Call me Russ L

A set menu and an all-you-can-keep-down buffet: It’s another Feeders Digest

Posted in Food by Russ L on 17 December, 2006

After the aforementioned boat-watching, the ol’ parentals and I went to Café Soya, just outside the Arcadian centre in Birmingham. I’ve mentioned this Vietnamese place in glowing terms before and will now do so again, since it really is fantastic. We had set menu ‘A’, and for £15.95 per head you first get a plate of starters with spring rolls, those dumpling-y things and those pastry twist things (those are the actual technical terms), alongside sweet-chilli and honey sauces to dip them in. The mains take the form of a bowl of egg-fried rice, a beef dish, a chicken dish (with cashew nuts. Absolutely divine), steamed vegetables, and a plate of sweet-glazed duck slices (I’m pretty sure we didn’t get the latter when having the same set menu for only two rather than three). There’s absolutely loads of each, and it’s all gorgeous (especially, as noted, the chicken ‘n’ cashew). You get a choice of suite on top of it all (if you can manage it after that), from which my fruit salad was made up of actual fresh (not tinned) fruit. I really cannot recommend the place enough.

Less fun was The Copper Bowl, in Coseley just outside Wolverhampton. I went with my old homekettle Matt, after the place had been recommended to us both independently. An Indian all-you-can-eat buffet isn’t that common around here, but alas it was one of those occasions where the food isn’t so much bought as hired for a bit. Putting aside the irritatingly hovery waiters (to be entirely fair to them, we were literally the only customers in the entire place, and hence they probably had to look like they were doing something), a decent (not huge, but perfectly reasonable) selection tasted alright (again, not amazing – just alright) while being eaten, but after a while my previously tip-top self began to feel a little amiss. Matt wasn’t as bad, but did note that it was all sitting a bit heavy on him. Abandoning and paying, I had to ask Matt to stop the car on the way back so I could – ‘ow you Eenglish zay – honk up chunks.

Judging by the exalted terms with which other people describe the place, it’s entirely possible that this was a one-off. I’m not inclined to go back to find out, though, and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else.

~ Russ L, getting a bit closer to being up to date but still miles away.

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