There’s so many great pop-ups in Brum that I can’t always get to them and sadly that was the case when the team at Restaurant epi did a pop up practically round the corner from where I live. Thankfully though, they’d set up a semi-permanent location out in Bromsgrove, so my mum and I went along to try out their lunch.
Chef Nathan Eades and his partner Charlie make up Restaurant Epi, who started initially as a three night pop up that proved so successful they launched it full time. Previous to Epi, Nathan started his career at The Royal Oak and also worked in Nailcote Hall, where he met his wife and business partner Charlie. He’s also worked in Swinfen Hall and Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver, so coupled with Charlie’s extensive events background they make a great team to set up a restaurant.
Bromsgrove high st is much like most high streets in the area, but tucked away down a passageway is a beautiful old building, the Courtyard, which is where Restaurant Epi is located. The Courtyard is both a cafe and fine dining, which is a little confusing at first but as we were spirited to a lovely room upstairs which maintains the building’s old world charm in a lovely comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. After having our orders taken we were given some deliciously soft, and very moreish, bread. I love bread but if my mum, who rarely eats carbs (unless she’s stealing mine), goes in for seconds then you it’s good – and she did! For starters I went for ham hock which was lovely; it wasn’t too salty nor dry and accompanied by an apple puree was just delightful. Mum said the salmon was lovely and tasty too.
Main course my mum carried on the the fish selection, Hake, I think, which she said was superbly cooked with a nice texture to the skin and meat and the accompaniments added an excellent flavour. I went for the beef shin which was a nice chunk of meat, something which can’t often be said for fine dining. Beef shin is so often relegated to stews but it was nice to see it pride of place on a menu and cooked suitably. The mashed potato and veg gave it a real hearty vibe but without being too stodgy.
For pudding mum decided she was full, but that didn’t stop her ‘helping’ me eat my slow-cooked pineapple, coconut sponge, and pineapple granite. Pudding can be a little bit of a tricky course, with so many places offering something a bit boring and obvious; I loved this for not being a chocolate pudding but having a lovely freshness to it that just rounded off the meal wonderfully. The icy pineapple granite was zingy and worked really well with the coconut sponge and juiciness of the slow-cooked pineapple. A really unfussy dish which was just delightful.
A note must be made about the waiting staff too, who were just wonderful. Both my mum and I were really impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail. I find the wait staff at fine dining establishments can sometimes be a little too suffocating, but the team at Epi had the perfect balance of being there when you needed them, but giving space to enjoy the meal.
Bromsgrove might be somewhere I’ve not ventured to before, but my experience at Epi was smashing and I’d certainly be willing to go back. Though I’d definitely make my mum order her own pudding.
Disclosure: I was invited down by Epi for a complimentary meal to try out their lunch options. I wasn’t obliged to write anything nice and the pudding-stealer aka my mother wasn’t either. I also decided my camera should come on our adventure to Bromsgrove – the photos are mine so please don’t use them without permission.