Monday, 18 July 2016

Review: Spanish Feasting at Amantia

Noting that a number of my Facebook comrades show a lot of love towards Amantia in Birmingham, I was pleased when an opportunity came my way to see for myself what it is that draws them back there time after time.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

So arriving at 12pm on the dot one Saturday afternoon recently, we were the only diners at Amantia.  Having the restaurant all to ourselves with Hispanic melodies piped through the speakers as our only  companion, it did leave me missing that typical restaurant buzz you get, but as the lunchtime period wore on, it became fuller and fuller – atmosphere enhanced and I felt “this is more like it”.  Clearly, not everyone is gagging for lunch at 12pm pronto like me.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
Nestling into the purple chairs which matches their purple d├ęcor throughout, I noted a few ornamental Spanish gestures on the walls and on display shelves, but nothing overwhelming, it was just enough. 
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Although I had had a cheeky glance at the menu before visiting, I was pleased to see a confirmed number of veggie dishes on there and a good variety outside of the usual remit of paella.
Photos:  Word In Veg Ways

Mum and I decided to go tapas style for our starters and we chose wholly vegetarian dishes to maximise sampling opportunities for us both.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Over a glass of Erlal wine and for me their rose version, we had:

Ensalada de Legumbres (Butterbean, chickpea, lentils, tomato, onion and coriander salad)
This was a good mix of lentils and beans in a light oily dressing with a little kick from the coriander.
Pimientos & Lentils
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Pimientos Piquillo Rellenos Red Peppers (Piquillo red peppers filled with cream cheese and a garlic herb mix).  These were very pleasant and sweet, the cream cheese broke up the pepper and the garlic gave it a bit of a ‘hit’.
Aubergine & Honey
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Bernjenas Con Miel - Aubergine & Honey
These were lightly fried battered aubergine wedges drizzled with honey.  A good combination of aubergine + honey together, however, I would’ve preferred them without the batter and just griddled/fried with honey on top.
San Francisco Mocktail
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

More wine for Mother and a San Francisco mocktail (sweet yet refreshing) for me whilst we waited for our mains.
Gratinado de Verduras
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

I opted for the Gratinado de Verduras  - Aubergine, Potato and mushroom stew/gratin.  I really cannot get enough of aubergines – can you tell?  But this was a good mix of vegetables, gratin style with melted cheese on top although I would’ve liked to have had a little more seasoning within to give it more edge.
Sea Bass
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Mum had the Lubina Con Salsa Verde  - Sea Bass on a Mediterranean herb sauce.  It was a hearty portion and well cooked, she really enjoyed it.
Side Orders
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Our side dishes of Sauteed Potatoes and Salad were equally well seasoned and well dressed.
Chocolate & Almond Ganache
Photo:  Word In VegWays

We did our usual trick of ordering two different desserts and sharing/tasting each other’s.  Mum went for the Chocolate & Almond Ganache – very chocolately, rich, dense with a mousse base.

Spanish Almond Cake
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

I went for the more delicate sounding Tarta de Santiago - Spanish Almond Cake and the almonds came through quite heavily (as opposed to just a hint of), so this is definitely one for nut lovers (of which I am one) but yet it was light.  This is a good option if you want to round your meal off with a dessert with nothing too heavy.

Overall, there is a good quota of vegetarian dishes across the menu, which is a plus as tapas/Spanish food doesn’t always have a vegetarian bias and certainly not in Spain, so I was pleased to see a good level of choice on there.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Whilst it has a good lunchtime trade, I imagine it would be more atmospheric in the evenings but nevertheless, Amantia is a wonderful addition to the ever expanding eatery/boozer destination of Bennetts Hill/Colmore Row in Birmingham. 

The Spanish G&T was recommended to me before I went and I forgot to ask for it, so that’s a good enough excuse to engineer a second visit in my view!   
Disclosure:    This post has been written following a kind invitation from Amantia to sample their menu.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website.      

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