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Tiger Bills

    Round ups

    October round up

    Autumn is one of my favourite seasons; the clocks go back and there’s a glut of festivities from Halloween and Bonfire Night to Diwali and even Christmas begins to creep in (I’ve been spotting the Christmas trees going up in Brum all week).  This month has been particularly special as I got to witness the marriage of two wonderful people and I’m looking forward to trying out the wedding favours.

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    It has also been a busy one for Birmingham, with Bodega on Bennets Hill announcing a new little sister in Worcester, Bearwood’s very first food festival courtesy of the Bearwood Pantry and a talk by the Vegan Society for the Birmingham Humanists.

    I’ve also been out on lots of food adventures with write ups from my experience of DIP, a Lebanese stall in the Bullring, to cocktails at The Edgbaston and dinner at Tiger Bills, located just off Broad St.  I even managed to give New Covent Garden’s soup of the month another try with it being aptly named Pumpkin Ghoulash.

    Starbucks_056And with the festive season upon us, Area Guide kindly published an article I wrote about drinks relating to Halloween, Bonfire Night and Dia de los Muertos and I followed it up with a post about some spooktacular cocktails at Cherry Reds.  And just as the month was coming to an end I managed to fit in a taste of Christmas, with Starbucks in Selfridges bringing their red cups in early.

    There’s more Christmas things in November, including a sneak peak at Coast to Coast‘s Christmas offerings, plus my experience at Norjske thanks to Yelp Birmingham and new Mediterranean cafe 4023.

    I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do.
    My email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk.

    Restaurant reviews

    Tiger Bills Birmingham

    I must keep my eyes closed when I walk to the cinema, because I go there a lot, but I’ve never really noticed Tiger Bills Birmingham.  Perhaps it’s because I walk, head down, along Broad St and if I’m going to eat before/between films then it’s a quick trip to cheap and cheerful Nando’s.  But when Tiger Bills emailed me a voucher for a free main course it seemed like as good a place as any to catch up with my friend Jo-ann.

    thaigreencurryTiger Bills Birmingham is part of the Lifestyle Hospitality Group who operate a number of venues mainly in the south west of the country, although the Tiger Bills brand seems to be their fastest growing concept.  With eight other branches around the country, they describe themselves as ‘East meets West dining experience’ which is one of those descriptions that grates on me for being a bit too vague.  Although, to be fair, their menu does seem to take inspiration from a lot of East Asian dining with noodles, stir fries, soups and a fair few Thai-inspired dishes.  But there are also some ‘West’ dishes in the form of burgers, steaks and grills – and inexplicably fajitas, which feel a bit of an anomaly.  Still, it’s got the sort of range that should mean everyone can find something they like.

    That said the menu is not the easiest to follow.  Being a bit of a font nerd, the typeface they’ve chosen is an atmospheric one which works for titles and posters, but in a restaurant setting it’s just a bit hard to read at the table.  I’d had a craving for Thai green curry for a while and almost missed that it was on the menu – partly due to the font choice, but also because it was entitled by its Thai name.  It’s also worth pointing out that the curries come with chicken or vegetables and with jasmine rice, but if you want to upgrade to beef or duck you can do for £1.50…and if you want to upgrade your rice to egg fried rice that’s free, but garlic or coconut rice is 50p more.   Our waitress patiently explained this to us, but the upgrade options just feel a bit clunky.

    wafflesI had the Thai green curry (£8.95); the sauce was thinner than I was expecting, but had a nice flavour to it and the bamboo shoots, beans and peppers gave it a nice freshness.  The chicken was a little too dry, but not massively so.  The rice was lovely, but the separate dishes for them felt a bit overkill.  Jo-ann had the Tamarind Duck (£9.95), which came on a bed of deep-fried noodles that she wasn’t overly keen on but I didn’t mind, although egg noodles would probably have been better.  The waitress that cleared our plates said the deep-fried noodles had a sort of marmite reaction with people either loving or hating them.

    For dessert I went for the All American Waffles (£4.25) which I suspect are brought in and heated up, but they were fine and though not a massive amount of ice cream, it had just the right amount of sweetness to it.  Jo-ann’s Banoffee Cheesecake was super sweet, but then that’s sort of the point of banoffee cheesecake, isn’t it?

    Tiger Bills is fine, but that’s about as far as I can go with it really.  Nothing bothered me, but nothing really wowed me either.  Now that I know it’s there, I’d go as an alternative to Nando’s, but that’s what I’m measuring it against.  It’s a perfectly fine concept to roll-out nationally, but it just doesn’t have the same unique charm as some of the places in and around the Arcadian (aka Chinatown).  It’s a great location near two cinemas and Broad St and it’s got more atmosphere – and cocktails than Nando’s, but wow factor, not so much.

    http://tigerbills.co.uk/location/birmingham/

    Disclosure: I was given a voucher for free mains – dessert and drinks we paid for ourselves. I wasn’t required to write a positive review and opinions, in this case very middle-of-the-road, are my own.