It’s a stylish, modern British cafe on the ground floor of the Ikon Gallery building with a tempting outdoor terrace that begs for sunny days and nights and is perfect for their informal menu that’s designed to let you eat what you fancy when you fancy it. Serving cafe classics, afternoon tea, fine beers, wines and coffee, at reasonable cafe prices.
The true taste of Cafe Opus is that they are independent and source their produce locally and ethically, knowing all of their producers, farmers and fishermen. It’s all about utilising fresh produce and allowing the simplest of ingredients to shine through.
In fact I think the summer months are the best time to visit Cafe Opus. The terrace itself demands it, and the produce, well speaks for itself.
Ruth and I have have always loved visiting Cafe Opus on a Summer evening and thus couldn’t resist the recent good weather. We chose a Friday evening partly because Ruth wanted to try out the steak on ‘steak friday’ and because they were running what’s called ‘Come Vinyl With Me’.
Now, this is where you can bring your own records and be a DJ by serving up three courses of musical delights in 10 minutes. This is strictly vinyl, but is very eclectic music wise and was good fun. At least our dinner was accompanied by a decent soundtrack.
We didn’t bring any records ourselves on this occasion, but you never know in the future. This is held on the first Friday of the month.
So there we had it, good music and maybe good food.
Having visited Cafe Opus before to eat on many occasions I knew the Vegetarian Dishes were always diverse and thoughtful. So that’s me satisfied too!
We did sit on the terrace, and ordered a local Langley’s Gin and tonic (1724) for me and a glass of white wine for Ruth. The gin and tonic was lovely, perfect on a summers alfesco night.
It’s the informality of the menu that makes Cafe Opus the ideal Summer venue. The food feels relaxed, continental and I always feel sitting on the terrace whatever time of the day that Birmingham is some far flung city not just home and familiar.
For that reason I chose The Vegetarian Plate from the all day menu. Comprising of Welsh rarebit, hummus, and toasted pitta, piquillo pepper stuffed with couscous, marinated grilled vegetables.
All of the elements were excellent, nothing was out of place. The Piquillo peppers were the stars though, the contrasting flavour of the pepper with the slightly spicy couscous was summer in itself and reminded me of some lovely tapas meals in Spain. The Rarebit, with a good string cheese flavour was excellent too and the marinated vegetables (courgettes, aubergines) delicious. It was a good plate of food, though simple it was a good example of how informal dishes can be uplifting if the ingredients are fresh and well cooked. I also ordered some fat chips which were delightful and went well with the vegetarian plate.
We ordered another 2 glass of wine and a Chapel Down brewery Curious IPA and Lager (from the winery in Kent that makes some delicious wines and some nifty Sparkling brut too).
The IPA a powerful but hoppy Indian Pale Ale. Very drinkable, very flavourful. Lovely in the sunshine.
We were both happy to order puddings too. Ruth ordered a lemon posset, fresh raspberries which was very nice. Fresh, summery and quite light. No picture I’m afraid as she started before I could take one.
I ordered the Mixed Summer berry pavlova. The combinations of meringue, cream and strawberries and raspberries worked well. Though it was quite creamy in texture it didn’t feel heavy, but was light was a subtle meringue crunch. A well made and enjoyable pudding.
The food, been seasonal is of the highest quality, fresh, well made.
Cafe Opus do the simple things delightfully well.
The dishes are well cooked, the Vegetarian dishes are thoughtful, not just an add on ( though could do with a few more, maybe specials?) and with the seasonal aspect feels modern and interesting.
They are more cafe orientated than fine dining, but that simple nature works well.
The menus are affordable and the service was good throughout.
Cafe Opus is well worth a visit for an ethical slice of artistic Birmingham whether after, before or separate from a gallery visit. There’s a lot to like about Cafe Opus. It’s got so much right.
Now when’s my next visit?
Meat Free Monday: every Monday at Cafe Opus, daily vegetarian specials. Day time only.
You can also receive 2-1 on all breakfast menu items until 12pm (Monday-Friday) or 10% off the bill (all day all week) with the Independent Birmingham card. See link to purchase the IB card.
Thanks for reading.
We received our food at Cafe Opus complimentary, but paid for our drinks. All of my opinions are my own and my review is honest and without bias as always. I was not required to write a positive review.