New Indian Streetfood restaurant Zindiya set to bring colour to Moseley. 




There have been a lot of false dawns with restaurant openings recently. The hype doesn’t always result in a place been good for repeat visits. For Vegetarians disappointment when the menu is presented to you, a lack of choice, a lack of thought. I can safely predict that Zindiya doesn’t fall into that category looking at the menu which is on first glance predominantly veggie. 

Zindiya, a new Indian Street food eatery and cocktail  bar opened on the 7th February in Moseley, Birmingham in a building that has been empty for 10 years. Some of you may remember Lukers  the bakery. Others won’t, well it was 10 years ago! Remembering last week is hard enough. 

But, you’ll remember Zindiya. Well that’s the plan from owners Ajay and Shivani Kenth. Moseley born and bred, and back to rock the village with little plated curry stuff. Hurray! 

Derived from the Indian name for life and the name of the owners daughter ‘Diya’. Seating 90 people it’s decor is colourful bustling, Indian street food market. 

Across the road, is one of the best. Kababish a Moseley icon is different so don’t go to Zindiya expecting the same. This is Street Food, tapas like sharing plates and dosas, flatbreads and more sharing dishes than  a family picnic in the summer. 

It’s the Cocktails that are on the tips of people’s tongues though. Created by Rob Wood the man behind so many great cocktails in the city they borrow influences from all over India and can be paired with food, which I’m hoping to be convinced is ok. 

Purity Beers are providing the beers for those that prefer. Lawless lager and Longhorn IPA is the name of the game. Plus delectable bakes from Miss Macaroon and wines from city centre based Connolys. 

Also Birmingham Lager from Indian Brewery Co.

The food menu is reasonably priced and won’t set you back on your mortgage repayments and includes for Vegetarians: 

Chaat street food: £4

Pani puri, papri chaat, Bhel puri, Aloo tiki chaat, Pav Bhaji, samosa chaat, chilli Paneer, and Vada Pav ( potato pasty and bun with chutneys) 

Side Street: £3

Chilli cheese toast (Mumbai cheese and toast) okra fries, Mogo Chips, onion bhajis, Masala chips.

A La Carte: £6.50

Idli Sambaar ( steamed rice and lentil dumpling served with sambaar, a lentil based stew, with coconut chutney, 

Trio of Dosas, (Masala aloo, Paneer)

Grill Street: £7 cooked over charcoal. 

Paneer tika, 

Hara Bhara Kabab(served with yoghurt dip and salad.

Paranthe Wali Gali: Flatbread. 12-4 Saturday and Sunday only. 

Aloo Paratra: potatoes and onions.

Plain Paratra 

Gobi Paratra (cauliflower)

Metri ( fenugeek leaves) 

Deserts include Chocolate Gol Gappe and kulfi and Cin alla Kreer (rice pudding) 

With so many Vegetarian options Zindiya goes straight to the top of the must visit list (for vegans check beforehand). 

Also available will be An Afternoon tea which includes sandwiches, Pakoras, Cardamon scones and chai infused prosecco. 

For the best in good value eat-drink-share It’s sure to do well and bring a spot of Indian colour to Moseley. 

See you there. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Zindiya is at 21 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13.

Closed Mondays. 

0121-439-0953 Or hello@zindiya.co.uk for bookings. 

http://m.imgur.com/a/nuOtV 

See the above link for full menu. 


All photos courtesy of Zindiya. 

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.

  

Veggie Foodie guide to the Best places for a vegetarian curry in Birmingham.


Curry in its various guises is for many Vegetarians their go to food. It is for me and often the first meal I have when I come back from a holiday abroad for instance. 

For veggies, it appears to be the cuisine that we have the most options on the menu. 

Birmingham has a number of fine Indian restaurants and cafes. This is my personal selection (though not definitive) which originally appeared in the Birmingham Mail for National Vegetarian Week. 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/need-decent-vegetarian-curry-birmingham-11337381

In no particular order:

Lasan:

For a sophisticated and exquisite curry in cool surroundings Lasan in the Jewellery Quarter ticks the box. Try the Tikki Veggie Platter to start, so as to get a flavour of the refinement of the subtle spicing. The Chamon Punjabi main course is easily the best paneer, Spinach combo in the city. The Sweet Potato Kofta is also memorable. Never fails to inspire. 
 Sweet potato Kofta. 

  
Chamon Punjabi

  Tikki vegetarian platter.

Deepalis

A fully Vegetarian indian restaurant, based on Alfred Road, Sparkbrook and in the Jewellery Quarter (currently closed). Try the Chilli Paneer, Aloo Dosa or Papdi Chaat or for dessert the indulgent Gulab Jamun. Deepalis represents skilfully cooked vibrant vegetarian food, modestly priced in informal surroundings. A winner. 
  Chilli Paneer

Ashas:

For Luxurious surroundings and homely but well-crafted food try Ashas in the city centre, with cocktails a flowing Ashas is modern and full of atmosphere. Try the best Papdi Chaat in the city, or the main course Kadhai Paneer an exotic treat, or the divine and succulently spiced Aloo Mattar Gobhi. The Naan’s and Poppadoms are also superb.

For a sophisticated curry in the city centre Ashas is a joy for veggies. 
  
Papdi Chaat

  
Kadhai Paneer

Milans Sweet Centre:

Based on Stoney Lane, near Sparkbrook and the Balti quarter, pure vegetarian Milans is informality and charming personified. Try the Matter Paneer the Daal or the Palak, the Masala Dosa’s also popular as are the indian Sweets. A vast choice for veggies at bargain prices.

  

Jyoti 
One of my favourite places to eat in Birmingham. Based in Hall Green on the Stratford Road,  Jyoti is fully vegetarian and doubles as a restaurant and sweet centre. Taking its inspiration from South India It entices the palette with exotic flavours and a massive choice of 15 starters and 72 main courses. With a homely feel there’s no better choice. Try the set meals which gives a terrific overview of the food, or the Thalis  and Puri and Aloo Curry. The paneer dishes are also incredible. Bring your own alcohol. 

  
Jyoti from the outside.

Itihaas:

Located in the city centre on Fleet Street and in a smaller capacity at Selfridges food hall, Itihaas is one of the best indian restaurants in Birmingham for vegetarians, smart, but traditional. It’s sleek, contemporary and friendly. Try the vegetarian sharing platter to begin or the Chaat and dosas or one of the many Paneer dishes such as the Makhani Paneer with its top notch spicing or maybe for something different the Quorn mince Kofta. Itihaas has Outstanding choice for vegetarians who seek aromatic joy. 
  
Makhani Paneer
  
Itihaas from the outside.

  Paneer at Itihaas

Pushkar:

The glamorous and elegant Pushkar, on Broad Street in the city centre has consistently been winning awards since it opened. For exquisite cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere visit on a weekend and indulge. The phadhari Kofta is superb, as is the saag paneer and appetiser Vermicelli William and For the undecided the Pushkar panorama , a taste of all the veggie appetisers. A classy taste fantastic restaurant, and one of my favourites.

  
Phadari Kofta and Saag Paneer (Left)

  

  
Pushkar from the outside.

Kababish

A Moseley institution, a fine family run restaurant that’s consistent and full of good veggie options. Serving authentic Pakistani dishes try the Paneer Shashlik for a subtle joy or the Tarka Daal, which is stunning and a must have. The Gobhi Mutter is lovely and the Balti’s are some of the best in the area.A rewarding reasonably priced experience, plus there’s cocktails and lovely friendly service. Food made with passion and care.
  
Gobhi Mutter
  
Tarka Daal.

Raja Monkey:

Get closer to the real India with Raja Monkey. A roadside cafe on the Stratford Road in Hall Green serving true classics. Owned by the aforementioned Lasan restaurants its a vibrant space of informality. A must is the veggie Sharkarkand Thal  for that complete and authentic meal experience and to begin their famous Dosas.The Masala Aloo Dosa is perfection made fresh in front of you. I adore the food, the rustic decor, for veggies its a must place to visit. Raja Monkey is also do the best take away and delivery. Restaurant food at home. 
  
Veggie Shakarkand Thali 
  
Masala Aloo Dosa 

  

Kings Indian Dining:

A Kings Heath institution, veggie friendly Kings is comfort curry, but with keen spicing and a large veggie menu. Try one of the Balti’s, Saag Aloo or Mattar Paneer. Also the Onion Bhaji is an appetiser to recommend. Traditional, affordable and Friendly. Delivering excellent choice for vegetarians. It’s also Bring Your Own alcohol and does takeaways. 
  

Al Frash Balti:

  

A addition to my original article Al Frash is Located in Birmingham’s Balti Triangle  (meaning Butterfly) it serves reputable Balti’s on the Ladypool Road. With numerous vegetarian options its a bargain winner with a bring your own policy. One of the best Balti restaurants you could find anywhere.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Links to my previous articles with the Birmingham Mail:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/very-best-places-vegetarian-food-10157489

http://www.wowbrum.co.uk/food-and-drink/10-best-restaurants-cheese-birmingham-10467564

Some of the photos from The Birmingham Mail. 

Veggie lunch watch: Asha’s restaurant, Birmingham.


Some restaurants will always hold a special place in your heart. The type of place that you go back to because it conjures those memories that make us who we are. 

That is certainly the role that Asha’s in Birmingham City Centre fills. It was here that Ruth and I ate on our first proper date, where we talked and ate for what felt like ages. On that night I can remember talking about singer Nick Drake and the place his music fills in both our lives, laughing and feeling happy that I’d met someone like Ruth who I could talk to at length and who shared my love of food. 

Then on another occasion I remember celebrating our engagement here with friends, of eating there with my brother a few weeks before I got married to Ruth, a little celebration, a toast to the future.

So for my Birthday lunch on this occasion it seemed the right place to go. 

What is it about some places that have this resonance, have this pull? Is it the food, the atmosphere, or does the memory fuel the desire to revisit? In Asha’s case it’s all of those. 

     
  

Asha’s is located on Newhall Street, in what is known as the Colmore Business District of the City Centre. Approximately 5 minutes from the shops, the restaurant offers a large bar area that serves cocktails (recommended) and is a good venue for private parties and celebrations. 

Rated in the Michelin Guide, Asha’s has a stylish, but cosy and warm feel about it with a sophisticated note that stems from the clientele and delicious cocktails that it serves. Decor is exotic (a bit Bollywood) and the menu is extensive with good and varied choices for vegetarians.

  

Asha’s offer an Executive Lunch. 

For £16.95 you get 2 courses, with pulao rice, vegetable raita, Popadoms and a selection of bread. The price also includes either a glass of red or white wine, beer, soft drink or mineral water. There is one Vegetarian choice on the starters and main courses (which may deter some) with four non vegetarian main courses including a fish curry. 

The vegetarian options were a Vegetarian Kebab Platter (Paneer Ka Soola, Aloo Tikka, Papdi Chat) and the main course of Kadhai Paneer. 

  
  Crisp Popadoms with varied dips, some of the best I’ve eaten. 

  
    
  Starter: Comprised of Paneer Ka Soola: A delicious marinated, firm paneer piece, juicy, served with a green pepper that had a nice deep spice flavour. This contrasted the Aloo tikka or spiced potato patties. The perfect Northern indian street food. Asha’s were hot, spicy, with a crisp outside and soft inside with a good savoury flavour. and perfect with the creamy Papdi Chaat. 

For me one of the best dishes in Birmingham. A lovely street food dish. With a Creamy and crunchy texture, a melt in the mouth fusion of chick peas, potatoes and yogurt. Sweet, sour, tangy and spicy flavours. This dish had me in Mumbai. A Delicious and varied vegetarian starter platter.

  Rice and breads with a glass of Red wine.

 

   Kadhai Paneer:

My main course was the Kadhai Paneer and came with the pulao rice, vegetable raita and selection of breads, including Naan and Roti.

A mouthwatering dish, delicious gravy like consistency, paneer  blended with tomatoes onion, with a good spicy lift that served with the Naan made for an exotic taste. Lovely. 

   Nice vegetable raita.

  
  

Kadhai paneer served in a nice bowl.

 

Asha’s is stylish and exotic with a keen eye on the business surroundings outside. The vegetarian options on the Executive Lunch Menu are cooked with aplomb and are plentiful Asha’s is a sophisticated spot, with a warm feel and atmosphere especially on the weekend. 

Birmingham has many curry houses but if you want a superior meal in Birmingham City Centre then you won’t go far wrong with Asha’s. For value and quality the Asha’s Executive Lunch is a steal and a lovely way of spending that hour of the day which is so precious and for a celebration it’s well worth revisiting. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

We paid for our lunch in full. All opinions expressed are mine and honest as always. 

Ruth enjoyed a glass of house white with her meaty curry and myself a glass of house red with our lunch. Both went well with the dishes. 

#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 (deliveroo.co.uk) 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 http://www.deliveroo.co.uk. 

Participating restaurants by area

Birmingham City Centre

All Greek Deli
Amantia

Annexe

Asha’s

Aunt Sally’s

Big Papas at The Sunflower Lounge

Blue Nile

Bodega

Bun and Bowl

Carluccio’s

Celebrity Indian Restaurant

Chung Ying – Central

Deepalis

eastZeast

Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 

Habaneros Mexican Street Food

Handmade Burger Co – Bullring & Brindleyplace

Itihaas

Jojolapa

Karczma

La Galleria

Rossopomodoro

Shogun Sushi

Syriana

Tap & Spile

The Dirty Cow Burger Co

The Warehouse Cafe

Tiger Bills

Viceroy Tandoori

Wrapchic

Edgbaston

Bangla Lounge

Bengal Delight

Boo Boo Coffee

Casa Italia

Chop & Wok

The Plough Harborne

Moseley/Kings Heath

Cafephilia

Ponte di Legano 

Carib Grill

La Favorita

Piquant

Saba

Sahara Bistro Restaurant

Shabab

Tru Burgers

Veg Out Cafe 

  

https://deliveroo.co.uk/

https://mobile.twitter.com/deliveroo_bham

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 😊

#VeggieFoodieTakeaway: Diwan Balti Moseley and Hungry House. 


  

I was recently contacted by Hungry House http://hungryhouse.co.uk/ 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. 

http://hungryhouse.co.uk/top-takeaways/

http://hungryhouse.co.uk/top-takeaways/birmingham/

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 https://hungryhouse.co.uk/diwan-balti

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. 

  


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


    

The fifth annual Colmore Food Festival is back in July and will showcase the superb food and drink offering in Birmingham’s business quarter, Colmore Business District (CBD).

25 venues, the majority of which are independent businesses, will be serving taster options priced at just £3 in Birmingham’s Victoria Square on Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July  11am-19.00 and is free of charge. 

This year sees three new independent CBD venues taking part in the festival, as well as the return of some of the district’s finest eating and drinking establishments, where visitors can sample an array of mouth-watering internationally inspired cuisines as well as traditional British options including many Vegetarian choices. Alongside the varied food offering will be artisan coffees, real ales, champagne and delicious cocktails. 

There will be a programme of live cooking demonstrations from top chefs in the District, as well as live jazz music, outdoor theatre, and other entertainment during the festival’s two day run. 

Confirmed participants: 

All Bar One, Ashas, Bar Opus, Chung Ying Central, Costa Coffee, Edmunds Bar, Edwardian Tea Rooms, Hindley’s Bakery, Hotel Du Vin, JoJolapa, Metro Bar and Grill, Old Joint Stock, Opus at Cornwall Street, Pure Bar and Kitchen, Purnell’s, Purnell’s Bisro and Ginger’s Bar, Refreshments by Centenary Lounge, The Bureau, The Old Contemptibles, The Square Peg, The Wellington Real ale, Urban Coffee Company, Nosh and Quaff, Yorks Bakery Cafe. 

For further information visit: 

http://colmorebusinessdistrict.com/

The Colmore Food Festival is always one of my favourite festivals of the year, it’s good fun and with good vegetarian food options on offer, plus a lively atmosphere it is a good family day out. Look out for further updates on Veggie Foodie as I have them plus more details on the vegetarian food options. 

Keep fingers crossed for a weekend of sunshine. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy😊

Note the first two pictures are courtesy of Clive Reeves PR team who brought the event to my attention. 


#VeggieFoodie guide to Vegan food in Birmingham: Veggie Foodie and Stay.com


In February I was asked by Stay.com (a travel app and travel website) to be a trusted traveller on the recommendation of Birgit Kehrer of ChangeKitchen CIC (award winning vegetarian and vegan catering) Thank you Birgit!

The idea being that I would recommend eight places to eat for Vegans in Birmingham. A personal choice at the time and eight’s not that many in light of a growing vegan foodie scene in the city. 

This got me thinking that of course there are a lot more than eight, and many places cater for vegans in many different ways from specialised shops, street food to vegetarian restaurants and restaurants with Vegan menus. Though I’m not a vegan myself, I find it frustrating in many restaurants that a vegan diet seems to be ignored or fobbed off as something they dong have to worry about. As a vegetarian some restaurants in Birmingham alas don’t understand a veggie diet never mind a vegan one and that’s some very high profile independent ones too not just the chains. 

Though I’m not one for lists on blogs, I appreciate  that as a vegan and indeed a vegetarian, recommendations can be helpful particularly for s travellers, or someone who has recently moved into the city. 

Hence the extra places that I’m going to mention. 

To begin my list for Stay.com. See below. 

http://www.stay.com/birmingham/guides/509858-e4ce5aa4/vegan-friendly-birmingham/

Includes in no particular order 

The Warehouse Cafe – A vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Digbeth area

Veg Out Cafe- All day vegetarian cafe restaurant in Kings Heath area. 

Bistro 1847- vegetarian restaurant in Birmingham City  Centre 

Cafe Soya- A Vietnamese and Chinese cafe/restaurant in Birmingham City Centre 

Raja Monkey: Indian Street Food cafe restaurant in Hall Green area. 

Jyoti: Indian vegetarian restaurant/ sweet shop in Hall Green 

Blue Ginger: Singaporean Malaysian cuisine in Kings Heath with a dedicated vegan night every Monday. Plus good vegan options on the menu. 

Loco Lounge: part of the Lounges group based in Kings Heath but with branches around the city including Harborne. Dedicated vegan menu every day. 

So I apologise if your favourites are not mentioned on my initial recommendations. 

My extended choices include again in no particular order: 

Bodega Bar and Cantina: based in the city centre, Mexican, Burrito’s, street food, tacos plus a dedicated every day Vegan menu. Keep an eye on my blog for a review soon. 

Mr Singh: Vegetarian and vegan pizzas in Handsworth are of the city. 

Deepalis: Indian Vegetarian restaurant in The Jewellery Quarter. 

100% Vegan Shop: based in the Warehouse Cafe building but selling 100% vegan food, snacks, health products, whole foods. Based in Digbeth. 

The Vegan Grindhouse: 100% vegan streetfood, burgers, plant based, fab food. See them at various events round the city and Midlands. 

Blue Piano: Sister Venus of Blue Ginger based in Edgbaston. 

Boston Tea Party: Cafe and restaurant, based in city centre, and Harborne. Serving breakfasts, cakes, sandwiches etc including vegan options. 

Cherry Reds cafe Bar: two branches one in city centre and one in Kings Heath. Vegan breakfasts, cakes, and burgers. 

ChangeKitchen CIC: vegetarian and vegan catering. 

Byzantium: tapas in Kings Heath, vegan options. 

Cosy Club: soon to be open in City Centre. Has a vegan menu. 

Barebones Pizza: streetfood trader with a vegan pizza on the menu. See them around the city. 

Tall Poppy Foods: A vegan cake and food company, dairy free and animal by product free. Wraps, pastries, sandwiches, cupcakes and brownies. 

KusKus Foods: vegetarian and vegan street food inspired by the Middle East, Whole organic home made food. See them at Moseley Farmers market for example. Think tagines, falafels. 

Plus many other Indian Restsurants will cater for a vegan diet on request. 

Plus Pizza Express have a vegan pizza. Branches at Brindley Place, Bullring and on Corporation Street. 

Pret A Manger have vegan options and sandwiches. Branches throughout the city. 

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has other recommendations for great vegan food in Birmingham or elsewhere. Whether independent or chain. 

For menus set links below: 

http://www.thewarehousecafe.com/

http://www.bluegingerrestaurant.co.uk/Home.html

http://www.jyotis.co.uk/

http://www.rajamonkey.co.uk/

http://www.cafesoya.co.uk/

http://by1847.com/

http://thelounges.co.uk/lounges/loco-lounge/

http://vegoutcafe.co.uk/

http://www.byzantiumtapas.co.uk/

http://www.changekitchen.co.uk/

http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk/

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/?m=1

http://www.100percentvegan.co.uk/

http://www.thebluepiano.co.uk/

http://mrsinghspizza.co.uk/

http://www.deepalisrestaurant.co.uk/

http://bodegacantina.co.uk/

http://www.tallpoppyfoods.co.uk/





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Stay.com Is a travel app and travel website for city trips all over the world. They were founded in Norway in 2009. 

The guide is based upon creating your own information, to share guides with friends via Facebook, Twitter. Ask for tips from friends via Facebook. Personalise your guide. 

Stay.com has over 150 destinations and has maps that work offline( so no roaming costs) 

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Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Bilash Wolverhampton and Me.


I could never profess to being The Voice of knowledge on all curry restaurants, but I know a good one when I see it.  

If you told me that I couldn’t eat another Veggie curry, then I sure would become one of ‘The Angry Mob’ and I would ‘predict a riot’ in Wolverhampton if the Bilash ever closed down. You see the Bilash is popular. In fact very popular in the Midlands. 

The Bilash is located in the Cheapside area of the city opposite the Civic Centre where the Civic Hall is based. Tucked quietly away from the traffic and shoppers at the back of Wolverhampton’s  beautiful  church. 

Ruth and I were in the city to see the band The Kaiser Chiefs ‘never miss a beat’ on a cold Friday night a few weeks ago and the Bilash is a restaurant that I knew was very highly regarded and good for Vegetarians.

The Bilash specialises in Bangladeshi cuisine and from its warm friendly welcome and decor-an Anglo Indian mix of bright shades which is both modern and traditional, and very soothingly ambient. It’s a family owned restaurant and has been established for over 30 years. It has numerous awards, it’s in the Michelin Food Guide, AA food guide, and The Good Food Guide, and is the only establishment in Wolverhampton in all the above guides. 

The restaurant is on two floors, we were seated on the ground floor.





On looking at the menu it was apparent that the Bilash has extensive Vegetarian options. The food is cooked fresh to order every time and this along with the keen and spot on service is the key to its success. It has high standards and is warm, courteous and treats you like a friend. Something money can’t buy. In fact by the time we left for the gig at 7.30 the restaurant was packed.

The Bilash also has a large window looking into the kitchen with a big table set out for groups nearby. 

We decided to not order a starter so enjoyed poppudums whilst we waited for our main course. The Poppodums arrived crisp, with delicious fresh sauces, and a fine fruity raita that was quite delicious. 

As we didn’t order a starter Ruth and I decided to sample some of the veggie side dishes with our main courses. Ruth had ordered a meaty main and I ordered the Panneer Bengum Bahar, homemade paneer (cottage cheese) cooked in Royal Almond, curb and yogurt sauce. 

For the Veggie Sides we ordered the Aloo Bangan Jhool, Potatoes and aubergine in spicy tomato sauce, the Bhindi Bhajee, spicy stir fry okra, and the Aloo Dum , spicy potato curry, plus a Garlic Naan and Basmati Rice. 



spicy potato curry

The Paneer Bengum Bahar was fresh,  creamy, delicate, like a golden nugget of pure joy, with wonderful nuances of spicy taste sensations that I devoured. A great dish. Also available as a side. 

The sides, a subtle Aloo Bhangan Jhool, which held a delicious tomato flavour, superbly spiced, and a quite lovely okra stir-fry (Bhindi Bhajee) and Aloo Dum spicy potato curry distinct in its spicing, creamy and warming. All excellent Veggie side dishes and perfectly complimenting my Paneer Bengum Bahar and Ruth’s delicious meat curry-she said. 

For desert the options are minimal and all home made and presented on a tray which took me by surprise in a good way. From which you choose which you would like made for you. 

I chose a Semilina, raisins and cardamon pudding, which slid down and was full of creamy flavour and mouth quenchingly good. I liked it. 

Ruth chose the Gulab Jamun executed superbly, warming dough balls, sugary, syrupy with a good dose of cardamon and rose water. 

Gulab Jamun





Semilina pudding 

The Bilash is a jewel in Wolverhampton and excellent for vegetarians in search of a curry. 

Its subtle cooking is a cut above most Asian restaurants in Birmingham and the Midlands, authentic, freshly made, each dish made with care and attention all in a relaxed modern space. The Bilash deserves all its awards and is worthy of its name Bilash, warm, reliable with good hospitality and delicious food, and yes for some, and now me too it feels like ‘Coming Home’. 



we paid for our own meal. All opinions expressed are my own and honest as always. 

Bilash 

No  2 Cheapside, Wolverhampton, WV 1 1TU. 

01902 427 762

http://www.thebilash.co.uk

Twitter: @TheBilash

http://www.facebook.com/The Bilash



We also enjoyed a couple of bottles of Kingfisher lager and a couple glasses of white wine.



Review: Lasan Restaurant: Birmingham


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Lasan’s reputation has often in recent times proceeded it. Offering a fine dining like experience, it’s Indian dishes are refined, and woo the diner with their keen and exquisite seasoning and little touches of street food delights. It feels more like an experience than a general night out.

It’s those touches that have brought it accolades not only from Gordon Ramsey but The Sunday Times newspaper who have named it as one of Britain’s top 100 restaurants, the Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide. A true list of quality.

Chef Aktar Islam and his team have consistently created on all my numerous visits (and there have been many from whence Lasan opened) Vegetarian dishes that demonstrate those techniques, textures and flavours that are a joy to discover and heavenly to taste.

On our mid week arrival Ruth and I decided to enjoy a Gin and Tonic in the smart bar area with the menus. A good thing to do when visiting Lasan.

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I discovered disappointingly a few weeks previous that Lasan doesn’t serve a vegetarian tasting menu-minus points- but only a non veggie one. Though this is sad, as other fine indian restaurants in London do its not the end of the world, as the menu for vegetarians is excellent, with plenty of choice and from previous experiences delightful.

Having taken our seats at our favourite mezzanine level table, good for people watching, we observed the restaurant filling up with large table bookings and couples. Excellent to see mid week.

I like the decor of Lasan, slightly modern, slightly Eastern influenced, a lovely wall mounted sitar and large ornate mirrors give the space a brightness, though with an intimate feel.

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We began our meal with a complimentary Indian Street Food morsel (not an amuse bouche, that’s French) called Panipuri which originates from the Magadha region of India.

A popular street food snack it consists of a round hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of chaat masala, potato, onion and chick peas. To be taken in one mouthful, it was delicious, sweet, savoury, gently spiced. I love Indian street food. I could have quite happily eaten more.

Plus some quality crisp and flavoursome poppadoms and dips.

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For a starter Ruth and I chose to eat the vegetarian shared platter. A dish we’ve ordered before many times. The street food leanings of this dish is the main draw for me.

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It combines an assiette of two each of Caraway Spiced Paneer, Spinach and Potato tiki, onion and spinach palak pakora, South Indian potato cakes and a selection of well made dips.

A dish of differing and contrasting flavours and textures with vibrant touches. The potato cakes an all round taste sensation, the spinach and potato tiki, superb. All round for veggies this starter can’t be beaten and is my favourite. The only catch you have to find someone to share it with. Ruth as a meat eater loves it.

For my main course I ordered the veggie Chamon Punjab (paneer) with two vegetarian sides to share with Ruth-the Gobhi Angara and Ghar ke dhal, with a Garlic and Coriander naan and Pilau Rice accompany.

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The Chanon Punjab was delicious. Spiced with caraway seeds and scented with cloves, with a smooth spicy Kashmiri spinach and fenugreek gravy it was probably the best paneer I’ve tasted in Birmingham and only the one I ate at Michelin starred Benares in Mayfair London beats it. The flavours were deeply spiced and went perfectly with the two side dishes I ordered. A lovely vegetarian main dish.

The Gobhi Angara, is a North Indian delicacy. As lovers of cauliflower in curries both Ruth and had to choose this dish. The nigella scented masala with roasted cauliflower a gentle lighter contrast to the paneer punch of the main dish. More subtle in flavour, but delivering with aplomb.

The Ghar Ke Dhal offered once more a delicious contrast. The blend of lentils, simmered gently and spiced with green Cardamom and cassia bark had finely tempered flavours, with the tomato base and fresh herbs providing subtlety. A lovely dhal.

Ruth didn’t have space for a pudding so ordered some petit fours for her coffee. Disappointingly they proved to be sadly underwhelming which we thought would be homemade but wasn’t. Not great, she felt and for £2.50 very expensive. Why not a plate of traditional Indian sweets or small Indian deserts instead. More authentically Indian please.

For pudding I ordered the superb Gulab Jamun Rabri.

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To describe: the Gulab jamun Rabri is a Holi festival recipe with cardamon. It can be defined as deep fried melt in the mouth dough balls which are coated in sugary rose water and cardamon, slightly warm. Gulab means rose in Hindi and Jamun is a South Asian fruit. An Indian version of doughnuts. Drizzled with rabri a form of sweetened reduced milk flavoured with nuts and spices.

It was a delicious melt in the mouth pudding. Creamy, nutty, lovely. Not heavy to eat, but light and perfect after the spice of the previous dishes.

Lasan do the traditional deserts well, more please.

Throughout the meal the service was impeccable, courteous, charming, they explained every dish enthusiastically and with knowledge but not overwhelming you with attention. The balance was as it should be.

With our food we also ordered two glasses of wine, Ruth had a white-a lovely Gewürztraminer and me a punchy Red Malbec, both complimented the spicy food well.

Plus to follow two brandies to follow our Americano coffee. (Ambre Pierre Ferrand cognac)

Lasan is the real deal for curry in Birmingham. More pricy than some, it’s certainly a splurge kind of place and why wouldn’t you. A treat to enjoy, overwhelm and dive into. The vegetarian dishes (as the non are, according to Ruth) are inspiring, and flavoursome.

There are more than enough vegetarian dishes to return to again and again, their can be no complaints.

The service, hospitality and the food is testament to the hard work that goes into making the Lasan experience whole and nearly complete, (veggie tasting menu, more indian puddings) please😊

one that ‘teases the senses and stirs the soul’.

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

0121 212 3664

http://www.lasan.co.uk

@lasan

@akrarislam

Facebook/Lasan-Restaurant

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We were invited as guests of Lasan Restaurant Group, we received part compensation for the bill the balance we paid ourselves. As always my opinions are honest and my own. No positive review was required though there is no doubt you couldn’t fail to be impressed. 

 My previous review of Lasan Restaurant last year. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/06/03/lasan-restaurant-teasing-the-senses-review/