The Highfield, Edgbaston

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Upon entering The Highfield I was greeted four times, which is four more times than I am usually greeted going about my everyday life. I have lived with a women long enough to take false sentiments wherever I can get them, and although it’s nice to imagine each of these polite and smartly turned-out folk actually care for my well being, it’s more than likely this has been ingrained into their psyche. It is this absurdly polished service that typifies The Highfield. It offered immediate reassurance that food was going to be good before I looked at the menu. I knew that I could trust them. Not with my life, mind, but to cook a piece of meat correctly. And last Sunday that was good enough for me.

It takes time to be become this polished, time that The Highfield hasn’t had. It’s a new pub in a new development in Edgbaston that will in time see the cities wealth gravitate towards it. The owners are seasoned professionals when it comes to this type of client, as they already have similar set ups dotted around in nice places just outside of Birmingham. The building is faux Georgian, befitting its neighbours, with the interiors channelling the pizazz of the 1920’s. It’s all monochrome and glass chandlers. Calling it a nice place to visit would be doing it a injustice.

The menu is an appealing mix of pub staples and the more adventurous. A salad starter saw some lovely Serrano ham paired with creamy goats curd and slightly under ripe figs. Unfortunately it was all a bit sweet, even more so with the addition of truffle honey. Still, it was a worthy attempt at offering a cut above the norm. The following slab of gammon was a mighty success. The meat still slightly pink and with the depth of flavour only obtained from a lengthy cure. The poached egg provided richness and the chips were proper things; crispy on the outside and fluffy in the centre. It’s pub grub on steroids.

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The weekend roasts are a further example of how well they understand customers here. The plate contains the main element, a measly two roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and a small jug of gravy. Alongside of this is large bowl of accurately cooked greens. Throughout the meal they visit the table to offer additional spuds and puddings for free, like a U2 album, only wanted. The roast this time being a hefty slice of a vegetarian Wellington, the filling of squash and blue cheese, with the pastry avoiding any sogginess. It was all very good, the spuds in particular excellent specimens.

Roast greens

In comparison to the mains, desserts were a bit of let down. A hazelnut parfait lacked flavour and any real texture, whilst a chocolate tart, as tasty as it was, was dense and more of a brownie than anything else. Yet, despite the dip at the end, we left full and satisfied. The Highfield isn’t going to rewrite any books, nor are people going to travel far and wide for its food.  What it will do is slot into the area nicely and feed its patrons well, which is I assume is its intent. It brings a little more glamour and class to an area that already has it in abundance. The food is good and the service slick. What’s not to like about that?

8/10

035Chocolate tart

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