If you are uncontrollably drawn to poaching a snail, slurping an oyster or shaving a white truffle, then you are probably a foodie.

And if you are a foodie, you will know whether you like your custard with sweetcorn cream and foie gras, or your ice cream with the aroma of bacon and egg.

And considering both these dishes are in this year's Good Food Guide, which is released today, it seems that a copy of the foodie bible is as important to restaurant-goers as a knife and fork.

In Birmingham, Simpsons is still the foodie favourite, with Luke Tipping providing a soluble stimulus with dishes such as French rabbit in Parma ham, or monk-fish fillet with Indian spices and cumin basmati rice.

Andreas Antona's high quality restaurant - Birmingham's only establishment to be awarded a Michelin star - is at number 36 in the UK's top 40.

However, a restaurant named after the owner's former moggie is the cat's whiskers of Midlands' cuisine, according to the book.

At number 28 is Mr Underhill's in Ludlow, Shropshire, the restaurant that is regarded by many as the jewel in the region's gastronomic crown.

Set in a location more similar to the Hobbits' Shire than the claustrophobic streets of London, Mr Underhill's is described by the book's author's as "enchanting".

But it is in London that four of the top ten restaurants on the list are based; including Gordon Ramsay's destination, which offers diners more bottles of wine priced over £10,000 than under £20.

However, the Fat Duck at Bray, Berkshire, is the top restaurant, according to the guide, which describes the food as "the results of biochemical experimentation and culinary alchemy".

But in the Midlands, away from Ramsay's swearing there is a new found confidence within kitchens which is helping to create something of a stir.

Chris Bradley, says the secret of Mr Underhill's success is to create "cutting edge comfort food".

He added: "I have only ever worked for myself so I have never had to copy anyone's food.

"Everything I have done has evolved in a way that I want it to. When you see the menus in a lot of these new London restaurants they are providing dishes that have been created elsewhere."

Mr Bradley added: "They say that 97 per cent of restaurants fail in the first year, and we have been going for 27 years so we must be doing something right."

The Guide clearly believes that Simpsons is doing something right, stating that it "bestrides the Birmingham restaurant scene like a colossus".

It adds: "The food here is strongly rooted in classical French cuisine, but allows ample breathing space for innovation and imagination.

"Lunch and evening menus offer plenty of accomplished, reassuringly high quality choice."

Caroline Blake, senior editor of the book, said Mr Underhill's and Simpsons both benefit from being consistent with their food.

"Maintaining high quality over a long period of time is what the book is looking for," said Ms Blake.

"Clearly, many more people are cooking at home now and are becoming far more knowledgable about ingredients and cooking.

"This means that chefs have to raise their game, and this has happened at Mr Underhill's and Simpsons."

Simpsons entry in the top 40 has ensured that Birmingham has beat other big cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle in the food stakes; as none of those cities made the elite list.