It’s Easter Friday when we eat at Carters of Moseley. Brads made a canapé for me to get around me not eating oysters since I got ill off one and shit myself on the flight back from Bilbao. It’s a hot cross bun spread with whipped lard and filled with charcuterie. Salty, sweet, fatty – and that’s just me – they could serve this as at my last supper and I’d be happy with one of my friends knifing me in the back (it’d be Gordon. 100% Gordon).

It’s the start of yet another nigh on perfect meal at Carters, a restaurant which shows very little sign of slowing down on their pursuit of two stars, despite Brad having the non-starred One Star Doner Bar just up the road in Kings Heath. Everything they do just gets slicker and more concise in delivery, with the kitchen turning out dishes driven in flavour and imagination. Before the hot cross bun it’s a kelp biscuit with mushroom parfait and almost jerky like slivers of shitake, after it a mammoth portion of the fried chicken, dusted in vinegar powder and tasting mysteriously like the colonels secret recipe. I end up wearing the aged soy sauce down my t-shirt but then I always do.

There is a brown crab royal with a playful golden fish skeleton tuile, and the cacio e pepe that really isn’t as such; a shoe-in on my Off Menu dream meal. Razor clams, Old Winchester cheese and pepper dulse, better than the original and I’m willing to go to Rome to fight for that corner. Their bread and butter, followed by the Birmingham soup course to dunk it in. A beefy, smokey, offally number with library tuile that I’m absolutely in the minority of for not fully enjoying.

We get hake afterwards in a new incarnation, one that’s driven by the bright acidity and salinity of sea truffle – a foraged moss that when dried tastes of truffle – and caviar. There’s a butter sauce of types, and the whole dish comes together in a beautifully purposeful way. Then duck, first as a fat supreme cooked on the barbecue, then as a kind of paella with local grains, confit meat, and fatty liver. The latter is a kind of dream dish for me, as I neglect the prime cut to work away the fudgey burnt edges on the pan with the last of the bread. It also displays a newer side to Carters; one that is now generous to the extreme. This isn’t a main course on a tasting menu but a meal in itself. Carters is even more customer focused and all the better for it.

The last two courses fly by perhaps because of the amount of Armagnac I take it upon myself to drink. First an ice cream of buttermilk with birch sap syrup, then a rose-shaped concoction of rhubarb and a little rose. We finish with the chocolates decorated to resemble the underpass that links the city to Moseley. Niche, but then this is the team that sacked-off the Michelin after party to go eat a Balti at Shababs.

Talking of Birmingham on a wider scale I’m on a mission to get to all of the key restaurants to see where the city dining is at and to also offer a little support in these tough times. I’ve done most already and those write-ups are on their way, though I can say that Carters sits high on that list, arguably on top. It’s a superb restaurant, full of drama and fun. Brad and Holly really love this city and it shows in every single course.


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