Aluna, Birmingham: cocktail bar and restaurant review
Read our review of stylish new cocktail bar Aluna, on Birmingham's Wharfside Street. A treasure cove of decadence with a hint of the supernatural, make sure you try their 'Aluna secret concoction' cocktail, and don't forget your phone... there are some serious Instagram opportunities here.
In a nutshell
The new kid on the block in Birmingham’s cocktail scene offers fire and theatrics to accompany a host of British favorites on the menu. Expect mystery and visual spectacle – an instagramer’s paradise!
Found on the bank of Birmingham’s canal, Aluna is a treasure cove of decadence with a hint of the supernatural. Formerly The Oriental restaurant, it has undergone a £400,000 refurbishment and is now drenched in copper surfaces, crushed velvet sofas and rich wooden floors. Harry Potter quotes in frames are teamed with bespoke pieces of art that line the walls to give the place its lavish feel. Behind the bar this magic comes alive with their impressive 80-strong cocktail menu, designed to serve up a dose of drama with every drink.
From the lava lamp, which suspends bubbling pieces of caviar, to the sharing cauldrons that use dry ice to give the illusion of a simmering concoction, Aluna’s cocktails offer an experimental element that you can’t help but get excited by. And at £7-£9 per cocktail, they're pretty reasonable, too.
As for food, choose from house burgers, classic dishes with a twist such as the wild boar sausages and mash, and a whole ‘from the grill’ section including steaks, ribs and lamb rump. The fillet steak was juicy and tender, and was accompanied by crunchy asparagus and a tangy mustard mash that was packed with flavour.
In terms of portion size, you get a whole load of bang for your buck – you'll struggle to fit in a starter, main and dessert, so choose wisely. I'd suggest skipping dessert and trying an 'Aluna secret concoction' cocktail instead, which uses a top secret ingredient (a childhood favourite sweet, we think) to give it its unique, sweet taste.
Although it is the theatrical cocktails that are sure to build the buzz around Aluna, the simple (if a little unexciting) menu is executed really well, with prompt and helpful service to compliment it. For an after work treat, or a weekend haunt, it's bound to be successful.
Bullseye: Lava Lamp Cocktail and Mustard Mash
Misfire: Some of the cocktails were that little bit too strong to drink leisurely
Price: Approximately £50 for 1 starter, 2 main meals (1 being a steak) and 2 cocktails
Written by Charlotte Philpotts, amuchprettierpuzzle.com
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