A return trip to our local Spanish eatery
This was a ‘I’m too tired to cook’ kind of night for both of us so we instead reeled off a list of places we could go for dinner and picked Don Diego. I was already pretty hungry and facing a 4am wakeup call (on a saturday of all days) so I just wanted comfort before sending myself off for an early night. We came here last year and I was convinced I had written about it but clearly I imagined it.
So, here is my first but what I thought was my second, review!
Don Diego is in a little estate in Edgbaston, I discovered it by accident really after seeing a bunch of reviews from some Birmingham Bloggers at the time which led me to then stumble upon pictures of an octopus dish and book immediately. That was last year, we went it was great and I am annoyed with myself for A) imagining a blog post and B) not going back sooner. It’s a quiet restaurant run by two brothers, they are friendly and come to chat which I always like. This isn’t an ‘order Tapas a get a bit rowdy’ kind of place, you come here for a proper sit down meal and a leisurely evening.
A quick dinner somehow morphed into a full 3 courses but then I quite like it when that happens. We started out with some garlic bread just to get us going, it was packed with fresh garlic and the butter dripped out only to be promptly mopped up. This pleased me greatly, I like garlic bread to actually taste like garlic which doesn’t happen that often anymore.
For starters I had piquillo peppers stuffed with rice and black pudding in a fiery brava sauce. Jordan nearly ordered this after seeing it on the menu but I convinced him that he had actually had it last time and as soon as it arrived he realised I was right and started eyeing up my plate. I didn’t share. I had remembered the small taster that I had last time so it was good to have a full portion, the sauce was a little spicy but had a lot of flavour and the piquancy is a good balance for rich black pudding. 10/10 would order again.
Jordan had a slow cooked lamb cannelloni which I had been considering. It was rich but delicious, sauces are good here, they are well seasoned and have an incredible depth of flavour. This is cooking done by someone who knows how to cook properly, I seem to recall there being a connection to working at Simpsons now that I think about it.
Time for mains, I ordered Swordfish which was a special for the day, its one of my favourite fish but it doesn’t appear that often on a menu anymore (pondering this now, I just looked up its sustainability but its hard to tell as I didn’t ask for its origin) It was served with a vibrant spicy sauce and some dressed leaves. I felt particularly pleased that it looked like a heart. My fish was well cooked and very well seasoned, sides are ordered separately here so we just had some mixed vegetables between us, this suits we quite well as it means there is no automatic assumption that you want potatoes or something heavy, I just like fish and vegetables on their own thanks very much.
Jordan had pork fillet with mushrooms which looked a bit like a log on the forest floor, he assures me it was lovely but mushrooms are one of the few foods I just can’t eat. he did offer me some of the pork fillet but I declined in case it was a trick to get me to eat a mushroom.
We ordered pudding, I don’t think we were particularly hungry but it was just nice to relax with a bottle of Rioja for a while and try to listen in to some gossip about one of the patrons being on The Archers, I had an almond tart with apricot puree, it had a citrus tang to it that I wasn’t expecting but it helped soften what can be quite an overwhelming filling, it worked perfectly. Jordan has a sticky toffee pudding which is his favourite but something I’ve never got too excited about, however I tried some and was instantly jealous- the sauce is far better than most and the pudding itself dense but not cloying in texture. The only thing we both would have liked was some cream or icecream to go with it, I’m not sure if its an option but we should have asked really.
I love Don Diego, it has a homely feel and incredible wallpaper that I desperately want in my house. The food is unfussy but well done and the octopus in legendary. The thing is, all of those things make me want to go and eat at a restaurant but there is something else, I want to go here because of the people, I feel an enormous sense of warmth from them.
Go and eat here, relax and make sure you order the artichoke starter.
Chad Square, 8 Hawthorne Rd, Birmingham B15 3TQ