Comida: another part of the Edgbaston revolution

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The explosion of great places to eat and drink in so-called Edgbaston Village is extraordinary.

The grandfather of them all, Simpsons, of course still sets the standards.
But within the distance that a reasonably strong chef could chuck a chunk of foie gras, there are plenty of other places.
There’s the Highfield, The Physician, El Borracho del Oro and The Edgbaston, where this week I’ve enjoyed some stunning cocktails from their new menu.

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And almost opposite Simpsons is the relatively new Comida, which was once a bar with an unpronounceable faux-Scandi name.
Now it’s the new location of a business that was once tucked away in a Harborne side street.
It has changed since I ate at the previous joint – chef-patron Stewart West’s cooking seems more confident and accomplished and the menu has edged away from its Spanish tapas roots.

The food

The emphasis is still on small plates and snacks, but the menu is more eclectic and there are substantial dishes, too.
Bread was good quality and the green-hued olive oil that accompanied it had great notes of verdancy and pepper.

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Long strands of crisp and fluffy pork scratchings came in a jar in which nicely sharp apple puree lurked.
A salad of shredded celeriac, julienne of Granny Smiths and walnuts was crunchy and refreshing.

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Salt cod fritters with pesto (made from parsley, perhaps?), lightly-pickled pink onions and dill were gorgeous little fishy bites.
A serving of exemplary thick chips with garlic mayo was a delight.

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A larger serving of beautifully flavoursome and moist corn-fed chicken with a pea, mint and feta salad – a little well—judged chilli heat somewhere in the dish – was a winner.
Likewise slow-cooked pork, the rind crisp and irresistible long after we were replete.
A bottle of organic Rioja worked well with all the dishes.
Service was charming and attentive

The decor

The kitchen’s downstairs and the dining area’s upstairs in a large airy space with windows looking out over the streets below.
Decor and furnishings are minimal, in keeping with the building’s contemporary Scandi vibe.

Need to know

Expect to pay around £30 a head for food and wine.
Vegetarian options are available.
There’s on-street parking nearby.
The place is child-friendly.
The stairs might be challenging for people with physical impairments.

Comida @ 21
21 Highfield Road, Edgbaston B15 3DP. 0121 448 1216.
http://at21.co.uk