The Hen & Chicken Constitution Hill is located right next to Birmingham City centre, leave the M6 at Junction 6, and within 8 minutes you have arrived, Villa Park and St Andrews are 15 minutes drive back to down the A38, and the Hawthorns is 20 minutes down Soho Rd, or via the M6.
Appearance & Entry:
From outside The Hen and Chickens does not look the most appealing, even after the re-furb, but on walking in this place looks stunning, gone has the old tired look and we now see the benefits, new seating covers, slick wall art and it seems more spacious, the new bar also looks a lot more professional and less cramped than previous.
*Be aware due to the size of the venue, it may well be worth ringing ahead to book tables, as it’s always busy*
Prices compared to other pubs we have tried are slightly more expensive, we are in the City I guess, with the draughts starting from £3.20 up to £4.80, the spirits start over £4.50 a double, the drink selection is varied and a large amount on offer, cocktails too if you are looking to impress the lady on Valentines.
We order our drinks and are served promptly and we are informed how we can order our food, this is helpful as the staff must have grasped we were new, well done bar man!
The menu is large and offers variety, more like a restaurant rather than a desi pub, but maybe the plan is to not be tarred as such a thing.
The place is packed, the atmosphere is loud and jovial, it is not the place for a quite meal, and though loud we feel comfortable.
The eating area has a table so we grab a seat; the place is clean, and after the refurbishment, looking slick, very impressed.
We order our food and are informed that the wait will be 25 minutes as they are busy, this is acceptable, unless you are the couple who are eyeing up our seats.
The food arrives after 27 minutes and the sizzle is on!!
*Pet hate, the plates provided for us to use are cold, please provide warm plates **
Mixed Grill: The sizzler is big and the onions smell great, hardly any visible oil, and smoking like a good’un.
Chicken Tikka: Large in size, and the taste is bang on, the spice is good, and the flavours are rich, this is very very impressive.
Lamb Shish Kebab: The Kebab is plentiful and again tastes great; it breaks easily and is full of flavours.
Wings: Messy and tasty, the spice is perfect for us, only complaint; they are not the biggest in the world, size apart very tasty.
Lamb Chops:Minted Lamp steaks were added at our request, replaced the fish, these are fantastic, and the quality of the meat is possibly the best we have seen since we started our grill journey 4 stones ago.
The fact we had to put food on a cold plate did deter from the mixed grill.
Now to check out the Curries:
Chicken Tikka Masala: We stated earlier that the menu and variety on it made this place seem more like a restaurant, unfortunately the taste of this curry was not restaurant quality, it was lukewarm and too runny, the meat tasted great, but the sauce was thin and it just was not to the same standard as the other food.
Lamb Curry: The lamb dish is streets ahead of the chicken dish above, and its piping hot, it tastes great and once again the lamb is gorgeous. The sauce as a result of the quality of the meat is bang on point.
The outside of the building though not the most inviting, masks a great interior, never judge a book by its cover.
The place is clean, parking can be tricky, so if booking in advance ensure you ask where is best to park, the bar man was great and he was friendly throughout, the staff who delivered our food, and who were asked about the cold plates were not as friendly in dealing with our requests in fact they didn’t.
The mixed grill was fantastic, the portion sizes were great and it was sizzling; if you are going just for the grill, make the journey.
The chicken curry was not piping hot, that was an issue as the cold plates only added to that issue, the atmosphere was good, the drinks were fresh and varied, and the Lamb was fantastic, chicken curry and staff issue cost you top place.
Ok, so on the 2nd visit, we were once again made to feel welcome, the grill was again just as good, but this time, add to that the plates were not cold, so the sizzler was enjoyed fully. The staff issue we previously had was well, to be honest, now a distant memory as they were attentive and helpful, even recommending the Chicken Lollipop, which you have to try!
The curry dishes were hot and not warm like before, and the Chicken curry was in a different lane to the last one we had, cooked well and marinated well the dish was worth the trip.
All in all a fantastic 2nd visit.