Food review: Alfie Bird’s

Promising ‘Gourmet Eats and Beats’, Alfie Bird’s is the latest addition to the Custard Factory deep in the heart of groovy Digbeth. It’s fair to say that several businesses have been here since the original Mr Bird himself left the building, with various clubs and bars coming and going over the years (most notably The Medicine Bar). Given that it’s a few minutes walk/waddle away from the centre of Brum any new business clearly needs to offer that little extra to drag people away from the usual suspects. So, what’s it all about Alfie?
The decor and atmosphere is pretty laid back and welcoming, with a proper pizza oven at one end of the main dining space and a dude spinning some tunes on vinyl. Burgers and pizzas are pretty much the main offerings so we plumped for one of each, the Smoking Smoked Salmon pizza and the Pulled Pork Burger, along with side orders of Tempura Veg and Sweet Potato Wedges.
After a few minutes our waitress came out with possibly the most magnificent looking burger in Brum, several inches of meaty beef and pulled pork goodness topped with pickles, sauce and cheese all skewered in place in a brioche bun. Happily it tasted as good as it looked with the outside of the burger having a decent char and the inside oozing with juices. Once you’ve finished “ooing” and “ahhing” over the burger itself the pulled pork hits you, soft and melt in the mouth with a different level of flavour and intensity altogether. Okay, so you may need to dislocate your jaw to get it all in but it’s a meat lover’s dream… the sort of meal a condemned man might order before going to meet his maker, a burger so delicious that the chef himself apparently pops in and orders one on his days off. Yes, that good. The best burger in Brum? Could be.
The pizza was impressive too. Stone baked with a good crispness on the base and a little of that chewy, doughy edge that you want, it was generously topped with slivers of smoked salmon, crème fraîche, horseradish shavings, fresh rocket and parmesan. It’s an unusual concoction but it really works, 12 inches of pizza perfection.
The sides of Sweet Potato Wedges could easily make a nice snack on their own, although perhaps a creamy dip may have been better than the chilli one. The simple Tempura Veg (pepper, carrot and broccoli) were fresh and crisp and again could well make a decent nibble if you’re not feeling too peckish.
We were too stuffed to even think about puddings but it would’ve been rude to leave without trying a cocktail or two. Again both were a notch above the average. Served in jam jars (the hipster’s favourite), the Deconstructed Mojito and Blush certainly packed a punch in flavour and alcohol and with Pampero Blanco Rum at its heart the Mojito in particular was excellent.
There’s a lot to love about Alfie Bird’s, truly independent and clearly run by people who give a damn, it’s the kind of place the Custard factory and indeed this city itself really needs a whole lot more of. Highly recommended.


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