Malmaison is a gorgeous hotel in central Birmingham that features 193 beautifully styled rooms and suites that are sure to deliver you comfort, style, and first class facilities. They also have their own bar, and their own restaurant; Chez Mal Brasserie. After a day spent in Birmingham with my Mum seeing the fishes at the Sealife Centre, and shopping for beauty products at Harvey Nicholas, Malmaison was a welcome quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Their website states; “Colourful, vibrant, creative dishes make up our menus at Chez Mal Brasserie in Birmingham. With our restaurant sitting in a prime location adjoining The Mailbox shopping centre, Chez Mal is the most exciting new destination brasserie and bar in town.
Our brasserie and restaurant in Birmingham brings you a stylish twist on classics in a relaxed and distinctively designed environment. The ambience adapts from day to night, where meetings turn to mingling and the shimmer and neon levels turn up a notch. This artful setting attracts both the intimate diners and the cool crowds alike.”
It certainly makes good on the promise with it’s moody lighting and plush seating options. Our waiter was the lovely Ben, who talked us through the ingredients in our dishes, and even made some fabulous recommendations. So, what did we eat? Let’s take a look…
We toyed with the idea of either opting for starters or desserts, or both, but decided on mains and puddings with a bread basket to start with. It was described on the menu as Artisan stone baked breads, Altamura & sourdough baguette basket, balsamic, extra virgin olive oil & French butter and it was delicious. The presentation at Chez Mal is wonderful, and I fell in love with the tiny slate that the butter and flaked salt was laid upon.
For mains, I opted for the Portobello mushroom penne pasta, with grain mustard, lemon & tarragon. If I could buy this in everyday, I would. I don’t think I could ever get sick of it. Pasta dishes can often be a little bland and basic but this was anything but. The pairing of the mustard, lemon & tarragon was delicious and the mushrooms were plump and juicy. The pasta itself was slightly al dente, something I love, so a little tip is to request it cooked for a minute or two longer if that isn’t your thing.
My Mum chose Pork fillet, Serrano ham with sage, creamy Parmesan polenta, grilled tender stem broccoli & a cider vinegar noisette. My Mum kindly let me try little pieces, for research purposes of course. I am not a huge fan of pork, but this was cooked to a melt in your mouth perfection. The ham had a nice smokey crunch to it, and the parmesan polenta was a great contrast in texture. Even with my eating bits, and the perceived smaller sized dish, it filled my Mum up to the point we were debating on puddings.
But of course we went for it anyway. As I glanced at the menu, our waiter Ben asked me whether I was a peanut butter fan. A silly question because of COURSE I AM. So he recommended the Hot chocolate pudding- a baked Valrhona chocolate & peanut butter pudding & salted caramel ice cream. Guys, honestly this was the nicest pudding I have ever eaten, and believe me, I have eaten a lot.
Look how gooey and delicious it is! It is definitely for the sweet tooth, and would probably even work well as a shared dessert for those who don’t want one to themselves. The ice cream was nice, but I think the chocolate and peanut butter overpowered the ice cream a little, but the cold ice cream itself was a lovely accompaniment for the warm pudding.
My Mum opted for one of my favourites, Creme Brulee, but wow was this Creme Brulee on steroids. The bowl was huuuuge, a very generous portion and of course, I tried some. The crack on the top is so satisfying on a Creme Brulee isn’t it? This one was perfectly done, and the crunchy cracked topping combined with the creamy inside was delicious. I didn’t regret my decision on choosing the chocolate pudding though. I genuinely think that the return fare from Narborough to Birmingham is worth it to taste that pudding again!
One last thing I will note, is that several of the diners in there are the same time as us were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and had afternoon tea. Chez Mal clearly puts their own twist on it however, as I saw mini burgers and milk bottles among other things. I really wanted to get a photo of it to show you all, but I thought it might be a little odd me creeping up to diners and asking for photos.
It just means I have an excuse to go back and try the afternoon tea- and maybe one of the hot chocolate puddings!
Malmaison is located in The Mailbox, 1 Wharfside St, Birmingham B1 1RD
Monday to Friday – 7am to 10am
Saturday – 7.30 to 11am
Sunday and Bank Holidays – 8am to 11am
Monday to Saturday 12pm to 2.30pm
Sunday only 12.30pm to 4pm
Monday to Saturday – 6pm to 10.30pm
Sunday 6pm to 10pm
* In collaboration with Malmaison Birmingham