On a Monday at the back end of November, winter looked like it was settling in to be a nasty one. After finishing the day job, I got on the bus out towards Harborne with howling wind, pouring rain. I even got an impromptu tour of Brum due to the city centre roadworks.
Thankfully, I was on the way to The New Inn in Harborne. Bitters’n’Twisted‘s only Birmingham venue outside the city centre. They kept the traditional inn feel with roaring fireplaces, quirky wallpaper & funky decorations. It was a great antidote to the outside weather. They’ve even got a ruddy big beer garden for when the weather is nice.
On arrival, I was presented with a ‘Hottini’ featuring Vanilla Vodka, Ginger Syrup and Rekorderlig Hot Apple Cider. It was sweet and spicy and warmed me on the inside whilst I dried out on the outside!
The manager, Paul, introduced us to the new menu featuring many pies, twists on old classic pub fayre and meats supplied by Aubrey Allen with a reinvigorated wine list created to pair the menu items.
There’s a special pie day on Tuesdays with a pie, mash n’ greens for just £10 or £8 for those with loyalty cards! There’s always a choice of vegetarian, light and dark meat to cover all options.
First up, a Pig cheek & Black Pudding Quails Scotch egg served with BBQ sauce with the cheek from Jimmy Butler’s farm. Also from the starter menu was a chicken liver parfait served with a rhubarb and vanilla chutney and slices of brioche.
Onto the mains!
To make a change from the usual beef, we were presented with a Salmon Wellington, the chunky fish making it light but still meaty.
The stone bass and chargrilled prawn looked beautiful served with fennel It gave the right amount of protein, with the fennel as a great palate cleanser.
What a beautiful pie! This was their game pie featuring a mix of game, mash, gravy and veg. The pie was not overly ‘gamey’ in its flavour but was rich, hearty and meaty. A very nice pie (and not a lidded casserole for a change!).
The Ocean Pie, as is traditional, was topped with a crisped mash potato and came with a side of greens. Under the lid were big solid fishy chunks and a rich sauce, which warmed from the feet up.
The vegetable balti didn’t miss the meat at all. A nice spicy dish with the underlying taste and scent of cardamom enlivening the dish.
The last of the mains was the one that stole my carnivorous heart: a pork collar served with sausage and roasted sweet potato. Regular readers know I’m a protein fan and this certainly hit the spot.
After our bellies were stuffed, Paul took us through another winter warming cocktail of “American Apple Pie” with complimentary ginger biscuit. It was flavoured with apple juice, almond and vanilla vodka. Closing your eyes and sniffing made me imagine a big slice of cinnamon scented apple pie in front of me!
Then back into the rain and gloom and off home. If you’re after somewhere to escape in the New Year with warm hearths, comforting food and liquor, I can’t imagine a better place!
Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of Brumderland and The New Inn who provided all food and drinks; this provides no bias to the post 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 New Inn, Vivian Road, Harborne, Birmingham