I am a Brazilian journalist based in Birmingham, UK.
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Published February 24th 2014
A bit of French spirit in the Chinese Quarter
French cuisine is one of my weaknesses. Fact. And there is nothing wrong with some creme brûlée and/or a nice steak tartares now and then. So for this reason, I couldn't resist a visit to the beautiful Le Truc, located in the middle of the Chinese quarter.
Grounds for divorce
This cosy French bistro is a fresh adding to one of the most agitated areas of Birmingham, but it also can be a surprisingly quiet and introspective place to eat or enjoy some cocktails. At least, it was what I experienced in my first visit to the restaurant.
I had a table booked for a dinner with my other half but by the time we stepped into the place, we have noticed plenty of space available. Sometimes unusual at a weekend.
A very smiley and receptive hostess introduced us to the table and menu. The French-chic decor caught my eyes instantly. Le Truc is a real passionate food experience. It can be described more casual than "fine" bistro, and it is a good sign.
There is something between modern and vintage in the place that sounds bizarre to say, but it matches the style of the restaurant.
As I have taken a look at the menu before, I was pretty sure about my starter option. But instead of thinking food, we were looking forward to trying some of the cocktails before venturing in the French cuisine itself.
Death in the afternoon
Made by a passionate family business who also runs another successful establishment, Selly Sausage, in Selly oak, the food served in Le Truc is from heaven.
I'm a big fan of tartares in general and I can tell my starter was perfectly seasoned and in an exact portion to the size of my appetite. Even I just noticed the steak tartare I asked for is not in the menu anymore. It was a great starting for my night.
My husband chose the onion soup and it seems to be delicious and in a very generous portion.
For the main course I got an onglet steak, which was something new for me. Something that I would try again. My husband opted for the Chicken Kiev. The average price of a main at Le truc is between £12-23. You may find it a bit pricey but the service was different at this restaurant and feeling welcomed is something that can be worth some extra pennies.
The staff are really nice and they are always around to know if everything is alright. But when really quiet, the cocktail bar seems to be the main room in the restaurant. It explains better why that part of the restaurant is always busy.
Chicken kiev and some fat chips
And because Le Truc is very creative in the cocktail matters, it's likely to have some doubts about which one to ask first. The secret is going for the ones with intriguing names like Grounds for Divorce or Death in the afternoon. Oui! you can't go wrong with drinks with such a great name.
...Just one more cocktail
The prices may vary a bit from one to another but the clientèle has many reasons to enjoy the drinks, they are really great. And if the curiosity leads to trouble when you decide to try some (many of) them, like I did, it's better to be a bit cautious. Fizzy and refreshing ones go down quite quickly. Tell me about it.
And if I had more room it would be very nice to try the creme brûlée ( for only £5). I know, it's almost a sacrilege to skip such a lovely French dessert. Lesson learnt.