“ 1 Wharf Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B30 3LS. Tel:0121 458 1652 „
While I was visiting friends in Birmingham some months ago we decided to go out for lunch and as we were passing The Navigation in Kings Norton we popped in there as their main meals are on a permanent 2-for-1 offer, which makes eating out for two a cheap experience. But would it be enjoyable as well? Well, yes it was. There is an extensive menu to choose from with plenty of starters, main courses and desserts (although it is only the main courses included in the special offer) as well as a decent wine list. I like the fact that I can swap and change components of my meal to suit the mood I'm in, for example during our visit I opted for a jacket potato instead of chips as I'm dieting but I could also have had a green salad or boiled new potatoes. The jacket potato was obviously done in the microwave but was extremely tasty and moist enough for me to eat without butter, which is a relief as if I'd had to add butter I might as well have had chips! I had a rare rump steak which was absolutely delicious, the bloody juices were perfect for dipping my potato into and the meat was cooked to perfection. This also came with gorgeously cooked peas and two large battered onion rings which weren't as greasy as I'd been fearing. The choice of steak meals is excellent in The Navigation but there are plenty more options to choose from including traditional 'pub grub' (scampi, fish & chips, cottage pie etc.) and not so traditional food such as Spanish Cod or Chicken Kiev. I've eaten here several times in the past and everything has been absolutely delicious, I have never had cause to complain about anything and even when I take my granddaughters' they always enjoy their meals. Desserts are great in this pub, my favourite is the ice cream and chocolate sundae which comprises of chocolate brownies, chocolate curls, wafers, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. It's the stuff of dreams and I often wish I were brave enough to just go in and order one of these instead of wading through a meal first! The atmosphere in The Navigation is always good, there's rarely any trouble although it does get a little rowdy at the weekend as the pub shows the football on the large TV screens. It's always light hearted banter but just beware that children may not like the noise (especially when one of the Birmingham teams scores!) so it might be worth avoiding visiting during the match. I find it quite a 'blokey' pub but this isn't intimidating in the slightest as there are always older folk plus families in here either eating or taking advantage of the sun in the excellent beer garden. One thing I especially like about The Navigation is the childrens' play area as there is plenty of grass for them to run around on and also a very good wooden play centre which includes a slide and climbing frame. This area is suitable for children of any age and my 2, 10 and 13 years old granddaughters love burning a bit of energy off while waiting for their food. This area is unsupervised so you need to keep an eye on the children yourself, but there are benches and seating around the area and it's a lovely place to relax. Most meals are around £6 each, which does make it a very cheap place to eat when you consider this works out at £6 for two meals thanks to the 2-for-1 deal. Drinks are also reasonably priced compared to other pubs in the area and they often have specific brands on promotion, typically the spirits where they will make it up to a double measure for a few extra pence.