & Sunshine menu is available at Harvey Nichols Birmingham until August 31st. You’ll find Harvey Nics at The Mailbox, Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RE
I was invited to review the summer dining menu at Harvey Nichols as a guest, so my meal and drinks were complimentary, many thanks to the team there. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and my opinions are, as always, my own.