The Cosy Club: any better?

The Cosy Club has improved, I think.

Which is to say that I now regard it as boring rather than downright bad, as I did when I visited in May last year soon after its opening.
Service has certainly got better: on my sole previous visit, it was shambolic.
Now it was charming, professional, efficient, attentive and chatty.

The decor

It’s situated in a glorious old banking hall – a light and airy space dominated by a large bar and decorated with faux old paintings.
Alas, the dining section has been given a false low ceiling – above which lurks a mezzanine dining level.
This, I’d guess, is to add the cosiness that the name of the pub suggests.

It doesn’t: it’s a dark and uninviting area.
It might work in winter, but sitting there in candle-light on an sunny early evening wasn’t a joy.

The food

Suffering from insomnia? Take a look at the menu here.
There are breakfasts and brunches and sandwiches and tapas and salads and burgers and more substantial dishes and absolutely nothing that you wouldn’t encounter in many of the other places that seek to occupy this sector of the market.
I fear that whoever compiled the menu probably suffered repetitive strain injury from ticking so many boxes.
Spiced olives, especially fragrant with crushed coriander seeds, were actually quite good and went well with my pint of Estrella.

But the burger to which I progressed was Alan Partridge in patty form – a creation full of bravado, flourishes and apparent self-assurance, but ultimately a cliche with little real substance.
The 6oz burger itself lacked seasoning and depth of flavour and came on an over-sweet, poorly-textured brioche bun.
Various accompaniments such as iceberg lettuce, red onion, gherkin and a multi-hued slaw were fodder for the undiscerning.
Chips – possibly no stranger to factory production line – came, inevitably, in a silly metal mini-bucket.
The whole dish was served on the sort of flowery plate favoured by Hyacinth Bucket.
Opposite a dish of slow-cooked belly pork raised only the mildest enthusiasm, the crackling difficult to eat and the pea and ham croquette that lay on top a perplexing addition.

Wholegrain mustard mashed spuds and apple crazy didn’t particularly impress.
Vibrantly green kale that accompanied the dish was properly cooked and welcome.
Desserts – nor further expenditure – appealed so we left.

Need to know

We paid £33 for olives, two main courses, a glass of wine and pint of lager.
Sandwiches are cheaper.
The place is disabled and child friendly.
There’s P&D parking nearby.
It’s open from 9am each day.

The Cosy Club
33 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN. 0121 695 1131.

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