Located on the corner of Hill Street is the aptly named The Lobby on Hill Street, attached to/situated underneath the Holiday Inn hotel. A space for alternating dishes and clean cuisine, we went to check it out for ourselves.
The Venue and Atmosphere
A venue with a modern, stylish, clean and crisp décor, The Lobby on Hill Street oozes with a laid back atmosphere. Walking in makes you forget just how close by Hurst Street, with its thumping tunes, really is. Being underneath the Holiday Inn inevitably means they’re pulling in the guests as the main audience. This actually suits the style of the place in its contemporary relaxed atmosphere. Let’s not forget, though, that Birmingham’s favourite, Snobs, is just only over the road, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some groups of young’uns warming up with a few cocktails before a big night out.
The Food & Drink
Keeping up with the currently popular street food theme, the menu has 12 options, of which you can choose three for a very reasonable £14. I tried the Salt Chilli and Garlic Ribs (£6.75), the Posh Cheesy chips with smoked bacon (£4.95) and the Crispy Chicken Wings with “Hill Street hot sauce” (£4.95). It all came well-presented and the portion sizes are spot on. Perhaps I have a more hardcore palate, but I would suggest that they could be a little braver with the seasoning and the flavours. The ribs were soft in the middle and crispy on the outside, but I’d liked them to have been a little more-moreish with a bit more punch. The wings do have a kick, though, so take caution.
Everything on offer is locally sourced and suited to what’s currently in season. The beauty of street food being the eclectic mix of dishes from all over the world that’s therefore on offer. There’s something for everyone, and the small plates style encourages sharing with friends (if you can be trusted).
I had an Old Fashioned (£8) with this, and was pleasantly surprised when the barman asked how I liked it, sweet or bitter. There’s an array of classic, signature and short cocktails on offer (and, yes, there’s a Happy Hour!). As it’s a hotel there’s an extensive list, generally, of good quality booze. You should be able to find that favourite tipple.
The Lobby on Hill Street has definitely thought about decent cocktails, decent prices, and a varied menu. I think it suits the needs of those staying at the hotel, but perhaps needs to pull some events out of the bag to make sure it doesn’t blend into being just a hotel bar; it should be able to contend as a night time hot-spot for its location.