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Café Ikon

Café Ikon

The Ikon Gallery
Birmingham B1 2HS

Tel: +44 (0) 121 248 3226

October 2002

There has been an explosion in interest in the cooking of Spain and North Africa in recent years but apart from very commercial chain outlets there has been little access to good Spanish Tapas in Birmingham.  No longer.  Having recently returned from the Tapas mecca's of Seville and Jerez we returned to the Tapas Bar housed within the cool and arty Ikon Gallery in Birmingham's in area, Brindley Place.The bar is a twin of a second bar located in Barcelona and the chef/owner is a Barcelona native.

The bar is decorated in clean white with artful tanks containing bright and attractive "preserved" vegetables and spices adding to the chic atmosphere.

Our party of four commenced with a round of Cruzcampo beers and some warm olive bread (think fragrant ciabatta) served with a bowl of fruity and fragrant basil infused extra virgin olive oil.

The menu offers everything from Boccadillos (sandwiches- chorizo, homemade humous, manchego cheese are all available), nibbles to go with drinks (Spicy Smoked Almonds, Pickled Chilli's, Warm Bread & Oil, Anchovies etc,), Tapas dishes , selection of Spanish Cold Meats served with Sherry, Postres (i.e. desserts) right up to Full Paellas.

We opted for a portion of Patatas Bravas (small roasted chunks of potato smothered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce), Albondigas (Pork meatballs that are seriously to die for), Gambas Al Ajillo (Shell on  prawns in a garlicky/creamy sauce), Judias Verdes (Green beans cooked with sweet onions and chicken stock), Morcilla (Spanish Black Pudding cooked with enormous white beans in a rich tomato sauce and served with a slice of fried apple) and not to forget a truly wonderful portion of Hidalgo y Jerez (chicken livers very lightly fried and finished with fino sherry, cream and caper berries).

All was devoured amidst much uhmming and ahhing accompanied by a more than acceptable bottle of house red (a light rioja at £10.95 a bottle).

The Postres (desserts) on offer included Lemon Tart, Organic Vanilla Ice Cream, a humungous plate of Spanish Cheeses and Sorbet but the selection demolished left room for no more than coffee!

Total bill came to less than £60 including beers, wine and coffees and everyone agreed that the trip had been a breath of Spanish fresh air on a damp and stormy English Sunday afternoon.

VERDICT:-  A winner, authentic, reasonably priced, very relaxing and above all gorgeous food.

Ted Heath

Eatanddrink Ratings

Cafe Ikon

Total Score: 72%
Quality: Good
Service: Good
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Good


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