Sunday, 6 October 2013

Restaurant review: Miller & Carter, Mailbox, Birmingham

When I went on the infamous Mailbox Cocktail evening, I noticed that there were a lot of very nice-looking restaurants around, including Miller & Carter Steakhouse, where I sampled a very nice cocktail.

Just over a week ago, my husband and I travelled to Birmingham in search of steak. You know how sometimes you just really need a steak? This was one of those times.

First of all, I love the location of Miller & Carter - it overlooks the canal and offers very scenic views. The restaurant itself also has a very nice atmosphere: warm and cosy. And while it is a Steakhouse, it is quite an upmarket steakhouse, and the atmosphere and decor reflect this. My husband, Ian, even wore a shirt for the occasion, so it must be a bit posh.

They have some amazing-sounding starters - I was particularly tempted by the Black Pearl Scallops (£8.50), but I figured I probably wanted something quite light as a starter as the main was likely to be quite filling, so my husband and I opted to share the trio of bread and olives (£4.50).

This was tasty: the olives were nicely marinated and the different breads were nice and fresh.

The red wine we ordered was very nice and complemented both the bread and olives and the steaks. 
This lovely Rioja will set you back £21 - pricey, but a good quality wine.

It seemed rude not to have a steak for our main course, even though Miller & Carter do offer other dishes. I went for the 8oz fillet (£22.95), and my husband had the 14oz T-bone (also £22.95). While the steaks are on the expensive side, they are very good quality and also you get quite a lot of sides included - you get a choice of fries or a jacket potato (we had fries, of course), an onion loaf (this was more like an onion rosti-type thing - but very nice!), an iceberg lettuce wedge with a choice of sauce, and a choice of sauce on your steak. 

Ian's T-bone

My fillet
I had the five mushroom chasseur as the sauce for my steak, which I really enjoyed - it was very rich and really brought out the meatiness of the steak. My husband had the peppercorn sauce, which he wasn't that overwhelmed by. Although he seemed to do better with his wedge dressing: he had the bacon and honey mustard, which he really enjoyed, whereas I found my classic cocktail with croutons nothing too special and a little difficult to eat. 

The steaks themselves were pretty delicious, and the fries were very nice too. Ian says he would recommend the fillet over the T-bone and he would suggest following the recommendations on the menu for cooking style (he was offended that I chose to have my fillet steak cooked medium instead of rare as suggested...). He also thought the fries were some of the nicest he's ever had, but he still prefers larger-cut chips.

Seeing as we had travelled all the way to Birmingham, it would have been rude not to have pudding. And indeed cocktails. For my dessert, I had the banoffee pie (£5.25).


This was very nice, but I actually preferred Ian's intensely chocolate-y brownie and ice-cream (£5.95).


We both chose cocktails to accompany our puddings. Ian chose the Velvet Elvis at £6.95 (he liked the name), which he liked; but I struck gold with my cocktail choice of the Chocolate Martini (£6.50) - it tasted like alcoholic chocolate milkshake.

The flash has washed the picture out just a tad - my cocktail was actually a light chocolate colour. Other than the steak my cocktail was definitely one of the highlights of the meal.

Overall then, a quite expensive meal, but in lovely surroundings with very good service and delicious food and drink. We will be returning with friends in the future.


Disclaimer: We were given a discount on the meal for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and all views are of course my own.

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