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24 CARAT BISTRO, Jewellery Quarter EATING OUT.

IN times of recession, it's nice to hear of a small, family-run business celebrating its tenth birthday. Tucked away up an alleyway in the Jewellery Quarter, 24 Carat Bistro is something of a hidden gem.

Inside, we found a warm welcome and nostalgic feel, with an open fireplace, hat stand and patterned tablecloths.

All it was missing was 1940s music playing on a wireless!

It felt like going for lunch at my Nan's. The building is listed as it was used in the jewellery trade previously and from the windows, you can see a mish-mash of different buildings.

Just as in traditional times, you have to ask for a key at the counter to use the outdoor toilet (don't worry there's a toasty radiator in there, thank goodness!) The counter was lined with home-baked lardy cakes, scones and other sweet treats.

The meals are home-made, too, with some unusual options, such as tortilla wraps and goat curry, together with your standard jacket potatoes and all-day breakfasts.

Mush I had lasagne with chips and salad (PS5.25). It was definitely home-made. In fact, I have to admit it looked like a dollop of mush on the plate, not like any lasagne I'd eaten before. That said, it tasted OK and I loved the salad, which came with slices of beetroot.

My husband Adam had faggots, chips and peas (PS4.99) which was served with lashings of gravy. He enjoyed it. The children shared a cheeseburger (PS5) on a nice, seeded crusty cob with chips and salad. The owner kindly divided the meal between two plates and was very generous with the chips!

The bill, including a cappuccino and three soft drinks, came to just over PS20, making it excellent value.

24 Carat Bistro, Warstone Lane, Hockley (0121 236 0519) ZOE CHAMBERLAIN
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2012
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