One of my good friends and myself decided that we were long over-due a good catch up and a few drinks. Now, as much as I love going out just for drinks, I much prefer going out for food AND drinks. I think it’s something I really realised when I was on my year abroad and something that the Europeans do so much more than we do: they go out for food all the time, they enjoy good cuisine and socialising rather than binging watching a TV series with a Papa John’s (guilty that was a few of my nights last week). Even though I live in Birmingham I do try and live the European lifestyle I love so much as much as I can, and with so many great authentic European restaurants across the city we really are spoiled for choice.
Anyway back to Saturday night, we decided to go to Amantia on Bennett’s hill, last time I went here was almost two years ago when it was newly opened and just establishing itself, it’s safe to say that it has established itself as a fantastic restaurant serving delicious food and lovely selection of drinks that even gets the approval from my Spanish friends. It’s not just for eating and drinking too, they also have various events on throughout the year such as Flamenco shows, for the real Spanish experience. ¡Olé! The staff are (mostly) Spanish, although our waiters were Italian which led to an amusing conversation about how they’ll have to watch their language around me. All the staff were incredibly friendly and provided good service throughout the evening.
I’m in a really gin phase at the moment and although the cocktail list made my eyes look like the heart eye emoji, I decided to try out one of the gins. They have a good selection of Spanish Gins, I went for one that was from Galicia (it was so good I can’t remember the name aha). I’m not going to lie I’m really no expert on gin and I only chose that one because it was from Galicia which has a special place in my heart after I spent a month there last summer. The gin was served in the Spanish style ‘copa’ glass, like a big bowl shape, and at 9 pound I thought it was reasonable for the amount of gin I got. My friend went for a Sex on the Beach which was nice and fruity and made a great Instagram photo. Again, cocktails are priced at about 9pound so about average.
This was what I was most excited for. Last time I came I had a paella which was lovely but this time I wanted Tapas so went for ‘Pulpo a la gallega’ (Galician Style octopus) ‘Lubina en salsa verde’ ( a sea bass fillet with a Mediterranean herb sauce) and then I had a vegetarian lasagne (I know not exactly Spanish but it was very yummy and very filling). The ‘pulpo’ was my favourite, most people tend to pull a face when they see octopus on a menu but for me it is one of my favourite Spanish dishes; done the Galician way it is cooked and smoked in paprika and served with potatoes. When I was in Santiago de Compostela last year, pulpo was a staple in my diet and it’s something that I have missed, so to have it last night just bought back all the great gastronomical memories I have of Santiago. If the lasagne hadn’t had finished me off, I absolutely would have ordered the Tarta de Santiago for dessert (a traditional Spanish almond cake), making my night not only Spanish but more specifically Galician. My friend opted for steak which she assured me was good and cooked to her liking, plus all mains come with a side of your choice.
From Spain to Italy
After our beautiful Spanish meal, we decided to head over to Fumo for some cocktails to finish the night off. I love Fumo, it has always been one of my favourite places to eat in Birmingham, offering Italian style tapas, but it had been a while since I had been there just for drinks. The atmosphere was buzzing as so many people were gathered around the stylish bar area sipping cocktails of their choice with a good selection of house music fitting the mood. Still sticking to gin, I went for a Singapore Sling which was presented beautifully and tasted as good as it looked. If I get the chance to speak Italian I always do, a little bit of Italian here and there always tends to get you a little extra, in this case a few extra bar snacks to go with our drinks. Molto bene.
Overall, a great night with fantastic food and the best company. I’ll deffo be heading back to Amantia as there are still so many things on the menu that I need to try and I’m craving a good paella. For a true taste of Spain and Italy, I’d highly recommend Amantia and Fumo where you can live out a European lifestyle in good ol’ Brum.