Savoury + Sweet in Scott’s Of Harborne

Bloody love tapas I do; an array of plates filled with different edibles? Yes please! And, I’m totally getting better at this “sharing” thing, and my instinct to shoo other hands away with the prongs of my fork is beginning to subside. So, when I was asked if I wanted to try the tapas menu at Scott’s of Harborne, I was like; yeyah! (I actually said, ooh yes, that sounds lovely; what day you thinking?). We (being George, Laura, Emma, and myself) chose to go on a Saturday afternoon, after we had failed to escape an escape room experience, a disappointing and somewhat embarrassing start to the day.

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Fresh, cosy, and chilled

We were on the verge of hanger, but, our excitement ensured that we were still smiling when we arrived to the cosy cafe/bar. A central tiled table sat in the middle (perfect for sharing your tapas), with smaller surrounding tables and chairs on one side (for a little date with someone special). There’s a booth-style bench along the other side (great if you wanted to go in and eat, drink, and need somewhere to pop your big bag), a bench with plug sockets, that faces the window at the front (ideal for coffee and cake, people watching, and a bit of laptop time), and the bar and cake display (more on that later) at the back.

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I loved the decor in here, if I wasn’t known for killing my plants; I’d try to fashion a similar canopy at home

It was full of light, which reflected off the pale wood, and there was a canopy of plants, giving it green freshness. It was laid-back, and I felt calm and relaxed, even though my stomach was rumbling. We headed straight for the tapas menu, and I was happy to see plenty of veggie and pescatarian options on there. The menu is divided in to three price points, including dishes at £3.95, £4.95, and £5.95, ensuring it’s easy to tot up your bill and figure out a decent selection to enjoy. We picked everything we liked the sound of, and the following are the non-meat dishes I scoffed tried. Like most tapas servings; we were told that the food would arrive fresh from the kitchen as it was cooked, and I couldn’t wait.

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Have you even eaten out, if you haven’t started with olives though? Marinated Olives £3.95
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Calamari would be one of my dessert-island foods (assuming I got to pick more than one). Fried Squid, Lemon, Aioli £5.95

The olives and fried squid arrived first, and I wasn’t disappointed with the portion sizes, even though I could’ve have eaten them all by myself. The olives were great; all of the ones I had were firm (I hate it when you get a squashed, mushy olive), and gave me that salty hit, to whet my appetite (as if I need help with that hahahaha). There were also little pickles involved, and, if you’ve ever read any of my food posts before; you’ll understand my adoration of pickles. I’d like to take a moment to thank them for their crunchy, vinegary, preserved-until-the-end-of-time greatness. Yay pickles.

Anywho, the squid had the fried crispiness you’d expect, it wasn’t stringy, and once I’d squeezed the lemon on and dunked them in the garlicky dip; they were perfection. Moreish doesn’t cover it, especially when I was feeling hungry already, so I did a little thank you nod to the food gods as more dishes were placed in front of my gob eyes.

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Bravo for potatoes #BlessedToHaveSpudsInMyLife Patatas Bravas served with Aioli £4.95
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This would make a perfect afternoon snack if you didn’t fancy cake; I loved the addition of the bread to mop up the sauce. Gambas (Prawns in Garlic and Paprika) £5.95

Patatas Bravas done right are incredible. And, the ones I ate here, were some of the best I’d had in Birmingham. No, actually, they were the best I’d eaten in Birmingham. All of us loved them. The potatoes were so crispy, and light and fluffy in the middle. But, it was the sauce that made them. There were no watery, tinny, flavourless tomatoes. It was rich, sweet, spicy, and tangy, and had plenty of texture. The spuds weren’t soggy, and I could’ve happily eaten either separately with a spoon. I didn’t actually couple the dish with the aioli provided; I forgot it was there as I got stuck into the rest of it. It was delightful, and if you’re having the tapas here; don’t fear the patatas bravas, or think it will be a boring addition. Just order it.

The prawns were much the same; a lovely texture and not over-cooked or chewy at all. Again, the sauce had me hooked. The addition of the bread was definitely welcome, as I had to get as much of the warm spicy, garlic-fuelled sauce as I could. The prawns were also substantial in size, and once they’d been enveloped in that dreamy coating; it was crustacean heaven in a tapas dish.

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The veg cancels out the fried. (another fact that I choose to believe). Courgette Fritters £4.95
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Gotta get your 5-a-day! Griddled Aubergine, Courgettes, and Peppers in a Chilli, Lemon, and Mint Vinegarette £4.95
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Look at that lovely pastry. I found a flake of it on my top that evening; it made me smile (food memories are my favourite). Sun-dried Tomatoes + Goat’s Cheese Tart £4.95

Another “must-order” are the courgette fritters. Don’t think about mushy, overcooked courgettes from Sunday dinners past. These are discs of pure delight. God, I could eat a bucket of them. They are like crisps and great fries combined, and they’re bite-sized, and there’s a bit of freshness after each bite, because of the vegetable that sits within the coating. Dreamy. Order them. Maybe order one each, depending on your party size.

I thought the griddled veg would be one of those dishes that I probably wouldn’t order on my own. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I started to tuck in. It was an excellent way to break up the fried, salty treats, and the richness in the tomato sauces. I think the meat eaters out there would also find it a great addition to the overall selection. There was a mixture of texture, and the lemon gave the veg zing, and was a lovely contrast to the earthy, griddled flavours. One dish between four of us was plenty, as it’s a decent-sized portion.

Last to sit down at the table (during the savoury section of this post), was the sun-dried tomatoes and goat’s cheese tart. I loved this, and at £4.95, it would make the perfect light lunch, and was excellent value. The pastry was light and flaky, and the tomatoes and goats cheese gave me classic Med-style vibes. It was a lovely combo of hearty food with summery flavours. I didn’t eat much of the rocket on top; I’m just not a fan of rocket (I know, I’m so edgy and controversial). However, I appreciate that those who like it, will find it to be a fresh and peppery addition to the tart.

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CAKE
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All hail Queen Victoria Sponge
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Get that Carrot Cake

If you want ginormous wedges of delicious, freshly baked (onsite) cake; then, Scott’s will not disappoint. I had my eye on that Vicky sponge from the second I walked in, and I can confirm that it tasted even better than it looked. How epic did it look though? I will definitely return for more of the same. I was happy to see some gluten free options on the board too (so I can take my mom who has Coeliac disease), and there was also a vegan Blackcurrant crumble. I didn’t try the carrot cake, as i’d eaten too much of the Victoria sponge, and was already working out the extra insulin I’d need on the way home. However, I thought I’d share the picture so you could get a sense of portion size and greatness. Those who did eat it, loved it, so if you’re a carrot cake fan; it’s worth a try!

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A sumptuous list that will change, as everything is freshly baked in-house x 

The service was super friendly and accommodating; I’ll feel comfortable asking for no rocket on my goat’s cheese tart when I’m next in for a bite to eat. I was excited to see a pancake menu, and there is a gin menu for those who fancy a drink with their food. It’s a lovely cafe, in a great location, and I think people of all ages will feel comfortable and welcome there. The food was fresh, high-quality, filling, and great value. I’ll be returning with family and friends, and suggest you do the same.

Peace, love, and courgette fritters, Fay x

I was lucky enough to be asked to come and try the food I mentioned, and it was all complementary, in return for my review. Words, images, and thoughts are very much my own. As usual x 

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