Restaurant review: Mezze at So Mezze and lounge, Birmingham.


  

So Mezze is a reassuring place.  When you look at the menu you are greeted with a long list of Vegetarian dishes that cover All mezze bases and are salavatingly bursting with happiness. 

You cannot underestimate the comfort this brings and though the proof is in the eating its a positive start. The menu offers a mixture of cold and hot mezze, like tapas small dishes to share and ideal for grazing on with a cocktail from the long cocktail list. 

So Mezze serves Lebanese Mezze and is located in Birmingham City Centre in Holloway Head between Broad Street (near the ICC) and the Arcadian provides a lounging experience thats has a calm relaxed Arabesque feel about it and a comfortable cosy arrangement of seating and tables that asks you to linger long into the evening.

 

  
The beautiful thing about Mezze like tapas is its informality. Sharing food is one of my favourite things to do so the long  and varied vegetarian menu was perfect for Ruth and I to share, with plenty to satisfy all tastes.

We began with a couple of cocktail. Ruth the Dry Gin Martini and myself the Old Cuban. Both excellent with the perfect hit of ingredients. The rum and bourbon in mine, deep and velvety, reassuringly complimenting the informality of the dishes. Ruths with the perfect balance of gin and perfectly made. So good we had two more. Superb cocktails. 

  Gin Martini
  Old Cuban 

  

The dishes we ate were: 

Cold Mezze: Humous, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Fatoush, Warak Enab,

Hot Mezze: Batata Harra, Grilled Halloumi, Sambousek cheese, and Falafal, served with flat bread. 

All the dishes were excellent, lovely examples of authenticity and fully enjoyable. 

Take the cold Mezze dish Baba Ganoush, smoky rich, creamy, the distinct aubergine flavour meltingly good on an excellent flatbread.

The Warak Enab, vine leaves stuffed full of rice and spices, morsels of delight and perfect alongside a superbly creamy and silky smooth Humous and light and refreshing Tabouleh with its summery flavours and minty, Parsley soothing hit and the light and breezy Fatoush with its lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mint and onion on flatbread and olive oil dressing. The salads tempered with Middle East herbs are delicious. 

The hot Mezze were equally indulgent and summery. 

The star dish Batata Harra, spiced Lebanese fried potatoes cooked with peppers, chillies, garlic and Corriander. Small morsels if punchy flavours taken alongside the savoury Grilled Halloumi, with its golden brown savoury touch a delight. 

Another dish, the falafel had the perfect weight and flavour. Small balls of chickpeas and onion ( I’m a big fan of chickpeas) deep fried with a tahini sauce. Delicious. 

The only dish that was not such a winner to me was the Sambousek Cheese, which was a light savoury cheese pastry with feta cheese and parsley which was disappointingly bland compared with the deep savoury flavours of the other hot dishes. Shame.

The dishes also came with rice.
  Falafel.  

Batata Harra.

  Fatoush

  Tabouleh.

  Sambousek Cheese

  Humous

  Baba Ganoush  Warak Enab

    
  

Grilled Halloumi  Flatbread

    Rice 

    Veggie menu £20 per person.

Been quite full we decided to share a beautifully sticky and filling Syrup Drizzled Baklava: soaked layers of pastry and chopped nuts, sticky, syrupy. It’s all in the name, delicious especially with the fresh and refreshing mint tea that we enjoyed with it.

    Baklava

  

 Fresh mint tea.

  
  
Our meal at So Mezze was a generous meal. For Vegetarians it’s an excellent choice. With plenty of choice, to fill a number of repeated visits. The set menu allows a full journey and the delight in eating food in a shared informal way is perfect for summer or a group party. It has a confidence in itself, unfussy, and enjoyable in its simple charms. They also cater for vegans and Gluten Free diets with notice when booking and reassuringly  having so much choice is its key to its enjoyment. All the dishes we tried were excellent and we’d have no hesitation to visit again. A hidden, cool and fun gem in the city centre and perfect for us veggies.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

So Mezze,  89 Holloway Head, Birmingham, B1 1QP.

http://www.so-mezze.co.uk/

https://m.facebook.com/somezze/

You can receive a discount of 25% with The Gastro Card at So Mezze from Sunday-Thursday.
http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/restaurants/so-mezze-lounge/

Our meal and drinks were complimentary at So Mezze because of my work for The Gastro Card. All my opinions are honest and my own as always. 

  

Zen Metro launches its Thai Food menu in Birmingham.


  

Colmore Business District has always been the hub for great bars and restaurants in Birmingham and now it’s going to get even better with the launch of Zen Metro in Birmingham.

Based on the site of the old Metro Bar and Grill – the restaurant and bar will be launching a new menu serving great Thai food from the 6th July.

Having been taken over by Paul Bassi and Pawan Kenth’s Brandasia Group in 2015, the iconic venue has been refurbished and will be taking a new direction offering a quality offering for its regular business clientele.

After a £250,000 investment, the 100-seater venue has now been transformed into a sophisticated Thai restaurant complete with a huge blossom tree statement piece, emulating a luxurious south-eastern vibe. Guests can enjoy Metro by Day and Zen by Night.

There is a glass private dining room too that seats up to 20 people, where you can enjoy dinner and a quality wine list or liven up the night with some divine Thai inspired cocktails.

This iconic bar is the sister restaurant to award winning Asha’s on Newhall Street, with Jaimon George at the helm. As you would expect from his team, they will be offering exemplary service with an eclectic range of traditional and modern Thai dishes created by Head Chef Shailender Kothiyal, who has spent several years in Thailand learning the cuisine. 

Pawan Kenth of Brandasia said : “Metro has always been immensely popular with property, banking and legal professionals. Great deals have been done here over the past 20 years and we want to continue to make the place great. 

   
 
Birmingham’s hospitality landscape is always changing but Zen Metro will always be part of that and I know our regulars will be proud of how Zen Metro looks today.”
The ethos is based on the Zen Buddism Enso-a circle drawn with one continuous brush stroke to express a particular moment in time that is as individual as the person that created it. 

For Vegetarians try Tom yum noodle soup flavoured with lemon grass, galangal and kafir leaves, Thai Spring rolls, Veg Massaman Curry: Potatoes, onions, carrots, pineapple, Zucchini and peanuts in coconut milk or stir fry mixed vegetables with tofu garlic and soya. Or Pad Thai stir fried rice noodles and pad egg noodles. 

Zen Metro will surely be a good and different addition to the Colmore Business District and for Vegetarians out for the night either with meat eaters or with other veggies an interesting choice which I’m looking forward to trying.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Home

Zen Metro, 73 Cornwall Street, Birmingham City centre. 

0121-200 1911.

http://www.zenmetro.co.uk

Menus

https://m.facebook.com/metrobarbham/

Also, good news for Gastro Card holders is that you can save 10% off your bill with the card.  See the link below for details: 

http://eblast.barques.co.uk/t/y-l-dkdliid-jutjitlkc-q/

Buy The Gastro Card

 
  

Photos courtesy of Zen Metro.
 

Brum Vegan Beer and food festival 15th and 16th July 2016.


   
  

Hurray! It’s that time of year again. 

The legendary Brum Vegan Beer Fest is nearly upon us, with a lip smacking line up of local Brewers for thirsty beer drinkers to try. Of course you don’t have to be Vegan or Veggie to love them, but it sure helps. 

Last years event was one of the best and most fun times I’ve had since I begin my blog. Just quality Berra and friendly and happy chatter that makes this event unique in the Birmingham Summer calender. 

This year there are twelve local breweries involved in its ever expanding drink fest. A varied selection of brews hosted by the daddy of them all Two Towers Brewery in their Gunmakers Arms pub in the City Centre. 

Food is also on offer from The Vegan Grindhouse. Sadly ChangeKitchen CIC will no longer be in attendance. (Details of dishes to come when I have them).

   
 

The Beer List:

Bar 1.

Freedom Brewery: Authentic lager, 4% (pale).
Freedom Authentic has a citrus nose, and sweet malt and roasted cereal aromas. It’s well-balanced, with a bitter finish.

Rocknroll Brewhouse: Bramble On, 4.7% (pale). 
A stronger strength version of one of our popular pale ales, single hopped with British Bramling Cross hops.

Sacre Brew: Sirenia, 4.1% (pale). 

Citrussy American-style wheat beer. Brewed with lemongrass, orange & lemon peels, coriander seed, and chamomile.

Two Towers Brewery: Chamberlain Pale Ale, 4.5% (pale). 

A crisp, light, well-hopped traditional pale ale that yields the flavours of four carefully balanced hops with considerable, but not overwhelming, fruits finishing with long traditional sweet, biscuit malt and very pleasant distinctive nutty flavours.

Two Towers Brewery: Demon beer, 4.1% (pale). 

A rich IPA with a syrupy body. Mango and orange flavours give way to hints of lemon & grapefruit with a long lasting finish.

Two Towers Brewery:  Hockley Gold, 4.1% (amber).

This is a sweet, deep gold-coloured ale with a distinctive syrupy texture surrounding subtle fruit flavours, all underpinned by that fulfilling malt undertone providing the Two Towers characteristic ‘long’ final palette. 
Two Towers Brewery: Jewellery Porter, 5% (dark).

An outstanding, highly-acclaimed, full-bodied stout with a thick texture, producing a complex range of tastes that include coffee, chocolate and toffee with a delightful array of subtle fruit notes.

Two Towers Brewery: Number 11, 4.3% (pale).

An ale perfect to reflect a warm summer’s day, with floral notes hitting you on the nose and in the flavour profile. The fruit and light malt flavours give way to a very long bitter but smooth and long lasting finish. 

Bar 2:

The Backyard Brewhouse: Summer, 4% (pale). 

Golden straw ale. This is not a ginger beer but a beer infused with ginger. Aroma of ginger, lime and spice with a light crisp refreshing flavour without being over powering.

Cradock’s Brewery: Stout, 4.5% (dark). 

This black beer has been brewed to capture all the joys of stout without being too heavy. It owes its depth to the blend of roasted malts and a subtle use of hops. (cask).

Fixed Wheel Brewery  The Kaiser, 5.0% (pale)

Our German wheat beer in honour of Tour legend Jan Ullrich, big banana flavours on a vienna and pils base topped of with melon flavours from the new German hop huell melon.

The Fownes Brewing Company: Upper Gornal bitter, 3.8% (amber). 

Traditional Gornal bitter malt profile with a modern hopping regime.

Green Duck Beer Co’ Hoppy Hopkins, 4.6% (pale). 

A stramash of high alpha hops combine to give a super hoppy bitter beer with citrus and herbal flavours.

Kinver Brewery: Swallow’s T’Ale, 4.1% (pale). 

A light golden bitter, brewed with a selection of English and American hops.

Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery and Tap House, Export India Porter, 6% (dark). 

A hoppy roasted porter with huge coffee aroma and a lasting bitter finish thanks to the liberal use of Cascade, Chinook and Columbus.

Weatheroak Hill Brewery, Cofton Common, 4.9% (pale/amber) 
An Ale for Lager drinkers and a Lager for Ale drinkers! Cofton Common is our Hybrid Lager, brewed with German Noble Tettnanger hops and then fermented at low temperatures for a clean flavour profile. We leave Cofton Common to mature in a cold cellar for at least 4 weeks before serving, as is traditional with German lager brewing. 

The Vienna malt gives this beer a dry lightly biscuity backbone that tastes equally good as a winter warmer or a crisp, refreshing summer ale.

It looks a fantastic line up and should be an amazing two days celebrating llocal Vegan friendly beers with two outstanding Vegan foodstops.

Cheers 🍺🍺🍴

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

 

   
    
 Thanks to Tim, Birmingham Urban Sketchers for the Art Work from last years event.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Birminghamurbansketchers/

http://www.gunmakersarms.com/

http://twotowersbrewery.co.uk/

https://m.facebook.com/Brum-Vegan-Beer-Fest-1547216718922084/

Bonjour Birmingham – Bistrot Pierre is in town.


  

The French restaurant group, Bistrot Pierre officially opened its fifteenth bistrot on 1st July in one of Birmingham’s oldest buildings – located on Gas Street.

Having opened their first restaurant in Nottingham more than 20 years ago, school friends and business partners Rob Beacham and John Whitehead are delighted to be opening in the UK’s second city.

“This has been a long time coming and we’re really looking forward to welcoming Birmingham’s diners to our newest location,” said Rob.

“The Grade II listed building is steeped in history, having previously been used as the headquarters for the Birmingham Canal Company – playing a vital role in the rich history of the city.”

Bistrot Pierre received a significant investment from private equity firm, Livingbridge, in 2015 to support its expansion plans – and Birmingham’s bistrot is the first of many new openings since this cash injection.

John said: “We believe very strongly in maintaining an individual and unique feel across our bistrots and the interior in each restaurant strongly reflects its location; no two bistrots are the same. Our passion for French food and high levels of service are features which we believe are paramount across the brand. We’re also very pleased to have created almost 50 new jobs in Birmingham.

“We’ve learnt a lot during our time in business and we continue to adapt and evolve to give the loyal diners we’ve built over the years an authentic and enjoyable dining experience. Birmingham is one of our most exciting openings to date and the bistrot itself is certainly something different for us – and for the city.”

Vegetarian main course options include Super Salade, Risotto vegetarien, Tarte aux Legumes, plus apetisers and starters such as Gousse d’ail rotie ( whole roasted garlic bulb with artisan bread) and signature dish Brioche et champignons (toasted brioche with fricasse of mushrooms).

Menus vary from full A’La Carte to Prix fixe Lunch, pre theatre, breakfast and Long Weekend, plus children’s menus. 

  
The launch of the new Birmingham restaurant coincides with an important rebrand for Bistrot Pierre – modernising its livery with a new look logo, menu design and signage incorporating stylised French characters and artwork, which will be rolled out across all of its restaurants in the coming months.

The independent restaurant group has also embraced the current trend in social media video with its Birmingham launch – introducing its arrival in Britain’s second city with three high quality lifestyle films.

Using three of the restaurants’ own waiting staff as the stars under the umbrella title of #bonjourbirmingham, Birmingham based videographer Ergo films has produced the three films using stunning iconic locations around the city as the backdrop. The first film launched on Bistrot Pierre’s social media channels last week.

“Using video to launch a restaurant is a new venture for us,” explained head of marketing Arpita Anstey. 

“Using video to launch a restaurant is a new venture for us,” explained head of marketing Arpita Anstey. 
“It has been incredibly exciting to see the film’s popularity amongst our new Birmingham audience, having received more than 20,000 views in its first week alone. The reaction to the video has given us a lot of encouragement that our new location is the perfect choice for Bistrot Pierre and that we will be a welcome addition to the city’s important and thriving food scene,” she continued.

Bistrot Pierre has locations across the UK in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Leamington Spa, Harrogate, Ilkley, Sheffield, Stockton Heath, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Plymouth, Torquay, Cardiff, Bath and Newport.

To see the videos, visit http://www.facebook.com/BistrotPierre or follow @LeBistrotPierre on Twitter.

To book a table at the city’s newest French bistrot please contact 0121 616 0730.

  
Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Photos courtesy of Bistrot Pierre.

Midlands most sustainable restaurant leads the hive on saving Birmingham’s bees.


  

A city centre restaurant is set to create a buzz next month with a lively conversation on how to save one of Europe’s most endangered species – bees. 

Opus at Cornwall Street will be bringing together some of The Midland’s leading bee specialists as part of its ‘Opus In Conversation’ series – a collection of talks discussing matters important to the city – to debate how the demise of these small but mighty insects would have a detrimental effect on the economy, environment and diet, and what can be done to save them. 

Since the 1900’s, the UK has lost 20 species of bees with a further 35 currently considered under threat of extinction. Without these intriguing insects, it is estimated that a third of our diet would be lost due to the catastrophic effect it would have on crops and would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their produce without them. 

On the panel is Sharif Kahn, President of Birmingham & District Beekeepers Association (BDBKA), Professor Keith Walters, specialist in invertebrates and researcher into neonicotinoids at Harper Adams University and Simon Needle, Ecologist, Woodland and Conservation Manager at Birmingham City Council. They will be giving their top tips on how to better our gardens, streets and cities to stop bee numbers declining. 

The sound of bees is something that fills my garden during the months and helps create an Eco balance in my humble space. 

Ann Tonks, director of Opus at Cornwall Street, said: “Bees are in serious danger at the moment and yet, we don’t feel enough people are aware of how quickly their numbers are declining. That’s why we’ve taken action and dedicated an ‘Opus In Conversation’ to them, to get the people of Birmingham talking and acting to save our bees. 

“Bees play a fundamental part in our society. They are a key pollinator to a lot of the delicious produce we like to serve in our restaurant. In fact, every dish in our restaurant relies on bees, from tomato to thyme, and without them, our diet would change drastically. We’re thrilled to have gathered some of the region’s most knowledgeable professionals and can’t wait to hear their thoughts and advice.”  

The Opus In Conversation: Bees In The City debate at Opus at Cornwall Street is a free ticketed event and will take place on Friday 15th July from 5.30pm.

Audience members are encouraged to field questions to the panel before the discussion.

For tickets, call 0121 200 2323. 

Thanks for reading, 
Andy 😊

   Ann Tonks of Opus. 

 

Bee facts:

There are over 250 species of bees living in the UK. The bumblebee and honeybees the most popular.

– Only 10% of eggs are male.

-Most normal honeybees live for 40 days. The Queenbee can live for up to five years.

-There are an average of 35,000 bees that live in a single hive in the height of Summer.

-Honeybees are speedier than they look and fly at around 16MPH and beat their wings 200 times per second.

-Queen bees lay approximately 2,500 eggs a day.

-Bees talk to each other through dance, to share information about the best food sources. This is called the Waggle Dance. Hence the beer that’s named after it. 

-One bee will make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life.

-Beekeepers only take honey that bees do not need, but this can be as much as 45g. 

-Currently there are 110 beekeeper a in Birmingham. They are between the ages of 12-92. Anyone can become a bee keeper through a course held by the BDBKA.

Photos courtesy of Opus and Clive Reeves PR.

#FoodExhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art in Birmingham.


   
Food has often been depicted in art, but a new exhibition at Reuben Colley Fine Art on Colmore Row in Birmingham City centre from 27th June until the 30th July takes the ancient tradition of still life and lets it meet the modern phenomenon of pop art. 

Artists turn their hands to food in all its glory from fresh fruit to fondant fancies, fried eggs and Belgian buns to Bowels of spaghetti to make a colourful and light-hearted exhibition.

Artists such as Danny Howes, Horace Panter, Rick Garland, Mark Lippett and Cameron Gait have each brought their own unique talent and style to this engaging subject. 

  ‘Asparagus with tissue paper’ by Rick Garland.

Colmore Business District’s annual two-day Food Festival will take place in Victoria Square, Birmingham on 8 and 9 July 2016. The event attracts tens of thousands of visitors and is an integral part of the city’s cultural and culinary calendars.

‘Food’ has been mounted to coincide with the Colmore Food Festival and looks a stunning and interestingly foodie exhibition. Reuben Colley Fine Arts will have a stall at the festiva in Victoria Square.

During the Festival, they will also be launching a permanent collection of our outstanding signed limited editions at Purnell’s Bistro in Newhall Street.
    Buns and cakes: 

 
  Danny Howes’ classical still life painting.

  Mark Godwin’s egg.

  

Ice cream van at a British sea side captured by Horace Panter.

  Spaghetti in a bowl Renaissance inspired by Cameron Gait.

  

Buns depicted by Mark Godwin.

 

   
Chocolate wrappers by Danny Howes, memories of childhood. 

 Hamburger, Horace Panter.

So when two of my favourite things food and Art merge, what’s not too like. 

Check out the exhibition until the 30th July. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Reuben Colley Fine Art, 85-89 Colmore Road, Birmingham, B3 2BB.

For the full catalogue:

http://reubencolleyfineart.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f36b9b2eafdbe41c4de2b7acb&id=9648ddc8b2&e=a2c98c5626

  
  
Colmore Food Festival is from July 8th-9th in Victoria Square.

http://www.colmorefoodfestival.com/#intro

All images from the exhibition. 

Veggie dishes of the day: Umami Indian Kitchen, Harborne celebrates its First Birthday. 


  
  
There are many things that make me happy. The first daffodils in Spring, a sunset after a brilliant sunny day, the sight of Autumn leaves turning, there hue spectacular in a cooling wind. Yet, all are casual affairs compared to the happiness I feel when an Indian restaurant knows how to make the basics well. Certain dishes can seem straightforward but are so often uninspiring and leave me cold. 

As a Vegetarian I’ve written frequently about my love for a good curry. Birmingham is blessed with some aces in the pack, but also has the one sauce for all kind of attitude which quite frankly is inexcusable these days. 

I’d never been to Umami in Harborne before Ruth and I were invited to their first Birthday party and new menu launch the other night. I’d read good things, so my anticipation was high. 

Umami Indian Kitchen named after the fifth basic taste is located on Lordswood Road, just off the Harborne High street, it’s split into two areas, a modern bar area and then a step up to the dining room into a modern feelings space with mood lighting and white linen which feels both stylish and relaxed, romantic and good for families. 

The restaurant has been open a year, and has a good regular customer base. The service feels genuine and friendly and holds on tho the core beliefs that the food is what helps to bring people back. Head chef Mandeep Bajwa has worked in some of the finest establishments in the subcontinent and Middle East. 

   
  

On arrival Ruth and I found a busy party atmosphere. We were greeted with drinks, two Sparkling wines to toast their first birthday and then a number of canapés (vegetarian for me included Paneer skewers with peppers and veg samosa made like a Chaat). Both were delicious and appetisingly well made. 

Our main menu in the dining room included a number of curries (meat and fish for Ruth and Vegetarian for me, served with Naan and two types of rice. 

As I’ve already said, how a restaurant makes the basic curries determines the quality of the restaurant to me, been able to extract the unique flavours of the dishes and provide the base for the rest of the meal.  

The two curries I was given (Sadly no more than two, there were 5 in total, including 3 meat options that Ruth ate) to try were lentil Dhal (dal tadka bajrangi) and Potato and Spinach (Aloo Palak) . 

Both different textures and flavours, both unique and comforting, both were made perfectly. The Dhal in particular, creamy yellow lentils, with a tempering of cumin, and garlic flavours offering a punch of flavour, the ultimate comfort dish and perfect with a buttery Naan that I lapped up. 

The Spinach and potato curry (Aloo Palak)  with delicious jersey potatoes and vivid green spinach with a good garlic and ginger flavour running through. 

Both curries were Superb, fully flavoured, perfectly spiced. Very enjoyable. 

Ruth’s meat and fish curries were also well received. 

Our curries were washed down with red and white wine. (Umami also serve cocktails) 

  Lentil Dhal.

   Aloo Palak.

Though the food I ate at Umami Indian Kitchen was only sadly part of a full meal the dishes were so well constructed and flavoured that the full new menu is an enticing prospect for me to try in the future. An experience j look forward to.

As I said by getting the basics right it’s a good benchmark of the rest of the menu and for this reason alone Umami is a worthy ‘new kid on the block’ and certainly amongst Birmingham’s best curry restaurants.

Happy first Birthday. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

  
  Rice and Naan.

  

 

   
 
We were invited by Umami to their first birthday party and menu launch, all food and drinks consumed were complimentary. This doesn’t affect my honest review and opinions. 
Umami Indian Kitchen and cocktail bar, 25 Lordswood Road, Birmingham, B17 1RP. 

0121-427 8773.

http://www.umamiharborne.com/

https://m.facebook.com/UmamiHarborne/

  New environment friendly take away boxes and take away menu. A tempting prospect.

  

Restaurant Review: Wahaca, Oxford Circus, London. 


  
There’s something cosy and comforting about Wahaca that makes you feel relaxed from the moment you walk in. Ruth and I on a recent visit to London decided to feast on some delicious Mexican food, after a full on cultural Royal Academy art visit. 

Neither of us had been before, though it had been on our list for years, since former Masterchef winner Thomasina Myers started the chain in 2007. 

From its bright and cheery outside to its light, airy and cheerful riot of Frida Kahlo colour interior, Wahaca shouted out fun and good times. 

The Mexican style cantina that is Wahaca has sprung up all over London in recent years and then in Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Brighton, but sadly no Birmingham yet. Why? So sadly travelling is the name of the game. 

For a lunch time, Wahaca was busy. Through been busy it felt on walking in to be bustling, lively and full of fun. A light filled restaurant comfortable in its own vibrancy. A place to sink your teeth into. 

It’s hard to resist a Margarita when eating Mexican food. The freshness and zingy nature of the cocktail is refreshing and goes well with the spicyness of the food. In fact Wahaca’s Margarita’s were superb, on the rocks, sweet and sour, hitting the spot. 
   Margarita 

    

  

The menu at Wahaca is split into numerous sections. Nibbles, streetfood, tacos, Burritos, sides and then desserts. 

Never be afraid to ask for advice in Wahaca from the staff. They are happy to advice and recommend a dish based on taste and what you fancy. 

We ordered some nibbles to begin with. We ordered Guacamole with Tortilla Chips: The Guacamole freshly made, bursting with lime juice and packing a deep punchy Corriander flavour with the ripe and creamy Hass Avocados. Superb. With crisp Tortilla chips, perfect with the Margarita. 

  

  Guacamole and Tortilla Chips. 

  Fiery chilli sauce 

Deciding not to order from the tapas part of the menu we ordered from the main part of the menu which included Burritos. 

I ordered the seasonal Sweet Potato Burrito. It was a plump, large and savoury burrito. Toasted flour tortillas wrapped around fillings of frijoles, shredded cabbage, green rice, Crema, and avocado salsa. 

The burrito was full of flavour, with lovely sweet potato notes running through. The potato bulking up the filling and with the lovely frijoles (Refried beans) and the green rice made for a substantial and filling bigger plate that hit my hunger perfectly. The salsa was also nice with a good tomato and garlic chunkyness about it with a good chilli kick. 

A delicious burrito, perfectly made and full of subtle spicy flavour. 

We are our bigger plates with some stunning Sweet Potato side. Chunky and dressed with a superb smoky caramelised mojo de ajo. Heavenly and highly addictive. The nicest I’ve had anywhere. 

    

    

I’m not sure that you can visit Wahaca without trying the Churros y Chocolate. Mexican doughnuts with deep chocolate sauce for dipping. 

Because we both ordered the Churros our waiter brought us a rich Salted Caramel dipping sauce too. So we shared the two pots. 

The Churros finished the meal off perfectly. Dusted with cinnamon they had a beautifully light, crisp batter, a dribbly sauce, the chocolate deep and rich, the caramel sweet but salty. 

The Wahaca Churros were the best I’ve tried, fresh, soft and fluffy and indulgent. A delicious dessert. 

Alongside the Churos we ordered two Pacifico Clara Beers served with a classic Chelada (freshly squeezed lime and salt). Arriba.

    Churros y chocolate.

  

Eating at Wahaca was an excellent experience. With a wide and varied menu, it has superb options for Vegetarians. Food is the right side of spicy and brilliant for sharing. The service is friendly, informed and able to recommend dishes without hesitation. In fact the service makes the meal feel complete, with its genuinity and efficiency. 

The food feels healthy, fresh and is reasonably priced. It’s commendably good value and is a fantastic place to eat lunch in a genuinely relaxed and vibrantly lively environment that though cannot be booked in advance is a perfect kick back and chill spot after a full on cultural morning. 

Wahaca is hard to beat for tasty, colourful Mexican food and though not groundbreaking is a real winner. It feels independent though isn’t and is highly recommended on any visit to London, Vegetarian or not. 

Muchas Gracias.

  

    Chelada in the base of the glass. 

Thanks for reading, 
Andy😊

Home

Locations

Oxford Circus

Disclosure: We paid for our meal and drinks in full. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 
 

Wahaca,  Oxford Circus, 26-28 Great Portland Street, London, W1A 8QT. Near Oxford Street. 

 

Local Drinks Market at The Bond Co, Digbeth, Birmingham, Saturday June 25th. 


   

 The Food and Drink Events Company and I Choose Birmingham are teaming up to promote fantastic local beverage producers at the Local Drinks Market this June. Quaffable goodies will come from within 50 miles of the city.

Hand-picked businesses will flock to The Bond Co on Saturday 25th to shake, pour and showcase their wares to the discerning drinkers of Birmingham. 

Visitors will be able to sample vodka, gin, ale and more. From established Birmingham favourites such as Langley’s Gin and Two Towers Brewery, plus Fixed Wheel Brewery, Twisted Barrel Ale, Indian Brewing Company, Shakespeare Distillary, Burleighs Gin, Cotswolds Distillary (for whisky, sherry and more)to new and boutique offerings from Jelley Distillaries, Sacre Bleue, and Cuffufle Preserves, and 40 St Paul’s, there is something for everyone to sip and enjoy.

   
   
   
   
   
 
As well as delicious drinks, the festival will offer attendees a unique day out. The award-winning Low ‘N’ Slow and The English Indian (who will be serving up their fantastic twist on fish’n’chips) will be on hand to slay visitors hunger throughout the event. 

Guests will also be able to enjoy the sounds of Glastonbury via local turntable superstar Tom Mason, who will be soundtracking the day with hits from this year’s festival. 

Worried about missing the big match? The football will be shown in it’s own room at the festival, so sports fans can sip on something delicious whilst catching all the action of the Euro’s live.

A number of brand new masterclasses are also on offer. Fancy a taste of the city’s most unique restaurant? The Wilderness will be serving up a feast for the senses with three matched drinks and dishes for just £18. If cocktails are more your thing, the award-winning James Bowker from The Edgbaston is joining the event to host a special session in “Low Octane Cocktails”, perfect for the summer. 

If you think your tastebuds are up to it, put them to the test with our “Supermarket Vs. Craft” gin session, led by Birmingham’s own Gintleman, Carl Hawkins. Taste through a selection of boutique and supermarket own brand gins and see which is your favourite!

This brand new event is a first for the city. Drink without guilt by supporting local businesses and having a big day out! 

Tickets for the Local Drinks Market are now on sale priced at just £15. For more information on the vendors and entertainment, head to the website.

http://www.foodanddrinkevents.co/

For tickets: 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/i-choose-livelocal-drinks-market-tickets-24347316479?aff=FoodandDrinkWebsite

http://bit.ly/1TCiobw

Thanks for reading, 
Andy 😊

About I Choose Birmingham:

I Choose Birmingham is the award-winning creation of Birmingham-born writer and editor, Tom Cullen. I Choose Birmingham is a high-end magazine for men and women that’s emailed to its 12,000 readers once a week, bringing the very best things to do in and around this incredible city.

About Food and Drinks Company:

Is a creative events agency that designs and delivers irresistible events and experiences, connecting food & drink brands cleverly to the people they want to reach.

   
   Two Towers Ale. 

   
 

Veg-spiration, Amber Locke and Sainsbury’s unveil the first ever in-store vegetable butcher. 


  
  

  
Food has often been featured in art, whether it be Van Gogh, Caravaggio, or Leonardo di Vinci or basically my experience of art in school, an apple a day keeps the artist at play. 

Now, Due to demand and the increase in the sales of vegetables Sainsbury’s are launching the first in-store vegetable butcher.

Food artist Amber Locke will be in-store turning customer vegetables into new and exciting creations for them to enjoy at home.
The UK’s first in-store Vegetable Butcher will be in its Wandsworth Superstore, South West London from the 16th-18th June. 

Working with vegetable expert and artist Amber Locke, the butcher will show customers there’s no limit to the ways vegetables can be incorporated into their everyday meals, and encourage them to make the most of their favourites from ‘root to tip’.

 The first of its kind veggie counter will be open on a trial basis for three days only, so veg fans should get there quickly as Amber will be demonstrating a range of exciting vegetable preparation techniques from delicious avocado ribbons and broccoli noodles to how to julienne a pepper. 

 Inspired by the rise in nose to tail eating and the expert knife skills found in traditional butchers, The Vegetable Butcher will allow customers to discover new ways to prepare classics such as carrots, broccoli and cucumbers whilst being inspired to try new varieties including beetroot and celeriac and learning innovative ways to use all of the vegetable – all absolutely free. 

 Amber says: “I am passionate about inspiring people to eat more vegetables and showing them just how many ways there are to prepare and enjoy classic produce such as a carrot or pepper, so the “Vegetable Butcher” is the perfect role for me. I can’t wait to hear what customers think of my vegetable-inspired creations, and hopefully food fans will be tempted to go home and try one of the new techniques for themselves this summer.”

While Sainsbury’s is already leading the way with the launch of innovative products such as “Courgetti” and “Boodles” (butternut squash noodles) – the Vegetable Butcher at the Wandsworth store will use more than six different techniques to prepare vegetables including ribbon cut, spiralising, mandolin, wave-cut and julienne. 

The Vegetable Butcher will be open for three days only at the Sainsbury’s Wandsworth store on 16th June (10am – 5pm), 17th June and 18th June (11am – 7pm).

Customers can buy their favourite loose vegetables, then take them to the counter for a preparation of their choice – or to be inspired by a new way to prepare and enjoy them – at no additional cost. 

For more vegetable inspiration, please visit:

http://www.homemadebyyou.co.uk/

Or follow on Twitter at @SainsburysNews.

Sounds a fascinating few days. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Amber Locke is a Vegan artist whose gorgeous geometric fruit and veg designs have made raw veg a work of art. You can find more about her on Twitter @rawveganblonde

https://twitter.com/rawveganblonde?lang=en-gb

Or via her website: 
http://www.ambaliving.com/about

Or Instagram 

https://www.instagram.com/rawveganblonde/?hl=en