The night before my final Spanish exam, my friend and I thought the best way to revise was to have some tapas, so we headed to Byzantium in Kings Heath, a tapas restaurant that serves up not only traditional Spanish dishes but they also have a good choice of food inspired by Greek, Italian and North African cuisine, delivering a true taste of the Mediterranean.
Kings Heath is full of hidden gems and some great places to eat if you step away from the main high street. Byzantium is located on York road, the undeniable ‘cool’ road in Kings Heath, a hub of quirky, independent cafes and eateries as well as hosting a pretty cool vintage store and being the home of the Kings Heath Street Food Festival.
The best thing about tapas is that it is great for sharing and as my friend and I are both big foodies we love choosing a selection of dishes and then just tucking in. As always, we always have difficulty in deciding on what we want to eat as there are always so many appealing choices. But after much deliberation we settled on chicken souvlaki, pork belly, arancini and flatbread for starters. For each dish there were three good size portions – perfect if you’re in 3 and even better if there is 2 of you because you’ll end up having more food.
Arancini is one of my favourite Sicilian street food dishes and I am counting down the days until I’m back in Italy and I can sink my teeth into one, but for the time being I’ll just have to settle for what is on offer in Brum. The arancini at Byzantium had a salmon and prawn filling, served with a pineapple and chilli salsa and they were absolutely delicious.
If you’ve read my previous post on street souvlaki you’ll know how I love this Greek dish so when I saw it on the menu I just has to order it. Although maybe not as great as Street Souvlaki is was still tasty.
Although all the dishes were nice we both agreed that the pork was something special. It was so tender and marinated in garlic, ginger, thyme and fennel, and served in a balsamic glaze which was lovely and sweet and really complemented the pork. Each portion also had a crispy bit of crackling on top – I mean what’s a pork belly without a bit of crackling?
The restaurant is only small but was packed (always a good sign) so I’d definitely advise you to book if you do go. The décor itself has a very southern Mediterranean theme, with the walls decorated with paintings you’d expect to see in one of the many spectacular churches in southern Europe.
The service, atmosphere and of course the food was all great and especially for the price we paid – it certainly won’t break the bank but will leave you feeling satisfied and wanting to return for more.
Check out Byzantium here.