Since I first dined at Fiesta Del Asado shortly after it opened, I’ve maintained that theirs is the best steak in Birmingham.
With their exceptional service, knowledgeable staff, beautifully cooked Argentine asado style food and wine, and laid back vibe, it’s been my favourite place to eat in the city ever since, so when esteemed food writer Paul Fulford invited me for dinner there alongside Laura from Bite Your Brum, I was more than happy to join.
On a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was pleasantly quiet, but still had a good atmosphere and the usual warm welcome. I met Laura and Paul in the bar and as I was particularly ravenous after coming straight from work, we headed to the table and ordered a glass of Malbec before checking out the menu.
The mistake I always make at Fiesta is ordering a starter and not being able to finish my steak, so we went light on the appetisers, choosing to share the nocillara olives and padron peppers.
Padron peppers are, for me, one of the most underrated dishes. As simple as they are, lightly chargrilled and sprinkled with salt, they are delicious and so moreish with smoky, salty and bitter notes.
Although humble in appearance, the olives are one of my favourite things to eat at Fiesta. These fat, juicy olives are stuffed with guindilla chillies that provide a delicious kick of heat along with the brininess of the olive.
With a good hunk of handmade bread each, dipped liberally in oil and balsamic, these were the perfect little starters to keep us occupied before the main event.
Fiesta Del Asado is famous for steak, of course, and the choice of cuts varies from the familiar to the more rustic Argentine inspired cuts. For the uninitiated, the waiting staff are fully versed in all of the steaks and can give you advice on what to choose if you’re not sure.
The menu also states how the chefs recommend your steak comes, based on the cut, to ensure you get the best possible flavour and texture from each piece of meat. The Asado style cuts range from a 40oz sharing T-bone steak to a rib cross cut which is enough to awaken the caveman in any diner. It certainly does in me anyway.
Of course, they don’t just do steak though. There are lamb, pork, chicken and fish dishes on the menu, but very limited choices for vegetarians.
For my main course, I chose the aguja sin hueso – a 14oz chuck eye steak with good fat marbling and plenty of texture.
Served medium rare with a seasoned crust, alongside chimichurri, salad and a traditional Argentine accompaniment – a fried egg on top.
Chuck steak is similar to a rib eye in fat content and flavour, but with a firmer texture. I’ve only ever seen it as an ingredient in burgers, never on its own, but it was absolutely delicious.
As someone who would choose a rib eye steak on a regular steakhouse menu, this cut was perfect for me. It was on the rare side of medium rare, which I loved, and it had so much flavour from the fat marbled through the meat. The seasoned crust also added to the texture, so it was slightly crisp on the very outer edges, and tender but pleasantly chewy.
I’ve never been quite sure why egg is the recommended accompaniment to steak. Sure, the whole thing was delicious, but if I’m really honest, I think the Malbec reduction would have been the better choice of side.
Despite the fact that a 14oz steak is quite enough food on its own, I am a greedy so and so, and I really love the garlic and parsley fries, so I had those too.
Like the steak, the fries are perfectly cooked. These come absolutely smothered in fresh parsley and loads of finely chopped garlic. Anybody getting within a foot of you after dinner won’t thank you for ordering these, but they’re so good, you really won’t care.
For the first time, I think, I managed to finish every last morsel of my steak. I should have stopped at that point, but the dessert menu beckoned like a siren.
Normally I would go for the Santiago tart, a Galician inspired almond tart that is rustically handmade and thoroughly beautiful, though I felt too heavy having consumed much of my body weight in beef. Instead I went for the panqueque.
These thin, rolled crepes, are drizzled with syrup and served with ice cream and fresh orange segments. Sweet, light and reminiscent of holidays, they hit the spot.
I skipped the coffee as it was getting late, and Paul, Laura and I practically rolled ourselves out of the restaurant.
Despite the big chain steak restaurants that dominate Birmingham City Centre, like Gaucho and Miller & Carter, none of them can compare to the quality of the meat, or the feel of Fiesta Del Asado. Their Argentine inspiration is more a philosophy than a gimmick, and everyone there lives and breathes what they’re all about. I’ve never had a bad meal at this restaurant, and I maintain that yes, it is still the best steak restaurant in Birmingham.
If you’ve not been, I urge you to try it.
I was invited to Fiesta Del Asado to dine as a guest of Paul Fulford, so this meal was complimentary, many thanks to Paul. However, I have been a loyal paying customer of Fiesta for many years, and I can vouch that there is absolutely no difference in service or food quality between when I’ve dined and paid, or when I’ve been a guest. All opinions are, as always, my own and I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.