I have lived in Coventry for 8 years, and it still constantly surprises me. And to be honest it surprises me how I rarely go out of my comfort zone. I love independent businesses, but I somehow feel more comfy in the big standard chains. I find them comforting in their mundane regularity. But when I do try somewhere new that bowls me over, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
Palms Bar was established 11 years ago on Far Gosford Street. It serves traditional Nigerian food, and is very reasonably priced. It is popular with the local African community, and students, but deserves to be tried by all! It offers large portions of scrumptious food, all made fresh on the premises, and honestly I came out of the experience stuffed, but craving more!!
The Staff were very friendly and welcoming, and very happy to explain the menu. I do wish there had been less on the menu, and more description of the dishes. The menu could be much better designed to make it more accessible to all.
I have had African food before, but in a tourist setting in Kenya, and in a “fancy” London restaurant. This place is much more authentic then both. It was obvious that the chef has lot of love for food, and it was delicious, and looked vibrant and was fantastic value for money.
First up we were given Suya, spicy grilled beef marinated in a blend of African Spices. this was garnished with tomatos and salad onion. This was spicy and full of deep sexy flavour. It was beautifully cooked and rested. It was so tender and melted in the mouth! I loved this dish so much, I could have polished the bowl off all on my own! Tomatoes had been deseeded and nicely prepared so there wasn’t excess moisture being added to the dish, and the onions were sharp but not over powering as most raw onion is, showing that the chef really understands his ingredients.
Next we got the main event, and as we were a group of 4 bloggers, we got a good spread across the table, but Know that the portions are always generous at The Palms Bar.
Four of us went, including Ed, who is an author for the up and coming Coventry Bloggers website. Ed is a regular at Palms, and adores the food. He eats there most weeks. His enthusiasm and passion for the food, coupled with the flavours of the food, and the friendliness of the staff made the meal truly memorable.
My one of my favourite bits of the meal were definitely the Spicy Turkey, which was tender, and flavourful, without too much heat. They came with maybe the best peppers I’ve ever tasted in my life! They were soft with a little bite, and sweetens which complimented the spicy turkey beautifully. The second item of note was the Suya Beef, which I have already mentioned above.
While I cannot fault the food or staff, I did find the venue very dated. Although it only opened 11years ago, it reminded me of the social clubs and community centres of my childhood in the 1980s (which to be honest were throw backs to the 1970s). it includes various sub rooms, a dance floor, booths, and a roof terrace (which apparently is host to awesome barbecues in the summer.) The roof terrace is currently being reinvested ready for the warmer months, and the Bar etc is on the cards to be done up, but funds are not currently available.
The front of the building and entrance were a bit strange: small windows, confusing array of doors and a corridor into the order point, and menu written on white boards which scream “greasy spoon” rather then “fun place to eat awesome food.”
The decor doesn’t reflect the type of place it is, as they have New York wall paper in parts, and brown leather benches along with the woven chairs. None of it is bad in its self, but means the place lacks a sense of identity. I really feel this place should really embrace its roots. Some consistency throughout, and opening out of the front, and some green plants would make a huge difference! But as with all businesses, money is needed to do this.
It is in an awesome location, right next to FarGo Village, and about a 10minute walk from Central Coventry.
So please visit the Palms Bar, try their brilliant food, and help them to created the venue of their dreams!