Land, it’s all in the ingredients: Restaurant Review.


The list of ingredients on The Land tasting menu reads like an autumn almanac of what’s great and good and the best you can get in the Autumn months. That I guess is the ethos of Land that it thinks about the dishes it presents and the ingredients that make them, not delving into the latest trends that are thrown at us daily by the media.

This is what makes Land different to other Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants in Birmingham. The desire to lift the core ingredient to its highest point and make it better. I’ve eaten at L’Enclume in the Lake District and though not in that league Land has a similar ethos to make the small beautiful, inspired by the land.

Land has grown out of the ashes of Bistro 1847 which was the original ingredients led Vegetarian restaurant in Birmingham.

Brought by chefs Tony Cridland and Adrian Luck from 1847 Land sits in the beautiful Great Western Arcade and is a light but warm cosy restaurant with caring and passionate service from Front of house Damien is a joy. They know what they are doing.

After eating the amuse Bouche (below) and home made bread, we both knew we were in for an outstanding night of food. Both were well executed and well presented.

The Chef’s menu that Ruth and I ate from is 6 courses for £40.

A strength of any restaurant in presenting a 6 course menu is how they can take you on a journey from the first course to the last. Land’s chef menu on the night we visited demonstrated the art of delivering this by heightening the anticipation of each course. Well thought out dishes, that folded into each other and told their own story gave a warning feeling that brought a smile to our faces.

Take the Potato-goats cheese, onion, lovage first course: a warming dish, with a depth of autumn flavours that enticed the palate and was beautifully constructed.

A Butternut squash-Laska-chard-noodle dish was a wonderful plate of joy. The soft squash, taken with the tender noodles with a splash of chard made for an interesting flavour that worked on every level.

Next, Celeriac-oyster mushroom- cheddar-truffle, took one of my favourite ingredients-the celeriac and have it a voice of its own. Pitched alongside the humble mushroom and truffle made for an earthy dish that tasted and smelt of Autumn.

We progressed to the Potato and Swede Terrine-pease pudding-tamarind: delicate curry notes wafted through this dish, a harmonious concerto of flavours, beautifully presented, bright, vivid, my favourite course of the night which I could have ate again. A real stunner.

Onto dessert : Pumpkin-walnut-red-current: Another stunningly presented plate of colour that was beautiful as a palate cleanser and what a way to deliver a pumpkin! They’re not just for Halloween. A superb dessert.

The final course, Apple-caramel-bay leaf-hazelnut: a lovely ending to the chefs menu. Tangy Apple with caramel and the crunchy texture of hazelnuts perfectly presented.

In the even tide of Autumn the drawing in of light warrants food that sings and comforts and warms us from the cold glare of Winters approach, Land ticks the promise that all will be ok with the world.

The nature of the produce used and the ingenious presentation demonstrated the best use of the produce of the season.

The focus on the ingredients through the beautifully presented dishes created a harmonious and perfectly flowing tasting menu with Exquisite flavours and textures.

Land provided a culinary celebration of plant focused dining that takes you on a culinary adventure and begs for a return visit.

The best meal of the year.

Our food was complimentary, but all drinks consumed were paid for.

Thanks for reading.

Salad Box will open in Birmingham this October.


Healthy fast food chain, Salad Box, will open its doors to the public in Birmingham on Wednesday 16th October, giving away 100 salads across the first two days to celebrate the launch. 

Situated on Great Charles Street Queensway, Salad Box will serve up an array of fresh and nutritious meals and snacks, made using ingredients of the highest quality. Salads, wraps, soups, desserts and juices, as well as coffee from local 200 Degrees, will all be available to help workers in the Second City sustain a healthy diet without compromising their time, energy or savings. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Salad Box will be giving away 50 free salads each day, first-come, first-serve, from 12:30pm onwards.

The free salads on offer on the day for Vegetarians will be Athena (white cheese, black olives, tomatoes, green leaf mix, cucumber and red onions, with yoghurt & lemon dressing).

Customers will also be able to choose from a menu of delicious classics, or customise their own meal, with a wide range of vegetarian and gluten/vegan-friendly options to choose from.  

Salad Box will also be offering catering services for local businesses to support events and meetings, as well as a delivery platform which will launch later this month. 

Tara Johal, Salad Box franchisee for Birmingham, said: “Our team are so excited to be launching Salad Box in Birmingham and we’re confident that our fellow Brummies will love our range of nutritious salads, wraps, soups, desserts and juices. We can’t wait to open our doors on the 16th October and start fueling the healthy lifestyles of Birmingham’s busy young professionals.”

Founded in Romania in 2012, Salad Box opened twelve restaurants in its home country in the first year. After just seven years, it has not only grown to become the third largest fast food chain in Romania after McDonald’s and KFC, but also a true international success story. Salad Box now has more than 70 outlets across 12 countries in three continents, with stores in some of the most important cities in the world, including New York, Miami, Paris, London and Rome.   

The site in Birmingham will be the second Salad Box in the UK. The first outlet opened on London’s Brick Lane in 2017, and there are plans to open more outlets across the UK in the near future. 

For more information, follow Salad Box UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SaladBoxUK/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/saladboxuk/

Restaurant review: Wing Wah, Birmingham City Centre.


AD/Gifted meal.

In days of old visiting a restaurant with others apart from maybe Indian would have resulted in myself sitting around for an age looking at my one option on the menu whilst my dining companions took 15 plus minutes (if I was lucky) to decide what they were going to choose.

At Wing Wah a Chinese restaurant near The Hippodrome theatre in the thriving Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, that misfortune certainly doesn’t apply. The Vegetarian and Vegan section of the menu takes up a few pages, so I’m now feeling the scratching of the head whilst I decide and then I decide and decide again only to realise that I need to put my reading glasses on ( because I’m getting on in age) as a be misread the dish I thought I was going to have. Is this stress? Far from it. It’s brilliant to discover, and bravo for Wing Wah for it.

Wing Wah used to be at the Wing Yip centre in Nechells but relocated this year to its new home in the centre of the city.

Inside, it’s a smart, relaxed place with white table cloths and comfy seats set around a mixture of table arrangements.

We sat on this Saturday evening on a half circle table which allowed for good people watching and more private dining.

For Vegetarians and Vegans Wing Wah devotes a whole section of the menu.

Ruth and I chose to share three starter dishes: Sweet corn fritters, Crispy Spring rolls and Deep fried Vegetarian won tons.

All of the above were exceptional appetisers. Snack like, finger foods perfect for grazing on.

The Sweetcorn Fritters ( a North Eastern dish) encapsulated Summer promise. They were sunny and crunchy, with crisp fresh flavours and a real winner.

The Crispy Spring Rolls, a light, thin and crispy skin, airy with real vegetable flavour and very enjoyable.

The Deep fried vegetarian won tons were the perfect appetiser. Crispy bites which were snack like, with a good rounded flavour.

All three were exceptionally balanced and taken together were a lovely way to begin the meal.

For the main section of the meal, we again chose to share three dishes along with a portion of egg fried rice.

The Gai Lan ‘Chinese broccoli’ is one of my favourite ever dishes and this proved to be outstanding. Coated in a beautiful ginger sauce the thick tender stems were tender, crisp and had a beautifully smooth and glossy sheen. Lovely flavours.

The second dish the Aubergines in green pepper and black bean sauce was also lovely with sweet subtle flavours and complimented the Gai Lan perfectly.

The third main dish was the well recommended Caramelised crisp aubergines, which were sweet and crispy bites of loveliness.

These were all eaten with sticky egg fried rice though there are vegan versions.

Our meal was completed by some delicious jasmine tea as we were too full for deserts.

Our meal at Wing Wah was excellent. Their new Vegetarian and Vegan menu has plenty of choice for both, including a substantial “Mock meat’ section which would tempt many diners and looked well thought out and would be worth trying next time.

The service was lovely and informed and attentive and recommended dishes in turn. The restaurant had a good atmosphere and is a lovely venue for a celebration or meal with friends.

For vegetarians it’s a top notch choice and can’t come recommended enough. With so many choices it’s a venue to return too.

A fine addition to the City’s Chinese Quarter.

Thanks for reading,

Wing Wah also do afternoon tea and have private rooms for parties.

Many thanks to Paul Fulford and Dorian Chan for the kind invite.

BBC Good Food Show Summer, returns to NEC this June, plus competition to win two pairs of tickets.


This Competition is now closed.

Michel Roux Jr. will be returning to the NEC this summer for the BBC Good Food Show 2018.

One of the summer’s most popular days out will return to Birmingham again this June, as BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the BBC Good Food Show Summer take over the NEC for four days.

With one ticket, visitors will gain entry to both spectacular events, which will attract over 500 exhibitors from the culinary and horticultural worlds from Thursday 14 June – Sunday 17 June.

As well as the hundreds of stands, the Shows also bring a star-studded line-up of some of the country’s favourite gardeners, chefs, experts and bakers.

The line-up includes BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World lead presenter Monty Don plus co-presenters including Carol Klein, Adam Frost and new to the Show this year, Mark Lane and Arit Anderson. Fellow television personality Alan Titchmarsh also joins the team on Friday.

At the BBC Good Food Show, firm favourites Mary Berry, James Martin, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr. and many more will be cooking up a storm on stage in the Big Kitchen, with plenty more chances to see them around the Show.

This year’s BBC Good Food Show sees the return of a selection of fantastic shopping areas including the Producers’ Village and the Drinks Emporium.

New to the 2018 Show is the Eat Well Zone, showcasing the best in vegan and vegetarian products, with expert advice and recipe ideas at the Show’s Summer Kitchen stage.

Some of the best Veggie and Vegan stands are:

Blacks cheese (cheese stand)

Proper Nutty (Peanut butter stand)

Nutriplanner

Juvela, (gluten free foods)

The Brownie Bar ( brownie stand) see image below.

There’s also a WH Smith at the show. The Hairy Bikers will be present at some point signing books of which their most recent is a vegetarian cookbook called ‘The Hairy Bikers go veggie’ so pop by if you’d like it signed or any other cookbook you have at home. Other chefs will be there also at allocated times.

Stepping outside, you’ll find inspirational Show Gardens and top shopping for your garden. The Made in Birmingham garden will feature a railway embankment plot with allotment, wildflower meadow and a working steam engine with Pullman Dining carriage.

The Wyevale Garden Centres Solutions Garden will display stunning best practice ways to deal with common issues such as soil types or shady areas; the Tesco Every Little Helps Garden offers up ideas for small changes that can make big differences; the Beautiful Borders will be full of small space ideas, plus much, much more. The Floral Marquee and Plant Village is a haven for plant lovers with over 100 dedicated places to buy quality plants, seeds and bulbs.

Whether inside or outside, you’ll find the best in cooking and gardening inspiration with four days of free entry stages showcasing a full mix of plot to plate inspiration, live demos, Q&A’s, talks and plenty of advice. Plus, the chance to chat to more artisan producers and gardening experts than you can fit into one day.

Ticket holders will gain entry to both Shows, with children under five going free and discounts and free tickets available for groups of eight or more. For an extra special treat, the VIP and VIP Luxe packages include front row seats in the Big Kitchen super theatre and BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre, access to exclusive lounges and much more.

Adam Frost, who will be giving his insight in the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre on the Thursday and Sunday of the Show, said: “This year’s Show is really about helping gardeners make every space count. I’ll be live on stage, talking about the progress of my own garden and giving lots of design tips, as will many fellow Gardeners’ World presenters, including Monty Don and gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh too. It’s the perfect show for anyone looking for exciting garden inspiration to try at home – see you there!”

Tom Kerridge, who will be cooking live in three Big Kitchen sessions, said: “There aren’t many events that compare to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC Birmingham. With the size of the venue, the amount of delicious food and drink to sample and buy, and the expert demonstrations, it really is an amazing day out.”

For more information and tickets to BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the BBC Good Food Show and, visit www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com or www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com

To celebrate the return of the two shows this Summer I’m running a competition to win two pairs of tickets.

All you have to do is retweet my post on Twitter or like the competition tweet to be in with a chance of winning.

The competition begins on Monday 7th May at 11am and ends on Friday 11th May at 11am.

Keep an eye on Twitter for my competition tweets and then follow me @andydhare and retweet, or like to be in with a chance of winning.

I will then randomly select the two winners and contact them via Direct Message on Twitter to let you know you’ve won, and your details will be passed onto a third party who will contact you and send the tickets out to you.

Good luck!

This competition is now closed.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

T&C

1. The event runs from the 14th-17th June at the NEC Birmingham.

2. Tickets are Only valid on Thursday, Friday or Saturday Admission.

3. Prize includes 2 pairs of entry passes-no travel expenses or accommodation is provided.

4. General admission tickets do not include a seat in the Big Kitchen. Seats are available to purchase on the day for £3 subject to availability.

5. Not all celebrities appear on all days.

6. You must have followed @AndyDHare on Twitter and retweeted/like the competition tweet to be entered.

7. Giveaway ends at 11am on the 11th May 2018.

8. Winners picked at random and will be notified by message on Twitter after 11am on the 11th May.

9. Contact information will be supplied to a Third Party who will post your winning tickets directly to your home address.

10. The prize is for two pairs of general admission tickets so there will be two winners.

11. Prize cannot be swapped for cash or sold on.

Birmingham’s oldest wine merchant announces expansion plans.


Connolly’s Wine Merchants has announced plans to expand the business with the introduction of a wine bar. A family owned and run business, Connolly’s has a heritage that extends back into the 19th century and the family have been shipping wine into Birmingham since 1906.

The wine bar, ‘Arch 13 at Connolly’s’ will take residence at the front of Connolly’s’ existing address on Livery Street, where it will continue to retail its extensive range of wine, spirits and beers.

Abigail Connolly, daughter of Chris Connolly, who has run the business since 1980, will spearhead the launch of ‘Arch 13’. She said, “Arch 13 will offer a relaxed and informal atmosphere to enjoy wine and well-paired food. This marks a new chapter in the history of our family business and we’re looking forward to welcoming our customers to our first licensed space.”

Arch 13 is due to open in May 2018. The project will create 2 jobs.

Connolly’s has always been many people’s go to place for wine in the city centre so this expansion is a fantastic treat.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

#arch13 @connollyswinejq

Follow Connolly’s here:

Twitter: @connollyswinejq

Facebook: @connollyswinejq

Instagram: @connollyswine

Connollyswine.co.uk

Connolly’s Birmingham

Arch 13,
220 Livery Street,
Birmingham B3 1EU

Phone:

0121 236 3837

Connolly’s Solihull

379 Warwick Road,
Solihull
B91 1BQ,

Phone:

0121 709 3734

Bar Opus joins forces with Brummie artist for exhibition.


Bar Opus, one of Birmingham’s best independent city bars, is exhibiting works by a city-based artist for its fourth art exhibition in support of local talent.

The bar at One Snowhill is showcasing works by Tom Parry, whose art of Birmingham landmarks is sold under the Made On The Canal brand.

Opening on Thursday 22 March, the exhibition will comprise a number of A4 and A3 hand-finished artworks and 3D pictures in different media, including watercolour, paint and ink, that depict landmarks such as the Library of Birmingham, Victoria Law Courts, Alpha Tower and Edgbaston Waterworks.

Tom, a graduate of Birmingham City University, takes up to 20 hours to complete his intricate pieces of 3D art, which involve gradually building up elements of the architecture 1mm at a time and cutting out recesses to create complex layered pieces.

He said: “I pride myself on producing affordable pieces of art and I’m really thrilled that Bar Opus has asked me to submit some pieces for its next art exhibition. It’s an amazing opportunity to have my work in a busy city centre bar and it’s great that the bar continues to support local artists such as me.

”I hope that my art will provoke some conversations about the beautiful architecture that Birmingham has.”

Irene Allen, director, said: “Our customers have loved all our art exhibitions so far and have been very supportive of what we are trying to achieve by showcasing local talent and highlighting truly stunning art. Tom’s works are not only striking to look at, they are also very affordable, which makes them truly accessible.”

Sounds a fantastic opportunity to see some fantastic local affordable art in a fabulous independent bar.

For more information on Bar Opus, visit www.baropus.co.uk

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Restaurant Review: Pushkar’s Vegan Festival.


I don’t mind confessing to it but Ruth and I have always had a love for and indeed at one point minor obsession with Pushkar. When we first met we spent so much time eating there that it became our regular place to visit for that time when you needed a bit of affordable class in your life. Of course there were others who tempted our purse strings to loosen and our desire for a Lasan curry got in the way sometimes of the monogamy completely.

Recently due to an arrival of young Hare, it’s well documented in this blog we don’t get out much into the big smoke of the city. In fact we don’t get out that much at all unless I’m reviewing the park or which route is the best to take to take him to school. So Pushkar has been a distant stranger over recent times of our lives. Call it a separation rather than divorce, but that far away feeling felt more distant than a European holiday or a Michelin starred lunch.

So the arrival of a Vegan festival that runs until February 28th, pricked up my ears as a superlative idea, and a blog post came out immediately. Quick work considering my blog absence recently.

Pushkar in my personal opinion is the dining out jewel on Broad Street. It has a welcoming bar, friendly informed staff and has a quality menu of well cooked and tasty high end food. It’s popular for those reasons. The right reasons. The Vegan festival menu though surprised me for its dazzlement and detail. So many dishes that would all fit on Pushkar’s main menu and show a sensitive touch of thought for the plant based way. It demonstrated on paper at least that this could be done. The question though could it deliver?

Things are done elegantly here. An opening course of Chukander Ki Galouti is a lovely beetroot cake with beetroot chutney. Crisp on the outside, soft inside, it melts in the mouth and has a delicate spicing. Made perfectly.

Ruth’s Corn Palak Ki Tiki, chopped spinach filled with spice corn, a lovely tiki, with good flavour and beautifully presented.

Corn Palak Ki Tiki

Chukander Ki Galouti.

A brilliant kesari Puktan Subz, main course shows true skill to balance flavour and spicing without one overwhelming the other. A Butternut squash gravy has depth and immerses the vegetables, green beans, carrot and mushroom to provide a filling main with the heat of the cumin seeds giving a punch. Perfect with the roti and Naan.

Another main the Jeera Aloo Sharkandi is the star of the show tonight. Boiled potato, and sweet potato tempered with cumin seeds, green chilli and coriander leaves is outstanding and finds a true friend in the Kesari main alongside it. A delicious bowl of Loud singing and lip smacking ensures.

We also tried Moong Ki Daal, another lovely dish of yellow lentils tempered with garlic, ginger, and green chilli. A top Daal and full of gentle warmth on a cold night.

Accompaniments included a Corn rice, basmati infused with saffron and Corn which was nice, a Koda Ki Roti, Rag flour bread. A ‘Super Cereal’ which was quite heavy I found but not bad as an alternative to Naan bread.

An Aloo Paratha was more to my liking. A superb dunking in bread, superb with the Kesari Puktan Subz.

Our Dessert of Carrot, coconut Pudding was a triumph of harmonious flavours, gentle and sweet. I loved the flavours. Delicious in every way.

We also enjoyed a vegan friendly Merlot with our food.

Service is informed, attentive and enthusiastic for the menu. A relaxed feel that’s top notch in standard.

So the Vegan festival menu didn’t disappoint.

Dishes are varied, and full of good spicy flavour. The menu shows a thoughtfulness and a lot of technical skill to balance the ingredients, I’m impressed by the restaurants keenness to adapt and present the food in a sophisticated and tempting way. All of the dishes tried were winners and demonstrated that Indian food which is not known necessarily known to be vegan friendly can be developed with some consideration. A beautiful menu that hits the right notes. Pushkar style.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Our food and drink was complimentary for review purposes to promote the Pushkar Vegan Festivals. All thoughts and words are my own.

Vegan friendly popodoms and sauces are available too. Please ask for them as we had the non vegan variety which were lovely. Hence no photo.

Also there are vegan friendly cocktails available.

http://pushkardining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/vegan-menu-3354.pdf

Pushkar can be found at 245 Broad Street, Birmingham.

Rola Wala arrives at Birmingham Selfridges.


The arrival of any new Indian cafe/restaurant is a cause for celebration for me and countless other veggies and vegans as it means we’ll get fed well.

Birmingham – the city of the balti – is about to experience a flavour explosion when Rola Wala brings its authentic Indian street food – plus the spiciest chilli chutney – yet to the city this week.

A refreshing new take on Indian street food, Rola Wala (which means ‘man that rolls’ in Hindi) is opening in Selfridges Birmingham on February 19th where it will serve a range of fabulous flavour-packed dishes from the mildest dal to many other tempting veggie and vegan dishes.

Balti-loving Brummies will also rise to the challenge of Rola Wala’s eye-watering Scorpion sauce, made from the Scorpion chilli, which peaks at a tongue-stinging 1.4 million Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale.

If Birmingham’s hottest chutney is a step too far, enjoy Rola Wala’s freshly made dishes that feature layers of complex spicy and savoury, sweet and sour tastes.

Try spice bowls filled with sweet potato saagwala, and vegan-friendly red dal served with sourdough naan or nutrient-rich red rice from Sri Lanka.

Complement the main course with a range of sides, including  Kashmiri Cauliflower Popcorn Bombay Birdsnest Fries, Avo’ Chaat Salad, and the incredible ‘Red Channa Dal’ – a spice-fuelled twist on India’s favourite comfort food.

And for every meal bought, Rola Wala helps to feed a hungry child living in poverty, by donating a meal through charity One Feeds Two. Since the restaurant launched, it has provided 350,000 meals.

Rola Wala is the brainchild of Australian Mark Wright and was born on the streets of London via Mumbai and Kolkata. It launched in 2012 when he tested out his ideas at street food markets in London after a trip to India.

After regularly appearing at street food markets in the capital, Mark and his partners Mark Christophers and Danny Vilela set up their first restaurant in Leeds, with two more sites opening in Spitalfields and Oxford.

Mark said: “Three years ago we had a gazebo with a hole in the roof, and wet hair at a festival, now we’re opening our fourth bricks and mortar restaurant in the heart of the Bullring in Birmingham – the home of the balti, some of the best Indian food in the country…and the most passionate foodies!

“For our new restaurant, we’re keeping it ultra casual, just like we did on the streets – with an incredible range of dishes inspired by our time in India – sourdough naan rolls, flavour-packed spice bowls, and inspired sides made using all-British meat, spices from North India, onions from Mumbai, and limes from Kerala.”

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Street food is a huge trend in Birmingham and we’re excited to bring this concept to our food hall, where you can celebrate some of the best cuisine around – from a simple cup of coffee and a cupcake to ramen, katsu and American diner classics. Rola Wala provides our customers with yet another fantastic option for casual dining.”

To welcome new customers, Rola Wala is offering 50% off any meal until the end of February. To sign up for a money-off voucher, visit https://rolawala.com/selfridges/. Students also get 20% off their bill.

Though not fully veggie or vegan in anyway, Rola Wala is sure to prove popular with meat free diners in Birmingham looking for a quick and different food stop.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

https://rolawala.com/menu.pdf (example menu only that may differ in Birmingham)

With thanks to Clive Reeves PR for the information and photos.

Vegan festival comes to Pushkar Bar and Dining in Birmingham.


Pushkar has always been one of my favourite restaurants in Birmingham. Fine hospitality, cocktails and superb food make for an exemplary experience and one Ruth and I have enjoyed on many occasions since it opened. The Veggie dishes are varied and offer plenty of choice and are of the highest quality using the best ingredients and using keen spicing. Fine dining at its best.

Now, Broad Street’s, award winning finest is running a limited-edition vegan menu, bringing an exciting fresh and flavoursome interpretation to veganism.

Head Chef, Vinod Singh has created a menu inspired from his childhood featuring the up and coming super cereal ragi. Generations ago many Indians in the southern part of the country ate ragi in many variations which provides a lot of health benefits which are now over looked. Pushkar are brining this new trend to the fine dining market promoting its nutritional benefits such as high protein content, rich source of minerals containing 5-10 times more calcium than other cereals, its ability to help control diabetes and its anti-microbial, anti-cancer and anti-aging potential. Because of all these benefits ragi is now becoming more renown and is popular in celebrity diets for a healthy lifestyle.

The festival starts from 1st February ending 28thFebruary and features a variety of dishes proving vegan food can be just as exciting and will be accompanied by a vegan drinks menu.

Pushkar’s Head Chef, Vinod Singh commented: ‘Pushkar is known for its fine dining experience and this is giving people the opportunity to experience vegan food like never before and to feature a dish I grew up on and which can benefit people’s health, is great. It is a menu created to show the benefits of veganism and how exquisite the food can be.’

http://pushkardining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/vegan-menu-3354.pdf

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/lifestyle/food/7-health-benefits-of-ragi-6-great-ragi-recipes/

This festival Seems a perfect opportunity to indulge in Pushkar’s scrumptious dishes. You won’t regret it I can assure you.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

You can find Pushkar on Broad Street in Birmingham city centre.

http://pushkardining.com/

All images and information published with thanks from Pushkar.

Restaurant Review: Lasan, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. A sophisticated experience for Vegetarians.


It was roughly twelve years ago that I first entered Lasan’s doors. I was gobsmacked by the textures and flavours of this exotic place and of then head chefs Aktar Islam’s touch in creating such beauty on a plate. There was nothing like it in Birmingham.

Two years later i met Ruth and it soon became our go to place for great food, celebrations and an all round good night out ( who can forget one New Years Eve and scarf gate). Just ask!

We took Ruth’s parents, friends, my Mum enjoyed a few meals there with me and anyone who cared to listen we insisted it was the best place to get s curry in birmingham.

Roll on a few more years and chef Aktar has now left to follow other exciting dreams. We are both a little older, with less money and less time to eat out, but hey, Lasan is still here. But wait, now with its refurbishment things have changed.

Launched In 2002, Lasan, based on James Street just off St Paul’s Square, has now experienced a £500.000 re dawn. Lighter, brighter, glistening in its re birth. The decor in the dining room is beautiful and comfortable. It’s A triumph and so much better than the dark and slightly dull, tired look of before. The bar area is also light with tables, bar stools and a cocktail menu. A place for a pre or post meal drink that makes a loud statement of intent when you walk into it on arrival.

The food has always been the thing with Lasan, but to me it had sadly dipped in its importance and felt as if it was trading on past awards and praise. Ruth and I hadn’t been for awhile, says it all really.

Now, in its reincarnation the vigour feels like its back. I feel an excitement return like the days of old. Hopes have stirred.

The Popadoms have always been some of the best in the city, but often the sauces have let them down. Not now, the pineapple one is one of the nicest small bowls of food you can taste anywhere, the mint sauce was superb. Popadoms, Crisp. They come with three Pani Puri, tiny morsels of chickpeas and tamarind to be eaten in one go. They are lovely.

My starter of Ananas Paneer, Pineapple infused Paneer, garlic and onion seeds, textures of beetroot highlighted the point to me where majestic cooking can make a simple sounding dish sing, lovely flavours, the Paneer perfectly cooked so that it soaked the delectable gentle pineapple, not sweet but holding a well balanced flavour. A stunning dish perfectly presented.

My main course Shakarkand Kofta, followed the same line, roasted sweet potato kofta roundels were gently simmered in a yoghurt and turmeric sauce. Again the execution of the dish showed the simple art (for some) of presenting simple ingredients and spices to perfection. The kofta roundels sparkled in their gently spiced sauce with overlapping flavours punching the taste buds with a soft delicacy that was quite enrapturing.

Two sides were chosen to have with the kofta, both complimented the main course perfectly. The Gobi Angara, tandoori roasted cauliflower sautéed with Nigella scented onion masala. A knock out side with a stunning complex earthy flavour.

The Nigiri Paneer, soft Paneer, slow cooked spinach and fenugreek nilgiri korma sauce which was also beautifully cooked and both sides made perfect additions to the kofta main course.

I’m overexcited by desert. The Beetroot Halwa, a clean precise plate of refreshment that engulfs and rewards with every sliver. Caramelised nuts apples, pistachio ice cream create a delicious combination of flavours with the earthy Beets. Gentle notes of harmony with lovely contrasting textures, A charming pudding of classy and sophisticated pleasure.

Lasan’s food is ambitious, made to a higher standard than the norm, harmonious flavours, quality ingredients, perfectly cooked and spiced, in a polished, relaxing dining room that has a touch of luxury about it.

The attentive, well informed service simmers gently and is relaxed.

The vegetarian dishes sing, refined spiced perfectly each ingredient can be deciphered from the next.

For lovers of fine food and a dapper and quietly amazing food experience it’s comforting in my world that when all else in my life has changed in the last year beyond comprehension Lasan is now truly back in pole position of Birmingham’s Indian food scene and the world is better for it.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

The beautiful recommended bottle of red wine enjoyed on the night. Sadly not on the menu.

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Fulford and Lasan for the invite and Paul and fellow Brummie blogger Laura from Bite Our Brum for the company. All food and drink was complimentary.

All opinions and photos of the food are my own. The photos of the restaurant and bar are courtesy of Lasan with thanks.

For Laura’s blog

https://t.co/ztvfni9Pvk

Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, off St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1SD.

https://lasan.co.uk/