For anyone who follows me on my bang-average social media (here and here, nudge nudge wink wink) you’ll know that I was very keen on a QBox. There were multiple reasons for this that can be shortened down to its proximity to my house of circa 100m, and the quality of the food which was nothing short of excellent. Not a week went by without a chicken burger, mac and cheese, or one of his legendary Sunday lunches. Truth be told, it never exactly found its footing within the area, yet it did everything it needed to in showcasing Dan Sweet’s cooking enough to successfully complete a kickstarter backing for a restaurant to the tune of tens-of-thousands.

That Kickstarter was successfully funded in September and the restaurant, Cuubo, opened last week, a few months later than planned and maybe not quite 100% complete just yet. On my time of visit the artwork was yet to be adorned on the taupe walls and the frontage wasn’t quite done, but the kitchen is mostly in place and the room has a lovely louche feel of somewhere between romantic hideaway and neighbourhood bistro. Harborne isn’t short of good places to eat, but this is a very good – no, great – addition.

I go for lunch, an absolute steal at £18 for two courses or £25 for three, begging for the crab risotto on a supplement and adding both the ham hock fritters and bread course for shits and for giggles. The fritters are generous in portion, piping hot with spiced, yielding pulled hock. In a separate bowl is a pineapple jam, sweet with just a lick of acidity. I have a feeling these are going to be very popular. Bread is good – maybe not up to the old standard just yet – with butter and toasted yeast flakes. I know his bread well enough to say this will be a stand-out soon, maybe even by the time you inevitably get there. (Edit*. I went again for lunch today and the bread was impeccable).

The crab risotto is destined to be one of those dishes that becomes iconic in Birmingham. Carnaroli rice that hums of white wine, finished with a brown crab butter, seaweed butter, chopped cauliflower, and plenty of white crab meat. Some charred cauliflower adds shade to the brightness, with coastal greens for salinity. It’s exceptional. Really fucking exceptional. I had roast onion soup, a silky brightly flavoured bowl, with a compote of onions at the base that echoes french onion soup. I like the sourdough crumb but this is maybe one of those times that a piece of sourdough would work better.

My main is the kind of stuff that made Gary Usher a household name. Braised beef – silverside, I think – so soft it could be eaten with a spoon, carrots cooked in anise, bacon, baby onion, and whispers of bronzed fennel. What makes it is two things; a pomme purée only bettered in the last twelve months by Alex Dillings, and the sauce which is deep and glossy and sticky and sensational. A description you can also find for me on my Tinder. Sophie has perfectly timed sea bream with confit spuds, samphire, and a seaweed butter sauce that’s pure umami and bright lemon.

Good news, Dear Readers, I’m barely drinking this lunch so I’ll be able to tell you about desserts. A chocolate pave with poached pear, toasted almonds, and yogurt sorbet. Delicate and rich, it’s a seriously good dessert. The rhubarb dessert is similar in visual design, though when I mention this, I’m told it’s being tweaked at the moment. Never mind that, the flavour with the candied celery, rhubarb purée, and peanut brittle is knockout. I’m not sure it needs the returning yoghurt sorbet. It feels like spring.

The bill for the lunch with three courses each, supplement, piggy snacks, bread, and two glasses of lovely wine is £85. It’s exactly the mid-range bistro we talk about the city needing and lunch is laughably cheap. Is it perfect yet? No, the service needs polishing and the room needs finishing, but I’m going to cut it slack on account of the food being so good. We talk about the need for Birmingham to have more options between thirty to fifty quid and now we have a great one in Cuubo. I’m going to be there an awful lot.