Colmore Food Festival Friday July 3rd and Saturday July 4th, Birmingham City Centre. 

2015 is the 5th year of Birmingham’s popular  Colmore Food Festival in Victoria Square. The two-day event on Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July from 11am-7pm and showcases the great food and drink the district offers.

Twenty five top venues – including Bar Opus, Ashas, Chung Ying Central, The Edwardian Tearooms will be serving taster options in Victoria Square both days with all dishes priced at just £3.

It’s a great way to sample an array of mouth-watering, internationally inspired cuisines as well as traditional British options, not forgetting artisan coffees, real ales, fine wines, champagne and delicious cocktails. 

There will also be a programme of live cookery and cocktail demonstrations, as well as live music, outdoor theatre and other entertainment.

Participating venues
All Bar One * Asha’s * Bar Opus * The Bureau * Chung Ying Central
Costa Coffee * Edmunds Bar * The Edwardian Tearooms * Ginger’s Bar
Hindleys Bakery * Hotel du Vin * The Jekyll & Hyde * JoJolapa
Metro Bar & Grill * Nosh & Quaff * The Old Contemptibles * The Old Joint Stock
Opus at Cornwall Street * Purecraft Bar & Kitchen * Purnell’s and Purnell’s Bistro
Refreshments by Centenary Lounge * Starbucks * The Square Peg
Urban Coffee Company * The Wellington * Yorks Bakery Café
The timetable for events for both days is:
Friday 3rd July.

11am BAND – The Boombusters
12pm JoJolapa kitchen demonstration
12.55pm Official opening of event
1pm Nosh & Quaff v. Opus kitchen demonstration
1.40pm Colmore Chorus
2pm Metro kitchen demo
2.20pm Asha’s kitchen demo
2.40pm Opus cocktail demonstration
3pm BAND – C-Jam
4pm Hotel du Vin kitchen demonstration
5.20pm Nosh & Quaff kitchen demonstration
6pm BAND – Ricky Cool and the In Crowd

Saturday 4th July

11am BAND – Stockholm Stompers
12pm Opus cocktail demonstration
1pm Nosh & Quaff v. Opus kitchen demonstration
2pm The Jekyll & Hyde gin demonstration
2.40pm The Bureau kitchen demonstration
3pm BAND – The Brothers Groove
4pm Metro kitchen demonstration
4.30pm Chung Ying Central kitchen demonstration
5.20pm Nosh & Quaff kitchen demonstration
6pm BAND – Rebecca Downes Band
You can follow the Colmore Food Festival on Facebook at

Join the conversation on twitter using #CBDfoodfest15 and follow Colmore Business District

Thanks for reading and enjoy the festival. It should be a sunny one. 

Andy 😊

Details of the menus: including vegetarian options. 


Menus courtesy of The Colmore food festival. 


See you there. 

#Veggiefoodietakeaway: Deliveroo: Delivers into Birmingham. Dining to your door. 

Deliveroo is the new delivery service that has recently arrived in Birmingham. 

Deliveroo enables  you order food online from a restaurant (ones that wouldn’t normally deliver), Deliveroo drivers then go and pick it up and deliver it to your door, or desk, or wherever! 

The website ( enables hungry users to select dishes from their favourite restaurant, pay for them online and have them dropped at their door for a £2.50 charge  by one of the site’s drivers. Whether it’s a work lunch at the office or an evening meal at home, the site aims to deliver the food in just 32 minutes. 

The service, which currently covers Birmingham City Centre, Edgbaston and Moseley/ Kings Heath with plans to quickly expand to other areas in the region, has joined forces with some of the city’s finest restaurants to deliver your favourite dine-in dishes to your table. 44 (frequently added to) venues, many of which are independents, have signed up to the scheme including vegetarian The Warehouse cafe, Deepalis and Veg Out Cafe in Kings Heath. 

Jacob Lourie, regional manager at Deliveroo, has big plans for Birmingham’s take-away scene. He said: “Birmingham has such a vibrant culinary scene and is full of fantastic eateries and restaurants which, until now, you’d have to have visited to experience. So if it’s for a corporate lunch entertaining clients, a dinner party you don’t want to cook for, or just a meal in front of the TV, Deliveroo brings that food to you. 
“We’re helping to grow the takeaway offering in Birmingham, so we’re not limited to just two or three types of cuisine. We’re also launching in new zones in and around the city so more people can get online and have good food delivered directly to them.”

The service has also teamed up with award-winning street food event, Digbeth Dining Club, to offer users the opportunity to order food for delivery from a different street trader each week for the next four weeks.

To place an order using Deliveroo visit ;

Participating restaurants by area

Birmingham City Centre

All Greek Deli



Aunt Sally’s

Big Papas at The Sunflower Lounge

Blue Nile


Bun and Bowl


Celebrity Indian Restaurant

Chung Ying – Central



Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 

Habaneros Mexican Street Food

Handmade Burger Co – Bullring & Brindleyplace




La Galleria


Shogun Sushi


Tap & Spile

The Dirty Cow Burger Co

The Warehouse Cafe

Tiger Bills

Viceroy Tandoori



Bangla Lounge

Bengal Delight

Boo Boo Coffee

Casa Italia

Chop & Wok

The Plough Harborne

Moseley/Kings Heath


Ponte di Legano 

Carib Grill

La Favorita



Sahara Bistro Restaurant


Tru Burgers

Veg Out Cafe

The delivery concept is a unique one and offers vegetarians numerous excellent dining choices in Birmingham. With many independent restaurants on the list. More are added frequently so keep an eye on Twitter and their website for details and give it a go. 

The days of takeaway pizza at your desk seem to be long gone. Just quality freshly made restaurant quality cuisine. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

New Meat free Monday’s at The Church and Peel and Stone Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. 


From Monday 1st June Soul Food Kitchen have launched their very own Meat Free Monday. 

 Across both Soul Food Project sites The Church in the Jewellery Quarter and Peel and Stone there will be special offers on a selection of our Vegetarian and Vegan food offerings!

At The Church they’re offering 50% off all vegetarian and vegan main meals (excluding the Shia NoBeouf)

At Peel and Stone bakery you will get a free selected cake with any selected vegetarian or vegan sandwich. 

The bakery will also put emphasis on using less meat on a Monday in general too.

Showcasing how great food is without relying on the meat!

For details keep an eye on both Twitter and facebook accounts and websites. 

I’m sure to making a journey down to them soon to check them out. 

Blueberry & Goats Cheese Salad available at The Church.

Photography by Jack Adams.

For details on Meat Free Monday see below:

The Church, 22 Great Hampton Street, JQ, Birmingham, B18 6AQ. 

Peel and Stone, 33 Water Street, Birmingham B3 1HL. 

Vegetarian Dish of the Day: Squash velouté, gnocchi, Burnt Leek, Feta Terrine. Bistro 1847. 

Many years ago when I first became a Vegetarian, I was often greeted when I ate out with the words ‘vegetarian dish of the day’. 

This generally meant a mushroom stroganoff, a pasta bake, a veggie curry, or a badly made risotto or pasta dish. Though it sometimes still happens and restaurants sometimes dress it up in another guise, things are much better now. This was often very disheartening. 

This occasional inspired post is a play on that and reflects that bygone era with fondness and celebrates a current dish that is worthy of highlighting. 


Catch it whilst you can. As restaurants change over from their Spring menu to Summer offerings, it leaves you with only one week to try out this sumptuous dish from Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 in Birmingham. 

Humour, seasonality and an inventive ambition belies the ethos of Bistro 1847. Never has this been more true than in the case of the Squash velouté, gnocchi, Burnt Leek, Feta Terrine. Poached not boiled, ballotined and rolled, the texture of the gnocchi has a lightness akin to soufflé, with a super soothing, velvety,  deep orange sunset flavour of the squash sauce, providing colour, flavour and a gold winning touch. Throw in a burnt leek, adeptly charred with soft decadent feta terrine and you have a beautifully balanced and stunning plate of food. 

Best not to hang around, it’s going, going, gone, try it out this week. 

Find it at Bistro 1847, 26 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B2 5HU. 

         The same dish, a different look. From a second visit. I didn’t eat that one, my Dad did and he’s eaten it twice now,  so it must be good!

Bistro 1847 do a lunch time £10 offer for one course and a drink (wine, beer or soft drink) 

A variation of the dish review originally appeared in May during National Vegetarian Week, in the I Choose Birmingham online weekly magazine. I payed for my own food (lunch time) at Bistro 1847 and didn’t receive any payment for the review. I chose the restaurant and dish myself and my opinions are honest and my own as always. 

Thanks to I Choose Birmingham for asking me to contribute to their ‘You choose’ section of their magazine. 

to sign up for their weekly email magazine. 

Thanks for reading. 
Andy 😊

Bistro 1847 are launching their Intro to Summer menu on Monday June 22nd with a five course menu in Birmingham with matched wines for £25. 

 Details here 


Nathan Eades former Head Chef of Epi moves to St Andrew’s Hotel Droitwich Spa. 

Nathan Eades formally of Bromsgrove’s eponymous restaurant Epi at The Courtyard, has joined as Head Chef of St Andrew’s Town Hotel in Droitwich Spa. 

Nathan will oversee all aspects of the food offering at the 31 Bedroom property, including the relaunch of the hotels restaurant which is due to re-open on 1st September 2015. 

Drawing on experience from working with industry high profile names, Nathan will look to bring a similar dining experience as to what one would have experienced at Epi, great food without the fuss of fine dining. 

On his appointment Nathan commented “I am delighted to join such a well respectable and established hotel such as St. Andrew’s with such fantastic produce on our doorstep, creating a ‘Modern British’ menu in such idyllic surroundings will be an absolute delight. Our goal is to create not only a fantastic Hotel/Restaurant within Droitwich, but one within the Midlands and the UK. 

Having experienced one of the best Vegetarian meals of last year at Epi, I know that Nathan’s cooking is innovative, using the best seasonal produce, and creating dishes that bring out the best in their flavours and textures. His dishes also look stunning too. 

   Photos from my previous visit to Epi. 

The St Andrew’s Town Hotel was built in the 1820’s as the home of the town clerk of Droitwich Spa. The elegant Georgian building which has been sympathetically extended, refurbished and with a tranquil garden, making you feel that your’e in a country house retreat, not minutes from the Motorway network. The hotel also has a choice of function rooms for both business and kwasurw customers, including a new orangery which seats up to 150 guests. It can also cater for weddings and functions. 

I’m looking forward to visiting the restaurant when it opens in September and the new vegetarian dishes are launched. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊




Muy Loco Tacos: #Tacoverthenation #TacoTuesday @ Cherry Reds Kings Heath. 


I’ve come to realise that some of the best Vegetarian food on the planet is the type you can eat with your hands. Why else, do I like Street Food so much! From slices of Pizza in Italy, a veggie burger in a pub or in the sunshine, veggie hot-dogs, so rare to find unless at home. why? Or even, just a piece of cake or bun or scone. These are the foods that veggie dreams are made of- and this is why the Taco Tuesday that Muy Loco Tacos run at Cherry Reds is one of the most fun nights you can have. A match made in heaven, when eaten at cost and intimate Cherry Reds in Kings Heath, my kind of place, my kind of fun. Yes, then paired with sharp cocktails and craft beer what is there not to like. Oh yes I forgot Ruth and I can walk to it! 

So that’s what we did a few weeks ago.

 So take my Nutty Spinach falafel taco with #Blackcherry and #Spicychilli sauces. The tacos were finger licking good. The soft but foldable tortilla held the gentle delicate balls of spinach and falafel gentle, but when but into released a delicious flavour of yes summer an paired with the flavourful sauces which lifted the tacos above the ordinary. The sweet, sour, spicy combination helped and complimented the well made double shot Margarita creating a happy combination that made me smile. 

Ruth’s meaty variety also got the thumbs up from her. 

We also ordered some lovely sweet potato fries which were well made and I think necessary at times like this. 

The cost for three tacos (always a veggie option) 2 sides and a drink was £8. 


So now Muy Loco Tacos are taking a Kings Heath break until Tuesday September 29th.  Only a few months, but back with more cocktails and a bit of a party I would think. Oh, and yes more Tacos. 

See you there. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We paid for own food and drinks which included a craft beer too. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 


Tacoverthrnation: Facebook.


Review: Henry Wong, Harborne. 



Birmingham has many good restaurants, and Harborne until recently wasnt a place that I visited much. 

I’m using this as an excuse for not eating until last week at Henry Wong in Harborne. You see this smart Cantonese restaurant has just celebrated its 30th Birthday, yes that’s Pearl for those in the know, that’s a long time in the restaurant trade and yes many years excuses from me. 
Henry Wong has been a mainstay of Harborne life and has forged a reputation for intricately detailed dishes and good customer service, yes they care, this could account for the 30 years, that and the diverse Cantonese menu that caters terrifically for Vegetarians. Alas, my excuses have run out I’m afraid. 

Well, better late than never Ruth and I visited Henry Wong last week and could see in three hours why the restaurant has been a mainstay for so long. 

Initially it wasn’t without issues. We felt a bit hurried to our seats, not offered a drink at the bar and then ignored for quite a long period of time at the table for a drinks order. After the initial remiss service (they did have a large private birthday party on) though  it settled down into a mighty fine night with excellent and attentive service. 

 After our order was taken we were given a pre starter type dish of of spinach, and  Edamane Bean (immature soybeans in the pod) to share, I enjoyed the spinach, which had a good soy flavour and was a good introduction to the food. The Edamane beans I wasn’t sure about. 

Yet the flavours of the dishes were the real deal throughout. The quality use of ingredients and sauces to compliment the ingredients were modest in the sense that the flavours didn’t overwhelm the dish. 

Take my starter Asparagus with chilli and garlic, an absolute joyous dish, the delicate asparagus lifted with the balanced flavours of chilli and garlic, 3 simple ingredients a wowser of punch, which didn’t overwhelm the primary ingredient. Fantastic. 


That trend continued. For the Vegetarian main courses I asked the advice of our waitress who I found out was veggie. She said she would get the chef to make me something. I also chose the Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing wine, which I’d had my eye on which Ruth and I shared. 

The above dish was delightful. Crisp, tender, like broccoli, but carrying more taste, slightly drenched with ginger and Shaoshing wine, a large plate, again, simple ingredients made heavenly by the delicate touch of balanced flavours. A signature dish. 

The other dish that I enjoyed was a mixed vegetables, ginger sauce. Subtle, gentle heat, a great combination of vegetables with the enhanced ginger flavour beautifully complimented by some small crispy fried Tofu, which were soft, chewy and melted away when bit Into. Beautiful. 

Alongside that we shared some vegetarian Singapore noodles, and Spring Onion Rice. Both lovely, and both creating a substantial meal with the above main dishes. 


Though we had enjoyed a large meal we both fancied a desert so we shared a Duo of chocolate and caramelised nut, with vanilla ice cream. A lovely, sweet, well presented dish. Beautiful. 


We also enjoyed 2 double espresso’s and a sweet but addictive liquor which was named ‘Jammy Dodger’ as it did taste like a biscuit of the same name. Very childhood memory friendly. We surprisingly enjoyed as we are more brandy and whisky types. Thanks for the recommendation. 

We also drank a bottle of El-Coto Rioja. A delicious white wine that complimented the food splendidly. 


The atmosphere was good in the restaurant throughout. The decor is smart, modern and though quite a large dining room was welcoming, though could do with a couple of large plants maybe. The floor to ceiling windows enhance the light in the room and sitting in the window as we were overlooking the terrace was very relaxing and private too. The room was full of contented diners, chatting and laughing, and there you have the secret to the 30 years. Good service, good food and a fine menu of dishes that begs for repeat visits.

The Vegetarian options are plentiful, lots of choice, made beautifully. Well balanced flavours, fresh ingredients, cooked well, where the spices, sauces and condiments don’t overwhelm the primary ingredient. 

 I’m in no doubt it’s one of the best restaurants for vegetarians in Birmingham. 

Henry Wong also cater for gluten free diners.

For a good night in Harborne Henry Wong is a great choice, especially if you like fine wine, and mingling with friends or been cosy with your partner. 

I can’t wait to go back.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

0121 427 7666

Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QH. 

Disclaimer: We were invited as guests of Henry Wong, for a fair review purpose.  All food and drinks consumed were complimentary on the night. My opinions in this review are my own and honest as always. 

Many thanks to Marianne Ho and her front of house team for their kind hospitality and food recommendations. And to Ricky Wu and his team in the kitchen for the food. 


#VeggieFoodieTakeaway: Diwan Balti Moseley and Hungry House. 


I was recently contacted by Hungry House who wanted me to taste test one of their top takeaways in Birmingham. 

Hungry House is the Uk’s premier online platform for takeaway and food delivery, with more than 10,000 restaurants on their site. They cover the whole of Birmingham on their site. 

They’ve just released the names of their top takeaways.

These are chosen due to their popularity with customers, their consistently positive ratings, their ability to deliver food on time and their high food hygiene rating. Only 500 are chosen. 

I was very pleased that one of the restaurants on the list and one in my location Diwan Balti in Moseley was so highly regarded. Diwan has always been a special restaurant to me as I visited it often when I began my job over 15 years ago. I used to go with colleagues who lived in Moseley Village and we quite often put the world to rights and moaned quite readily about work, and life. Politics wa s often on the agenda, as it so often is and was. Back then Diwan was one of the original balti houses and this was before lasan and Pushkar et al changed the curry scene in my city. It has always specialised in Paneer dishes and has loads of choice for Vegetarians. 

The food was ordered from Diwan via the Hungry House link

You place your order, the  website is clear and reliable when inputting what you would like to eat and after completion you receive an email cod ironing that the restaurant have been sent the order and then received the order with an estimated delivery time.

Both Ruth and I shared the vegetarian dishes. 

We ordered: 

Plain Poppadums x 3 @ £1.35

Mixed pickles: @ 70p 

Balti Saag Aloo Paneer (Main) @ £5.35 (Spinach and potato and paneer cheese) 

Balti Aloo Gobi Mushroom (Main) @£5.25 (Cauliflower, potato and mushroom) 

Balti Tarka Daal: (lentils) @ £3.60 side 

Balti Chana (Chickpeas) side @ £3.60

Mushroom Pilau Rice: £2.75

Garlic Naan: £2.15

Chapati: 95p. 

Total = £25.70 plus a card surcharge of 50p  = £26.20




Balti saag Aloo paneer and Tarka daal.


Balti chana and Balti aloo Gobi mushroom. 


Mushroom Pilau rice. 

The food We ordered was excellent. 

The poppudums were crisp, on arrival, quite rare for some takeaway deliveries. The sauces were ok, not great but satisfactory. 

Both the Balti Saag Aloo Paneer and Balti chana were good , nicely spiced, nicely cooked, stayed warm throughout though we did use heaters  which always helps. The combination of the paneer and spinach and potato worked well and the paneer was cooked well and carried a good flavour. I used to have this dish quite frequently and wasn’t disappointed as a takeaway. The Balti chana was also very good, chickpeas always go well with me and are one of my favourites in curries. 

We also enjoyed the lentil daal and the Balti aloo Gobi mushroom. Both were well flavoured, the lentils were creamy and were a very good cooking contrast to the spicier mains. Again the cauliflower and potato is a good combination and worked with the mushrooms. A nice dish. 

The mushroom rice, Naan and Chapati were all very good, and essentials to order. 

As a takeaway curry Diwan Balti is an excellent choice in the Moseley and Kings Heath area via Hungry House. The food was delivered on time, it was well presented and all containers were sealed and secure. There were no complaints. The service via the Hungry House website was fine and with a prompt delivery made for a good Vegetarian Takeaway. It also very good value. I’m sure to order again from Diwan Balti and Hungry House. It brought back happy memories. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

I was invited to write an unbiased review of a takeaway ordered via Hungry House in my local area. All food was paid for via a voucher of £30 which was complimentary from Hungry House. I chose Diwan Balti myself, my review is unbiased and honest as always. 

Diwan Balti 3A/B/C Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8AR. 

0121 442 4920/442 6002. 


Pika Pika Pop up: Cherry Reds Kings Heath. 8th June. 


One of the best pop ups to attend In Birmingham for Vegetarians is at intimate Cherry Reds in Kings Heath. 

Pika Pika ( a catering group specialising in home cooked traditional Japanese food) will be in their monthly residence again on Monday 8th June. 

On the menu this month: 

Pika Pika are going to collaborate with Ramen JUNKO. 


Not necessarily veggie version of ramen noodle soup😊

According to Pika Pika,  Ramen JUNKO was formed by a Japanese couple based in Birmingham, they produce 100% homemade ramen noodle from the soup base to char shu pork and even handmake their own fresh noodles. 

There are many different styles of ramen noodle soup in Japan, but Pika Pika are going to serve the  Sho-yu Ramen (soya sauce soup base). Sho-yu soup base is one of the most traditional and popular soup bases for ramen in Japan. It is a clear brown broth with plenty of soya sauce added and cooked for at least half day, resulting in a soup that is tangy, salty, and savoury yet still fairly light on the palate. 

Ramen JUNKO has specially worked very hard on the Vegetarian version of Sho-yu soup. It has a very complex flavour clear brown vegetarian broth made with Konbu and mixed vegetable, cooked with soya sauce for a very long time, it is full of Umami.

All the Ramen are served with 100% homemade medium thick noodles, we made our noodles with some special water called Kansui water from Japan, which is the distinguishing ingredient in ramen noodles, it leads the noodles a yellowish hue as well as a firm texture.

What is Ramen JUNKO?

Menu For Vegetarians

Vegetable Sho-yu Ramen £10
Home made medium thick noodles served in a complex vegetable soup, topped with seasoned boiled egg, bamboo shoots, beansprouts, spring onion, kikurage mushrooms, fried veggies with sesame oil and seaweed.

Additionally you can choose the following small dishes to accompany your Ramen. 

Onigiri £2.50

Rice balls with Nori seaweed and Takuan (Japanese pickle) x 2.

Boiled rice. 

It’s sounds a truly authentic experience, 100% Japanese Ramen Noodles are serving in Kings Heath! 

Reserve your table now, call 0121 441 3155. 

Pika Pika are not serving their ramen as a takeaway this month. 

They start serving from 6pm, little people are welcome. 



Last month Ruth and I attended the Pika Pika pop up. Cherry Reds is an intimate venue but carries pop ups really well. The space seems made for the low key, intriguing food that Pika Pika provide. 

Ruth and I shared a small dish between us: it had four pieces so was easy to share and made a good appetiser. 

The Vegetarian Makizushi was a Japanese rice roll with sweet potato, egg omelette, spinach, avocado, Takuan (Japanese pickles) and Mayo wrapped in Nori. 

The flavours were subtle, which made for good bite size pieces and had sweet but slightly spicy kick that were delightfully delicious. I could have eaten more. 

For the main course I ate the vegetarian kitsune-Don, 

Donburi means bowl abbreviated as ‘Don’ which is a traditional Japanese rice dish served in a big bowl with topped vegetables, boiled rice. 

The dish was a portion of boiled rice topped with deep fried bean curd and scrambled egg sauce with onion sprinkle, finely sliced spring onion and served with Takuan and spaghetti salad. 

It was a lovely dish, again a good spicy punch but without the hit of a fire. The flavours of egg, and the fried bean curd made for a contrasting textures and I enjoyed the spaghetti salad which gave it an extra dimension a lovely vegetarian dish. 

Pika Pika provide thoughtful vegetarian variations on the main menu. Beautifully made and washed down with the delightful Cherry reds craft beer selection it makes for a good value evening in a delightfully friendly and relaxed space. It’s like home from home with the best Japanese food. 

There were also 3 other vegetarian small dishes, so offering plenty of choice on the night. 

Pika Pika are at Cherry Reds in Kings Heath on the second Monday of the month from 6pm. 


Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We paid for our own meal. My opinions are honest as always, I wasn’t requested to write any post I just wanted to. 

For my previous review of Pika Pika from 2014 see here: