Simpson’s: This is what a Michelin-starred roast looks like

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Take a look at this and tell me, hand on racing heart, that your taste buds aren’t auditioning for Strictly Come Dancing.

Mine certainly did a little jig of anticipatory joy when this bronzed beauty was placed on the table in front of me for inspection before heading back to the kitchen to be carved.
For poultry geeks, it’s a Cotswolds White – a breed of chicken that’s naturally and slowly reared in Worcestershire.
But what matters is that it tasted fantastic.
The chicken was the centrepiece of the recently-launched Sunday roast lunch menu that I was invited to try at Simpson’s in Edgbaston.
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The deal is simple – £55 buys you amuse bouche, a starter and dessert from the a la carte menu, a pre-dessert and, of course, the roast.
Sunday lunch is a crowded market, but Simpson’s delivers all the Michelin style you’d expect.
Snacks were exquisite and my starter of veal sweetbreads with smoked beetroot, kale, oats and malt was a punchy, deeply savoury delight full of contrasting textures and tastes.
My wife’s starter of crab risotto with cauliflowers and sea herbs was gently flavoursome and caused her to fall reverentially silent.
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At the end of the meal, her rhubarb and rice pudding soufflé looked – and apparently tasted – perfect.
My quince tarte tatin served with lemon thyme ice-cream was sticky and gooey but was one of those desserts created by a chef thoughtful enough to throw in a few herbal and earthy flavours.
But the Cotswold White was the undoubted star of the show – moist, tender, flavoursome, perfectly cooked with lots of butter and thyme.
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Roast potatoes were a delight, as were the accompanying vegetables.
To add a touch of luxury, the course was fragrant with truffle. And to provide oomph, there was a rich, dark glistening jus.
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Here is a kitchen able to produce the complex, clever, imaginative combinations normally associated with starred restaurants, but also confident enough to plate-up a roast Sunday lunch – a dish whose success is utterly reliant on great ingredients cooked precisely and with care.
Yes, there are cheaper Sunday lunches to be found but there can’t be many better.

Simpson’s
20 Highfield Rd, Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 3DU.
0121 454 3434.
www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk