Amantia: New Spanish restaurant, Birmingham


    

The other evening Myself and Ruth had the privilege of been invited to the launch along with other lovely Birmingham food bloggers of new Spanish restaurant Amantia on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham City Centre near New Street. 

Amantia is an independent family run restaurant that showcases well presented Spanish dishes opposite the Briar Rose in Central Birmingham and just up from Bodega. 

Housed in the iconic Sun House offices  (once insurance offices) next door to Burne Jones House. 

  

Run by husband and wife team chef Andrea and front of house Marta Retanaga it has a design of sophistication yet informality and will be a hit with the lunch time crowd in the Colmore Business District. 

Amantia represents the name of some ruins near Andrea’s Birthplace, but also contains the initials of their children. 

The food is a mixture of tapas, pastas and crepes and for veggies has good and interesting options. 

On the night of the launch I tasted a couple of the dishes a lovely authentic and indulgent tortilla da patata (Spanish potato Tortilla) and a lovely cheesy blue cheese and truffle croquettes (croquetas) which was good and tempting introduction to their tapas dishes which I love. 

Croquetas    

 

Though the options for veggies were limited on the night, I was impressed with what I ate to feel excited about returning and trying the fuller tapas and food menu. 

Also on the menu for Vegetarians are:

Tapas:

Manchego con Memdeda de pimiento- Manchego cheese, red pepper marmalade and Valencia Almonds. 

Creamy mushroom croquetas (croquettes) 

Homemade crepes: 

Cremosa: leek and spinach bechamel

Rustica: Roasted aubergine, sundries tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese

Pasta

Ravioli con berenjena: aubergine and scamorza cheese in a creamy spinach and walnut sauce. 

Greek Salad

Deserts include tiramisu and crepes. 

There are also main course options so a traditional three course meal can be had too. (No veggie main course) 

Amantia also specialise in Gin and have dozens of artisan brands. Plus gin cocktails, good wines and Spanish beer. 

As a venue and style of food Amentia is unique in central Birmingham and offers quality and independence in abundance, and for that it’s very welcome amongst the chains nearby. 

Keep an eye on my blog for a further review soon. 

Amantia Spanish restaurant, 9-10 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS

0121 643 3647

http://www.amantia.co.uk/

Menu see below link. 

https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_download.php?id=407589196069551&eid=AStK6r4xxszDt8pE–K2RqKLpJDvbqv5W0ggf879sTo1UMIXtygIHUS-KHTy2EEqjuE&ext=1427109630&hash=ASt7diglUlL_rIqP

I was invited to the launch of Amentia so all food and drink was complimentary. My opinions are my own and no post was required, but I’m so happy to write one. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊


#TastyMorsel: Gas Street Social opens with tempting vegetarian dishes. 


    

Gas Street Social is a brand new bar and restaurant at The Mailbox in Birmingham City Centre nestled by the canal (with views) and offering a seasonal taste of home comforts alongside an eclectic menu and speciality drinks. 

On offer for veggies are sharing plates, veggie burgers, cheese boards, and stone baked flat breads as well as pies including vegetarian on a Tuesday. 

Alongside the food sits craft beer, delightful cocktails which are a speciality of Gas Street Social both handcrafted, modern and  classics. 

   

       

Inspired by the industrial and cultural context of Birmingham’s rich history centred on the concept of sharing and socialising. 

The bar/restaurant offers large tables, intimate booth areas, a cosy- snug zone and caters for quick bites and lunches and lingering after work social fun. 

As an independent entity owned by Adam Freeth from Redditch it promises to be a great addition to the Mailbox area and even more so as an independent venture amongst so many so so chains. 

For vegetarians the menu offers  dishes such as  a superfood salad, soup, cheese board, social plates which seem the most tempting and include: Beetroot tart, sweet potato and quinoa, crispy arancini balls. 

Mains include a veggie sweet potato and quinoa burger with triple cooked chips and watercress, and mushroom gnocchi. 

Gas Street Social source their ingredients well as good independents do. 

The sharing plates are £17 for three and £27 for 5 plates. Ideal in the Mailbox setting, by the canal. 

Gas Street Social also have a dedicated children’s menu including vegetarian and a long list of tempting deserts. 

  

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the press dinner last week, but have heard good things about Gas Street Social and its decor and food options. 

I’m looking forward to visiting soon though for a proper review of their vegetarian dishes and like the look of the sharing plates which I’m a big fan of. 

As an alternative to the set three course meal places nearby it offers a real alternative. 

http://www.gasstreetsocial.co.uk

Wharf side, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RL. 

Facebook/Gasstsocial

Twitter: @gasstsocial 

   

       

 

Photos apart from the top 2 courtesy of Gas Street Social, the top 2 courtesy of me. 

   

 

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

#VeggieFoodie guide to Vegan food in Birmingham: Veggie Foodie and Stay.com


In February I was asked by Stay.com (a travel app and travel website) to be a trusted traveller on the recommendation of Birgit Kehrer of ChangeKitchen CIC (award winning vegetarian and vegan catering) Thank you Birgit!

The idea being that I would recommend eight places to eat for Vegans in Birmingham. A personal choice at the time and eight’s not that many in light of a growing vegan foodie scene in the city. 

This got me thinking that of course there are a lot more than eight, and many places cater for vegans in many different ways from specialised shops, street food to vegetarian restaurants and restaurants with Vegan menus. Though I’m not a vegan myself, I find it frustrating in many restaurants that a vegan diet seems to be ignored or fobbed off as something they dong have to worry about. As a vegetarian some restaurants in Birmingham alas don’t understand a veggie diet never mind a vegan one and that’s some very high profile independent ones too not just the chains. 

Though I’m not one for lists on blogs, I appreciate  that as a vegan and indeed a vegetarian, recommendations can be helpful particularly for s travellers, or someone who has recently moved into the city. 

Hence the extra places that I’m going to mention. 

To begin my list for Stay.com. See below. 

http://www.stay.com/birmingham/guides/509858-e4ce5aa4/vegan-friendly-birmingham/

Includes in no particular order 

-The Warehouse Cafe - A vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Digbeth area

-Veg Out Cafe- All day vegetarian cafe restaurant in Kings Heath area. 

-Bistro 1847- vegetarian restaurant in Birmingham City  Centre 

Cafe Soya- A Vietnamese and Chinese cafe/restaurant in Birmingham City Centre 

Raja Monkey: Indian Street Food cafe restaurant in Hall Green area. 

Jyoti: Indian vegetarian restaurant/ sweet shop in Hall Green 

Blue Ginger: Singaporean Malaysian cuisine in Kings Heath with a dedicated vegan night every Monday. Plus good vegan options on the menu. 

Loco Lounge: part of the Lounges group based in Kings Heath but with branches around the city including Harborne. Dedicated vegan menu every day. 

So I apologise if your favourites are not mentioned on my initial recommendations. 

My extended choices include again in no particular order: 

Bodega Bar and Cantina: based in the city centre, Mexican, Burrito’s, street food, tacos plus a dedicated every day Vegan menu. Keep an eye on my blog for a review soon. 

Mr Singh: Vegetarian and vegan pizzas in Handsworth are of the city. 

Deepalis: Indian Vegetarian restaurant in The Jewellery Quarter. 

100% Vegan Shop: based in the Warehouse Cafe building but selling 100% vegan food, snacks, health products, whole foods. Based in Digbeth. 

The Vegan Grindhouse: 100% vegan streetfood, burgers, plant based, fab food. See them at various events round the city and Midlands. 

Blue Piano: Sister Venus of Blue Ginger based in Edgbaston. 

Boston Tea Party: Cafe and restaurant, based in city centre, and Harborne. Serving breakfasts, cakes, sandwiches etc including vegan options. 

Cherry Reds cafe Bar: two branches one in city centre and one in Kings Heath. Vegan breakfasts, cakes, and burgers. 

ChangeKitchen CIC: vegetarian and vegan catering. 

Byzantium: tapas in Kings Heath, vegan options. 

Cosy Club: soon to be open in City Centre. Has a vegan menu. 

Barebones Pizza: streetfood trader with a vegan pizza on the menu. See them around the city. 

Tall Poppy Foods: A vegan cake and food company, dairy free and animal by product free. Wraps, pastries, sandwiches, cupcakes and brownies. 

KusKus Foods: vegetarian and vegan street food inspired by the Middle East, Whole organic home made food. See them at Moseley Farmers market for example. Think tagines, falafels. 

Plus many other Indian Restsurants will cater for a vegan diet on request. 

Plus Pizza Express have a vegan pizza. Branches at Brindley Place, Bullring and on Corporation Street. 

Pret A Manger have vegan options and sandwiches. Branches throughout the city. 

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has other recommendations for great vegan food in Birmingham or elsewhere. Whether independent or chain. 

For menus set links below: 

http://www.thewarehousecafe.com/

http://www.bluegingerrestaurant.co.uk/Home.html

http://www.jyotis.co.uk/

http://www.rajamonkey.co.uk/

http://www.cafesoya.co.uk/

http://by1847.com/

http://thelounges.co.uk/lounges/loco-lounge/

http://vegoutcafe.co.uk/

http://www.byzantiumtapas.co.uk/

http://www.changekitchen.co.uk/

http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk/

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/?m=1

http://www.100percentvegan.co.uk/

http://www.thebluepiano.co.uk/

http://mrsinghspizza.co.uk/

http://www.deepalisrestaurant.co.uk/

http://bodegacantina.co.uk/

http://www.tallpoppyfoods.co.uk/





Photo courtesy of Stay.com

Stay.com Is a travel app and travel website for city trips all over the world. They were founded in Norway in 2009. 

The guide is based upon creating your own information, to share guides with friends via Facebook, Twitter. Ask for tips from friends via Facebook. Personalise your guide. 

Stay.com has over 150 destinations and has maps that work offline( so no roaming costs) 

Facebook.com/stay.com

Twitter.com/staydot.com

http://www.stay.com/

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Big Papas: Deep South Soul Food in Birmingham UK review




If like me you’ve been watching the fantastic Reginald D Hunter ‘Songs of the American Deep South’ on BBC2 over the last few weeks then you will know just how intrinsically linked Soul Food and music is in the Deep South of America. It is on this premise that the ‘partnership’ between Big Papas Beautiful South and The Sunflower Lounge bar seems a match made in heaven, one specialising in soul food and one in music. 

The dishes created by chef Anthony Duffy echoing the history and authentic feel of Americas history and way of life. The fact that it serves food in Birmingham UK and not Birmingham Alabama even more in tune with the rhythm of soul and blues that encompasses its historic connection. 

Soul food originated in the Deep South by slaves and has become one of Ammericas richest regional cuisines. 

Myself along with Ruth were invited by Anthony along with other esteemed local food bloggers to try the food at Big Papas. It was a super night and lovely to see and meet everyone in attendance. 

Big Papas is approximately 5 minutes from The Bullring and a short walk down Smallbrook Queensway near TK Max. It’s based in The Sunflower Lounge a Birmingham favourite for many years as known for its live indie music and bustling and lively bar. 

So for good pints it is well stocked. 

Big Papas have a residency at The Sunflower Lounge and from their kitchen their Soul Food is created. 

The food on the menu is good value for money and includes a main course, 2 sides and 2 dipping sauces and then a choice of deserts as extra. 

For Vegetarians the options are limited but includes Big Papas famous Mac ‘n’ Cheese. They are Planning to add more vegetarian dishes in the next few weeks, (keep an eye on Veggie Foodie as I’m due to try them). 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese came with Butternut Squash, and Poached egg and I chose two sides of Sweet Potato Fries and Greens. The 2 sauces were BBQ and Homemade Spicy Sauce. 



The dishes were served on a cute tray and the 2 sauces in their individual pots. 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese was delicious, well made with a good cheesy flavour. Though I felt it could have been lifted more so by some mustard within it. I really enjoyed the dish, and with some of the best Sweet potato Fries I’ve had anywhere, in fact little slices of Cajun heaven, made a hearty and filling vegetarian dish that is so worth revisiting. The greens (cabbage in butter) were a nice contrasting accompaniment (always good to have veg, though they didn’t have my favourite okra)  the dipping sauces were well flavoured, quite spicy, but I like that and lovely with the fries. 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese can also be ordered as a side. 



The brand new menu at Big Papas. 

Big Papas is a brilliant place to visit at any time of the day, but for a place for a lunch whilst shopping or an after shop  meal and drink its to be well recommended. The food is excellent, authentic and filled with their pride to provide good meals at reasonable prices fulfilling the Soul Food history and ethos. 

Thanks to Big Papas (Anthony and Craig) for dining us and for their hospitality, and enthusiasm. 

For soulfully cooked food, which is good for your soul’ veggie or non veggie Big Papas provide an abundance of flavour and a bit of Deep South history in Birmingham UK. Hallelujah! 

#feedyoursoul

#streetfood

Big Papas Beautiful South, The Sunflower Lounge, 76 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4EG.

Food is served from 12-9pm 7 days a week. 

Big Papas are also street food traders and can be seen around the area serving their fine food at Brum Yum Yum KingshEATh on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Kerp an eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages for other dates and events. 







Facebook: bigpapassouth

Twitter: @bigpapasUk

I was invited by Big Papas to attend the food blogger evening to try their vegetarian food with an honest feedback and review required. All food was complimentary but all drinks consumed paid for by myself and Ruth. All opinions expressed are honest as always. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

The Sunflower Lounge and Big Papas Beautiful South are supported by Independent Birmingham . They are featured on their website under bars. 

For discounts and to purchase the IB card see their website below. 

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/

Veg Out Cafe: Vegetarian and Vegan dinner in kings Heath Birmingham




Veg Out Cafe is an Independently owned cafe and restaurant on popular Poplar Road in Kings Heath, in the South of Birmingham. 

As with many Vegetarian places it covers all bases and is open all day Monday-Friday, Friday and Saturday evenings and for Sunday brunch. 

Veg Out is a smallish, minimal and friendly in the community kind of place with colourful walls adorned with art work. It has large windows bringing in lots of natural light, apart from after dark when we visited of course, but that’s stating the obvious. 

The furniture and floors are wooden, sturdy and won’t rock and roll as you eat your soup or tuck into a vegetarian breakfast (there Arn’t many things worse). There are potted plants, community information on the walls and a gaiety of spirit that only a thoughtful independent business beholds. The care and attention to its customers, that bellies the Kings Heath vibe. 

Positively, there is a Bring your own on alcohol which keeps the price down and makes Veg Out Cafe one of the best value places around. 

Veg Out Cafe do a set price menu which includes vegan options. 3 courses for £ 17.95 and 2 courses for £17.95. 

On the Saturday evening that Ruth and I visited the restaurant was busy and had a good buzzy atmosphere. 

After a quick drink en route from home at Fletchers Bar on York Road we decided on looking at the menu to go for the 3 course menu. 





We both chose the Ravioli set on a cauliflower and Tarragon puréed mushroom and cream sauce to start. 





Our Ravioli was excellent. Though it felt quite small in size (though that was probably because we were hungry) the Ravioli was hand made, had a good flavour and was cooked perfectly, and with the complimentary flavours of the cauliflower, tarragon and cream lifted it into a fine starter, one demonstrating a touch of quality in the cooking and presentation. 

For my main course I chose the Cannelini Al gratin with fennel, garlic served with wilted spinach. 





The Cannelini Al Gratin was also very good, warming, filling and hearty. Packed with a subtle garlic and fennel flavour it was a good size and a really tasty main. The Spinach gave it a contrasting texture and made for a good main course. 

Ruth chose the Kale salad with artichoke, garlic potatoes, chilli and white wine. A pretty dish that she commended for its healthy, filling and flavoursome potatoes, which she enjoyed a lot. 



For pudding Ruth had the sorbet which she found refreshing and a healthier choice. Sorry no photo as Ruth had started before I could get one taken. 

I went for The Sticky Toffee Pudding with Double Cream. 

A sticky toffee pudding is one of my favourite puddings, it is for me one of my taste tests along with tiramisu, fresh bread and chips. (To name a few)  having eaten Sticky Toffee Pudding in the Lake District and North Yorkshire I’ve had it where it was created. 

I was very impressed with Veg Out Cafe’s sticky toffee pudding. It was superbly toffee flavoured, a good size, perfectly cooked, not burnt or overlooked but moist, and with the right amount of cream to give it the contrast in flavour. A super job, well worth having if on the menu.  





The menu at Veg Out changes weekly usually so what Ruth and I ate may not be what you will find. I like the fact that the menu changes, it keeps it seasonal and fresh for both the chef and the customer who visits frequently. 

Check Twitter and Facebook for their menus and their website. 

I would have liked to have had some fresh bread when we arrived especially as exquisite independent bakery Maison Mayci is on the same road. Maybe to nibble on arrival or over the menu. I know how good the bread is there. 

Throughout the service was friendly, enthusiastic and prompt and with a buzzy feel to the atmosphere made for a very engaging evening. 

Veg Out Cafe is a brilliant Vegetarian place to go for an informal weekend evening. It’s casual, fun and the food is delicious, well made and shows a creative touch that is well executed and presented well. 

Veggies, Vegans  and meat eaters alike will enjoy the ambience and welcome and the price. As the hashtag on their website says #wecarewhatyoueat. 

Who can dispute that. 

Veg Out Cafe, 46 Poplar Road, Birmingham, B14 7AG. 

Twitter.com/cafevegout 

Facebook.com/CafeVegOut

http://vegoutcafe.co.uk/

https://vegoutcafekh.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/cafe-menu1.pdf

https://vegoutcafekh.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/veg-out-march-menu.pdf

We paid for our own meal all opinions in the view are my own, honest at all times. 

Thanks for reading 😊

Andy 

Has anyone been to Veg Out Cafe? What did you think, what’s your favourite time to visit? 

In my previous review I reviewed Veg Out Cafe’s lunch and daytime menu: 

see my review here: 

http://vegiefoodie.com/2014/09/16/veg-out-cafe-a-vegetarian-lunch-in-kings-heath-birmingham/

You can now receive 10% off your bill with the Independent Birmingham Card so this makes the evening weekend deal even better value. 

Unfortunately the deal became live a day or so after we visited. But another time😊

See what they say here:

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/veg-out-cafe/

Bistro 1847: New Vegetarian Spring Menu and reservation link for direct bookings via Veggie Foodie for more than 25% discount.


By reserving a table via Veggie Foodie you can save more than 25% on the new Spring A La Carte menu. 

Bistro 1847 are offering 2 courses including wine for £17 and 3 courses including wine for £21. 

Book here via the link below. 

https://widget.resdiary.com/CheckAvailability.aspx?Id=5220&theme=bistromanchester&channel=VEGIEFOODIE

The deal is available: 

Sunday-Thursday-lunch and dinner

Friday and Saturday lunch and early evening 5pm-6.45pm.

Please note Sunday lunch is available on a Sunday. 

Wine can be substituted with beer or a soft drink. 

Also Bistro 1847 are offering 2-1 cocktails 17.00-19.00 Monday-Friday plus 12-00-17.00. 







Bistro 1847 is a Vegetarian restaurant located in The Great Western Arcade in Birmingham City Centre. Its opposite Snow Hill Station and within an arcade that is known for its independent shops. 

Named after the year The Vegetarian Society was formed, 1847 aim to serve exceptional British Food alongside an array of tempting cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine and spirits. 

With a leaning to creating good innovative dishes, using foraged and locally sourced ingredients its a restaurants that makes me proud to be a vegetarian. The dishes are innovative and intricately created and presented, 

Voted the Best Vegetarian Restaurant outside London, dining at Bistro 1847 is a real experience for vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike. 

Modern, fresh and natural. 

To celebrate the start of Spring and the abundance of fresh produce that is available Bistro 1847 is launching its new Spring Menu. The first under new head chef Tony.

For Reservations with the discount 

Book Here via this link:

https://widget.resdiary.com/CheckAvailability.aspx?Id=5220&theme=bistromanchester&channel=VEGIEFOODIE

For menu see below link. 

http://by1847.com/menus/new-menu-feb-2015.pdf

I’ve previously reviewed Bisto 1847 on Veggie Foodie on a couple of occasions. For a taste and my thoughts see links below. 

http://vegiefoodie.com/2014/06/01/bistro-1847-homemade-and-british/

http://vegiefoodie.com/2014/12/01/tastychristmasmorsal-bistro-1847-christmas-menu-launched/

The photos below are from my previous visits to Bistro 1847. 







For reservations Book Here via this link for more than 25% off. 

https://widget.resdiary.com/CheckAvailability.aspx?Id=5220&theme=bistromanchester&channel=VEGIEFOODIE



Cocktails at Bistro 1847

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Bistro 1847, 26 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5H

Twitter: @bistro1847

Facebook: Bistro-1847-Birmingham

Bistro 1847’s new look. 

   

   









Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Bilash Wolverhampton and Me.


I could never profess to being The Voice of knowledge on all curry restaurants, but I know a good one when I see it.  

If you told me that I couldn’t eat another Veggie curry, then I sure would become one of ‘The Angry Mob’ and I would ‘predict a riot’ in Wolverhampton if the Bilash ever closed down. You see the Bilash is popular. In fact very popular in the Midlands. 

The Bilash is located in the Cheapside area of the city opposite the Civic Centre where the Civic Hall is based. Tucked quietly away from the traffic and shoppers at the back of Wolverhampton’s  beautiful  church. 

Ruth and I were in the city to see the band The Kaiser Chiefs ‘never miss a beat’ on a cold Friday night a few weeks ago and the Bilash is a restaurant that I knew was very highly regarded and good for Vegetarians.

The Bilash specialises in Bangladeshi cuisine and from its warm friendly welcome and decor-an Anglo Indian mix of bright shades which is both modern and traditional, and very soothingly ambient. It’s a family owned restaurant and has been established for over 30 years. It has numerous awards, it’s in the Michelin Food Guide, AA food guide, and The Good Food Guide, and is the only establishment in Wolverhampton in all the above guides. 

The restaurant is on two floors, we were seated on the ground floor.





On looking at the menu it was apparent that the Bilash has extensive Vegetarian options. The food is cooked fresh to order every time and this along with the keen and spot on service is the key to its success. It has high standards and is warm, courteous and treats you like a friend. Something money can’t buy. In fact by the time we left for the gig at 7.30 the restaurant was packed.

The Bilash also has a large window looking into the kitchen with a big table set out for groups nearby. 

We decided to not order a starter so enjoyed poppudums whilst we waited for our main course. The Poppodums arrived crisp, with delicious fresh sauces, and a fine fruity raita that was quite delicious. 

As we didn’t order a starter Ruth and I decided to sample some of the veggie side dishes with our main courses. Ruth had ordered a meaty main and I ordered the Panneer Bengum Bahar, homemade paneer (cottage cheese) cooked in Royal Almond, curb and yogurt sauce. 

For the Veggie Sides we ordered the Aloo Bangan Jhool, Potatoes and aubergine in spicy tomato sauce, the Bhindi Bhajee, spicy stir fry okra, and the Aloo Dum , spicy potato curry, plus a Garlic Naan and Basmati Rice. 



spicy potato curry

The Paneer Bengum Bahar was fresh,  creamy, delicate, like a golden nugget of pure joy, with wonderful nuances of spicy taste sensations that I devoured. A great dish. Also available as a side. 

The sides, a subtle Aloo Bhangan Jhool, which held a delicious tomato flavour, superbly spiced, and a quite lovely okra stir-fry (Bhindi Bhajee) and Aloo Dum spicy potato curry distinct in its spicing, creamy and warming. All excellent Veggie side dishes and perfectly complimenting my Paneer Bengum Bahar and Ruth’s delicious meat curry-she said. 

For desert the options are minimal and all home made and presented on a tray which took me by surprise in a good way. From which you choose which you would like made for you. 

I chose a Semilina, raisins and cardamon pudding, which slid down and was full of creamy flavour and mouth quenchingly good. I liked it. 

Ruth chose the Gulab Jamun executed superbly, warming dough balls, sugary, syrupy with a good dose of cardamon and rose water. 

Gulab Jamun





Semilina pudding 

The Bilash is a jewel in Wolverhampton and excellent for vegetarians in search of a curry. 

Its subtle cooking is a cut above most Asian restaurants in Birmingham and the Midlands, authentic, freshly made, each dish made with care and attention all in a relaxed modern space. The Bilash deserves all its awards and is worthy of its name Bilash, warm, reliable with good hospitality and delicious food, and yes for some, and now me too it feels like ‘Coming Home’. 



we paid for our own meal. All opinions expressed are my own and honest as always. 

Bilash 

No  2 Cheapside, Wolverhampton, WV 1 1TU. 

01902 427 762

http://www.thebilash.co.uk

Twitter: @TheBilash

http://www.facebook.com/The Bilash



We also enjoyed a couple of bottles of Kingfisher lager and a couple glasses of white wine.



#CoffeeTime: New independent coffee shop openings. 


It seems that Birmingham City Centre is going independent coffee shop crazy this month with four new openings in and around the centre in the last few weeks. 

I’ve already mentioned the  Six Eight Kafe which has opened at Millenium Point  recently which if as popular as their original on Temple Row should do very well indeed and bring a coffee boost to Millenium Point and its eclectic mix. 





Flat white at Six Eight Kafe 

Also open is the new Urban Coffee Emporium at 1 Dudley Street near New Street Station (back entrance near the yet to be opened John Lewis entrance) 

Urban’s new emporium is a smaller affair, but will still be serving brunch, coffee and cake of course. 



flat white at Urban Coffee Church Street

The new emporium is at the new Birmingham Open Media Gallery and has plenty of vegetarian options on its brunch and  lunch menu. See above 

Also recently opened are Quarter Horse Coffee which is an Oxford based coffee shop which is independent and has branched out to Birmingham at 88-90 Bristol Street B5 7AH. @Qtrhorsecofee.

Plus the intriguing Diplomat Barista at the 2 SnowHill development near Snow Hill Station. 

They have a deal with the RBSA Gallery in the Jewellery Quarter to display art on their walls. Looks a good newcomer. 

I’ve also heard that Java Lounge from Moseley Village are opening up at some point on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre. 

So exciting times for coffee drinkers in central Birmingham. Expect to see reviews and reports on all of these in the next few weeks on my blog. 

Happy coffee drinking. 



Photos above taken at Yorks Espresso bar on Colmore Row and Marmalade at Birmingham Rep Theatre. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊





#Veggiepizzawatch: Barebones Pizza-The best pizza on four wheels. 


Barebones pizza produce wood fired pizzas. Pizzas are cooked in a wood fired oven to a Neopolitan style and are very generous in size from their strikingly funky red van. 

Deservedly they were recently shortlisted by Shortlist.com for best pizza in the UK and were awarde 5 stars for hygiene and food safety standards. 

 As street food Barebones are the real deal. 

A chance reading of an article on the new wave street food scene paved the way for the idea to sell pizzas in the Midlands from their travelling pizza van. Bare Bones relates to the notion of natural and organic ingredients. No additives, and the freshest ingredients, which equals healthier pizzas. 

Barebones Pizza are a family run company. Father and son team Mike and Tim Evans are the main cogs in a well oiled machine or in this case van. 

Pizza’s are cooked to order in front of you, piping hot, fresh and incredibly tasty. 

Pizza’s are 10” using the best toppings. For vegetarians  try: 

Margherita (Bare Bones) pizza with tomato and mozzarella cheese. 

Vegetarian: (Boneless) with mushrooms, red Onion, sliced green Peppers, and mozzarella cheese. 

You can also create your own pizza with mozzarella, try from red onion, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and sliced tomato. 

Plus the Vegan pizza: vegan friendly veganic cheese, red onions, smoked tofu, mushrooms, (example only) 

Plus you can order garlic bread with or without cheese. 

On a recent visit to Brum Yum Yum KingshEATh i ordered the Boneless pizza. 



It was a real pizza, crispy, nice toppings, great fresh thin base, cheesy, and looked a proper Italian pizza. 

What impressed me by the Boneless was that you could taste all the ingredients individually, they weren’t charred or burnt. The ratio of veg was spot on, a good size portion, ingredients in proportion and not too much cheese that it felt greasy and sickly. A quality authentic pizza. Like Italy in Birmingham.

Added to that is friendly service, and though very busy and with a long que,  it never felt rushed or that the standards of Barebones had slipped. A quality experience. 

You can find them at Street Food events, festivals and markets. 

14th March-Brum Yum Yum 10-4pm 

15th March- Digbeth Dining Club St Patrick’s Event 5-9.30pm

20th March- Scoff Street; Stratford Upon Avon 5-9.30pm

27th March: Digbeth Dining Club 5-10.30pm

11th April- Brum Yum Yum KingshEATh 

24th April Scoff Street Food event- Stratford Upon Avon. 

27th March: Digbeth Dining Club. 

2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th April: Easter Market, Brindley Place. 

11th April: Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath. 

24th April Scoff Event in Steatford Upon Avon. 

Barebones have a great concept, a quality product and a fun looking and hard working van. They have an innovative menu, good vegetarian and vegan options and their pizza is good value for the price between £5 and £8. Dependent on choice. 

Barebones have put time into their flavours and cookery, their pizzas are handmade, rightly irregular, and have authentic fillings and a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. 

A 5 star success,  and not only the great pizza from a van, but from anywhere in Birmingham. 

Seek them out at the next street food event near you. They are well worth it. See above details on where to find them and also on their website. 

http://barebonespizza.co.uk/

Facebook: barebonesizza

Twitter: @barebonespizza 

For menus, details of events and background to the company. 

Thanks for reading. 

I paid for my own pizza and all opinions expressed are my own and honest at all times. 





Have you tried Barebones pizza? What did you think. Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @andydhare or in the comments section below. 

Thanks 

Andy 😊





Foodies Festival comes to Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park 15-17th May 2015


This May an exciting new food festival arrives in Birmingham. Throughout the weekend of 15-17 May the Uk’s biggest celebration of food and drink will transform Cannon Hill Park into a foodie paradise with Birmingham’s Michelin-Starred, and top chefs, a new tasting theatre, pop up restaurants, and Street Food in the form of Street Food Avenue: Exciting!

Originally set up in Scotland in 2005, it promises to be a superb foodie day out for all the family. 

I’m really looking forward to the Foodies Festival and full details can be found on their website.

http://foodiesfestival.com/





The Aga Rangmaster Chefs Theatre welcomes Michelin Starred chef Glynn Purnell as well as Simpsons  Matt Cheal and Lasan’s Aktar Islam who will cook their favourite summer recipes and share top tips for visitors to take away and impress families and friends with. 

Fans of Masterchef can also see 2014 winner Ping Coombes cook her signature dishes from the series in the Chefs Theatre and try her Malaysian Pop-up on the Street Food Avenue. Ping is also joined by Masterchef 2010 winner Dhruv Baker and finalist Jackie Kearney. 

Also Birmingham can enjoy toasting Foodies’ 10th Anniversary in the New Wine and Champagne Theatre where experts Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe will guide visitors through the seasons best British bubbles and beer expert Melissa Cole hosts masterclasses in the New Craft Beer Theatre, matching foods with locally produced alcoholic and non alcoholic craft beers. 

Also on offer on the New Tasting Theatre will be ‘How to sniff chocolate like a Rockstar’ or Chocolate Safari. A group of masterclasses  with Coeur de Xocolat. 

Of interest to veggies and vegans are masterclasses in Raw Food and Vegan blogger Katy B from Little Miss Meat Free will be sharing her recipes, tips and inspiring visitors to create vegan meals and bakes at home. Katy is one of my favourite bloggers and her blog is well worth checking out. 

http://www.littlemissmeatfree.co.uk/?m=1

Facebook.com/littlemissmeatfree

Twitter/lilmissmeatfree

The Cake & Bake Theatre will showcase local cake makers and bakeries sharing their tips for baking delicious Summer Cakes. Their will also be Sugar-craft masterclasses and a Chocolate Cake and Bake Village. Selling bakes, jams, gadgets and baking essentials. 

The part of the festival I’m looking forward to is the so called Street Food Avenue a vibrant and exciting festival hub showcasing the best of street food from around the world, hopefully with some good veggie dishes to enjoy. 

There will also be an Artisan Producers Market of over 200 exhibitors. 

Here visitors can meet the producers and sample and buy award winning produce, cheese, wines, bakes and condiments. 

For children there will be a Children’s Cookery Theatre and learn basic cooking skills with Kiddy Cook. 

Plus live music, a pop up bar and entertainment throughout the day. 

As with all food festivals there should be plenty for veggies and vegans to enjoy,  when I know more about the vendors and traders I will update my post. 

see you there. 

Tickets are available from http://www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111.

There are single day passes, and VIP passes, and  weekend passes available And all children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

At the beginning of May I will be running a ticket giveaway on Twitter and the blog, to get your foodie hands on a pair of tickets for the show. 😊

Disclosure: I’m attending the Foodies Festival as their guest, but have not received any other payment for my post or my promotion of what is a brilliant event for Birmingham. 

Thanks for reading.