Tucked away among the lively streets of the city centre lies a restaurant filled with fabulous flavours and rustic charm: Bar + Block Birmingham. Having made a name for themselves all across the UK, including in London, Newcastle, Bristol and beyond, you can already tell that this brand has got its succulent steaks on lock. But of course I had to find out myself what all the fuss was about, so paid a visit to the Exchange Square branch.
Nestled along a quaint avenue, its unassuming façade might trick the casual passerby. Yet, head through the weathered wooden doors, welcomed by the warm glow of vintage lanterns, and you'll enter a world that echoes the spirit of an authentic American steakhouse. The combination of exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and modern metal accents gave it a rustic yet industrial feel. To kickstart our evening, we ordered two of the Bakewell cocktails (£9.50). These sweet, indulgent concoctions featured Disaronno Amaretto shaken with Baileys, cherry and vanilla, served in elegant martini glasses.
We opted for a "pick 'n' mix" approach to the starters. This medley included the irresistible trio of salt and pepper squid (£7.50), succulent garlic king prawns (£7.50), and the beautiful beef burnt ends (£6.50). The beef burnt ends roped us in with their smoky allure and a subtle spiciness that left us craving more, while the prawns were generously sized and juicy as can be. To balance the flavour palette, the accompanying mayo dip for the squid provided a creamy, soothing counterpoint to the zesty kick of the chopped chilli sprinkled on top.
Moving on to the mains, I couldn't resist the temptation of the short rib (£27): slow-cooked Angus beef rib, finished over charcoal and glazed with its cooking juices, it was so tender that it practically melted off the bone. Accompanied by with homemade chimichurri and coal-cooked mini garlic potatoes, every bite was absolutely delicious. In the midst of it all, my dad boldly set out on a carnivore's quest, going for the steak sampler (£30.50). This platter included fillet, rump, and sirloin (4oz of each), all cooked to a perfect medium-rare. The accompaniments, including beer-battered onion rings, beef-dripping triple-cooked chunky chips, samphire, and peppercorn sauce, complemented the steaks beautifully.
As the evening drew to a close, we couldn't resist indulging our sweet tooth. I chose the Belgian chocolate cookie dough (£7.50), which was freshly baked in their Kopa oven and elevated with vanilla ice cream, Lotus Biscoff biscuit crumb, and a drizzle of chocolate toffee sauce. It was a warm, rich, gooey delight that brought a perfect end to my meal. My dad continued the trend of triples with the trio of mini desserts (£7.00). This featured a warm chocolate brownie, lemon drizzle cake and cinnamon sugar churros, paired with a generous scoop of ice cream; a medley of flavours and textures that left him holding his belly with a big grin from ear to ear.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Our visit to Bar + Block Steakhouse in Birmingham was fantastic. The combination of a rustic yet industrial atmosphere, impeccable service, and a menu that celebrated the art of grilling all made for an unforgettable dining experience. The delicious Bakewell cocktails were also the (literal) cherry on top. So if you're in the city and craving a hearty steak dinner, don't miss the chance to visit this all-rounder.
💰 The damage: Around £100 for two, plus service.
📍 The location: 5 Exchange Square, B4 6FY.
👌 Perfect for: Small groups and date nights.
⭐ Need to know: Not in the area? There are plenty of other Bar and Block locations too.