I recently spent a night and a day in Birmingham for my job. My hotel was right in the middle of the China quarter, and I had a delicious meal at the Ladywell Walk Cafe, a simple but delicious Chinese-Malaysian restaurant. I had a Crispy Noodle Hotpot. The noodles weren’t actually crispy, thanks to the broth they were floating in, but they were still yummy. There were also fat shrimps, big curled-up pieces of squid, tender, fatty pork slices, and at least three different kinds of mushrooms all floating around in a subtle but perfectly-seasoned broth. The egg yolk on top added the perfect amount of richness when I stirred it in. The waitress was really nice too, we chatted about America for a bit when she noticed my accent and she made sure my jasmine tea was never less than half full. Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact address on the internet, but it’s directly across from the Ibis Hotel on Ladywell Walk.
The next day, after work was done, I had a look at the Bullring shopping centre before I caught my train. It was… a shopping centre. Unless I have something specific to buy, shopping for clothes holds no interest for me. The only thing I would have been interested in, the bookstore, was a victim of the Great Borders Massacre, but luckily there was an overpriced-but-beautiful food hall at Selfridge’s that kept me occupied for a bit. Here are the donuts I bought at Krispy Kreme. I was going to get a dozen to share out at work, until I saw the price tag. £12 for 12 donuts!!! I used to pick up a dozen glazed Krispy Kremes on the way to work back in the states for a fifth of that price. Still, they looked good, so I got four, for an eye-watering £7.00. The strawberry creme was almost worth it.
I also bought a beautiful porky pie. See that fancy label? That means it has to be good, right? And it was, actually. And shared out over two meals for the two of us, even at nearly £5.00, it was definitely worth it. We had it with salad and slices of cheese and apple two nights in a row. Perfect for a hot summer evening. I have no patience for a cheap pork pie, but there’s not much better than a really nice one.
So, Birmingham. It seems like a pretty cool place, and I think I might go back on purpose soon, when I have a bit more time.