CHEZ MAL AT MALMAISON
Fresh flavours, seasonal produce and fruity cocktails are the order of the day with the new summer a la carte menu from Malmaison. And with a new-look, fully-refurbished bar and restaurant, there’s no better time to soak up the sumptuous surroundings, sip on something sparkling and indulge in a feast for the senses.
Before you order, make sure you take in the laid back vibes of CHEZ MAL Bar with its retro-inspired décor and lighting, including a cinema-style board, exposed brickwork and its chilled out music soundtrack, but not forgetting the classic Malmaison touch of luxury such as the leather stools. By day it’s the perfect place for a shopping pit-stop with a coffee and croissant, and by night, as the lights are dimmed, it’s ideal for after-work drinks and a great meal.
On the Summer of Mal a la carte menu, you can find a host of light, seasonal dishes, which are available to diners midweek until 7pm and sees two courses for £19.95 or three for £24.95. Starters include the summer minestrone soup with pesto and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and chicory tacos with pink grapefruit, coriander, fresh lime and red chilli. Mains are predominantly seafood-oriented with poached salmon, tuna sashimi niçoise and grilled tiger prawn linguine all in the offering, as well as a vegetarian risotto primavera loaded with the freshest courgette, carrots, tomato, peas and broad beans.
We tried the grilled NY strip steak flatbread with a salad of sliced beef tomato, avocado, red onion, gem lettuce and French dressing and the grilled tiger prawn linguini. The perfectly medium pink steak was served generously sliced and its juices had soaked into the flatbread meaning all of the meaty flavour stayed on the dish. Large chunks of tomato and avocado gave the dish a light, fresh feel – the perfect summer dish.
The tiger prawn linguine came full of flavour, seasoned with garlic, and with cherry tomatoes and fresh peas running through it. The pasta was cooked well, on the softer side of tender, but in a good way. Sides of Parmesan pommes frites – crunchy fries with the slightest bit of skin left on and a smattering of Parmesan – were wolfed down and thoroughly enjoyed. With stomachs fit to burst we almost passed on desserts, but the options proved too tempting to turn down. Continuing the summer theme, the Pina
Colada sundae of coconut sorbet, Malibu cream, fresh pineapple and whipped cream sounded a delight, but we went for the more classic summer berry pavlova and strawberry cheesecake.
The Pavlova can only be described as a delightful parcel of the most divine meringue, topped with cream and fresh berries. The crispy outer shell revealed an outstanding soft and chewy inside – like a big fluffy pillow – with more cream and fruit. Simply spectacular. The cheesecake arrived in a martini glass and did not disappoint on taste. The cheesecake mixture was creamy and soft, with an almost mousse-like texture, with thinly sliced fresh strawberries topping it off. Friendly and helpful staff and a relaxed atmosphere added to a wonderful evening of fine food and drink and a promise to return soon.
Chez Mal is @ Malmaison, Wharfside Street, Mailbox, Birmingham. Tel 0844 693 0651