Nosh & Quaff
Nosh & Quaff is the latest offering from the eclectic, but well regarded Lasan Group in Birmingham. The latest addition to the group, which already features award winning, celebrity endorsed Indian food at Lasan and delicious Brazilian meat-fest Fiesta Del Asado, is a fingers-first, ask questions later, unashamedly meaty affair. The restaurant, located with awesome views of the legendary Floozy in the Jacuzzi, Town Hall and Brum's Council House sets out its stall early on: emblazoned with the hashtag "#letsgetmessy". How very now. Its premise is big, juicy, meaty dishes that you eat with your hands. Cutlery is, apparently, optional; something that raises some eyebrows in a venue which is by association quite high-end, but once presented with the menu, initial inhibitions soon drop.
Vegetarians, look away now. Meat. Everywhere.
It's wings and sausage and ribs and lobster as far as the eye can see. The menu is actually refreshingly small. We opted for the Beef Ribs and they were the biggest, meatiest, most tender, ribs I've ever seen. Cooked to perfection, the flesh falls off the bone, whilst remaining succulent, pink and almost ham-like in colour. The glaze is hickory smoke & molasses and whilst delicious, does not overpower the flavour of the meat beneath. The salted fries are also really tasty and accompanying slaw certainly has a kick that cuts through the sweet flavours from the meat.
Our accompanying "blossomed onion" was an interesting addition, sliced then (I presume) baked so that it opens out into a "flower" pattern, then dressed lightly. It was tasty but not as interesting to eat as it was to look at.
Around us, people were tucking into generous lobster (not my cup of tea, I'm afraid but they looked meaty and their eaters seemed delighted!), piles of delicious looking wings and fat hotdogs, covered in sauce. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of the main courses on offer. Burgers, pork wings and lunchtime lobster rolls are also available.
Dessert fans, however, may be left wanting. With only the choice of rocky road, cheesecake and a sundae, we opted to share the latter, which promised multiple ice-cream flavours and toppings for two, for £8. In reality it honestly seemed like a re-divided shop-bought Neapolitan ice-cream, with toppings of sauce, chocolate crumbs and nuts etc that we had to add ourselves. Not really a sundae, and certainly not what I'd expect for the price or for a restaurant of this type. It was an anti-climax.
To drink, I opted for the Shiraz which was delicious. Fruity and chocolatey and with hints of vanilla and served at a perfect temperature, it went down brilliantly and was a great accompaniment for my beef ribs. All the wine is pretty reasonably priced, and there's a wide range of draft American beers on tap too, Sam Adams and Brooklyn for example. Quite rare in town, and always worth a go. Vast array of spirits and cocktails are also available.
Our meal would've come to £50-60 including drinks, and although the dessert was disappointingly bland, the main courses on offer are well worth a go. Get messy. Just keep it savoury.