A cigar lunch was arranged through UK Cigar Forums at Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham on Saturday 23 October 2010. I’m not unfamiliar with the area so thought I’d sign up as an opportunity to meet some more of the forum members.
Looking at the website for Simpsons it looked a pretty upmarket place, the kind I rarely go to! I was a little apprehensive that I’d feel out of place but the wine helped ease that. The food and service was superb, as you’d hope. I went for the second set lunch menu which consisted of:
Pressed terrine of ham hock, mustard lentils du Puy, parsley jelly, country bread melba
Fillets of Cornish plaice, caramelised cauliflower purée, capers & raisins, coconut basmati rice, coriander salad
Pistachio cake, lemon creamy, raspberry espuma
I thought I’d record it here in case they changed the menu in the future. I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit if you’re in the area.
Onto the cigars! On the drive up, as it was early in the morning and I’d eaten nothing I thought I’d start with something light.
A Por Larranaga Petit Corona (box code EMA OCT 07; in humidor since 28 November 2009) was first up. From the very first puff I knew this PLPC was a vast improvement on the previous few. I’ve mentioned before that I think the firmer ones seem bitter but that didn’t seem quite so pronounced this time. Right from the outset I got the Milky Bar/caramel flavour, with what seemed to be bitter almonds coming in about halfway through. A very pleasant stick for the journey.
After lunch I plumped for a Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 (box code GAS JUN 08; in humidor since 6 October 2009). I picked the JL2 as it’s a very flavoursome Cuban cigar but not too heavy on the nicotine. Tasty as this was, it wasn’t up to the usual standard. I suspect it was slightly underfilled as the draw was good but I got less smoke than I liked. It may have also had something to do with the ambient relative humidity as we were smoking outside (under cover) while it was pouring with rain. Either way, not up to the usual standard.