“ Address: Pershore Road South / Birmingham / West Midlands / B30 3JX „
I went to Toby Carvery today with a friend and my litte daughter. We were waiting by the door for absolutely ages, even though there were many empty tables. Finaly we were taken to the table and as soon as we loaded our plates with food we were approached by a party that claimed that this is their reserved area... they were right. A waitress asked us, in a not very nice way, who shown us to that table, as if we were to blame for being shown to wrong table.
When they found us another table our food wasn't hot any more and my daughter, whose plate was taken from her because of the move, was too restless and up set to eat (she loves her food normaly!!!!). When we finaly managed to eat our food (which must have been realy nice when hot...selection wasn't grate but nice) we had another unpleasant situation. Before getting our carvery we had to pay for it: a receipt was required in order to receive a plate, but still - when we got up from our table ready to go... we were asked to pay again!!!! When we explained that we have done it earlier anoyed waitress asked were did we pay for it. Well... They believed us... It must have been realy busy day and I do not blame al those wairesses but I will never go to Toby's again.
When I visited Birmingham just before Christmas my friend suggested we go for something to eat at a local Toby Carvery in the Kings Norton area. This is their local pub so I knew I would be in for a treat, I've eaten at Toby Carvery restaurants in the past and find the service and food is always rather hit and miss but I know my friend wouldn't recommend a poor eatery so off we went.
We had a short wait as it was a Sunday and there were eight of us so we needed one of the larger tables, plus a high chair for the two year old. However, the waitress politely showed us to a table in the bar area and assured us she would come and get us as soon as a table became available which was no hardship as it happened as this allowed us time for a drink and quick catch up before embarking on the meal.
As promised, she came and showed us to a large clean table within 10 minutes and briefly explained how we were to go about getting our food from the carvery area. We never felt rushed at any time and finished our drinks before going up for the food, which was really why we were there!
You queue up for the meats before going along in line to the potatoes and vegetables before helping yourself to gravies and sauces. This is done in the same manner as carveries all over the country, with the meat being carved from a large joint by the chef and all accompaniments displayed in dishes with separate serving spoons for you to add as much as you want to your plate.
The meat available during our visit was turkey, pork, gammon and beef of which you can choose one of each or a selection of the four. I had beef and turkey, both of which were cooked beautifully and neatly served with the minimum of fat. I also had a Yorkshire pudding, which was huge and airy, and a perfectly formed stuffing ball. Personally I found the Yorkshire overly big as once this was on the plate with the meat there was little room for my beloved vegetables, I ended up filling the Yorkshire with peas just to fit them on my plate!
The vegetables are varied and without exception delicious. I found everything to be cooked to perfection, well cooked to appeal to everyone but the vegetables retained a little bite which signals to me that they're excellently cooked. The only unappealing thing is the fact that every single choice of vegetable appears to have been daubed in butter, ordinarily I'd love this but as I'm dieting I'd have liked to have been able to choose some plain vegetables which I could dress up in the lower fat horseradish or cranberry sauce. There are green beans, peas, cauliflower cheese, swede mash, cabbage and several other items that I can't quite remember at the moment - I had at least a spoonful of each of the above and they were all fresh and flavoursome.
The potatoes are good too, there are boiled new spuds in their skins (also dribbled in butter) and crispy roasters which melt in your mouth after they've soaking in thick gravy for a few moments. By then I'd decided that as the veggies were all laden with butter I might as well ride with the devil and have a couple of slices of the thick, crispy pork crackling that looked so inviting next to the gravies.
The condiments are traditional and varied; a couple of mustard's to choose from, apple sauce, cranberry sauce, mint sauce and horseradish are all displayed in little pots each with their own spoon to avoid mixing the flavours. By then there wasn't a lot of room on my plate so I settled for smearing my turkey with cranberry sauce and adding a dollop of a nicely tangy horseradish for my beef and potatoes. There was a choice of two gravies, a rich thick beef one and paler but still very rich smelling poultry gravy. I had the beef gravy and it complimented my meal perfectly, although I dipped a piece of crackling in my friends poultry gravy and that was very nice too with a good sage flavour.
After all this food we still made room for pudding, after a glass of juice and a sit down for 10 minutes! I had a wonderful apple and ginger crumble which was tangy and spicy but sweet and warm at the same time, this was served with a rich vanilla ice cream which went beautifully with the hot crumble.
I found this Toby Carvery very easy to get around, it's mainly all on one level with just a few seats raised by one step. Obviously if you were visiting in a wheelchair you wouldn't be given one of these tables and indeed there were several wheelchairs inside during our visit. The disabled toilets were clean and well lit with plenty of room, I also visited the ladies toilet and that was also spotlessly clean and well maintained.
Our bill for six adults and one child to eat the carvery as well as a couple of drinks each, with four of us eating pudding, came to £93.75 which I believe is excellent value for such a beautiful meal and comfortable surroundings.
The carvery menu offers three freshly steamed roasts with all the fixings.