I really hate the term ‘foodie’. I mean really hate it. The term has so many awful connotations of aspirational middle-class Nigella watching farmers market shopping tedium that I want no part of. I’m an adult, call me a gourmand if you want to accurately label my food obsession, or a twat if you just wish to accurately label me. Foodies play Mel and Sue vs Sandi and Noel Top Trumps for fun. They live on diets of flavoured rapeseed oils acquired from the latest food festival. And most of all they love, and I mean really fucking love, telling people where they should be eating. Me? I write about places and I say whether or not I like them. I don’t care for your stomach, you can do as you please, just as long as you keep showing up here and keep voting bi-annually for those sweet, sweet awards.
I say this because I get told where I should be eating a lot. Daily, in fact. Some are well meant suggestions by people who want me to eat well, and others are by foodies who just have to have an opinion in the same way they have to have an arsehole. And those two are often mutually exclusive. It’s the foodies that have sent me to Peach Garden. You must try the triple roast they say, it’s one of Birmingham’s must have dishes. Well fuck you, foodie, I have tried it and it’s about as much must need as your bastard opinion.
The roast consists of pork belly, which is gelatinous and underwhelming, and char sui pork which is better – a striking red which has a far deeper flavour than the belly despite being a leaner cut. These are joined by duck with a skin more flaccid than a male OAP’s appendage and a meat to bone ratio that is greatly in favour of the inedible bit. The meat is cold on top of warm rice, which I am sure is the correct way they do things, but a bit weird to anyone who has a faintly western interpretation of the word ‘roast’. One of Brum’s best dishes this is not, but it is a good feed for seven or so quid.
It fairs significantly better than the Szechuan chicken, which has little heat and bouncy chicken. Again the portions are massive, and this must appeal to some, but we have no intention of finishing it. The dish is gloopy, the sauce crying out for something to bring it alive. Lovely egg fried rice though.
They do something well and that something is a chilli oil full of fire and with the back note of, I think, dried shrimps. The bill is unaggressive, as cheap as the decor we are sat in, totalling a few pence under £20 including a couple of soft drink cans with straws in. Look, I’m sure this is some people’s idea of heaven, it just happens not to be mine. Peach Garden, I’ve listened, I’ve tried and it’s just not for me. And you bastard foodies, i’m never listening to a word you say again.
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