Bodega is one of my favourite restaurants in Brum, so I was very excited to be invited to a blogger event at another Bitters & Twisted venue – Marmalade.
Housed under the Rep, this friendly and funky place is great for after work drinks, a bite to eat or a night out, whether you’re seeing a show or not. I instantly liked the relaxed atmosphere and the contemporary feel of Marmalade, and living in Harborne the location was perfect for me to head to in the early evening.
The theme of the event was Envy, which I think was quite apt – the extensive cocktail menu is certainly something other venues must covet. The evening kicked off with ‘Bitter The Devil You Know’ which was really refreshing and not too sweet. I do love a good cocktail, but often find they can get sickly after one (or several, depending on the occasion).
As we sipped away, the menu was explained to us, and it was great to hear about Marmalade’s intention to be a ‘flexitarian’ restaurant. As someone who has a lot of vegetarian friends, it’s music to my ears that restaurants are keen to offer menus that work for couples or groups with differing eating preferences. I often struggle to think where to eat that suits everyone – veggies, vegans, meat eaters, fussy eaters – so the flexitarian approach is a perfect solution.
Another great concept at Marmalade is matching cocktails to food. You do it with wine, so hey, why not with a cocktail? Just as a sommelier would, their team can advise you on what food and cocktails would complement one another, based on the flavours and strengths of the different combinations.
Then it was onto the best bit, the tasting! First up, the veggie option, which was sesame coated halloumi, and it was delightful. The halloumi was soft and warm against the crunchy seeds. The accompanying cocktail, La Vie En Rose, had quite a heavy taste. This worked well with the light flavours of the halloumi – they know their stuff at Marmalade.
I was also smitten with the tequila marinated salmon, which was topped with a wasabi dressing. The wasabi packed a punch but didn’t overpower the salmon, which created a perfect partnership.
The big hit of the night for me was the vegan option – yep, the vegan option. I’m usually a meat or fish type of gal, but there was something about this fantastically garlicky mushroom pate, smooth against the crisp toast, that kept me wanting more. It was paired with my favourite cocktail of the evening too, Midsummer Day Dream, so I made more than one visit to that particular table!
Midsummer Day Dream is an Aperol based cocktail, mixed with citrus tangs including Limoncello, then topped up with soda. It was the perfect combo of sweet and bitter, so it was very, very drinkable.
From my taste of the food and cocktails on offer at Marmalade, I think they have the flexitarian menu spot on. With something for everyone, and a good range of sharing size plates that give diners the chance to try lots of different nibbles, I’m sure their new menu will be extremely well received.
Many thanks to Vicky at Brumderland and the folks from Marmalade for inviting me along to their Envy bloggers event. The food and drinks were complimentary, but as always my reviews reflect my own thoughts and are not influenced by the provision of food and drink.