Hare and Hounds and Digbeth Dining Club Street Closure: Kings Heath. 


  

  
Street food innovators Digbeth Dining Club will be heading to Kings Heath and joining forces with the Hare and Hounds on Sunday 2nd August from 12-8pm for a street food closure on York Road. 

An array of culinary delights from Low N’ Slow, Caribou Poutine, Pietanic, Big Daddies Diner, The Meat Heads, Baked in Brick, Victoria Creperies and The English Indian. 

For Vegetarians try Pietanic for pies, Baked in Brick for pizza, Victoria Creperies for crepes and bakes, and The Engish Indian for curries and snacks. 

Accompanying the delicious eats will be a soundtrack provided by left foot DJ’s from the pub bar and the outside tables. 

Venue: Hare and Hounds, 

York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7JZ. 0121-444-2081.

Sunday 2nd August from 12pm-8pm. 

   
    
 
Baked in Brick pizza. 

  
Victoria Creperies 

And yes the weather forecast is good. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

On the 21st August Digbeth Dining Club will be 3 years old and will be celebrating with a huge street party of 16 food traders, yes 16. Stand by to eat like there’s no tomorrow. 

News on the traders later. 

Review: David Bann, Edinburgh. 


  
So the guide books would have it, no trip for Vegetarians or Vegans to Edinburgh would be complete without a trip to Vegetarian restaurant David Bann. So on a recent visit to Edinburgh with Ruth and her Mum this sounded good enough reason to me. 

The restaurant has been open since the turn of the Millenium just off The Royal Mile, serving its diverse and interesting menu that prides itself on satisfying non meat eaters and meat eaters alike. More fine than cafe dining, it has an atmosphere that’s contemporary and convivial. In fact out of the three of us I was the only Vegetarian dining. 

  
It’s a modern restaurant, serving a creative, eclectic menu in a warm room, which is understated and deep aubergine in colour with a silver and dark glint,  and feels airy, spacious with well spaced tables. It promises much. 

The menu is also vegan friendly with a number of vegan dishes to compliment the vegetarian ones. 

The menu has a globally inspired sweep from the Mediterranean to the Pacific with an eastern twist to finish and looks invitingly interesting with a modern innovative twist. 

   
 
We began with a glass of Cava whilst looking at the menu. 

   
 
We ordered some Homemade Hummus, olives with homemade bread and herb oil to share, which was a nice plate, and a good taster. 
I ordered a starter: Ravioli parcel with artichoke, chick pea and Basil. 

  

A home made ravioli filled with a blend of artichoke, shallot chickpea and Basil with a grilled artichoke heart, tomato pesto and toasted pine nuts. 

It was a lovely dish. A taste of the Mediterranean, the varied flavours simple, and complimentary. The Ravioli was well made, and with the tomato pasta felt healthy as well as substantial as a starter. 

A Very enjoyable veggie pasta. 

  
For my main course I ordered the mushroom Strudel and mash with Mediterranean vegetables. 

   

 
The dish, a loaf of mushroom baked in Heather Ale, Bonnet Goats Cheese from Aryshire, with rosemary and wrapped in filo pastry. Served with cream mash potato, and roasted Mediterranean vegetables. It was a fairly substantial dish, I love strudels so this was a nice choice. 

In fact it was as good a strudel as you could find. The layered pastry, thin, warming with the gentle flavour of the goats cheese and the tang of the veg providing a substantial main course. It was a well executed dish be after a day walking round Edinburgh was just the ticket. 

  
For desert Both Ruth and I chose the delicious sounding and highly recommended (in reviews) Dark Chocolate Soufflé with homemade vanilla ice cream. 

   

 
In fact the reviews were correct. It was a killer desert and worthy of a visit to David Banns alone. 

A bit of chocolate heaven, a well made soufflé, gooey, well presented and finished with a delicious vanilla ice cream. A highlight dish of the trip. 

We also drank a nice bottle of South African Chenin Blanc. 

David Bann deserves its loyal following and well regarded reputation. It’s one of the best Vegetarian restaurants in Edinburgh and probably the UK. It comes over as been peerless in its craft, reliability and inventiveness. It’s range of eclectic vegetarian and vegan dishes are as good as you will find in Edinburgh outside a Michelin starred restaurant. 

The menu is suitably interesting for meat eaters to enjoy also, which is surely a good thing. Fashion now dictates that vegetarian menus encompass good quality seasonal ingredients. In that David Bann achieves the brief without taking the innovation to new heights and treading away generally from the traditional path, that’s ok, though maybe there is a nod to modernism with some of the ingredients. I think there is room to be more innovative at Bann, though the food is thoughtful and well made and it is popular. So why change too much? 

I liked David Bann, it felt indulgent without been stuffy and for the reasonable pricing is a distinctive  choice for Vegetarians in Edinburgh. How it responds to the changing fashions and new veggie innovators will be interesting to see. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

  
Ruth’s Fries at David Bann. 

  
Delicious Chocolate Soufflé. 

http://www.davidbann.com/food.php

http://www.davidbann.com/

Disclosure: We paid for our own food and drink at David Bann, my opinions are honest as always. 

David Bann, 56-58 St Mary’s Street, (off Royal Mile) Edinburgh, EH1 1SX. 


From street food beginnings to the Mockingbird. 


   

 Anthony Duffy and Craig Essex are currently in the process of launching their new bar and bistro The Mockingbird at The Custard Factory. 

Previously seen as Big Papas at the Sunflower Lounge, that residency has now finished and a new exciting venture is now almost ready for launch. 

At The ‘Mockingbird bar and bistro’ you can expect an exciting fresh seasonal evolving bistro menu with a keen focus on using locally sourced produce. 

Their new head chef has worked in some fantastic kitchens including Purnell’s. 

You may also expect a unique and carefully designed craft beer and cocktail menu, taking influence from small cocktail bars in Harlem, independent spirits, lesser known quality wines and fizz. 

The key objective and focus for the Mockingbird is to push the smaller, independently crafted drinks, championing the local breweries. 

As well as the exciting food and drink (including good vegetarian options) they will be offering a truly unique and eye catching industrial interior married with a relaxing atmosphere. 

As well as the Bar and Bistro, The Mockingbird also offers a 101 seated  cinema and theatre space which offers an intimate, atmospheric experience in live events and unconventional cinema that is unique to the Birmingham region. Plus DJ’s playing some light soul and funk and some very alternative music, live music acts, and comedy.

The Mockingbird provides a unique and diverse programme of events, embracing the city’s cultural diversity and young rising talent. 

The Vegetarian dishes at Big Papas demonstrated to me in their simplicity and eagerness to please an understanding that Vegetarians care too for what’s on their plate, fulfilling the adage that  when their’s a meat eater in a group there is often a veggie too. 

I was impressed then through conversation with the boys their thoughtfulness to please and get their veggie dishes right for the customer, and a keenness to evolve their menu. Thus I’m looking forward to seeing how their new venue develops. 

 On that note stand by for some exciting veg tastic news from The Mockingbird Soon. I know what it is but I’m not telling. 😉

I’m going to be at the launch party on the 6th August so look out for further reports and updates soon. 

Andy 😊

   
   

Dip into Summer with the best British Strawberries at The Highfield Birmingham. 


   
   
One of my loveliest childhood memories is the one of going strawberry picking with my family, and enjoying the sweetest taste of freshly picked produce (sometimes eating too many) and the thrill of then (much later) eating my Grandmas strawberry jam, with some of the abundant produce. 

I’ve always loved strawberries in Summer and along with the Asparagus season it’s my favourite foodie time. 

If there is any dish that includes British strawberries on the menu in a restaurant i’m always tempted by it. 

So I was pleased to hear that The Highfield in Edgbaston has introduced a new desert for Summer, well up to the end of July. 

According to them: 

 ‘To celebrate the start of summer the chefs at The High Field in Edgbaston have been on the hunt for the perfect British strawberry – deliciously sweet and full of flavour, blushingly red and juicy, with a perfect heart shape. And so that everyone can make the most of this superb summer produce, they have come up with a special way of serving it – Dip Your Own Strawberries.

 Their quest for the best British berry took them deep into the heart of rural Staffordshire to Lower Ruele Farm, where they met grower Charles Kidson and asked him what makes the best strawberry. Here they discovered that it’s all down to the variety, and how the plants are nurtured, that produces the pick of the crop.

 “Walking into the poly tunnels we were met with a blaze of colour from the pops of red dotted along as far as the eye could see,” says The High Field head chef Dean Jeffers. “We were just as struck by the way the strawberries are grown along rows of narrow table tops where the tender young fruits can gently ripen in the warm air before being picked from their delicate green stalks. Harvesting is done over several days, when each berry is deemed to be perfectly ripe, sweet and ready to eat.

 “Unable to resist popping one of the beautiful berries into our mouths, we discovered that it is nature, as well as nurture, that plays a part in growing the finest fruit. Only Driscoll’s Amesti strawberries are grown here, a modern breed chosen because of the intensity of flavour, colour and shape of the strawberries it yields. Runners are produced in Holland from the high quality plant tips and lovingly tended here on the farm in ideal strawberry growing conditions. The result is simply the perfect strawberry,” he says.

 After picking the perfect strawberries, the chefs went one better to bring the best of British summer to the pub, creating an irresistible dessert of Dip Your Own Strawberries. 

 Into one big pot goes a generous helping of large, juicy red strawberries; into another, a glug of gorgeous, velvety Valrhona chocolate sauce and one final pot a dollop of sweet Chantilly cream. The whole lot goes onto a board ready for you to dip yourself, with a pile of crumbly shortbread biscuits that are the perfect partner to the luscious fruit and dips.

 “The best British strawberries we could find, rich chocolate sauce and unctuous cream with the crunch of biscuits on the side are the perfect ingredients for the perfect dish,” says Dean. “It’s the best of British all in one place, and the best summer dish. It’s simply delicious. But as with all good things, it won’t be around for long so catch it while you can!”

 Dip Your Own Strawberries are being served at The High Field in Edgbaston from now until the end of July, priced £5.75. 

 To book a table, please go to http://www.highfieldedgbaston.co.uk

 The High Field is at 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP. Tel: 0121 227 7068. Highfield@peachpubs.com 

 To find out more about how the perfect strawberry is grown, please go to http://www.peachpubs.com/blog/10-things-know-driscolls-amesti-strawberry-lower-ruele-farm/

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

 

 

 

 

Cafe Opus at Ikon to give taste of the Caribbean.


  
  
Something slightly different in this post for you. 

I’ve always loved art and photography. 

I’ve been familiar with Vanley Burke’s photography for many years. I grew up in Handsworth in inner city Birmingham and many of the photographs he takes and has took have been of that area and the areas surrounding it that I’m familiar with. 

His photos have captured the experiences of the African-Caribbean community’s arrival in Britain, the different landscapes and cultures he encountered. Seeing to counteract any perception of negative or stereotypical imagery of black people found in mainstream media. 

Born in Jamaica Vanley Burke came to England in 1965. His first notable exhibition was called ‘Handsworth from the inside’ and was held at the Ikon Gallery in 1983.

Cafe Opus is joining forces with the ‘Godfather of British Black photography’ to fuse art with food for a special event on Wednesday 22nd July 2015. 

Cafe Opus which is based at the Ikon Gallery on Oozells Street, is hosting a summer party to celebrate Vanley Burke’s latest exhibition, At Home With Vanley Burke, which will be shown at Ikon from 22nd July. 

To celebrate the launch, chefs from Cafe Opus will be dishing up some of Vanley’s favourite Caribbean inspired food, including his own secret recipe jerk chicken, as well as barbequed lamb and vegetarian pittas. 

Food and art fans will also be able to enjoy an exclusive cocktail, ‘The Vanley’, as well as live music from a steel band and reggae sound system Wassifa Showcase. 

The launch party is to honour Vanley’s latest exhibition, which will see the entire contents of his treasure cove home in Nechells, north-east Birmingham, transported to Ikon’s main exhibition space. The display will show how the normally ordinary is turned extraordinary in Vanley’s world, from an eclectic collection of posters, clothes and records, to unusual sculptures including a barbed wire gun and a jacket made entirely from pages of the Bible.

Speaking of the event, Irene Allan, director at Cafe Opus, said: “Vanley’s latest exhibition will be a real insight into his life, so what better way for fans to gain the full experience than to get a taste of his cooking style too. Working with Vanley to perfect his favourite dish, jerk chicken – which is delicious – has been a delight. We’ll even be serving Vanley’s favourite Ginger cake (suitable for vegetarians) on the night and throughout the exhibition.” 

Vanley’s Summer Party takes place on Wednesday 22nd July, from 8pm to 11pm at Cafe Opus at Ikon Gallery. 

To book tickets, please visit https://ikon-gallery.org/event/vanleys-summer-party/ or call 0121 248 0708. Tickets cost £10 and include one free drink and one free dish. 

Please note Ikon’s At Home With Vanley Burke exhibition will not be open during the event. Visitors can view the exhibition on Wednesday 22nd July between 6pm to 8pm, or during Ikon’s normal opening times from Thursday 23rd July to Sunday 27th September.  

  
  

All photographs by Vanley’s Burke. 
  

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Henderson’s of Edinburgh. A Vegetarian pioneer. 


  

 
With its ancient crags and maze of medieval streets Edinburgh is a city that is no stranger to immortalised exposure. Its foodie scene is now renowned, with its garlanded Michelin stared restaurants and cosmopolitan buzz. All a far cry from when this veggie institution opened. 

When in 1962 Henderson’s Vegetarian opened (yes 53 years ago) it couldn’t have realised that its lustre and ethos would still be as much of Edinburgh life as it is today. In 1962 it provided an outlet for the produce of Janet and Mac Henderson’s East Lothian farm and quickly became a restaurant and thus the story of evolvement into a bistro, a bakery, a deli and a gallery. A cultural hub. 

The philosophy is the same. Eat better to live better and to serve delicious, wholesome food, using the best and freshest ingredients, and at affordable prices. 

I’d been with Ruth to Edinburgh a few times over the years, but had never shamefully visited Henderson’s. So to redeem this uncalled for neglect lunch was required, on this our most recent visit a few weeks ago. 

  
We visited their Hanover Street restaurant. The restaurant opens at 8am for breakfast and serves lunch, cake, afternoon tea or just drinks and snacks throughout the day. Its a popular stop off for Edinburgh shoppers in the New Town area, as well as those deserving workers who crave a vegetarian breather from their desks. 

It’s buzzing basement space is set out like a canteen with the menu on a board behind the counter and huge salad table. You can also order hot food, and baked goods, wine and local craft beer. 

Henderson’s provides over a dozen salads, freshly made, so this temptation was hard to resist. I’d heard they were to be had, and with a choice of salads which were varied and colourful. 

You can choose up to four salads. So both of us chose four for little over £8. 

   
   
My salads included a beetroot based one, a pasta one, a Chinese stir fry noodles one and a Waldorf salad. The range of flavours of the four salads were zingy and they all complimented each other superbly. They proved quite filling, but in particular the pasta and stir fry were exceptional and healthy. Very impressive. 

I also washed it down with a local  Innis and Gunn craft beer, which perfectly refreshed me, in preparation for Ruth’s shopping spree to follow. 

  

With its walls showcasing local artists and cool comforting atmosphere, Henderson’s is a smart choice for lunch. It’s a local institution, based on providing good healthy vegetarian food for a quick bite or respite from City life. In fact it reflects Edinburgh city life, it caters for veggies, vegans, and is popular with non veggies too, and creates a warm happy refresh in ones day. That’s how I saw it, a snapshot of a city, a hub in the New Town. 

Don’t expect anything ground breaking, but just great healthy food, competitively priced, with a good range of dishes to cater for all requirements. Henderson’s reflects cosmopolitan Edinburgh, and if there is one place that I visited in Edinburgh for food over my 5 days that I would like to bring to Birmingham City centre it would be Henderson’s. It has that vibe, that community, that quick bite veggie food that is missing.

No trip to Edinburgh for vegetarians and vegans would be complete without a visit to this stalwart. It demonstrates that trends change in veggie food, but there’s always room for a Henderson’s. 

  

 
Above the restaurant on Hanover Street is the Henderson’s Deli, serving takeaways and deli goods. 

Henderson’s also do gluten free options. 

http://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk/restaurant.php

http://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk/restaurant-sample-menu.php

   
 Above 2 Photos courtesy of Henderson’s. 

Follow Henderson’s 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hendersonsofedinburgh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HendersonsofEdi

94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DR. 

0131-325-6694.

http://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk/

We paid for our own food and drink in Henderson’s. My review and opinions are my own as always and honest. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

  
The Thistle Street premises is due to reopen on July 27th. As a purely vegan restaurant. 

Purely Vegan Store: Kings Heath, Birmingham opens. 


   
 
Kings Heath in South Birmingham is becoming the place for Vegans and Vegerarians to live. 

Hot on the heals of the Brum Yum Yum and Vegan Grindhouse does veggie/vegan streetfood event on the 19th July  news of a fantastic new opening reached me this week via Facebook. 

This week The Purely Vegan Store opened its doors at 271 Alcester Road South, Kings Heath. 

Though I’m not a vegan, I can appreciate that this is big news as the information reaching me suggests that this store will be the largest purely vegan store independently owned in Birmingham, and a thoroughly cool place for vegans to shop and hang out. 

Information on the stock is vague at the moment, so the best move is to go down and check it out. I think they are open to requests on what stock to have in the store, but I’m sure it wi sell the standard vegan food stuffs and goodies. From the photos on Facebook it looks as if it has a big fridge which helps. 

   
    
 
I’m looking to pop down myself shortly ,  so I can update the pictures and news of products and services on offer. Their is a website that is under construction. So the best place to find them is on Facebook and Twitter at the moment. 

Facebook: Vegan Store

Twitter: @theveganstore

http://www.theveganstore.co.uk/

As I mentioned earlier Kings Heath is becoming a cool place for Vegans and Veggies to visit or live. 

The regular monthly Brum Yum Yum has a good selection of veggie/vegan streetfood from all or some of The Vegan Grindhouse, Bare Bones Pizza, with its vegan and veggie pizza, vegetarian Bombay Tapas, Pietanic, and Vegan Mexican Mex it Up. Plus good options at Other traders. 

Also recommended are resident Vegetarian cafe/restaurant Veg Out Cafe, plus The Kitchen Garden Cafe, The Loco Lounge with its vegan menu and Cherry Reds which does good veggie and vegan options including a highly regarded Vegan breakfast. 

Find the  Purely Vegan Store at

271 Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 6EB. 

0121-443-3211

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊 

 

Photos from Vegan Store Facebook page. 

#Veggiebreakfastbrunchwatch: Kitchen Garden: Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


  
If you thought that the High Street was all that Kings Heath in South Birmingham offered then think again. Tucked down York Road, is a gem that when explored brings much reward. 

  
Through some smart iron gates, lies a pathway that meanders through an organic garden centre, past an organic farm shop and deli and thus to an old brick Mediterranean style patio and court yard with a cafe. 

The garden centre is one of the jewels of Kings Heath and I spend many a time mooching through pots and snapping up veg plants and perennials for my new garden. It’s an oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of busy city life and a sun trap with shades on and free from pesticides. 

The farm and deli shop sells local produce from organic free range eggs, home made pies, pasties, sausage rolls. Plus an array of organic wines, cheese, beers, jams and preserves which are made in house. 

  
   
  

 
The Kitchen Garden was renovated and restored and used to be in part a former blacksmiths and also a hard ware shop. It’s a diverse community enterprise that serves the area well, and is a great space for families ( it has a specially created children’s area and is a meeting place for families). 

The Kitchen Garden has a bohemian vibe, with its hand painted signs, pots of herbs, plants, garden statues, and cosy cafe. It’s a community one stop shop, and at night you can find live music, comedy and poetry (poetry bites, that I’ve lustily partaken in many times). It’s also been a temporary home to many pop up restaurants, Epi, with chef Nathan Eades, Blue Rabbit, and currently Nomad until the end of August.

  
Within the cafe you will find an excellent choice for Vegetarians and Vegans. Using the best seasonal, local and fair traded produce including organic when possible. It’s a relaxed space to be, to socialise, to recover from the night before or to work. They have free wi-fi access. 

The menu covers breakfast, including a full veggie, free range eggs, Huevos Rancheros, eggs florentine, continental pastries, bagels and the Hash Potato with onions. Plus fair trade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, herbal teas and juices. This is served until midday from 8am. 

Having been before I’ve eaten and enjoyed the Vegetarian Breakfast which includes veggie sausages, free range egg (fried or poached) mushrooms, baked beans, grilled tomato, fried slice and extra thick toast. A feast of the veggie kind for £6.95. A bargain. 

On this occasion I decided to try the Kitchen Garden’s famous Hash Potato with onions with extra Grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a poached egg. With coffee. 

   

 
I have to say, it’s one of the best veggie breakfast items I’ve had for a long time. It was different. A lovely feast of flavours, crunchy Mediterranean veg, with a runny poached egg, with fried onions and fluffy potato. Beautiful. Maybe that’s why it’s famous. Maybe in hindsight it would have worked better for me with a fried egg, but I’m funny with eggs…next time. That though was my mistake and my personal preference, a lovely veggie breakfast for just short of £6.

   
 Kitchen Garden cafe’s rustic chunky wooden tables, watch the wobbling ones😀

Inside the cafe is light, airy, with art on the walls from local artists. It feels a chilled out spot, away from the main streets, an oasis to create and wile away time. I like the rustic charm, the nooks and the homely feel. It’s represents all that’s good about Kings Heath, the community and the slightly alternative vibe. 

It’s one of the best places for veggies in the area, it’s intent on creating something tranquil and satisfying. 

Giving back more than you imagine when you enter 17 York Road. 

   
   
   
   
Lunch is served from 12-3pm. For menu see below. Please note items may change. 

http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk/index.php

http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk/cafe.php?pid=lsm&lsm_id=197

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

My breakfast was paid for in full. My thoughts and opinions are my own and Honest as always. 

Kitchen Garden, 17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7SA. 0121-443-4725.

For details of events. Restaurants, and contact information see their website. 

Kitchen Garden also has a sister bar and eatery two doors down called Fletchers serving food and drinks daily. 

Brum Yum Yum Goes Veggie Sunday 19th July,  Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


  
LEADING BIRMINGHAM STREET FOOD ORGANISER AND VEGAN STREET FOOD COMPANY TEAM UP FOR BIRMINGHAM’S FIRST ALL VEGETARIAN STREET FOOD EVENT.
The teams behind the successful Brum Yum Yum and Midlands based Vegan street-food company The Vegan Grindhouse  have collaborated to host the region’s first ever all meat-free street food event.
The event, ‘Brum Yum Yum Goes Veggie which is taking place on Sunday 19th July at Kings Heath Village Square , High Street B14 7RA from 11am-5pm will feature Birmingham’s leading street food chefs showcasing an entirely Vegetarian menu with Vegan options available on each stall. 

See Barebones Pizza, Pietanic, Savanna Grill, Bombay Tapas, 9 Tea Cups and much more. 

It has traditionally been quite a minefield for vegetarians and in particular vegans to get well fed at Street food events, though this has improved a long way in recent months and at yesterday’s Brum Yum Yum #KingshEATh there were three purely vegan and vegetarian traders on show.  So this event will even more so readdress the balance of many such events and thus deserves to be supported as an initiative. 

Earlier this year I loved  Barebones Pizza’s Vegetarian pizza. 

See here: http://t.co/Mhkj9eBcJe

  

I also loved Bombay Tapas’ samosa Chaat yesterday at KingshEATh: 

  

In addition to street food, the event will showcase local musicians, an all Vegan Midlands based independent brewery – Twisted Barrel Ales from Coventry along with organic fruit and vegetables, crafts, cruelty-free skincare, cakes and a juice bar.

Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “Street food has become more and more popular in Birmingham, and it is about time people got to try some amazing vegan and vegetarian street food from some of the most popular street food chefs. More people are looking to reduce or eliminate their meat intake due to health, environmental or ethical reasons and this is a great opportunity for people to try exciting new vegan and vegetarian food and see why going meat free is a viable alternative diet and lifestyle.”

Said Duncan Stanley, Brum Yum Yum Founder, “I’m so happy to be presenting an all-veggie street-food show. Here at BYY we’ve always set out to prove that street-food isn’t just about the meat-in-a-bun classics and I firmly believe that a lot of the best street-food out there is served up by the vegan and veggie traders. What better way to spend a Sunday than stuffing your face with some of the tastiest and most interesting meat-free meals in town?! Add in the vegan beer and the great vibes and this is set to be the animal-friendly street party that Kings Heath’s been waiting for!”

        
The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox travels around the wider Midlands area to markets, festivals and street-food events to bring their high-end Americana handmade organic vegan food to a wide range of customers. They have traded across the UK including Birmingham, Warwickshire, Blackpool, Manchester, and London since starting the business in April 2014 and have many more events booked throughout this year working with some of the big names in Street Food events.

 
  
Brum Yum Yum ‘The Street-food Pimps’ produce Birmingham’s flagship street-food market, KingshEATh alongside a range of innovative street-food and dining events across the city. Licensed by Birmingham City Council, Brum Yum Yum presents the freshest street-food around and the most interesting events anywhere. BYY incubates, manages, represents and promotes street-food from Birmingham and beyond. 
The Vegan Grindhouse is a small independent all-vegan mobile catering company from Bilston in the West Midlands, who produce organic, fair trade, cruelty-free tasty vegan street-food and treats.

This should be a fantastic ‘Streetfood’ day for food lovers. 

It’s what veggies and vegans have dreamed of. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

The event:

 Brum Yum Yum goes veggie. 

Sunday 19th July, Kings Heath Village Square, High Street, Birmingham. B14 7RA. 

  

Review: Cafe Opus at Ikon: Birmingham 


   
 
Cafe Opus is located in the Brindley Place part of Birmingham City Centre at the acclaimed modern art Ikon Gallery on Delightful Oozells square. 

It’s a stylish, modern British cafe on the ground floor of the Ikon Gallery building with a tempting outdoor terrace that begs for sunny days and nights and is perfect for their informal menu that’s designed to let you eat what you fancy when you fancy it. Serving cafe classics, afternoon tea, fine beers, wines and coffee, at reasonable cafe prices. 

The true taste of Cafe Opus is that they are independent and source their produce locally and ethically, knowing all of their producers, farmers and fishermen. It’s all about utilising fresh produce and allowing the simplest of ingredients to shine through. 

In fact I think the summer months are the best time to visit Cafe Opus. The terrace itself demands it, and the produce, well speaks for itself. 

   
 
Ruth and I have have always loved visiting Cafe Opus on a Summer evening and thus couldn’t resist the recent good weather. We chose a Friday evening partly because Ruth wanted to try out the steak on ‘steak friday’ and because they were running what’s called ‘Come Vinyl With Me’. 

Now, this is where you can bring your own records and be a DJ by serving up three courses of musical delights in 10 minutes. This is strictly vinyl, but is very eclectic music wise and was good fun. At least our dinner was accompanied by a decent soundtrack. 

We didn’t bring any records ourselves on this occasion, but you never know in the future. This is held on the first Friday of the month. 

So there we had it, good music and maybe good food. 

Having visited Cafe Opus before to eat  on many occasions I knew the Vegetarian Dishes were always diverse and thoughtful. So that’s me satisfied too! 

We did sit on the terrace, and ordered a local Langley’s Gin and tonic (1724) for me and a glass of white wine for Ruth. The gin and tonic was lovely, perfect on a summers alfesco night. 

  
   
 It’s the informality of the menu that makes Cafe Opus the ideal Summer venue. The food feels relaxed, continental and I always feel sitting on the terrace whatever time of the day that Birmingham is some far flung city not just home and familiar. 

For that reason I chose The Vegetarian Plate from the all day menu. Comprising of Welsh rarebit, hummus, and toasted pitta, piquillo pepper stuffed with couscous, marinated grilled vegetables. 

   

   
All of the elements were excellent, nothing was out of place. The Piquillo peppers were the stars though, the contrasting flavour of the pepper with the slightly spicy couscous was summer in itself and reminded me of some lovely tapas meals in Spain. The Rarebit, with a good string cheese flavour was excellent too and the marinated vegetables (courgettes, aubergines) delicious. It was a good plate of food, though simple it was a good example of how informal dishes can be uplifting if the ingredients are fresh and well cooked. I also ordered some fat chips which were delightful and went well with the vegetarian plate. 

   
 
Ruth surfice to say loved her steak aged for 28 days to ensure their succulent flavour it appeared to work. She was happy. 

We ordered another 2 glass of wine and a Chapel Down brewery Curious IPA and Lager (from the winery in Kent that makes some delicious wines and some nifty Sparkling brut too). 

The IPA a powerful but hoppy Indian Pale Ale. Very drinkable, very flavourful. Lovely in the sunshine. 

 
  
We were both happy to order puddings too. Ruth ordered a lemon posset, fresh raspberries which was very nice. Fresh, summery and quite light. No picture I’m afraid as she started before I could take one. 

I ordered the Mixed Summer berry pavlova. The combinations of meringue, cream and strawberries and raspberries worked well. Though it was quite creamy in texture it didn’t feel heavy, but was light was a subtle meringue crunch. A well made and enjoyable pudding. 
 

  
Cafe Opus is a lovely spot for a light summery dinner or lunch or afternoon tea. If the weather is fine, the terrace is a super spot to people watch and to take in those sunny Rays. 

The food, been seasonal is of the highest quality, fresh, well made. 

Cafe Opus do the simple things delightfully well. 

The dishes are well cooked, the Vegetarian dishes are thoughtful, not just an add on ( though could do with a few more, maybe specials?) and with the seasonal aspect feels modern and interesting. 

They are more cafe orientated than fine dining, but that simple nature works well. 

 The menus are affordable and the service was good throughout. 

Cafe Opus is well worth a visit for an ethical slice of artistic Birmingham whether after, before or separate from a gallery visit. There’s a lot to like about Cafe Opus. It’s got so much right. 

Now when’s my next visit? 

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/menus/

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

   
   
  
Cafe Opus at Ikon, 1 Oozells Square, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS. 

0121-248-3226

Meat Free Monday: every Monday at Cafe Opus, daily vegetarian specials. Day time only. 

   

 Afternoon tea 
  
Come Vinyl with me at Cafe Opus. 

You can also receive 2-1 on all breakfast menu items until 12pm (Monday-Friday) or 10% off the bill (all day all week) with the Independent Birmingham card. See link to purchase the IB card. 

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

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We received our food at Cafe Opus complimentary, but paid for our drinks. All of my opinions are my own and my review is honest and without bias as always. I was not required to write a positive review.