I’ve been continuing my quest to try out more small, independent restaurants and cafes around Birmingham (or anywhere else I happen to be visiting). The other week I went to the Old Dresser in Bearwood after reading lots of rave reviews. The Old Dresser is a blend of a restaurant and a cafe I would say as its opening hours are usually 12 noon-10pm (but check to be sure) and it starts the day by serving breakfasts, drinks, etc. and then later in the day it is more of a restaurant serving full meals.
The Old Dresser has a slightly off the beaten track location a fair way down the Bearwood Road. From the outside it has a traditional terraced frontage and looks very traditional. As you can see inside it has a more electic look, but I love the traditional tea ware which is a collection of different pieces and styles. I arrived as it opened and waited a little while for a friend. I was made to feel very welcome and was comfortable waiting in there on my own. Before too long though quite a few other customers joined us, most of whom seemed to have come along for lunch.
That’s exactly what we did too. I opted for the Big Bear’s Breakfast without the baked beans and with the soda bread. The sausage wasn’t what I was used to – I think because it was pork and chicken, rather than just pork – they were very tasty though. The Scottish Black Pudding was more like haggis than the English Black Pudding that I am used to, but I do enjoy haggis so that was good for me. As you can see the food is beautifully presented and the ingredients are of a good quality. I’d certainly be tempted by the breakfast on a return visit, but there are a lot of other dishes I’d like to explore.
My companion had the ODC hash (ODC stands for Old Dresser Cafe). She loved it and it was perfect in size for her as she was planning another meal out that evening and didn’t want to overdo things. The hash is a mixture of hash browns, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and sausage with an egg cooked to her specification and the homemade soda bread that I had too.
The owners are friendly and helpful, so ask for recommendations like we did. We also had some gardening advice thrown in when we asked about the herbs they grow on the window sill.
I’m keen to try out the evening menu which seems to have an Eastern European theme and has a number of dishes that I haven’t tried before.