Bites: Compass points

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Reopened this weekend after a refurbishment that's been kept under wraps. This is intended to make the groovy bar that preceded by a couple of years the current wave of openings in Birmingham, appear more cutting edge with a music policy that makes it more like a club.

fiftytwodegreesnorth, Arcadian Centre, Hurst Street, Birmingham (0121-622 5250). Mon-Sat 5pm-2am. Reopened this weekend after a refurbishment that's been kept under wraps. This is intended to make the groovy bar that preceded by a couple of years the current wave of openings in Birmingham, appear more cutting edge with a music policy that makes it more like a club.

Still in place is the wood-burning oven for pizzas that are served until the bar closes at 2am, and even for cooking the likes of spiced chicken breast with coconut rice, sweet potato and pepper purée served in the restaurant until 11pm. Two courses are £17, three £22.

Southeast W9, 239 Elgin Avenue, London W9 (020-7328 8883). Daily 12-11pm. Southeast Asia's the remit, and the inelegantly named, but smart, bright, white room flits around the region with flair and more focus than the long but well arranged menu might suggest.

There are Thai or Vietnamese spring rolls, Burmese fish cakes, Laotian curried duck, Cambodian chicken with ginger and Malaysian beancurd sambal. Rice and noodle one-dish meals for £5.95-£8.95 suit any time of day; a full meal for around £20 helps guarantee the restaurant's popularity. Dishes come from owner Vatcharin Bhumichitr's various Thai and Southeast Asian cook books.

East End Arms, East End, near Lymington, Hampshire (01590 626223). Tue-Sat lunch and dinner, Sat dinner. Still very much a country pub, with real ale from the Ringwood brewery, fittingly for its New Forest setting. But though it doesn't impinge too much on the public bar the fairly priced, refreshingly seasonal food's an attraction in its own right. Red bream fillet with sweet pepper and saffron sauce or venison in Calvados with bramble jelly are typical main courses for £10-£12. It's good for fish, pretty hopeless for vegetarians. Fresh lime tart, blueberry and blackberry pie or apple crumble for afters.

West Port, 170-172 South Street, St Andrews, Fife (01334 473186). Daily brunch, lunch and dinner. Sold to the Clark's brewery by the more ambitious previous owners, this all-day cafe/bar, brasserie-type restaurant, and beer garden is a lively all rounder even if it doesn't aspire to the successful, globe-trotting menu it once had.

There's brunch until noon, soups, baked potatoes, steaks, curries, cod and chips for around £5 at lunch time and there might be steamed darne of salmon with cous cous and pea salsa or chargrilled sirloin, mustard mash and roast carrots for dinner when starters are priced £4, mains around £8.

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