Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the Brewhouse and Kitchen restaurant in Lichfield. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
The Brewhouse and Kitchen Lichfield lies close to the centre of the city, and was very easy to find. We arrived at the restaurant just before 7pm and parked in the public car park a couple of minutes walk away. This restaurant is the latest in the Brewhouse and Kitchen family of restaurants across the UK. They pride themselves in offering a wide selection of craft beers from across the world. The Lichfield restaurant even has its own microbrewery and dedicated brewer on site!
Incidentally, all of the photos for this post were taken on the amazing Samsung Galaxy S8+ which Three kindly loaned to me. Keep an eye out for my review, coming soon…
And the ‘twist’ to the evening that I mention in the title of this post? Each item on the menu is matched to a particular type of beer, much in the way that you may have seen wines matched to food before. I usually drink wine when I eat out, and even then I tend to stick to the same Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio nine times out of ten! But for this evening, I decided to try out some of the beers on offer. Mark was driving this time, so he stuck to the soft drinks.
We ordered our first drinks while we perused the food menu. There’s a wide range of beers available, and you can even try out a ‘beertail’ – a cocktail made using beer. But I opted for a Belgian lager to start the evening. Bellerose is described in the restaurant’s beer guide as being inspired by 1950s beers, which were ‘intensely hoppy and stoutly refreshing’. I really enjoyed this beer for its smooth flavour – it’s quite a strong beer though at 6.5%.
For our first course, we’d decided to take advantage of the ‘3 starters for £14.50’ offer. We shared a plate of nachos, lamb koftas, and B&K chicken wings. The nachos were loaded with jalapenos, guacamole, spicy salsa, sour cream and plenty of melted cheese. It was a huge portion that would have been enough on its own for Mark and I to share as a starter!
The lamb kofta was very tasty with just the right amount of spice, and a cooling tzatiki sauce. But I think my favourite starter was the B&K chicken wings. We’d opted for the spicy buffalo variety, but we could have chosen barbecue sauce if we’d preferred that. The wings had just the right amount of heat, and they came with celery sticks and cooling blue cheese sauce.
It took a while for us to work our way through the starters, and by the time we’d finished that course, I was ready to try a second beer. This time I went for a lighter, German lager as I had really enjoyed the lagers that I had tried in Berlin recently. This Fruh Kolsch, which is brewed in Cologne, was equally refreshing and had a really crisp dry flavour. At 4.8%, it was a lighter drink than the Bellerose.
I was very impressed by the selection of beers available at the Brewhouse and Kitchen, and the bar staff certainly seemed to know their stuff. They were able to advise me on which beers might be suitable and recommended a couple for me to try on my next visit as well.
Before our main courses turned up, I took the opportunity to have a quick look around the premises. The Brewhouse and Kitchen has a quirky decor that I really liked. I spotted plenty of little knick-knacks dotted around the restaurant and on the walls. The lighting was quite bright and cheery when we first arrived, but as the evening drew on, the lighting was lowered to give a more relaxing, intimate atmosphere. There are also a couple of decent sized function rooms upstairs, which you can hire for special occasions. I think it would make a fantastic venue for a birthday or Christmas party.
Soon enough, our main courses turned up. The menu has a wide range of options, from steaks and pies, to burgers and salads. There are even a range of dishes for sharing, such as Beer Can Roast Chicken and a BBQ Platter. There are a small number of vegetarian options on the menu as well.
Mark and I both like spicy food, so Mark had opted for the Cajun Gumbo. This is a homemade spicy gumbo, which is packed with tender chicken, chorizo and prawns. I was pleased to see that it uses ‘real’ chicken and not the horrible reformed stuff. Mark enjoyed his main, but he would have liked it to be a little spicier. I had a small taste, and I agreed that the spice could have been upped a little. But what would have been a good level of spice for us, might be too spicy for others. It’s not easy to strike the right balance on these types of food really.
On the other hand, my fish and chips were magnificent! I don’t often order fish and chips when I go out, because usually there are more interesting options on the menu. But as this fish is coated in IPA batter, I was keen to see how good it would be.
I’m very happy to tell you that it was fantastic. The fish was well cooked – I hate overcooked fish – and the batter was light, crisp and not soggy at all. It was definitely one of the nicest pieces of battered fish that I’ve ever had. The side portion of onion rings that I ordered were also coated in the same light IPA batter. The menu recommended pairing this with a lager, and it did go very well with the Fruh Kolsch.
But the chips did steal the show a little. They were cooked skin on, and had that divine combination of crispy outer and fluffy inner. The chips were seasoned with a garlic and hop salt, and there were masses of them. Mark stole a few from my plate, and I still couldn’t manage to eat them all!
That’s because we really felt we had to save a little room for pudding. The menu only has a small selection of puddings, but Mark and I were both able to find something that appealed to our sweet tooth.
Mark went for the Glazed Doughnut Ice Cream sandwich, which was served with strawberry compote and whipped cream. I had a little taste of the ice cream, and it was very smooth and creamy with a good vanilla flavour.
Meanwhile I had chosen the Cherry Bakewell Cheesecake. Although I knew what I had ordered, the flavour did come as a little bit of a surprise because it tasted exactly like Cherry Bakewell! The combination of cherries, almonds and smooth creamy cheesecake was utterly delicious.
We had a very enjoyable evening at the Brewhouse and Kitchen Lichfield. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, the food and drink were excellent, and the surroundings relaxed and attractive. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a relaxed meal with family or friends, or for a laid back date night.