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Sky By the Water Shines

Sky By the Water Shines

Resort world. Billed as a stand-alone location destination…even by flight. I never bought it myself and dreamt up a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory World would attract more of a global following, with a crazy glass elevator ride and all.

With its good connections to the city centre and airport it is a shiny lakeside hub of chains but a new independent diamond amongst the monotony has been born, Sky by the Water.

The first-time solo venture for Brummie Head Chef Aaron Darnley. I had the joy of working with Aaron back when Le Petit Blanc sat on the blossomed fringes of Brindley Place and even as a fresh-faced commis chef, he had a drive that surpassed some of the other hardworking chefs behind the hot plate. His food now sings from the crockery and I could recognise the culinary journey he has been on since then with Andy Waters, refining classic French dishes with a British twist.

The Monday night found us celebrating, and Resort world was a good geographical location for all off our party, which included a birthday boy, the birthday boy mama, teenager and a pregnant lady plus foodie fanatic me and my beau!

Staff were slick and attentive, and the large shiny restaurant was surprisingly busy with guests for a a start of week dreary February evening. The NEC’s Caravan and Camping show was bringing many an international diner to the venue. The sparkling interior left a reflection on the windows that gave the impression that the 7th floor restaurant had a twinkling city view; I would not go that far, but it was a view. Interior although glamorous did seem slightly confused, reminded me of a swanky casino.

We all opted for starters. Teen Josh ordering mushroom risotto despite not liking mushrooms; now this was a test! I splashed out and had the scallops, apple and black pudding. Other dishes included ham hock, goats’ cheese and a chicken liver parfait. We broke our fast with some warm, in house baked mini baguettes, that were soon devoured.

My scallops were cooked to perfection and plump, the acidity of the apple cut through the richness of the black pudding and I now had an additional side of mushrooms to delight in too. Josh gobbled up the rich risotto despite not enjoying the texture of the fungi (que my plate) and he did delight in the flavour. Would we be able to entice the same enthusiasm for his ravioli which was to come with Mediterranean vegetables (not a vegetable fan).

Mains saw the fillet steak well cooked and came with a disproportionate mound of triple cooked chips (they were eaten). My succulent chicken breast and gnocchi was shared with Josh in exchange for aubergine, courgette and more mushrooms. A trio of pork saw the family banter cease and be replaced with pleasurable sounds of flavour enjoyment.

Plates were well and truly cleaned, and beautiful mama-to-be was certainly keen to try a dessert. Plates are balanced in portion so you can enjoy 3 courses. The dessert offerings are led by Daryll Collins of Bake of final fame. The renouncing top pick was the caramel shortbread which in comparison to other courses was hefty. The malted milk glace got prize for best ever ice-cream tasted by Josh, and I had to agree it was rather special. Cheesecake was deconstructed which did not meet the birthday boys delight but his celebration plate of chocolates made up for that.

The food was well executed and punching high in comparison to the cost. The quality way surpassed what many high end gastro pubs offer for the same price tag. We all left satisfied and in cheery mood that the fine offerings were fit for celebration. You can indulge in plenty of cocktails and fine wine, afternoon tea and more! Check out their website.


A Yummy Brummy Institution

A Yummy Brummy Institution

A cold January night made all the more bright with a colourful trip to Bodega.

Bodega has stood the test of time and still delights. Its fine foods are reasonably priced with a fun and friendly vibe that can’t fail but please.

A warm greeting from the staff found us perusing the menu soon with a cocktail in hand. I opted for a pomegranate cooler that was refreshing and not too sweet- I like to taste my liquor. While my partner in crime, (@BeckyBeaucoup) opted for a porn star martini, which was gorgeously decorated with passion fruit cup filled with prosecco.

Keeping it veggie and vegan, as my date is a herbivore we began our Mexican fiesta with Bodegas famous nachos- they truly are the best in the city. Crunchy fried tortillas piled high with molten cheese, creamy homemade guacamole, punchy salsa, sour cream and crunchy jalapenos. A queso filled mini quesadilla was creamy and delicious. The portions are generous, so after having practically licked the plates of our starters we were feeling rather full.

We did our best to gobble up the vegan main of fluffy quinoa loaded with butternut squash, pinto beans and spinach. A mountain amount of healthy goodness, juxtaposed to our halloumi burger order! A tasty fried slab of squeezy cheese tucked inside a tortilla coat with rocket and gooey caramelised onions. I wished to eat more of the super crunchy sweet potato fries that accompanied it but my top trouser button was saying otherwise. Thankfully they do doggie bags so I had quinoa to take away.

My sweet date has a love of all things dulce, so we ordered a couple of desserts! A refreshing selection of sorbets and a banana caramel cheesecake. The latter was not too sweet and came with some amazing moreish warm caramel on the side. The sorbets were a fine pallet cleanser, refreshing and flavoursome.

A swift couple of margeritas later and we were ready for home! Delighting in snapping some of the cool and vibrant interior as we left.

Bodega is a like a Brummie institution now. I have friends who have lived in the city and left and always make a point of visiting here when they return. It is warm and friendly in vibe, food and drinks! Like a big Birmingham cuddle with a Mexican twist…my only desire, that they bring local condiment queen, Pips hot sauce back to the table.