Jailbird Steak House, Birmingham | FOOD REVIEW

7 Oct 2018

Last weekend marked my thirtieth birthday and year on this planet, aside from balloons and Colin the  caterpillar cake (yes, its my favourite, don't judge) we decided to head into the city for a family lunch somewhere special to mark the occasion.  I'd heard good things about a new steak house that had just opened up in town, Jailbird, and with it's bourgeois decor it was the perfect setting for a photo or two to boot.

I'm lucky enough to enjoy going out for dinner a lot, it's one of my favourite ways to socialise and I generally experience some great restaurants.  I think Birmingham has such a great food scene and I'm first to rave about it to other people.  That being said, I think it's important as a food blogger to also share experiences that fall short of expectations...

So, the positives; Jailbird is stunningly beautiful inside - it's decorated to a Pinterester's dream and is perfect for snapping your instagrams.  The walls are marble, floors are hard wood and rich green upholstery on the chairs complement each other wonderfully, and not the mention the brass industrail fittings.  The waiting staff are friendly enough and the cocktail menu is extensive, it would be great for a drink after work with friends or as a meeting place before moving on.  

However, the service and food are unfortunately lacking which leaves a sour taste in the mouth upon exiting with your cheque.  We both opted for the Delmonico steak, described as a large hunk of meat from the chuck famed for having a special texture and deep flavour, with seasoned fries and a steak sauce accompanied with a glass of wine each.  Now, I'm not an impatient diner and I'm often more than prepared to wait for good food, but after 45 minutes the waiter bought a plate but my partner's order had been missed - which seemed somewhat common sense to me that the waiter should have enquired rather than missing a diner out.  Still, we waited an additional 20 minutes for the missing meal to come so we could eat together and instead enjoyed conversation and wine.  

The steak was, to put it bluntly, inedible.  The meat was easily 50% fat and was not cooked to the medium rare I had ordered, but this was inconsequential when you take into consideration that I had to stop eating it as it was making me feel queasy.  Now, in the interest of fairness, this cut of meat is slightly more marbled than that of a sirloin or rump and therefore will have a more fatty texture.  However, it should still be of good quality and cooked well.  I spoke with the manager who advised that this is 'just what the meat is' and was somewhat dismissive of me, but I pressed that we were leaving the meals due to the quality of what had been served.  
The manager did eventually agree to take one of the meals off the bill and offered a gift card for my next visit, which we politely declined.  Instead we left and headed to the nearest Wagamama to get take out instead on the way home...

In summary, the restaurant itself was beautiful and had lovely cocktails, but I would not recommend it for your dining reservations.  If you want an excellent steak, head down the road to Bar and Block instead - which has never disappointed me yet in the years I've been going there.  

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