We are now well into autumn, which, in my book, is the perfect season for a roast dinner - we have just walked out of one of the best ones we’ve encountered in Birmingham, and it’s probably not where you’d imagine... 

You’ll notice I did not say English roast, not because that wasn’t technically what we devoured, but because this one was served in the impressive Italian restaurant Gusto.

Located in the city’s business district on Colmore Row, the restaurant is situated within the opulent (and as yet unopened) Grand Hotel –from the exterior it certainly looks the business.

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En route to Gusto myself and my fellow roast dinner diner (Rob) were debating which meat to choose.  From a quick recky of Gusto’s excellent website we knew there was a choice of lamb, beef and chicken.  Chicken was quickly off the table, but beef and lamb were hotly debated.  By the time we had arrived we both knew that a bout of lamb eaters lip was on the cards – perhaps in hindsight and for the purposes of this blog we should have chosen to mix it up and chose one of each, but lamb is just so fine!

A recurring compliment I hear about Gusto is how great the ambience is, and I whole heartedly agree.  On this cold autumnal day stepping into the orange/copper hue of the restaurant evoked a warm cosy feeling – and when we were seated (by our attentive waiter Ash) at a table by large windows that overlook St Philips square (Pigeon Park if you’re a local) – we mutually agreed that  this was a good Sunday indeed.

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So, to the food, We had opted for the two courses for £20 roast dinner. 

I started with king prawns* and Rob (having recently discovered a medical aversion to seafood) went with the meatballs. We also ordered a bottle of Gusto’s house red (very palatable).  We rubbed our hands together and cackled like maniacs.  Not really but it’s fair to say we were moderately excited.

Time to take in our surroundings – Gusto is an intimate space, I think it would be a great location for a first date, particularly if you are paying, as the décor, service and food belie the fantastic value.  The restaurant was full, but was not noisy or intrusive, in my view the perfect level of refined hubbub. A large (Olive) tree entwined with lights overhung our table, the warm orange lighting illuminated the elegant wood panelled walls and floor... here, it’s easier if you take a look for yourself…

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Nice huh?  But not as nice as THESE…

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YES! Enough nosing around, our starters had arrived!

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Well, what can I say, my pan-fried prawns were perfectly cooked, fresh and substantial in size - good spice from the chilli oil and topped with delicious tomato and fennel.  I was very happy indeed.

Although I could sense slight envy in Rob’s seafood allergy eyes, I was confident his meatballs went someway to placate him  – and who wouldn’t be – covered in spicy sauce topped with Gran Moravia cheese and served with what I was told was a fab Parmesan crisp - mmmm-eatbaals.


And so, to the main event – the roast.  Enough from me, let’s let this do the talking…

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Three generous cuts of tender lamb - cooked rare to my liking, a well-judged Yorkshire pudding, delicious goose fat roasts, a sizable and individual jug of rich gravy and intriguingly a board that housed of three pots of accompaniments.  What are these you ask?  Honey-glazed carrots & parsnips, cauliflower cheese with pancetta and balsamic red cabbage.  All fantastic, my favourite was the cabbage they all complimented the meat perfectly.  Do you know what?  I couldn’t finish it!  This was fantastic value – we said this about 15 times throughout.


We didn’t have one, we were knocked out in every sense of the word.  But if you do want to choose from one of Gusto’s delicious desserts, you can add an extra fiver onto your bill - we really would have, and I have since regretted our decision many times over - I’d have had a Tiramisu – oh the regret.

For this review I homed in on the roast (obvs – it’s what we ate), but Gusto is lest we forget an Italian restaurant, and it’s A La Carte menu is fantastic – serving all the Italian classics, with a great selection of fish, meat, pizza, pasta and salad dishes. The Sea Bream & Samphire has caught my eye for my guaranteed return, saying that though the roast was so good! You can see the full menu here which the Gusto chefs have recently switched up to their Autumn/ Winter collection.

I was also impressed to see that Gusto has a great selection of vegan and gluten free dishes, which is great for me as I can take my celiac daughter.

As previously mentioned, Gusto is fantastic value for money, but they also have a selection of specials -for example on Wednesdays you can enjoy a sourdough pizza/pasta dish with a beer or wine for only £10! Formidable! They also have a reward scheme, which I am putting serious thought into joining.

On our way out, stuffed, content and perfectly looked after we walked through Gusto’s bar - well, why not? It’s so cold outside and so warm and inviting in here!

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Gustos Roast dinner is available on Sunday 12-6pm

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday: 12pm - 10pm

Friday: 12pm - 11pm

Saturday: 12pm - 10pm

Sunday: 12pm - 10pm

You can book your table for Gusto here - would be the perfect place for Christmas!