I was invited to attend a special bloggers event by the wonderful Vicky Osgood of Brumderland, and the team at Jekyll & Hyde. Go, go now and have a look at Vicky’s website (it’s amazing), I’ll wait right here for you to get back!
The Jekyll & Hyde (part of the Bitters ‘n’ Twisted group), has introduced a gin inspired menu to match their Victorian Gin Parlour and fellow bloggers and I (no wifey this evening) were invited along for a taste, with a few gins to help it down…
On entering the dark wood and well decorated Gin Parlour, you encounter Birmingham’s most well stocked Gin Bar, witherverything form you nan’s favourite tipple to some amazing small batch and foraged gins you’ll be sure to find something which would match your palate.
Starting off with a Hendricks Gin & Tonic I went for a wander round the Bijou surroundings and have a good nose at the Hendricks Gin pictures dotted around.
After finding my seat I combed through the menu split into two halves. One Side (Dr Jekyll) covered the Gin parlour and their gin inspired fusions. The other half (Mr Hyde) covered the more playful side of the menu served downstairs including confectionary based sweetie jar cocktails.
Whilst we got settled our wonderful hosts poured us a sharing cocktails from Dr Jekyll’s medicine bag of tricks, Madam Genevers bathwater, The name is a twist on Madam Geneva, a slang term for gin. The cocktail consisted of Bols Genever, apricot Jam, peach schnapps, rose syrup and lemon juice, served in a ceramic bathtub.
The bathwater came decorated with a kumquat, raspberry, cucumber slice and edible flower. The cocktail was fantastic and didn’t last long between the three of us sharing.
After our second cocktail our thoughts naturally gravitated towards some food to help soak up the booze. Matt, the sous chef walked us through the gin inspired ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ menu and introduced us to the two dishes we were trying this evening. A pan fried snapper and wild mushroom risotto.
First up was the pan fried red snapper, accompanied by a moroccan roasted vegetable cous cous with apricot jus, raspberries and asian garnish.
The snapped was cooked just right with a nice lean, sweet taste with nice big flakes and crispy skin. The apricot just brought a nice tangy element to the dish and a hearty portion of spicy cous cous rounded the dish off nicely. The one part of the dish I felt a little spurious was the raspberries which didn’t add much more than a splash of colour to the dish.
My fellow diner next door was very much an anti-pescatarian so instead had a chorizo salad which came with peach slices. It looked and smelled great and I was tempted to dip my fork. I made do with a picture instead.
Post snapper, the second dish arrived. A wild mushroom risotto featuring two types of mushrooms (porcini and shitake if i recall correctly) in a creamy sauce topped with a flat mushroom stuffed with artichoke, fennel and dill.
I’m not usually a mushroom fan but this dish changed that. The risotto had a hearty taste given some pizzazz with the fennel and artichoke. The earthy flavour was matched with a peppery kick. The verdict around the table seemed pretty unanimous:
Post prandials it was time to get to work for us bloggers by getting busy on the smartphones.
With that it was time for a whistlestop tour of the world of gin with a taster of the cocktail masterclass. I won’t spoil it but it was a comprehensive history starting from the days of the creation of Gin from vodka by the Dutch, The Gin Act, the partnering of tonic water via India, the use of Gin by the Royal Navy, bathtub gin and the resurgence of gin. Phew! that was a long list.
On the way we got a shot of Bols Genever a ‘pre-gin spirit’, a Tom Collins and Lime gimlet (which nearly blew my head off!) to taste. It was a great talk, with novelty prizes included, and I would recommended it for a fun evening out with friends or a more refined stag / hen do.
With that I had one more drink to round of the evening. a Gin & Tonic made with Death’s Door Gin. This gin hails from the wilds of Wisconsin, made from wild growing juniper berries with coriander and fennel to round out the flavour. It was a robust complex flavour and matched well with the recommended Fentimans tonic water.
With that it was off for a taxi and to say goodbye to friends old and new. As I was suitably refreshed, I almost took a souvenir from their great decor on the way home, it’d look great in the hallway!
It won’t be long before I’ll be returning, I might even bring wifey next time!
The Eat-Me, Drink-Me ‘Gin-spired’ menu is available at the Jekyll & Hyde Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 in the Victorian Gin Parlour, with a 4 weekly refreshed menu to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. Advanced booking is advised but walk-ins are available.
Their Cocktail Chemistry masterclass is a great for groups and you learn some history about gin, play some bar inspired games and sample a variety of gins and can be booked via their website.
Disclaimer: For this evening, we were guests of Brumderland and The Jekyll & Hyde who provided all food and most of my drinks; this provides no bias to the review. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Where: The Jekyll & Hyde, Steelhouse Lane, Colmore Business District, Birmingham