‘Sky Bar… Best dining experience for 2016’
On a midday night in the awkward days between Christmas and New Years where you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself, I decided to visit the newly born Resorts World Sky Bar.
On offer was a 9 course tasting menu at the Chefs Table. As you can guess from the ‘best dining experience for 2016′ title it was something that truly was phenomenal.
First of all I was greeted at the door and sat down outside to where I tried a cocktail. The bar menu has a Japanese theme, with all the classics too, my chosen cocktail (a non-acholic Zen Garden) was refreshing whilst my partner went for the boozy option.
To describe the decor and feeling, it’s very much like the rooftop of the cube in Marco Pierres but a little more modern, so extremely classy and beautiful touches throughout. Your view isn’t quite as good as the cube but still a great one of Birmingham and the NEC.
The Chefs Table is a new experience to me and one that I would certainly do again. We had chefs’ Lee and Adam who I’ll be mentioning throughout as they were a great pair together and made the experience even more amazing. They were well informed, knew their stuff and were a great laugh so huge kudos to them.
We sat around a curved table with the two chefs in front of us, popping in and out preparing the food. Every dish was prepared before our eyes and cooked where necessary on the huge hot plate in front of us. The smell from each dish hit us and got my mouth watering each time. It reminded me why I stopped smoking and the benefits of being able to smell again.
First up was Sky Sashimi – Cloud Plate a raw fish combo of tuna, Salmon and a rare fish shipped in from the Middle East. Each fish was sourced in a particular way, their origins were described to us which made this dish and other dishes all the more fascinating.
Next on the menu was Seared Lobster and Cardamom Ocha. Which was certainly one of the better lobster dishes I’ve tried in Birmingham. Cooked right in front of us the smell and how the dish was brought together lead us through a journey to the next dish.
One of my favourite dishes of the night had to be the 4th course. This wasn’t cooked by Adam or Lee but by the specialist Chinese chef who came out to meet us and prepare the dish. Again this was another great touch of the night. There was a story behind how she had came from a Michelin star restaurant in London and was working with the Sky Bar now. This being said her dumplings were amazing as seen below. This dish was the Fried Enoki Mushroom and Wild Asparagus Dumpling. The best I have ever had!
The 5th dish of the night and which you would typically find in many aspiring Michelin restaurants was the Scallop dish. The Seared Hand-Dived Scallops again had a great story how they were sourced but I won’t explain all as that is part of the fun if you go. The taste was again incredible and mouth-watering.
Next up was a Michelin slant on fish and chips (Barley Miso Black Cod and French Fries). If I had to give any criticism on this visit in any way it would be with this dish. Although it was tasty and nothing particularly wrong with it on its own, it seemed to be a little heavy to be in the middle of 9 courses. I’m a big eater but this dish was certainly a tester to fill me up. The drink with this was Nikka Whisky from the Barrel. Too strong for either of us to get down us without tipping us over the edge and becoming a nightmare of a dining couple.
After a 10 minute break to settle our stomachs again, we moved onto the Rare Breed Pork Belly Yakitori with Truffle and Crackling. Without sounding repetitive, just wow. The smell when it was cooking in front of us dazzled me and although I was starting to feel full, this got me going again.
Another meaty dish came next with the Wagyu Beef Tataki with Foie Gras and Ginge. If you haven’t heard of Wagyu beef yet, it’s basically one of the most sought after cattle meats originally from Japan. They are starting to pop up around the world now and the price for the meat is very expensive. Without going into it too much, the fat is basically good for you and makes it taste amazing. Loved it.
To finish off with the last two dishes and cleanse the pallet, the menu starts becoming more sweeter as expected. The 8th dish was a bit of a love hate one with me loving it and my partner not so much, which was explained to us earlier. With lots of flavours jumping around it was hard to decide but just close your eyes and let your taste buds go wild.
This is literally more than a meal out but an experience. Enjoy the food, enjoy the chefs company and enjoy the stories behind each piece of food.
Overall the menu cost was £60.00 per person for the 9 courses and a further £35.00 per person for the tasting drinks recommended all by a mixologist. The full menu and costs can be found on the resorts world website.
Birmingham has seen its fair share of fantastic restaurant openings this year and the Sky Bar for me takes the crown of 2015. Huge kudos to the guys behind the scenes and in the words of Arnold ‘I’ll be back’.