Metro Bar & Grill, Solihull, West Midlands
We arranged to meet long-lost friends for Saturday lunch and they nominated Metro Bar & Grill in Solihull, as a place to enjoy good food and a relaxing atmosphere. My wife had been there years ago and found it very noisy. On this visit we found a nice table in the bar area to await our friends and enjoy a bottle of Prosecco (£24.95). The place was relatively empty at 12.30pm and quiet, and a helpful young waitress served our 'fizz'.
After our friends arrived, we drank more 'fizz' and perused the relatively extensive a la carte menu, the bar menu and the 'specials' sheet. (The menu is available of the restaurant's website). When we eventually caught the eye of the waitress again, we ordered and then waited to be escorted to our table in the dining area, when the food was ready. Our order of only mains went like this - our two friends went for the Seafood Platter of squid, prawns, fish cakes, smoked salmon and dipping sauces (£14.95) and the Crispy Pork Belly with summer vegetable ragout (£15.50), with a side of fries. My wife chose the Lemon and Thyme Chicken Skewers with Moroccan cous cous and tzatziki (£14.50) and I selected the Metro Burger and fries (£10.95).
We had a little wait, during which time the bar and the eating area began to fill and the background music was turned up. Our table was in one of the alcoves, combining bench and side chairs. Food arrived and more Prosecco was poured. It all looked good on the plate, apart from the two portions of fries. If they had touched the fat, then it had been for no more than a few seconds - they were as pale as an Englishman on his first trip abroad!
We all tucked in and sucked on the hard under-cooked chips, in their bottomless stainless steel cups. The belly pork and its ragout sauce was a success, as were the succulent chicken skewers with beautifully cooked fragrant cous cous and a generous portion of creamy tzatziki. The fish platter had plenty of variety, but the battered squid was tasteless and the salmon sparse. There was only one fish cake despite the menu indicating cake in the plural. My burger was acceptable - a meaty taste, good relish and a nice brioche bun with plenty of salad to pack out the bun and hide the tiny burger. All round, an acceptable meal, with poor fries, but nothing exceptional.
The bill for just four mains, two coffees and two bottles of Prosecco came to £125. (A discretionary 10% service charge was added to the bill, which we paid). Quite pricey, I felt. I don't think we will rush back!
Metro Bar & Grill
680-684 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3DX