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.

  

The Plough, Harborne launches ‘Spit’ wine and spirit school. 


  

The award-winning team at the Plough in Harborne has launched a wine and spirit school with a difference. ‘Spit’ will cater for enthusiasts and those looking to secure industry-calibre qualifications alike and offer a range of recognised wine courses and tasting events, gin and whisky nights and other short courses in a simple, fun and straight talking fashion – with plenty of hands on tasting. 
‘Spit’ is an approved Wine and Spirit Education Trust program provider and the courses will take place ‘Next Door’ at The Plough which is home to two private dining and meeting rooms. The courses will showcase best-in-class, progressive wines and spirits. 

 The Plough has forged a reputation for its well-curated selection of craft spirits which takes in a 100+ strong whisky list and the courses will be designed to introduce delegates to exciting and lesser-known spirit and wine varieties. 
The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then the WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits in education, with a suite of sought after qualificatIons. 
The Plough’s James Thewlis who is an approved WSET provider will lead the courses. James has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector earning his stripes as General Manager at Circo, the first bar in Birmingham to secure a late license and then heading up cocktail bar and restaurant 52 Degrees North. An eight year stint in Melbourne followed before returning to Birmingham’s fine dining and michelin star scene as Sommelier at Turners, before joining The Plough four years ago. 
James said, “Our aim is to make wine and spirit tasting interesting, sociable and accessible. We’re thrilled to have been approved as a WSET provider, these courses are a great way for those in the industry to bolster their experience and credentials. Wine tasting has something of a stuffy reputation, we’re really keen to dispel that and the idea that you aways have to ‘spit’. We’re passionate about illustrating how much fun it can be whilst introducing some top-class spirits and wines to an many people as possible.”
Each WSET course includes lunch from The Plough’s popular sharing menu, which has been designed especially for ‘Next Door’, and will be followed by a glass of wine in The Plough bar afterwards. 
Course Details:

15th June 2016, 9.30am – 5pm
WSET LEVEL ONE, £140

22nd June 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO SPANISH WINES, £17

18th, 19th, 20th July 2016, 9,30am – 5pm 
WSET LEVEL TWO, £355

27th July 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN WINES, £17

ABOUT WSET LEVEL 1 AND 2 
WSET LEVEL 1
This course is a good starting point for the exploration of wine styles. No prior knowledge is required as the course is designed to introduce wines in an interactive, structured and concise manner. This course will suit a novice wine enthusiast or those wishing to start their career in the wine or hospitality business.
WSET LEVEL 2
The course covers the major grape varieties, regions of the world, food and wine pairing, sparkling wines, fortified wines and the major spirits. You will not need any formal qualification, just an enthusiasm for the subject and willingness to learn. This course is ideal for anyone wishing to be introduced to wine or spirits in an informative and structured manner. It is suitable for both the enthusiast and those looking to enter or already working in the wine and hospitality business requiring a good level of product knowledge.
About The Plough:
The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards. 

The Plough, 
21 High Street

Harborne

B17 9NT

Follow Spit here: 
@spitwine

Follow The Plough story here: 
Instagram : @ploughstagram 
Twitter : @PloughHarborne 

Facebook : The Plough Harborne

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Henry Wong restaurant in Harborne announces Military Home Fisher House as their chosen charity. 


   
 It’s always nice to report on something slightly different than the direct food related news and reviews. Henry Wong a lovely Cantonese restaurant in Harborne in Birmingham which is fabulous for Vegetarians, has always been involved in local charity work. 

They are still involved with The Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer charity which raises money directly for the cancer unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but have now added Fisher House also at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.  

The  QE’s Fisher House is Touted as a ‘Home away from Home’, Fisher House is intended for injured military personnel – many of whom have suffered life changing injuries in service – and their immediate families and is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the receiving hospital for all the UK’s military patients who are injured or fall ill anywhere around the world during active service. These military patients are treated by both NHS and military medical staff. Over 400 serving military personnel form the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine are based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Fisher House opened its doors in April 2013, and has already provided medical assistance and respite for almost 1,700 people, including patients, parents, partners and children. This adds up to more than 9,500 nights of accommodation provided for people ranging in age from one month to 94 years!

Help from businesses like Henry Wong of Harborne is integral to the running of Fisher House, as it solely relies on funds from charitable donations. Mike Hammond, the Chief Executive of QEHB Charity, which runs Fisher House explains “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Henry Wong of Harborne for choosing to support Fisher House. It costs the charity £250,000 a year to run the facility and we rely entirely on the generous support of individuals and companies, like Henry Wong, to raise this. More fundraising means we can offer more free accommodation and support to more military patients and their families. We very much look forward to working with Henry Wong of Harborne in 2016”.

It was a perfect fit for Henry Wong of Harborne owner, Parm Rai, who has a long history in supporting Birmingham-based charities. Commenting; “First and foremost I wanted to support a charity local to the restaurant in Harborne. Mike Hammond from Fisher House regularly visits Henry Wong and has, on occasion, brought along some of his patients to dine with us, as part of their reintegration to society. I, like many, feel indebted to these military personnel who have literally laid their lives on the line for our us, so I could think of no worthier charity to support in 2016”.
Henry Wong of Harborne will be organizing a calendar of exciting events both on and off-site that will raise awareness and funds for Fisher House.  

Henry Wong Harborne was opened just over 30 years ago and saw a relaunch by businessman Parm Rai in 2008. They introduced a new cocktail bar, outdoor terrace dining area and a private dining room to host events.

   

    

Henry Wong restaurant is also celebrating the Chinese New Year with this year is the year of the Monkey.

2016 (on the Chinese calendar) is a year of the Monkey, starting from February 8 (Chinese New Year), and ending on January 27, 2017 (Chinese New Year’s Eve).

The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Every 12 years there is a Monkey year. (Interestingly, Monkey years are all multiples of 12 — from 12 AD, through 1200 AD, to now in 2016.)
   

For details of Henry Wong you can find them at:

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

For more information on Fisher House: 

http://www.fisherhouseuk.org/

http://www.fisherhouseuk.org/about/

For more information onLadies Fighting Breast Cancer: 

http://www.lfbc.org.uk/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Thanks also to Henry Wong and FU Media for the information on Fisher House. 

All photos apart from the food pics courtesy of Henry Wong. 

For previous vegetarian food reviews of Henry Wong see the links below: 

https://t.co/8wgJpC8N9R

http://t.co/9artBxAlv7

Veggie Dish of the Day: Chinese Green Gai Lan at Henry Wong, Harborne, Birmingham. 


   
For Vegetarians seeking a sophisticated but different kind of meal, with an extensive vegetarian menu Henry Wong in Harborne in South Birmingham is just the ticket. Specialising in Cantonese food Henry Wong presents exquisitely flavoured and classically presented dishes with a golden service. 

Set in a stylish dining room, with a rich woodwork and leather seating lounge bar area (serving cocktails) Henry Wong is a place for all occasions, but is becoming a place for Ruth and I to visit for celebrations as on this occasion to celebrate Ruth’s birthday late last year. 

We had visited Henry Wong before last year and had a fantastic evening. 

See my review:

https://vegiefoodie.com/2015/06/08/review-henry-wong-harborne/ 

    

One of the Vegetarian main courses on the menu is Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing Wine. A dish so simple looking but packing a huge flavour of tongue and senses twisting exoticness that with that taste you begin to believe in the afterlife. 

The thick stemmed tender and crisp Chinese vegetable Gai Lan (also known as Kai Lan) is a bit like broccoli, served simply with the light touch of ginger and Shaoshing wine, it’s a delightfully shiny, and glossy dish, tossed simply with the ginger and Shaoshing wine, the warmth of the ginger balances the pronounced taste of the Gai Lan with an intensified cooling flavour kick lingering long on the palette. 

It’s an aromatic dish of substance and a vegetarian essential not to be missed at luxurious Henry Wong. 

 Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing wine. £9.50.   A beautiful glossy dish eaten best with a couple of shared dishes (or another vegetarian dish) and some sticky rice. 

   Cocktails at Henry Wong.

   

 Last two photos courtesy of Henry Wong.

With thanks to owner Parm Rai, chef Ricky Wu and a special thanks to restaurant manager Marianne Ho and her team for helping us celebrate Ruth’s Birthday with their exemplary service.

We paid for our food and drinks at Henry Wong, but received a 25% discount from Parm as it was a special occasion. My review is honest as always and I was not required to review or write about my experience.

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

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/menus/food-menu/

The Plough Harborne reveals extension plans launching ‘Upstairs at The Plough’.


   
 
I have to say that I was happy to receive an email from The The Plough Harborne’s PR team about their revamp in November. 

Because if you asked me where the best place to get a whisky in Birmingham is I may say The Plough, if you ask me where’s the best Vegetarian Sunday lunch (so far) then tick the Plough. The best veggie burger, maybe the Plough though not tried it yet. The best veggie pizza maybe the Plough too, especially as their redevelopment includes a pizza oven, which gives it a good start in my book. The Plough cover all basis, from coffee, brunch and dinner. 

See my review of the Veggie Sunday lunch: 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2015/01/28/veggiesundaylunch-the-plough-harborne/

   Veggie Sunday lunch at The Plough. 

 Okra and Sweet Potato Hash Brunch
   
Veggie Roast. 

 
  
The Plough in Harborne is set to launch ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ this November. Work has started on the £750k project which will see the popular neighbourhood pub on Harborne High Street add a new first floor extension which will be home to two new private dining and meeting rooms whilst extending its ground floor by 40 covers. 
‘Upstairs at The Plough’ will be home to two flexible private dining rooms with 30 covers combined. The rooms have been designed to accommodate meetings or conferences with both boasting wi-fi, large flat TV screens and private audio systems. The entire space can also be opened up and cater for up to 40 people standing. 

The ground floor renovations will see the arrival of a new bar dedicated to showcasing The Plough’s global selection of rare, award-winning and artisan whiskies alongside a carefully curated collection of craft beers. 

The make-over will also see the arrival of a new pizza kitchen and oven and coffee bar. 

They are also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms. 

The team have re-ignited their long term partnership with interior design expert Melony Spencer of Spencer Swinden to create the new spaces which have been designed to complement The Plough’s trademark eclectic design.

Adam Johnson, Director at The Plough, said, “At The Plough we pride ourselves on the close relationships we enjoy with our regular customers and we take their feedback really seriously. The idea for ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ was born as a result of the regular requests we received to host private events whilst the additional covers and kitchen space downstairs will allow us to develop our menu and product range, enhancingThe Plough experience further. We’re also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms which will further enable us to cater for growing demand. We’re really excited about the next phase in the business.” 
Launched in 2003 The Plough has built a reputation for its menu of fresh home-cooked food and its imitable design whilst clocking up awards for its Sunday lunch, coffee and interior.
The project will create 10 jobs and is set for completion in November. 
  
Plans for The Plough. 

The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards. 

Follow The Plough story here: 

Instagram : @ploughstagram 
Twitter : @PloughHarborne 

Facebook : The Plough Harborne 

https://theploughharborne.co.uk/

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊 
   Veggie Sunday roast Lunch  

  

   

   

Japanese Whisky at The Plough. 

 
   
   
Whisky at The Plough. 

Some of the photos courtesy of The Plough Harborne. 

Birmingham Independents day: Saturday July 4th. 


On Saturday 4th July, while America celebrates its Independence Day, BrumHour invites you to share #BrumIndependentsDay across social media and support your local businesses. 

If you don’t know #BrumHour and use Twitter then you should make yourself familiar with it. Every Sunday from 8-9pm is Brum Hour where the opportunity is there to shout out your business, blog or whatever takes your fancy, a new shop you’ve found, an event or just a jolly good meal. It’s a very supportive hour, and all the better for it I believe. 

Dave Massey from BrumHour (and I quote) said “I’ve seen businesses across the UK take part in Small Business Saturday in previous years and I wanted to do a version we could do in Birmingham”. Dave works hard to promote the Birmingham scene and has been a massive support to my blog and his posts on his blog are eclectic and interesting. 

https://brumhour.wordpress.com/ 

This Saturday join in using #BrumIndependentsDay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
For me it’s about highlighting great Independent businesses in and around Birmingham and shouting out that they are the cornerstone of all that’s good about Birmingham and what makes this city unique, alive and current. And I believe it’s fun to explore. 

Next week in fact sees pop up kings Two Cats open up their permanent restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter, with some good veggie options. Stay tuned for more. 
Also a new Greek deli called Treat has opened in the Great Western Arcade and seems to be doing a good trade. Expect fresh salads, pies, figs, cheese, and Greek coffee. This joins All Greek Deli on Stephenson Street near New Street station. 

Recently Harborne has welcomed Paradice Gelateria to its indie ranks.   Serving cooling ice cream, waffles, deserts and drinks. 

   
   
A fantastic Flat White at independent coffee shops Yorks Colmore Row and Yorks Bakery Newhall Street. 

   

 

  
Amantia Mediterranean and Spanish  restaurant Birmingham City centre. 

   
 
Vegetarian Veg out Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham

   

   
Vegetarian Sunday lunch at The Plough Harborne. 

   

 
Gas Street Social and its veggie brunch #allyoucaneatbrunch Mailbox Birmingham. 

  

Blue Ginger restaurant Kings Heath. 

   

 
Henry Wong in Harborne

   

   

    
Veggie tapas, courgette salad and Gin Martini at Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath

   

    
 
Veggie breakfast bap, flat white and cappuccino at Grand Central Kitchen opposite New Street Station

   

 
Flat white at Faculty Coffee and tea in Piccadilly Arcade in City Centre. 

   

 
Veggie burger at The Victoria pub on John Bright Street. 

   

 
Coffee or breakfast  at Cherry Reds on John Bright Street City Centre and York Road, Kings Heath 

Of course I can’t mention Independents in Birmingham without mentioning independent Birmingham and the great work that Joe does in the city 

For details of the many independents in Birmingham not just food take a look at their website. 

App coming soon. 😄👍

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/

Also bag yourself an IB Card via their website for discounts at many independent establishments in Birmingham. 

For more great independents check out the Colmore Business District Food Festival on the 4th July in Victoria Square. 

  

See my post for traders and menus. 

http://t.co/FtCNg5Hwr0

Thanks for reading and have fun. 

Andy 😊



Review: Henry Wong, Harborne. 


   

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   
 

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

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

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

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

   
         

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

   
 

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

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

   
 

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

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

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

Henry Wong also cater for gluten free diners.

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

I can’t wait to go back.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

0121 427 7666

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

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

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

AH

#VeggieSundayLunch: The Plough Harborne


The Plough in Harborne, in South Birmingham has a village feel and is filled with quirky independent details. It has a buzzy atmosphere and is well known by people in the know for its fresh homemade food, its Sunday Lunch and its coffee.

In fact it’s Sunday lunch has won the Times newspaper award for best Sunday Lunch in the region.

On a Sunday The Plough serves a Hearty brunch from 9am-12.30. Including a lovely looking vegetarian breakfast and numerous other veggie delights. The Sunday lunch is served from 1pm until they are gone. It is advisable to book as the restaurant was busy throughout our visit.

So it was for Sunday Lunch that Ruth and I ventured to The Plough.

For me-to try the the holy grail of vegetarian dishes-the vegetarian roast dinner.

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The Plough has a homely industrial feel about it. The design adds character and a modern distressed look to the wooden furniture that has a rustic cared for look. I liked the decor, the quirky vintage, potted plants and funky signs.

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The Plough has been praised for its Sunday lunch menu, it’s popular judging by how busy the restaurant and bar was and also for its coffee in its own right. A destination for #Coffeetime itself.

For me the vegetarian Sunday roast contours up images of home cooked food, Christmases, and family gatherings. That Cosy feel, tempting aroma and warming taste.

Vegetarians often get bypassed on a Sunday. Restaurants and pubs, prefer wrongly to provide soggy pasta, or a bland mushroom risotto into veggie punters. An irritation not a discerning foodie in their own right. They don’t take the time to create and test a dish that will bring vegetarians in and send them home happy. Satisfied.

Not the Plough-no not The Plough.

Ruth and I were seated near to the coffee action centre as I call it. The coffee station, on going entertainment for me. An area of action.

We both chose the veggie starter.

The Spicy Watercress Soup.

It arrived Served on a wooden board, in a lovely sunny blue bowl, the green of the watercress on the blue. The flavours of the soup were spot on, the gentle peppery bite of the watercress packed a punch and made for a warming soup and a lovely starter, served with good homemade crusty bread.

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For her roast Ruth chose the Beef. Which she loved. A generous plate of food, that was a class above the average.

I chose the veggie Apricot Stuffing roast.

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The roast looked stunning on arrival. A plate full of food. The Roast was delicious. The Apricot stuffing inside the outer crust of the roast, moist, subtle flavours, well seasoned and an element of harmony in the construction.

So many veggie roasts are overdone, overworked, and over flavoured. The Plough’s veggie roast was perfectly cooked, with the apricots adding a glamorous flavour that made the dish more exotic, enticing.

The best I’d had outside of my family home.

It was served with a creamy swede mash, and a delicious pea filled Yorkshire pudding and a braised red cabbage that was lovely, always a winner with me.

We both agreed to have a pudding, well it was Sunday.

Ruth chose the ice cream cone. Which we both thought was a cool vintage idea. She enjoyed her cone.

I ordered the fresh lemon and meringue cheesecake which though looked lovely was a disappointment when tasted. In part because their was too much biscuit and not enough lemon and meringue. The biscuit seemed unhappy being there, too cloying and not in proportion to the lemon which had a good flavour. A shame.

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We both felt we should order some coffee as we were being enticed by the coffee station. Try some it kept saying.

We both ordered a double espresso. They packed a punch, both superbly made. I will be back to try more.

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The Plough has recently introduced a new whisky list of rare and international Whiskies to compliment the large Scottish list they have already. It’s a stunningly large list. Very impressive.

I was advised to try the Swedish MackMyra single malt, so we ordered one of those and one of the complex Ardbeg 10 year single malt from the Islay region of Scotland. Which we shared.

The Ardbeg had a complex malty and peaty flavour that was exuberant and in your face, but for Islay lovers like ourselves its s great choice.

I didn’t realise Sweden made whisky so this was a treat. The MackMyra single Malt had a fresh nutty flavour, light in colour, with a lingering finish and slightly lemony. A nice gentle floral whisky and a lovely contrast to the peaty Ardbeg. Well recommended for something different.

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We also drank two glasses of white wine and a pint and half of Purity ale.

The Plough was full of people in the know. The staff and service was charming throughout, young and enthusiastic and happy.

The plough gets pretty busy so booking on a Sunday is advised. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, a mixture of families with small children, families without children, couples and friend groups.

For my first Vegetarian Sunday Lunch review the Plough sets the standard and maybe won’t be beaten on quality, touch and care. It’s worth spending a bit more. It’s worthwhile in the Plough’s case.

The king of the veggie Sunday roast.

Kick back and try for yourself and take your meat eating friends and family too.

They will love it.

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The Plough Harborne,
21 High Street,
Harborne,
Birmingham
B17 9NT

0121 427 3678

http://www.theploughharborne.co.uk

Facebook/plough.harborne

@ploughharborne

We were invited by The Plough Harborne as guests to try their Sunday Lunch menu. All food and drink was complimentary but I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own and honest as always.

Many thanks to Dan the restaurant manager for looking after us.

Has anyone had a good veggie Sunday lunch anywhere else? If its good then I will try and visit.

Have you tried the Plough Sunday lunch what did you think?

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

@andydhare

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#TastyMorsel: Lounging at The Loungers Cosy Club


Well it would be rude not to 🙂

One of the finds for me since I started my blog is the casual Loungers cafe bars that offer all day casual eating, drinking and community chilled fun, quirky atmosphere, amd a relaxed vibe whatever the day or night or occasion.

They are extremely popular and what I like about them community driven. My local one in Kings Heath, do fundraising, have book sessions, do charity work, they have a community notice board where people can promote events, local information.

They offer a space for families to dine in a casual way with children’s activities and games, as well as offering an informal drinking and dining scene for evening down time.

Birmingham and Solihull already have four Loungers bars.

<strong>Arco Lounge in Harborne, Loco Lounge in Kings Heath and Desco Lounge in Shirley at the new Park Gate shopping centre. and Verdo Lounge in Wylde Green.

All four offer a similar menu, from Breakfasts, all day brunch, lunches and an evening menu and a changing specials board.

Plus coffee, cocktails, wines, real ale and craft world beers. An all round winner.

They are cosy, quirky, family friendly home from home, and ideal for catching up with friends or an informal date night or as a place to work in or write over a coffee.

The food, i’ve had is excellent, from tapas, to Burgers, to specials, and puds. They are very popular with a cross section of the communities they serve, and are buzzy and lively and always busy, day and night.

For vegetarians and vegans, they offer a comprehensive menu. vegetarian breakfasts, veggie Kedgeree, sandwiches, tapas, veggie burgers, and risotto and Mac and cheese.

They have a full vegan menu which is to be commended and serve vegan wine.

Brunch is served all day, and on Tuesday’s in Kings Heath there is Tapas Tuesday where you can get three tapas and a glass of wine for £9.95.

There is also an extensive gluten free menu, a kids menu and cakes, coffee and puds.

See website for menus: http://www.theloungers.co.uk

For my review of Loco Lounge Kings Heath here

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/11/26/veggieburgerwatch-loco-lounge-kingsheath/

So it was with a degree of excitement that I read in
The Birmingham Post that the company Loungers are planning to open a cafe bar called The Cosy Club in Birmingham City Centre hopefuuly in the Spring

They have purchased the old historic Midland Bank building on Bennetts Hill opposite The Lost and Found bar and Issacs curry restaurant near the already successful Pure Bar and Fumo.

They plan to offer a similar cosy all day cafe with 30’s sofas, a quirky atmosphere and a similar menu. Expect to see vegan/veggie breakfasts up to 6pm, Mac and cheese with a twist, Veggie Bean Burgers, sharing veggie plates and cheese plates, delicious puds and coffee galore.

Details are still a bit vague, but for Birmingham City Centre it should be a great place to chill with good coffee, and a cocktail and for veggies and vegans it should offer more food choice than many other places in the city do.

What with a new restaurant from Lasan and
The Botanist Bar also to open nearby in the Spring, that part of Birmingham will become even more of a haven for foodies.

It should be retitled the Colmore Foodie district.

Keep an eye on my blog for more details on the all the above over the next few months.

Also, now open is Quinto lounge in Sutton Coldfield which is the 5th lounges bar to open in the West Midlands. This has opened this week on the Birmingham Road.

The Lounges Cafe bars are an excellent all rounder. Give one a try. 😊

Arco Lounge: 147 High Street, Harborne, B17 9NP

Loco Lounge: 32-34 High Street, Kings Heath B14 7ST

Desco Lounge: Park life Shopping centre, Stratford Road, Shirley, B90 3AX

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

@andydhare

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