Very disappointing. I can honestly say I have never experienced such rude and arrogant staff. Rang up to book a table a few days before we planned to go and enquired about the £12.95/£15.95 set menu advertised on the internet. Was told as long as we ordered by 7pm we would could have the offer. Myself and another member of our party of four arrived first. Even though the restaurant was quiet there was certainly no warm welcome or pleasantries exchanged with the waiter, he just looked us up and down, marched us across the restaurant and slammed back the chairs for us. We then started to look at the menus and realised that the menu we had been promised was not there. I enquired about this and was told that the menu had changed over Christmas. I explained to the waiter what I had been advised on the phone and he asked me what I thought he could do about it, no apology or anything. He then called the manager out, who was very intimidating. I explained the issue and he told me I should have looked at the website, which I obviously had done so already, hence knowing about the set menu. There was no apology or anything and he was basically implying that I was lying. They were so rude that we went next door to the Thai Edge. If you have a choice between the two, I strongly recommend the Thai Edge! Gorgeous food and in contrast to the staff at Cielo, delightful, welcoming staff
Went for a late sunday lunch with my plus one, and ordered two of the fish main dishes and side orders of vegetables and mash. The food arived in 15 minutes, all good so far...but...looking at our plates, my huband and I were both in shock ..we had just ordered £50 worth two course meal which tasted bland, was colourless and slopply presented. The side of vegetables looked and tasted as though they'd been microwaved from frozen and the mash...well my 3 year old could have prepared that better. We were very disppointed. What is stunning is that the head chef was a previously a chef at a michelin star restaurant..yuck!
Working here in Birmingham is absolutely wonderful as there is lots to do in the form of Theatres and museums and then you always have the option of going shopping in the city which believe me is great and there a lot of shops here from Primark to Harvey Nichols. What Birmingham really excels in though is eating out establishments and the other day I tried a place I had never been before Cielo which I was so impressed with I thought I would let you all know how great it is.
What is Cielo?
Cielo is an Italian restaurant specialising in fine food and drinks in a relaxing, comfortable and romantic atmosphere.
Where can you find Cielo?
Cielo is based right in the centre of Birmingham in Brindley Place, the address is as follows;
6 Oozels Square,
0121 632 6882
The Actual Restaurant:
The first thing I thought when I looked at the restaurant from the outside was how nice it looked. They have signs outside with the restaurant name and stating that it is an Italian / Med cuisine restaurant. These signs lit up in bright blue when it got a bit dark outside. There are tables situated outside but because it was quite cold we did not really fancy it but the addition of soft lights on the tables did make it look extremely cosy.
Into the restaurant and I was amazed how posh it looked in there. Immediately on your right is the bar and I began to stare at all of the glasses they had hanging upside down from the bar and hoping that none of them fell off. There is a seating area where you can go to look at the menus and have a drink if you are waiting for a table and the seats were like suede so they were very comfortable. When we first entered the restaurant it was the middle of the day so it was light inside but as the afternoon went on the lights got softer creating a very ambient atmosphere.
The main restaurant boasts the nicest looking tables I have seen and because it was virtually empty when we entered I could have a good look. The tables are a very dark wood and the chairs are suede again with wooden backs so you can sit up properly. They are already set for people to come and eat so you have your cutlery and glasses ready.
We were shown to a round table which was great because there were five of us so we could all see and hear each other well. Over on one wall is a great water feature that looks like the wall is a huge fountain and there were stones in the bottom. Over the ceiling are spotlights and they are great and add to the romantic and relaxing atmosphere.
Cielo does play music but it is not too loud and you can hear it well only if you listen for it. The type of music it played was things like the theme from Twin Peaks so relaxing music. The final thing to say is the whole place is extremely clean and there was not one problem I could see.
Food and Drink:
First lets get to the drinks because they are less interesting than the food. Soft drinks were average and basically what you get everywhere, the wine we had was gorgeous which was about £15 but I am not sure what it was. They had a great choice of all drinks including spirits, cocktails (the Pina Colada was fantastic) and champagne. I think that there is something for everybody and we all had Tia Maria coffees afterwards which were absolutely gorgeous and tasted really smooth.
Now lets get to the food which was fantastic. For starters they have things like mushrooms, mussels, cured meats and melon which were of a great size portion, just enough to keep you going till your next course but not too much so you are full. I had King Prawns in white wine and garlic butter sauce and they were so moresome. There were six in total and I got very messy as I picked at them with my fingers to get the edible bit out but the waiters bought me extra serviettes and water so I could clean myself up. Next time though I am going to go for the mushrooms as they looked delicious and there were so many different types on a salad bed.
The main courses have choices from meat, fish and pasta and there will definitely be something for everybody. I went for Halibut in a white wine sauce which was presented so well and tasted like something you could only wish for it was that good. My friend had a Fillet steak with some chips which looked great and then another person had these huge pasta tubes which were filled with Salmon and tomatoes which looked delicious.
On the dessert menu I went for one of my favourites which was crème brulee and it came in a small pot with some strawberries and some hardened caramel which me being a sweet tooth I appreciated a lot. There was also a brandy snap filled with melon sorbet which looked lovely and then the classic tiramisu which my friend had and I sort of wish I had had.
The thing that impressed me the most with the food at Cielo was the way in which it was presented as it was brilliant and I think they take a lot of care with your food to make sure it is 100% perfect.
To be honest some of the prices are a little expensive and the specials on the day such as a lamb dish were about £18 which is a bit too steep for me. Starters average around £6, mains about £11 and desserts are £5 so not too bad really. You can also get a fixed menu which if I remember correctly was £11.95 for two courses and £14.95 for three which was very reasonable and there was a lot of choice on there.
With respect to drinks some house wine is about £14 but prices do go up to about £50. Cocktails were around £6.50 and soft drinks about £2. Our whole meal came to just under £250 which was not bad at all considering what we had and also how long we stayed there and was extremely good as a treat but I dont think I will be fine dining every day just yet.
From the moment we walked in and the staff offered to take our coats I knew that they would give us great service. The waiter we had was great and he came over to us getting us drinks and he even let us taste some of the wines before we ordered them and they were delicious so he did well with his recommendations.
Throughout the meal the waiters were fantastic giving us just the right amount of service. I hate it when they continually bug you and ask if you are ok but they didnt do that here, instead waiting until we were ready to come and ask us which was great. They also all had a laugh and a joke with us as me and my friends always get the waiters involved and they actually made the experience more enjoyable so well done to them.
I had never been to Brindley place before but I was so impressed with it. To get there you can take a stroll along the canal or you can have a wander through the Symphony hall which is an amazing building. The actual restaurant is in a square of bars and restaurants but do not worry you do not get loud noise and drunken yobbos but instead you get business men and people who are after a good time and not just getting drunk. The whole place is clean and close to the centre so you are in easy reach of Broad street (if you do want the noise and yobbos) and also near to trains and busses.
I can say nothing apart from that I had an excellent time dining at Cielo and I have passed a letter detailing how pleased I was with the service to them. From the food to the attention given by the staff the whole restaurant cannot be faulted and I would definitely visit again and I am already planning to take my boyfriend at some point.
My experience was one of the best ones I have had in a restaurant in a long time. I even managed to eat three courses which I cannot usually do but I really thought the food was that good. I think that in the end we were in there for just over three hours and that is because we were allowed to take our time and it was a nice time to go in the afternoon as it was quite empty and I like it that way.
In conclusion this restaurant gets a massive five stars from me and if I could give it ten I would. If you want to go somewhere that you get a lot of attention paid to you and you get food that is presented so well that the chefs must love cooking food then this is the place for you. If you are ever in Birmingham you could not do much better than eat here and I hope you do as I certainly will be again.
Thanks for reading.
If you need any more information then simply go to http://cielobirmingham.com/welcome.htm.
P.S. Parts of this review will be posted on other review sites but always in my username.