Alex Homer enjoys a taste of France when he visits Annexe in Birmingham.
Where is it?
At the bottom of Corporation Street, the restaurant is in the shadow of the imposing Birmingham Magistrates Court building. The entrance to the restaurant is quite inauspicious.
What’s it like when you go indoors then?
The restaurant is mostly lit by the strategic placement of candles – instantly giving it that romantic feel. The music in the background helps set the atmosphere – jazz and swing over a gramophone – with that honest crackle and slight fuzz in the recording.
What’s the menu like?
The food is classic, French-inspired. For starter my girlfriend chose pretty classic scallops wrapped in pancetta with pea purée, sauté potatoes, basil pesto and pea shoots. I decided to mix it up and go for something I would not normally order – a smoked haddock, pecorino and pancetta twice-baked soufflé. I can’t remember ever ordering a soufflé but mine was very light. The mains were just as good as the starters – my girlfriend went for a steak Rossini- fillet with foie (liver) pate, and sauce bordelaise (mushrooms). I somehow resisted choosing the same (I don’t know where I found the inner strength) and ordered swordfish, with paella, and a salad. I was not disappointed – the fish was delicious and meaty and the paella – which for me can sometimes get a bit monotonous if you have a large portion – had a lot going on.
For dessert I had the house special ‘chocolate indulgence’. It’s essentially a tasting plate with lots of miniature chocolate desserts which had been prepared with great care