I know I said last time was the final sin but we managed to squeeze one more in of the tour of sins with Bitters ‘n’ Twisted, and hosted by the wonderful Vicky Osgood of Brumderland. Previous events can be read about here:
The Victoria is one of my favourites of the B&T venues and the back bar is a great place to be a little more relaxed, with its Sailor Jerry style tattooed art prints on the walls and comfy seating. Now John Bright Street seems to be up and coming and New Street Station is bringing crowds to the area so hopefully, more people will be drawn to the delights of The Victoria and its comfort food inspired menu.
To kick off the evening, we were presented with a Orange and Passionfruit Spritz, the Victoria’s version of an Aperol Spritz. Originally hailing from Italy, this classic 50’s cocktail has its fair share of likers and detractors but I was a fan in this version.
After everyone had arrived and got comfy, General Manager Gerard introduced us to the refreshed menu.
Re-working their old menu, the staff had collaborated in choosing their favourite dishes from the old one and helping out with the newer ones.
To show us some of these delights, the new dishes arrived thick and fast:
For the first round of food we sampled:
- N’duja & Chorizo Mac & Cheese – chorizo tossed in a homemade cheese sauce topped with melted N’duja sausage. This made for a spicy little Mac & Cheese and I loved it, the macaroni and cheesy gooey goodness working well with the spice of the Chorizo and N’duja sausage.
- Crayfish Mac & Cheese – fresh crayfish tossed in homemade cheese sauce and topped with Dill Pickles. The alternate Mac & Cheese was as good as, if not better, than it’s spicier cousin. The fresh crayfish added sweetness which counterbalanced against the saltiness of the pickles.
- Korean Chicken Wings – Aubrey Allen chicken wings marinated in a Korean BBQ glaze with red chillies, spring onion and sesame seeds. These were definitely a crowd favourite: delicious, sweet, spicy, sticky glaze and they went quick! I think the general opinion was moreish.
- Falafels – these came accompanied with a salsa verde, and were nice and rich.
- Chilli Cheese Fries – always a classic, these came loaded with chilli and cheese on top of crispy fries, a firm crowd favourite.
- The Classic Dog – rare breed beef frankfurter topped with onions, ketchup and mustard.
- The Sonic Dog – rare breed beef frankfurter topped with beef chilli, spring onions and Applewood smoked cheese.
- Bunga Bunga V2 – a reworking of their classic Bunga Bunga Pizza, M=N’duja sausage red onions, chillies and smoked pepperoni finished with fresh peaches and rocket.
- Los Pollo Hermanos – roast chicken with sweetcorn and mushrooms, finished with a drizzle of ranch dressing.
- Olympus – ccaramelised onions, artichoke, courgettes, aubergine, peppers and goat’s cheese topped with fresh rocket and salsa verde.
The pizza options are also available as pizzetta’s (half pizza) accompanied by house salad and fries or coleslaw.
After a quick drink break, it was time to delve into part 2 of the tasting:
- Vic’s Fish n’ Chips – Mad Goose beer battered fish & chips with homemade tartare sauce and mushy or garden peas. You can’t go wrong with this combination! An all-time classic kicked up a notch by the great crispy Mad Goose batter.
- Bangers & Mash – maple cured Aubrey Allen pork sausages with creamy mash topped with a Mad Goose onion wholegrain and mustard gravy. The sausages were HUGE and tasty with the nice spicy mustard and creamy mash.
- Vegan Bangers & Mash – As above with vegan sausage.
- Crayfish Fennel & Orange Salad – fresh salad mix, sunflower seeds, spring onion and orange vinaigrette, topped with sour dough croutons. This was a really refreshing alternative and the orange vinaigrette was a nice citrus-y punch.
- Sweet Mothers Mercy – halloumi burger marinated in garlic and thyme, sweet potato hash topped with a beef tomato, rocket and pesto mayonnaise. – The meaty halloumi was really nice and salty, and paired with the sweet potato mash.
- (I didn’t get to try the other one so can remember sorry!)
And to finish the night off, a hazelnut Old Fashioned:
Made with Monkey Shoulder whisky, stirred with hazelnut liqueur and peach bitters, garnished with a twist of orange peel. This was a really different take on the classic cocktail. The hazelnut liqueur really added an extra dimension to the drink, giving a rich velvety mouth feel.
And then, it was home after another great evening.
Disclaimer: For this evening, we were guests of Brumderland and The Victoria who provided all drinks and food; 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 Victoria, 48 John Bright Street.Birmingham. B1 1BN