Blogiversary: Happy Birthday Veggie Foodie. One year old today 🍰🍷🍸🎂🎉

This time last year I launched my Vegetarian food blog I can’t quite believe how quickly the time has gone, and to be honest that I’m still writing and loving blogging so much. 

When I began my aim was to celebrate vegetarian dining and eating out and make vegetarians aware of the great places (and not so great) to eat in Birmingham and beyond. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had some brilliant meals and drinks over the last year. 

Notably Purnells, Epi, Opus Restaurant, Lasan, Bilash in Wolverhamptin, Nomad, Bisro 1847, Raja Monkey and Vanilla Black in London, and Northcote near Blackburn and Turners-look out for reviews soon. 

The rise of street food in Birmingham has given vegetarians increased options as to where to eat, and with the added bonus of not been forced to sit down. It’s also a bit of a crawl so you can mix and match dishes and types of food, and drink. 

Restaurants in Birmingham have got better at understanding that vegetarians don’t always want to eat veggie burgers, pasta or risotto, though when they are cooked well using good seasonal ingredients they can be superb. I’ve had some of the best pasta dishes in Italy, that are tomato based, and just because of the simple ingredient, the tomato. The rise in the independent bar. Cafe and restaurant in the city is also good news for veggies and my blog has alway favoured the independent business and its creative originality. 

Before I began my blog I ate at some wonderful restaurants with Ruth that I didn’t blog about and hope to return to one day. 

Please excuse me for making a short list, but some of the best vegetarian dishes I’ve had have come at 

Arzak in San Sebastián, 3 Michelin starred in Spain, exquisite dishes. Notable deserts. 

 L’Enclume- Simon Rogan’s restaurant in Cartmel Lake District, probably the best meal I’ve ever had. 

Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc’s restaurant/hotel in Oxfordshire, a superb veggie menu. A great place to stay. 

Alyn Williams at The Westbury in London, 

Castle Terrace andNumber one in Edinburgh, 

Benares in London, the finest indian food I’ve eaten. 

The Ritz in London, it’s the Ritz…and was beautiful with excellently creative veggie dishes. 

To name a few.. And just a month or so before I launched my blog The Cross in Kenilworth, which now has a Michelin star, but hadn’t then, and served such a beautiful vegetarian menu. 

So lastly, just to thank everyone who has followed my blog, and has been so supportive on social media. I’m not mentioning names, but I hope people know who they are. 

Plus a big thank you to all my fellow food bloggers in Birmingham and beyond who have been kind and supportive and welcomed me into their community and world. It’s been a pleasure meeting some of you. 

Here’s to the next year and more great vegetarian food. Keep your eyes peeled for some changes in how Veggie Foodie looks, and hopefully some more exciting foodie discoveries on the horizon. 

Happy Blogiversary. 

Thanks for reading 😊 and been part of my veggie foodie journey I couldn’t have done it without you all. 


You can follow me on Twitter @andydhare

Facebook at Andy Hare and Veggie Foodie 



Nomad: Memory, Nature and Place and Vegetarian in Kings Heath Birmingham


It is very on trend to make vegetables the central ingredients on the plate. The centre of attention. Non veggie Bruno Loubet is doing it in London at The Grain Store and other top chefs were involved in creating a meat free week menu in London a few weeks ago. Though for Vegetarians our food especially In so called fine dining restaurants has always been about this. Stand up Vanilla Black in London. 

The new venture led by chef Alex Claridge, Nomad offers this concept to meat eaters, where a smaller portion sits amongst fresh seasonal and foraged ingredients. Tit bits that form the centre piece of the dish, the journey, the experience. I’ve proclaimed the joys of the vegetarian long menu for ages,  had the best food of my life at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel in the Lake District. Jewels on a plate, ingredients that make you think. You get the picture. For many this is a new experience, no huge slabs of meat, no pasta, no risotto, no potatoes (on this occasion) but pure joy in the ingredients and skill in which they were presented and yes tasted. 

For vegetarians this is a vintage time, where chefs are suddenly more interested in ingredients, in foraging, in the produce. 

Anyone who knows Alex’s food from Bistro 1847 and Warehouse cafe in Birmingham will know he can cook, boy can he cook. In this menu there aren’t many carbs, which is refreshing in that some vegetarian menus are heavy on them. Even more exciting is the fact that so many of the ingredients and techniques require to be looked up on the Internet. Love that. I suggest you do. 

Nomad at present is a 3 month pop up from April-June. Based at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, a quirky venue that fits well I think. Alex is passionate about ingredients, about foraging and making you think when you eat. He aims to explore, memory, place, and nature though cooking, changing the menus weekly, even daily dependent on what’s current, what’s available, the weather. 

The Vegetarian menu that I ate can be taken long 8 courses or short 5 courses. Priced £42 and £32. 

Both Ruth and I chose the long menu, but Ruth the meat variation. 

So to the food. 



Moss, vinegar, old Winchester.

Two morsels of moss on a plate, though only one in the picture as Ruth ate it before I took the picture.😄 taken with Old Winchester cheese, on the hand, eaten simultaneously, lively flavoured slightly salty, very creative, lovely flavour and texture. Very exciting start. 

Cauliflower three ways:

Aerated, pickled, and dehydrated. A stunning cacophony of flavours, beautifully presented, a cauliflower lovers dream dish. Contrasting techniques, demonstrating great skill. With a texture of Parmesan. 

 Fresh Ricotta in Herbs, roast lettuce

An incredible depth of flavour in this dish, loved the roasted lettuce and the ricotta balls were very tender, with a substantial degree of clever cooking. What I call a wowser dish. 


Broccoli, sea herbs, yolk, dark beer. 

My favourite dish. Pleasing to the eye and to the palette, delicate broccoli, with a heavenly yolk of egg with the herbs sea herbs textures. Mouth-wateringly good. 


Mushroom, sunflower seed, gorse flowers. 

A full flavour of mushrooms, the sunflower seeds have a back note of flavour that complimented the dish and had its own flavou that lingered in your mouth. The gorse flowers edible with a slightly almond taste and coconut aroma. A Beautiful dish. A close second for me. 


Manouri in onion ash, beets, Apple, Dittander. 

As a lover of beetroot i couldn’t go far wrong with this dish. The Manouri (Greek semi soft cheese) had a clean subtly nutty flavour, creamier than feta, but covered in this context with edible onion ash, yes ash, which I remember having at L’Enclume a few years ago. Which gave a complex bitter and smokey flavour to the Manouri.  It worked well. 

The Dittander, a damp coastal herb with a subtle mustard flavour lifted the dish and made the flavours and textures very enjoyable,  And I can imagine Noma esque dish. 

Lemon verbena, willow catkins, chestnut crumble. 

The first of the two deserts, more pre desert in size, the dish had enjoyable flavours. The ingredients, superbly sourced and very enjoyable. 


Carrot, cumin, honey, sea buckthorn parfait. 

I wasn’t altogether sure of the carrot in this dish, but the flavours of honey and the cumin came through well. Technically superb, executed well. A mixed last dish, though had good flavours. Looked pretty. 


Throughout the meal the service was excellent. Well informed, they explained the dishes and ingredients. 

The Kitchen Garden cafe looked lovely, flowers on the table, well lit, and it felt romantic and at the same time relaxed. 

The concept of Nomad is unique to Birmingham with the skill and high technique of the cooking leaving you satisfied and usurping many more high end establishments in the city for bravery and culinary flavours. For me it felt like going on a weird and wonderful vegetarian journey, with new ingredients to discover, and new tastes to experience around every corner. I learnt such a lot. 

The foraged additions blended well with the veg, from ingredient to ingredient, not settled, or established, always searching, but ever encompassing and trusting. 

That’s the ethos of Nomad. 

And let’s be grateful for that. 


A  Gin martini at Fletchers


The Kitchen Garden Cafe

Ruth and I were  invited to Nomad by Alex our meal was complimentary,  but we paid for our wine. All opinions are honest and my own.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊 

For bookings use the above lInk.


#Tastymorsels: Veggie Foodie news: Epi Restaurant, The Edgbaston and En Place @ Six Eight Kafe. 

Bromsgrove based restaurant Epi last week announced that sadly Sunday 26th April will be its last service in Bromsgrove. Nathan and Charlie who run Epi are currently looking at various sights in Birmingham and hope to make an announcement soon on a new begining for the business.


Epi Restaurant served me one of the best vegetarian meals I had last year and left a lasting impression on the thoughtfulness of the menu and the fresh  taste of the seasonal ingredients that Nathan created, so for me it’s an empathy of both sadness of their closure and happiness at their impending move to my home (and theirs) city which should give me many more opportunities to enjoy fine innovative vegetable dishes. Keep an eye on their social media and Veggie Foodie for updates. 

Here is a reminder of my review last year. 
 Two of Nathan’s vegetarian dishes from my last visit. 

Facebook: Epirestaurant 

Twitter: @restaurantepi

The Edgbaston in Edgbaston Birmingham has recently launched a Vegetarian tasting menu to go alongside its main tasting menu. Served against a backdrop of the 1920’s chef Ryan Swift has devised a vegetarian menu that showcases seasonal ingredients and harnesses innovative techniques. More ‘social’ dining than fine dining, expect timeless elegance on a plate and innovative indulgence in the dishes. 

Ryan Swift who formally was at Hampton Manor in Solihull is now running the kitchen and receiving favourable reviews thus far. 

The veggie menu will soon be able to be taken with paired cocktails (the specialism of The Edgbaston) 

See my review here on the cocktails.

The Edgbaston opened in May last year and now it has introduced a food menu appears to be integrating itself well with nearby Simpsons and The Highfield. It has 6 boutique rooms that makes for a nice foodie break with the added cocktails which I think are the best in Birmingham. 

The Vegetarian tasting menu will be four or six courses for £40 and £65. Served Tuesday to Saturday 

The dishes will be a combination of modern presented with a twist. The pairing concept to me seems a brilliant idea and should be a huge success when launched for vegetarians. 

Keep an eye on my blog for updates on the menu and cocktails. 

Also served is an A La Carte menu from Tuesday to Friday. 

The Edgbaston have also launched an Afternoon Tea menu (see photos below) 


 This is served from 2-5pm Tuesday to Saturday. Which includes their very own Moseley Serve for £30. 

So for that effortless timeless elegance  and unwavering good taste you know where to go. 

Book for both via the website (see also menus)

Or phone 0121-454 5212

The Edgbaston, 18 Highfield Road, Birmingham B15 3DU. 





En Place is a new pop up restaurant from chefs Michael Crew, Josh Porter and Chris Dance. 

On the 14-15th May they will be at Six Eight Kafe, Millenium Point from 18.30-22.30.

They have over 30 years experience in kitchens and this exciting new pop up experience should introduce thei food to a brand new audience.

Along side a meat menu will be a bespoke vegetarian menu using seasonal and local produce to create elegant but affordable food with s modern twist. Their will be a set tasting menu plus with BYOW should make for a good value evening. Priced £35 for 5 courses. 

Mention on booking that you are vegetarian. 

Book here:

I will keep you updated on vegetarian menus as I hear about them. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates on En Place. 

Twitter: @_enplace 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

#Veggiebreakfast&brunchwatch: Loco Lounge Kings Heath. 

One of my favourite meals of the day has always been breakfast or brunch on a weekend. Especially the lingering kind, with the papers, Sunday Morning listening to Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music, bliss. Or in a hotel, when it’s cooked for you, and always appears more exciting without the washing up. I can still remember being impressed at L’Enclume in Cartmel, Le Manoir, or Northcote’s delicious cheese soufflé or just simple a croissant in Paris or on garden terrace in Rome. Magnificent. 

Both simple or extravagant, either eating too many pastries at Hotel Du Vin or just a good cooked vegetarian breakfast, eggs and veggie sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, you get the picture. Good produce cooked well. 

So it was on a Sunday brunch time the other week that Ruth and I wandered into The Loco Lounge in Kings Heath, well known for their brunch menu and sensitivity to veggies and vegans. The Loco Lounge is an all day cafe and bar that is community driven and always busy whatever time of day. It’s my favourite place in Kings Heath to work in on my blog, free wifi and friendly staff and large so easy to get a good comfy seat. On this day it again was busy, a weekend crowd, jolly, relaxed, happy. 

The Loco Lounge do a substantial Vegetarian breakfast, and also it’s vegan equivalent. 

Sweetcorn fritters, hash browns, grilled tomato, baked beans, mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, fried egg, and toast for £6.95. Good value, but alas no Veggie Sausage. Why? How?. 😉

Please remedy that👍 and put some on the extras. 

Though liked the veg aspect a lot and that’s so refreshing to see. 



I enjoyed the Sweetcorn fritters, crispy, a nice texture, filling, I liked the addition of spinach and roasted red peppers, different, again adding a different texture, and flavour. Also the egg was runny, the hash browns nice, so all in all a good breakfast that was plentiful and filling, but no veggie sausage option. You can’t win them all. I enjoyed it. 

Loco Lounge also serve a veggie kedgeree with Halloumi and of course the vegan breakfast with fried potatoes. 

There is a list of extras so if you feel like more as we did with the toast then order away. 




Kings Heath has a good choice of breakfast/brunch hang outs. Notably Cherry Reds, both vegan and veggie breakfasts, including sausage.

 Also Cherry Reds in Birmingham City Centre.


Kitchen Garden cafe, veggie breakfast and potato hash, which is yummy. 

Veg out Cafe, of course vegetarian breakfast, 

Maison Mayci do a Sunday brunch. 

As this is the first of an occasional blog post I’m sure to review all of these in the future. Also on my radar, Ju Ju’s in the city centre by the canal, Yumm cafe at the Custard Factory, Boston Tea party, Harborne and City centre and later this year Moseley Village. Yorks bakery in the city and The Plough in Harborne, who are introducing a new brunch menu including a divine sounding sweet potato and okra hash and Leverton and Halls in Bournville who have a vegetarian breakfast. 

All offer vegetarian choices. 

If anyone has any other recommendations or favourites. Then please let me know. 😊 via the comments below or Twitter @andydhare

Thanks for reading. 

We paid for our breakfasts at Loco Lounge. All opinions are honest and my own as always. 

Andy 😊

The Loco Lounge is part of The Lounges cafe bar chain who also have cafes in Harborne, Shirley, Wylde Green and elsewhere in Birmingham, see website for details, and soon the Cosy Club in Birmingham City Centre. 



Loco Lounge, High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 

Open 9am-11pm every day. 

0121 444-1296

Vegan menu see below.

Main menu see below.

Spring is here, long live Spring: The Spring Market @ The Bond, Digbeth, Birmingham 

  This Saturday 18th April, The Bond in Fazeley Street Digbeth will be home to a fun packed Spring Seasonal market. 

Jam packed with Street Food, DJ’s, music,  artisan food producers, local arts and artists, a cocktail caravan and the Routemaster bus bar there will be more going on than any one person can manage without the aid of good grub and top drinks. 

Street traders already confirmed include a few Digbeth Dining Club regulars. It should be a feast and yes even for vegetarians, and vegans there is enough food to fill us up for a coue of days at least. 

On the podium are:

Award winning Top veggie dogs, Fresh Rootz, bringing there veggie, vegan world street food (Pakoras anyone)  

 from their converted caravan. British root vegetables turned into contemporary world fusion dishes, inspired by travelling and yes the sunshine. 

Also good for veggies are Delize Italiane, arancini balls, and tiramisu, (not at the same time mind) 

Buddha Belly- Thai heaven with plenty of veggie and vegan options. 

Fire and Slice: pizza including both veggie and vegan. 

Pietanic: pies and pies, including veggie. Try Sweet Potato, Goats cheese and Spinach. 

Cake Doctor: cakes by the cake load and yes good for your health, a doctor no less, gluten free and vegan cakes too. 

Bournville Waffle Company: waffles of loveliness. 

Plus original patty men, Gamekeeper, and Hungry Toad. 

Regulars on the street food scene in Brum. 

I’m sure there is more, so I will add when I’ve found them or they’ve told me they are veggie friendly. 

Artisan Food producers will include Pips Hot Sauce. 

For a standard entry of £1.50, children go free. 

Plus if you are Independent Birmingham card holders you get 50p off entry. 

So that’s a whole solid £1 entry. 

The Bond is on Fazeley Street off Heath Mill Lane near the Custard Factory. 

Be there or be stuck…well in Winter. 


      Marino Adrift, above creates beautiful and unique alternatives to the standard house plant, will have a stall at the Spring Market. @marimoadrift

The Cake Doctor (below) 


The Bond 180 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE.


Facebook: birminghamspringmarket

Fresh Rootz, also have a cafe at Ryton Organic Gardens near Coventry open from Wednesday- Sunday serving veggie and vegan food. 


An introduction to The Botanist Birmingham 



When is a review not a review when it’s an introduction to, as in this case to The Botanist recently opened on Temple Street Birmingham. 

I was kindly invited to the media lunch before it opened officially to try some of the cocktails and Vegetarian dishes. 



The Botanist is very impressive to look at, it has a cool chic feel about it, almost cosy pub, but offering more depth and discoveries the further you go in. When you walk through the wrought iron gates you discover an inner conservatory area that I like a lot, a kind of posh parlour. Then through a door into the bar area. 

Introducing The Botanist, think Gardeners world studying plant life and indulging in cocktails and food, and  no carrots and rhubarb in sight. (Well maybe on the menu).

The decor untreated wood floors, a mix of vintage looking furniture, quirky chandeliers, watering cans, lamps that are constructed from rope pulleys, and a glorious sky light in the bar area that lets the natural light into an already light bar.  


On entering I was offered the cocktail menu, which is long (and that’s not just the style of cocktail) which was like reading the what’s what of cocktails and who’s who’s who at the same time. I liked that though. It allowed me to follow my test of asking for a recommendation based on the Martini part of the menu. Ed behind the bar suggested I tried The  Botanist Pornstar, ( black cow vodka, and Passoa shaken with fresh passion fruit, strawberry purée, rose syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon, served with a shot of prosecco. 




It was excellent, fruity, herby, with a powerful kick and with a good amount of vodka. An interesting combination of fresh fruit, and purées, a lovely introduction. Thanks Ed😊🍸

The bar area is quite large, but feel intimate and has a really light airy feel about it. From there you can just about see the restaurant peeking out beyond, which I feel gives a feeling of temptation to move over to that part of The  Botanist to try the food, and to explore.  The Botanist has an open kitchen which is also fun. 

It was good to see fellow food bloggers there and after been seated in the restaurant, which is a mixture of table types with some benches, and very nice and light, we were able to choose the food from the menu. 



I mentioned the menu in my last post. See here and mentioned the Vegetarian options. 

The dishes I ate were: 

From the starters and nibbles section Pan Fried garlic Mushrooms. With crusty bread and truffle butter. A nice dish beautifully presented in a small wheelbarrow. The mushrooms were fresh, well flavoured, and with a good strong garlic flavour running through made for a lovely starter. 



Salt and Pepper onion petals: A good nibbling sharing dish, salty, with a nice sour cream to dip into. 

Flatbread: very good bread, fresh and good for breaking. 


For my main course I ordered the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi and couscous. With a sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter.



A spectacular looking dish, very theatrical. The waiter poured the sauce over the kebab from above so the sauce filtered over the veg and Halloumi onto the cous cous. The sauce added a nice tasty bite to the dish (there was an option to have the kebab with chips instead of cous cous but I felt that wouldn’t work so well as the chips may become soggy and wet fom the dripping sauce). We were given a small plate that the veg and Halloumi can be eaten off with the cous cous. 

The Hanging Kebab with the cous cous worked well as the sauce gave it a coating that made for a fuller rounder flavour. The Halloumi was well cooked, but could have done with a couple more pieces in my opinion. The veg was cooked perfectly and the dish looked fun and smart. 

I also ordered The Botanist cocktail green mark vodka, Havana 3 Rum, elderflower liqueur, red amarinth, mint, jasmine syrup, and lime juice topped with lemonade. I really enjoyed this cocktail, the combinations of vodka and rum worked well and with the mint and juices added a fruity touch that was delicious. 



I didn’t order a desert on this occasion but hope to on my next visit. 

I ordered an Americano coffee that was very prettily presented in nice flowery mugs.

It was a lovely introduction to The Botanist the service was good, friendly and very informed of the menu and cocktails offering recommendations and having a good knowledge of the dishes on the menu. I would on reflection like to see maybe at least one more vegetarian dish on the main menu, maybe two as not everyone takes to the smaller plate trend and may not like the kebab. As a chain, that I’m often suspect of, The Botanist seems to have that quirky botanical difference that makes it feel special and unique in the city, fresh like the herbs. Here’s hoping it stays that way, but as a cocktail venue  its possibly the best in Birmingham, and offered the most thoughtful and eclectic menu of passionate botanist indulgences and this along with the solidly good Vegetarian food is to be applauded. 




I was invited as a guest to the preview media lunch at The Botanist and hence the food and drink was complimentary. Thanks to the Botanist and to WPRAgency for the invite. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

For menus see below link:

The Botanist, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG

0121 6007430

#Veggieburgerwatch: The Victoria, Birmingham. 

The Victoria, is a theatre pub, on John Bright Street in Birmingham City Centre and if legend has it, has its own ghost. Dating back to the 19th Century it’s stood the test of time and has loads of character, and offers a considerable drinks selection from cocktails to hand picked wines and cask ales. 

The other week I was invited by Vicky from Bitters N’ Twisted who own The Victoria to attend a burger tasting to help launch their 2 burgers for £10 deal which is available on a Monday evening every week. 

As a vegetarian and a keen veggie burger fan this was a cool opportunity to revisit one of my favourite burgers of the last year. See previous review below.

Though in this case the veggie burger had changed. Could it be better? 





The Vegetarian burger  is called Can’t be beat and consists of salted courgette, beetroot, carrot, rolled oat patty with lettuce, tomato, sliced avocado, and Humous, served  in a buttermilk bun, handcut chips, and cirrus set slaw. 

The Animal friendly burger was lovely the flavours of the beetroot, courgette came strongly through with the patty setting the mixture into a top veggie burger. With a good bun holding it all together. 

With the added refreshing addition of the Humous and the avocado which was sat on the burger , it felt more luxurious than the usual Halloumi style burger veggies seem to get quite often. 

The added coriander slaw was delicious and had a good coriander flavour and again was different to the norm. 

As a burger the can’t be beat was a lovely vegetarian burger and with a good crispy handcut chip made for a satisfying meal which in its 2 for £10! format is a bargain. You can add triple cooked chips to your order for £1 extra. 



Ruth also enjoyed the veggie burger and felt it was an improvement on the previous recipe. 

I also enjoyed a pint of Purity longhorn which complimented the burger well.  


The two burgers for £10 deal on a Monday evening is excellent value and The Victoria is a pub with a lot of character and atmosphere. The Veggie Burger was well made and with a good bun kept its shape well and with some interesting flavours was an improvement on the one I previously reviewed. 

Thanks to Vicky, And the Victoria for inviting me to the burger tasting evening.  The burgers were complimentary though all drinks were paid for by ourselves. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 

It was also good to see and chat to Joe from independent Birmingham who seemed to enjoy his meat burgers too.   

The Victoria is on the IB card. All independent Birmingham card holders receive 20% off food all week. 

The Victoria also offer 2 pizzas for £12 on a Tuesday evening: #2fortuesday with a delicious sounding squash the goat veggie pizza. Which I’m looking forward to trying. 

Plus 20% off on a Wednesday for Bitters N’ Twisted loyalty card holders. 

The Victoria, 48 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BN. Next door to The Alexandra Theatre

0121 633 9439

@thevictoria: Twitter

Facebook: TheVictoriaBirmingham



 Veggie burger at The Victoria. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊



Review: Bodega Cantina and Bar-Birmingham Latin American cuisine with cocktails. 



Bodega is a South and Latin American bar/Cantina on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham City Centre just off New Street, and owned by Bitters N’ Twisted. 

It offers a wide selection of tapas style dishes, street food, Burritos, Tacos and a number of larger traditional plates. It also has a completely Vegan menu and excellent vegetarian options. 

Bodega is a fun-time and colourful place, the cocktails flow, the food comes out fast and service is pacy. It’s a brilliant place to indulge with friends,  for parties and for sharing a work or shopping lunch. It’s also open on Sunday for that downtime and Sunday smooch with the city. 



For Ruth and I it was a Friday night dinner, not the Channel 4 comedy kind, but the cocktail/tapas/Streetfood kind. 

On the Friday we visited Bodega was busy, bustling, and vibrant as I would think it is most Friday evenings, and with a cocktail list that speaks of fun and good times and a wallet full of money Bodga is an education on excellence and high standards with its drinks list. From Tequilas to Rum based drinks the list will cater for everyone. 

Bodega has a small bar area near the entrance by the window, so if you feel the need you don’t even have to eat. The decor is fun too. Iron cast furniture, quirky cactus murals, vibrant colours. Cafe style seating is mingled with funny stools, and with its exposed light bulbs and brightly coloured murals Bodega sells spicy and flavour, with an atmosphere that’s a real contrast from the glum rainy English weather in March outside. 

The food, from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, is freshly made and easy going and full of variety for vegetarians and vegans. 


   Find Pips Hot Sauce at Bodega

Ruth and I ordered cocktails to begin. Two Margarita’s. They were excellent, and always a good choice at Bodega. A classic, well made with a good strong tequila flavour, with salt on the rim.  

   I also ordered a Caipirinha, which is Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaca, sugar and lime. It was very refreshing and had a sweetness that was complimentary to the spicy food. Another top cocktail. Ruth ordered another margarita.

Bodega also offer bottled beers, non alcoholic cocktails and a good wine list. 

Plus a happy hour from. 5-7pm on cocktails. 


For the food we chose to stick with the smaller sharing plates, the streetfood as we’ve found them to be the best from previous visits. And sharing is fun and social. 

Ruth ordered for herself a pulled Pork Burrito which she enjoyed. 

I ordered a vegetarian burrito- from the streetfood section of the menu, roasted vegetables, black beans, and cilantro lime rice. The Burrito had a good spicy flavour ( I ordered hot) with the tortilla holding the filling well, and the depth of the veg with the spicy salsa packing a zing which was lovely. 



The rest of the food we shared. 

We shared small house nachos (vegetarian variety) crisp well seasoned flour tortillas, topped with some lovely mozzarella chedder and sour cream and punchy salsa and guacamole. Very impressive nachos crisp, with good flavours. Recommended.



To accompany the Burrito We chose from the light bites part of the menu: 

Batatas fritas: delicious sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo, crisp and with a good flavour. 

Frijoles: Black beans cooked until velvety, with a good garlic flavour with roasted cumin seeds and s subtle hint of chilli and sour cream. Though not pretty to look at it was a good complimentary dish to the Burrito. 

Spicy Slaw: a nice fresh homemade slaw with a South American Twist. 

I also recommend the jalopos peppers from previous visits. 



One of the dishes Ruth and I enjoy the most at Bodega is the Churros desert. We had to order two, we loved the rich caramel sauce  against the warm doughnuts. A Mexican favourite,  and also ours. Perfect for dipping or with coffee. We orders two espressos. 


The food we are was plentiful, it had a good spicy flavour and did what it says on the tin. It’s fun, vibrant and good for sharing. 

Where we found Bodega to suffer is with the service which we felt was inconsistent, hurried and though attentive it felt underwhelming and it had a care free nature about it. Some of the servers were friendly others we felt were  not bothered. We felt that they could have explained the menu to us checking we understood the quite complex but good layout. Advising how many sharing dishes you should choose between two. Our waiter who asked for our order was a bit gruff to be honest and unhelpful. 

In saying that the food and the cocktails are the real deal and as a pop in kind of place Bodega can’t be beaten for fun and very decent South American dishes. 

For Vegetarians and Vegans it’s one of the best places to visit in Birmingham and well recommended. 

Bodega Birmingham, 12 Bennett’s Hill, B2 5RS

0121 448 4267


You can also get 20% off with the Independent Birmingham card. Offer is on Monday-Thursday 3-6pm and all day on Sunday.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We paid for our own meal and all opinions are honest as always. 

It’s advisable to reserve a table at Bodega at busy times to avoid disappointment. 


#TastyMorsel: The Botanist: out of the garden into the city of Birmingham 


The Botanist, bar, restaurant will open in Birmingham officially on the 6th April and will be a concept like no other. 

Think, whimsical and eccentric design, interior and a garden theme that makes grow your own seem even more attractive than it already is. 

Beyond the wrought iron gates of Chamberlain House On Temple Street The Botanist offers for Vegetarians some good and varied food choices, and then it also has cocktails, Martinis in fact and long cocktails, so many good reasons to visit. 

In fact 45 cocktails and 85 bottled beers are on offer. Plus real ales from Birmingham’s own Two Towers Brewery, and Oakham brewery, 

The Botanist is located on Temple Street in the heart of Birmingham City centre just off New Street and near the cathedral in an area that is becoming foodie central and the place for food or a bar crawl. 

The contemporary garden decor and live entertainment (music every day) should create a buzz, but it’s the food and cocktails I wish to highlight. 

For Vegetarians the starters and nibbles and deli boards part of the menu are enticing, think homemade Humous boards, Turkish flatbreads, salads, garlic mushrooms, cheese, and roasted red peppers. 

For £ 9.75 you can buy 4 items with Turkish Flatbread, and though it seems on first glance a bit salad heavy for vegetarians and vegans should taste good and be a good share. With the cocktails on offer by The Botanist sharing  is for me where it’s at. Though some may prefer a larger plate. 

Also on the menu for veggies is a home comfort cheese and onion pie, a Halloumi kebab with couscous, which is lovely and of course deserts, such as their sticky toffee pudding. 

I was lucky enough to be invited on the   2nd to the media lunch, which was excellent as you will see in my preview post next week. 

Some of the photos from The Botanist lunch below: 










Alongside the botanical cocktails are cask ales, champagnes, a good mocktail list, and ciders. 

Run by Living Ventures (New World Trade Company) who also have bars in Manchester and Newcastle, manager Julian Rose-Gibb ( formally of The Victoria) says it will feel like ‘home from home’ and will be a good living, working venue with a lively atmosphere, and eccentric design. 

Find The Botanist on 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham B2 8BG. 

0121 600 7430

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊 


Photos courtesy of The Botanist. 

Nomad pop up: Nature, memory, place in Kings Heath Birmingham. Vegetarian Menu preview. 



I want to cook food that excites me. Nomad is a collection of ideas, focusing on memory, place and nature. I want to explore these things through cooking’ 

So says  chef Alex Claridge formally of Vegetarian Bistro 1847 and The Warehouse Cafe and from experience of Alex’s cooking and dishes it promises to be a superb residency for vegetarian food lovers. 

Alex Claridge Chef Owner   


Head Chef Brian Smith

Nomad is the name of the new pop up restaurant that is opening on April 3rd at The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road in Kings Heath, Birmingham. 

Alex brings his innovative take on food, offering innovative, creative and foraged ingredients and food for a 3 Month residency begining in April. 

Nomad will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings and some Thursday’s at the Same venue that has housed pop ups previously from Epi Restaurant and Blue Rabbit. 

Nomad is expected to move to other locations around Birmingham with a City Centre residency planned for June. 

With Nomad he is expected to ‘explore ideas and thoughts about nature, place, memory  and British Cuisine. 

Alex is an innovative chef who creates dishes that explore ingredients that are foraged, seasonal and unique in the UK. This with a view to create a sensory and progressive veggie foodie menu that is a challenge to the palate and mind. 

Diners can initially experience two fixed tasting menus of 5 courses and 9 courses for £32 and £45 respectively. Short and long. 

The Vegetarian menu is: 

April £45 long: 

Reindeer Moss, egg, mushroom, coffee,

Cauliflower and Pine cream, fermented watercress, seared hearts, 

Pickled Mushrooms, Japanese, rose, aged kelp, 

Cox Apple, 

Fresh ricotta in ashes

Grilled Broccoli, duck egg, hay, milk

Hogs weed, grilled carrot cake, purple carrot, Manouri, buttermilk, wild carrot. 

Ewes milk, pickled bilberries, 

White chocolate, caramel, seaweed popcorn

April: £32: Short

moss, egg,  coffee. 

Pickled mushroom, dulse, sunflower seed, Japanese Rose

Fresh ricotta, in ashes, wild garlic

carrot cake, purple carrot, Manouri, buttermilk, wild carrot. 

Goats milk, pickled billberries. 

Cauliflower, Pine, Sorrel, Wild Watercress (three photos)  


Dishes above: 

Fresh Ricotta in Ashes, Wild Garlic (first two) and Reindeer Moss, egg yolk, mushrooms (Second two). 

On booking mention that you are a vegetarian to guarantee the menu and ingredients. Please note due to the creative process of Nomad and the seasonality of ingredients the menu you have may not be the same as above. 

Reindeer Moss, egg yolk, mushrooms   


Other menus will include meat and fish options and menus are available via the website. 

 Nomad is now taking bookings for April, and May. 

Please visit the website for bookings.


Nomad should offer a delightful evening of indulgence, ideas and exploration of the senses. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath 

All photos given to me by Alex to use on this post, apart from the ones of Kitchen Garden Cafe which are my own and not so good. 😊

Thanks Alex. 

Nomad, Kitchen Garden Cafe, york road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14.