Masterchef Professionals winner shares his top Birmingham restaurants

Daniel Lee took the crown as the city’s second Masterchef Professional winner in 2021. Now, the rising star is sharing his top places to wine and dine across the city.

Daniel Lee was backed by Brummies across the city when he was crowned the Masterchef: The Professional’s champion last December.

He’s the second chef from Birmingham to bring home the prestigious trophy - after Stu Deeley, who now heads up Smoke at Hampton Manor who also won the contest back in 2019.

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Dan honed his skills at University College Birmingham after attending Hall Green Secondary School.

Since winning Masterchef, the 29 year-old has since been busy cooking up a storm at various supper clubs, has most recently been workng alongside his fellow Masterchef finalists at Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall.

But when he’s not busy creating mouth-watering dishes that celebrate his culture alongside seasonal ingredients, Dan enjoys nothing more than heading out for a delicious meal in his home city.

Dan’s shared with us his top five places restaurants in the city, from elegant fine dining experiences, to hidden gems in China Town. Take a look at his picks below:

670 Grams

670 Grams

“This is one of my favourite spots to eat for a variety of reasons! Kray Treadwell is a genius at what he does; artistic plating, flavours and a complete modern approach to cooking. The atmosphere and style of the restaurant is unique and a stand-out star in Birmingham,. With an incredible atmosphere in this small restaurant, the passion and mind of Kray just shows on the plate. I could happily eat here every week. It’s not just a meal but a whole experience.”

The Custard Factory, 4 Gibb Street, Birmingham

Dan Lee, MasterChef: The Professionals champion 2021, credit: BBC/Shine TV

Look In

“This is my go-to spot for my Sam Siu Fan - triple roast with rice - and I actually do go here every week! It’s a close call for a triple roast between here and Peach Garden.

“Both are brilliant, but Look in tops it for me, Walking past and seeing the amazing roasted meats in the window just draws me in straight away. It’s not a fancy fine dining restaurant but more of a cafe, and the roasted duck, Char Siu, and Siu Yuk (roasted belly pork) are prepared and cooked to perfection every time - full of flavour, covering a portion of rice. Touching on food heaven for me right here.”

6 Ladywell Walk, Birmingham B5 4ST

JinLi

“This place is located upstairs in Arcadian, Chinatown. Again not a fancy fine dining restaurant with star studded service, this is a Sichaunese restaurant that focuses on the food and amazing intense flavours. My sister and I love going in to get the JinLi grilled fish in chilli oil with just a portion of rice on the side. And WOW! Amazingly balanced flavours and spices. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat and a great introduction if you’re new to Sichaun cuisine.

The Arcadian, Pershore St, Birmingham B5 4TD

Smoke at Hampton Manor

Smoke at Hampton Manor

“Just on the outskirts of Birmingham, Smoke is headed by Stu Deeley and the team. This is a sensational restaurant; the setting in Hampton Manor just adds to the atmosphere and incredible food, simplistic cooking focusing on the best ingredients and incredible flavours. The passion from the team really shines through on the plates, the first time I ate here I was truly blown away by the whole experience. The potatoes with onion is the stuff dreams are made of!”

Shadowbrook Ln, Hampton in Arden, Solihull B92 0EN

Gaijin Sushi

“There are a few good sushi spots in Birmingham, but this is my personal favourite, and not just because of the amount of Sake I drink every time I go. Sushi is such a skill and an art form and Gaijin just nails every aspect for me. With fast food sushi places just turning it out for profit, Gaijin really focuses on the traditional approach and the art form of sushi. Some of the best sushi I’ve had is from this little gem of a restaurant.”

78 Bristol St, Birmingham B5 7AH

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