Review: La Bastille, Birmingham (ENG)

Just under a week ago, I went to La Bastille, a beautiful French restaurant very close to my university. Our French society had organised a French cooking demo with a two course meal to follow. I was incredibly excited, because I had wanted to go there pretty much since I started uni and have to walk by it every other day or so; but to be honest, I think this restaurant visit can be put down to one of the biggest disappointments of 2010 for me.

The restaurant was pretty much empty apart from us, but it was nicely decorated. The cooking demonstration was done immensely fast, I can’t remember how to cook one meal out of the three that we were shown. But at that point, I wasn’t too unhappy yet; sure the chef was annoying and had an ego bigger then well, anyone’s, but I guess as long as the food is great …

We got bread and butter as an entree and I kid you not, this is where I should have left: there was a plaster, A PLASTER! in our bread basket. A used plaster in our food. I still can’t get over it. I hope someone got fired over that; I mean something like that can’t possibly happen by accident, can it? How do you accidently drop your plaster in someone’s food? But, oddly enough, we all stayed. We got some fresh bread and an apology and after about 20 minutes of very loud music (it was a bit like you were in a pub, with the music on so loud, shouting to understand each other), we got the mains we ordered. Or so we thought.

The two mains were meant to be as pictured below: Chicken with mushrooms, bacon and tarragon and gnocchi with parmesan, mushroom and cheddar cream. What we got was something quite different.

My friend ordered the chicken and ended up with chicken on mashed potato and some carrots and green beans and I ordered the gnocchi and got gnocchi in a tomato sauce with olives. Not what we ordered, not what was on the menu. Nobody got what was on the menu. (Apart from those that ordered the third main, a salmon, which actually was what it had said on the menu).

So furthermore, they advertised their food wrong and well, it was also incredibly bland and not very well cooked; the chicken was dry, and the gnocchi were way too soft; they pretty much fell apart into a gooey mash when you touched them softly with a spoon.

Dessert however was nice. But to be honest, it didn’t save the evening. The toilets were absolutely disgusting too, but I am not going to go into that.

Please do not be fooled by their prices and posh looking menu; it is NOT a fine dining experience, you’ll get overcharged for pretty bad food; I believe I have eaten microwavable lasagnas that were less bland than my gnocchis that night.

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8 Responses to Review: La Bastille, Birmingham (ENG)

  1. Maria says:

    Review La Bastille hätte ich gerne auf deutsch. Da war ein Pflaster im Brotkorb? Habe ich das richtig gelesen??? Die Geschichte will ich genauer wissen und das ist mir zu schwierig auf englisch…

    • Anna says:

      ja, das hast du leider richtig gelesen. war nicht so toll da.
      ich werde den post wahrscheinlich am wochenende uebersetzen koennen.

  2. labastilletv says:

    how much did you pay for this disaster?

    • Anna says:

      We paid £10 for the night plus drinks.
      So it would have been the perfect deal.

  3. labastilletv says:

    so 3 courses for £5?

    • Anna says:

      2 courses and a cooking demonstration for £10. if you were to count the bread as a starter, than i guess that would make three courses.

  4. labastilletv says:

    I’m sorry but you was not charged £10, I could honestly understand your dismay at ten pounds for 2 courses but come on. 2 courses for £5? Which WAS the invoiced total. I can email you image for invoice if you would like it. if two courses for £5 is overpriced for any food and you could get anybody to rightfully agree i would be very shocked.

  5. labastilletv says:

    “The restaurant was pretty much empty apart from us”

    This had been a request obviously unknown by yourself.

    “The toilets were absolutely disgusting too, but I am not going to go into that.”

    Were actually trashed by “The French Society” YOUR GROUP

    “menu; it is NOT a fine dining experience, you’ll get overcharged for pretty bad food”
    Did you eat from the A la carte menu? if so what did you eat that was so over priced?

    Fact of the matter would be that obviously if you had paid for a quality prepared high price meal you would have got one. Truth of the matter. £5 was paid. the food was virtually free and the whole night was a favour. Not a successful one but nevertheless a favour.

    I find it so daunting when someone can quote on something have have not even experienced. you know nothing about the “over priced” fine dining food and accordingly if it cost more than a fiver for 2 courses its tantamount to being shot in the face.

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