I love food. I’m not quite sure when it all started because as a child I was quite a fussy eater, but I really enjoy food. When exploring somewhere new, or even somewhere familiar, one of my favourite things to do is look up places to eat out. Reading restaurant menus is great fun and if I’ve planned where I’m going in advance I’ll often know what I’m going to eat before I set foot in the restaurant. So much for spontaneity… Anyway, when it was decided that James and I would be heading to Birmingham for the weekend, I just couldn’t help but do some research which led to us booking a table at The Lost & Found.
The Lost & Found describes itself as a “botanical Victorian hideaway in the heart of Birmingham, with a bustling restaurant serving British classics and a cocktail bar” which is a very accurate description. I have to admit, I fell in love with the photos on the website of the great decor and knew that I wanted to see it in person. I wasn’t disappointed. From the bookshelf wallpaper, to the indoor garden-style eating area, to the door knockers on the toilet doors, the decor was quirky, fun and fitted the space really well.
We visited on a Friday night and were pleased to have booked a table in advance as it was busy. Cocktail bars when they are busy can be horrendous places to go to enjoy a meal, but the eating area was slightly separate from the drinking area and whilst there was a buzz of noise, it wasn’t unbearably loud.
From 5pm -8pm Monday to Friday the “Found” cocktails are £5 each, which we hadn’t realised until we arrived. Unfortunately they didn’t have the ingredients for the one that James wanted but they did suggest an alternative that he enjoyed. I opted for the slightly more expensive “Lost” cocktail, but thoroughly enjoyed my King’s Bramble which was packed with flavour. The cocktail menu also contained a map, showing how sweet/sour/strong the cocktail you chose was likely to be.
The food menu was great, mainly because it was a mix of classic pub food, and some slightly more adventurous options. I have to admit, we both found the descriptions a little over the top in places – ham, egg and chips is transformed into “Honey-glazed ham, hen eggs, triple cooked chips, smoky tomato ketchup”, but it gives you the impression that you are eating something slightly classier than you thought. It took us both a while to decide what we wanted as there were quite a few options which took our fancy, and we had to have the “do we want/need a starter debate” (we decided no – the pudding menu looked too good!).
In the end I opted for Gloucester Old Spot sausages, creamed mash, bacon, green beans and onion gravy which were very nice. I hadn’t been convinced by the addition of bacon, but it went really well. I probably could have managed with only two sausages though as I felt very full afterwards.
James chose the Pan-fried sea bream, leek & potato risotto, tender stem broccoli and lemon butter sauce which he also enjoyed. The risotto was made with potato rather than rice which had intrigued us both. It also wasn’t served the way we expected as the sea bream came on a bed of risotto whereas (and I’m not sure why) we had both assumed it would make up part of a risotto dish. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the bite that I stole!
For dessert we both opted for sticky toffee pudding with ice cream which was delicious. I was slightly concerned about having a heavy dessert after a heavy meal, but the pudding was surprisingly light. We also each opted for another cocktail. I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy my second one anywhere near as much as the first, but it’s my own fault as it was made from a spirit I’d never had before.
We enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere at The Lost & Found, and the prices were reasonable. I’d quite happily go again, but perhaps for a different meal. The Sunday lunch is probably very nice, the breakfast sounds great and to be honest, the afternoon tea and cocktail is also very tempting. There is now a Lost & Found in Leeds and Knutsford, as well as the original in Birmingham, so it is somewhere I’d consider going if you are in those areas.