Restaurant Review: Raja Monkey, Birmingham.


Birmingham’s current fondness for all things Indian Street Food is in a word becoming interesting though maybe the beginning of its undoing. With two new street food places due to open before Autumn snuggles into Winter, and one recent one Indian Streatery doing well in the centre of Birmingham, you may easily forget the original cafe in Brum that is the funky Raja Monkey.

Owned by the good kids of the Lasan group it strikes one instantly of the organisation and sophistication of its big brother Lasan (though on a smaller more intimate street food scale). Here you find the same high quality ingredients, the same beautiful attentive, polite and obliging service, and the same attention to detail in the cooking, that has heralded lasan as one of best, if not the best Indian palace of gastronomy in Birmingham.

The dishes are simpler here at the roadside Dhaba like Raja Monkey and more authentic.

The dishes show a vibrant complexity of flavours, spicing and cooking that is the sale of the century when you tally it with the price of the dishes.

To say the food is outstanding is in a way to undersell the joy that I experienced. I’ve been before (with Ruth) and salivated over the veggie Thalis and supreme dosas. And yes I’ve eaten so many takeaways from these guys that I’d hate to count up the total bill. Yet compared to some other more recent openings on the Indian Street Food trail Raja Monkey is the Manchester United to the Aston Villa (and I’m a villa fan). One that others should learn from in its effortless simplicity and devotion to the diner having a fine night out.

On this occasion my dining partner wasn’t Ruth, but a guy called Paul (Ruth did know where I was, so I wasn’t dodging fatherly duties, but then I may have been slightly!)

To say Raja Monkey is intimate is an understatement though it’s size doesn’t detract from the comfort of the comfortable long bench seats that recreates the informal rustic street food cafe look well. The walls adorned with retro pictures and artefacts with the faint sound of Indian music in the distance conjures up the road side cafe image it sets out to be.

The food is influenced by the Southern Indian cuisine of the continent.

Set off from the busy Stratford Road in the Hall Green part of Birmingham, Raja Monkey greets and meets that neighbourhood eatery concept well.

The Popodoms or Papads we ate whilst looking at the menu were crisp, served with a deliciously sweet yogurt Raita that had a delicious flavour.

I ate a Samosa Chaat, Chickpeas, potatoes, fried samosa pastry, served cold, piled high, with a soothing spicing that tickled the mouth and danced in the club of classic curry dishes and then somehow betters them making you sigh and dip into your cold beer with joy. An instant satisfying joy.

I also tried the Pau Bhaji, a deeply satisfying Street Food snack of mashed veg Bhaji with roasted pau buns, brioche like with uplifting flavours and spicing made with panache. A very satisfying starter.

We both moved onto a Vegetable Kadai a melange of veggies in a masaledar gravy. Colourful crunchy vegetables with an appetising appearance. Rich with tomatoes, a good chilli heat gave the veg a rich textured flavour that rewarded generously.

Mopped up with an appreciative Roti it was a sensational dish of perfect spicing and immaculate cooking.

A delight of a vegetarian curry.

To finish, a lip smacking soft and spongy Rasmalai was enjoyed. A melt in your mouth texture, and the perfect refreshing pallet cleanser after a spicy curry.

A pudding of pure joy.

Raja Monkey Excels with its Brilliant Vegetarian cooking. They make use of quality ingredients and thoughtful spicing with an artistic touch of sophistication, all without the pomp. It’s self confident and on a Tuesday night the food hit the curry longing spot like a Romalau Lukaku shot on the turn.

Raja Monkey always been good, but to be honest now It excels.

For a sublime, but informal curry with a great value price maybe it can’t be beaten in Birmingham and for Vegetarians if it’s not on your list of places to visit or revisit then I’m afraid you don’t deserve promotion to the Premier league.

A true road side cafe.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

<

Thanks to Paul Fulford for the invite to dine with him at Raja Monkey. My food and drink was complimentary but all views expressed are my own.

Our Food was washed down by a couple of Cobra lagers.

Raja Monkey, 1355 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9HH.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<
commend a take away from Raja Monkey. Menu on website.

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

My previous review is here:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/vegiefoodie.com/2015/01/23/raja-monkey-authentic-indian-street-food-in-birmingham/amp/

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#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Mowgli Street Food is opening at Grand Central by the end of September, offering simple Indian street food.

YouTube Vlogger Nisha Katona owns the restaurant which originated in Liverpool.

Mowgli will opening in the centres casual dining area next to Tapas Revolution and Pho. Serving home style fresh food including tiffin boxes.

Mowgli sets itself up as taste of adventure with their famous yogurt chat Bombs at the heart of the menu.

The menu will include many vegan dishes and will now doubt be popular amongst veggies and vegans in Birmingham.

A healthy mix of good food and fun atmosphere awaits.

Watch this space for more news as I know it.

Laghi’s Deli has just opened on Islington Row just off Five Ways island.

Italian delights a plenty, home made breads, cakes, homemade pasta you name it it’s here. They also do Aperativi. The aperitivo period after work in Italy when for the price of a cocktail or wine finger foods can be enjoyed alongside. So try focaccia, olives or cheese maybe. Heaven! Is there a finer time in Italy? From 5-7pm

Oh and good coffee…but of course.

They also stock an impressive range of wine.

The 40 cover restaurant bar is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Expect a visit from me, to sample their wares, at some point… could be the Italian gaff I’ve been dreaming of for Brum!

At last.

Laghi’s is open from 8am-11.30pm Mondays to Saturdays.

Vegan Mex it Up are presenting An American Affair on Saturday 30th September at The Pie Shop in Stirchley on the Pershore Road.

The menu is below:

Booking via info@mexitupfoods.com

The Vegan Cakery will be providing the desert.

Mex it up have also been nominated for best vegan caterer. You can vote for them below.

https://london.vegfest.co.uk/awards/vote/

As mentioned in the previous Tasty Morsels, The Indian Streatery is now open for business with a great selection of veggie and Vegan dishes. The menu is below:

Find it on Hill Street just off New Street in Birmingham City Centre.

I Can’t wait to try it out.

Las Iguanas opened on Temple Street in the city centre on the 28th August. The Latin American themed restaurant has many vegetarian dishes and a devoted Vegan menu on offer. Plus 2-4-1 cocktails all day every day. They are also still open in The Arcadian area of Brum.

Tamatanga.

Anther new Indian Street Food eatery is due to open in Birmingham City Centre on Navigation Street this month. Tamatanga is Nottingham based for over ten years and is now opening up a flag ship restaurant in Brum. Authentic Indian dishes will be served all day including breakfast and the restaurant will be completely family friendly.

Open from 7.30am food will include breakfast items and thali’s and small plates, 3 dishes for £15 and five for £23.

Veggie Dishes include Chaat, veg samosas, chilli paneer and a dish called ragda Pattice, crispy potato cakes on masala yellow peas, with homemade chutneys.

Cocktails are also served.

They will have crayons, high chairs and kids menus.

Sounds a brilliant family restaurant.

Can’t wait to try it.

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 are offering 50% off in Birmingham this month (September). For tables up to 4 people, when booking quote September50 in the comments section online and receive the deal on their a la Carte menu.

Sounds veggie and vegan heaven to me.

Photo AH

And another new kid on the block is Grit -Food and Drink- opening at the space in the Jewellery Quarter vacated later this month by the excellent Two Cats Kitchen.

The former Jewellery workshop on Warstone lane will be serving affordable quality food from an A la Carte menu. More neighbourhood restaurant than fine fine dining a sample menu highlights some lovely sounding veggie dishes such as caramelised cauliflower, scorched salad , truffle, cheddar and sunflower seed. Using some of the old Two Cats team this opening sounds right nip my street and offers the type of food I love.

Can’t wait, Standby for more details when I have them.

Open October 17th.

And finally Brewdog in Birmingham have a showcase and meet the brewer on Friday September 8th with Kings Heath, Vegan Brewery Glasshouse Beer Co.

Showcasing 4 beers, Vermont Pale, IPA, Choccy Milk, and Stout and Raspberry Pale.

A Brewery to keep an eye on, but of course I’m biased.

Oh, and Ben and Jerry’s are now selling Vegan ice Cream across U.K. Supermarket s. Check out the flavours below. Enjoy.

That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All images and photos courtesy of restaurants and breweries apart from where stated.

Vegan Twisted Barrel Ale on the move and Summer Beer festival .


Vegan and Veggie friendly Twisted Barrel Ale are moving from their current premises in Coventry city centre FarGo Village. The new premises will be in nearby Far Gosford Street. Just a few doors down.

The new site is much larger with a brand new 24 keg bar. Producing roughly three times more beer than currently.

The entire bar and Brewery will be moved shortly and the Summer Beer Fest is the last opportunity in the current site to enjoy a fine list of beers.

Included are 16 keg lines and over 15 cask beers. Along with cans and bottles that can be taken home.

Gluten free beer is also available.

The Indian Lunchbox will be also offering their tantalising Vegan Indian

street food on the Saturday 26th August.

The Beer festival is running from the 25th until the 28th August from 12.00 until 20.00.

Find them at Unit 5 FarGo Village, Far Gosford Street, CV 1 5ED, Coventry.

Full beer list below:

If anyone’s trying to plan their weekend, this is the keg order for the weekend.

When each keg is gone they’ll move onto the next round for that tap. Expect most of round 1 to be gone tonight / early tomorrow afternoon.

What this list proves is there’s a tremendous amount of Vegan friendly beer locally and in the U.K, and that the move towards this is becoming more popular.

For full details of the Beer festival see the Facebook link below.

http://www.facebook.com/events/273820209730422

Thanks for reading,

Andy😊

Photos are not my own and from Twisted Barrel Ale and The Indian Lunchbox with thanks.

Apologies for the lists but the amount of Vegan friendly drinks available is testimony to a changing industry and I wanted to show how many choices are out there.

Please note the list of beers is correct at time of going to press and maybe subject to change. Thanks to the Brewery for the lists via face book.

AH

#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Beginning on the 20th August The Warehouse Cafe is introducing their Vegan Sunday Roast lunch menu. From 12-3pm every Sunday. With gluten free and kids options. The menu is below.

Get booking.

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 in the Great Western Arcade are offering 50% off in August. This offer is for up to 4 people on the A La Carte menu.

Offer available from Sunday until Friday. Only available when booked via the link and add August 50 in the comments.

http://uk.resdiary.com/go.aspx?id_message=19967&id_prov=5220&id_subscriber=110029387&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.resdiary.com%2FRestaurant%2F1847Birmingham

 

 

Vegan eatery Natural Healthy Foods have a curry, Jazz night on Sunday 27th August. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are £20. £2 of which will go to charity Animal Healing Trust and horse rescue. Jazz will be from the Mish Mash Quartet.

For menu see poster.

For tickets see below link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/curry-jazz-night-natural-healthy-foods-eatery-tickets-36774336029

As mentioned in the last tasty morsels The Vegan Grindhouse have a residency at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter beginning on the 15th August until the 26th August. Every day apart from Sunday’s for your street food Americana.

See the menu Below:

http://1000trades.org.uk/aint-nothing-wrong-little-vegan-grind-2/

Mex It Up have a Kitchen takeover ‘Thai it up’ on Sunday 20th August at The Pie Shop in Stirchley. A set menu of delicious Thai Vegan food. From 17.30-21.00. The menu is £15.00 per person.

Starter : Mixed platter of crispy fried tofu, spring rolls and garlic n soy fried beansprouts with dipping sauces.

Main: Veg Green Curry served with rice noodles

Dessert: Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango Sorbet.

The first of a regular series of pop ups for Mex it up.

The Pie Shop is on the Pershore Road.

Digbeth Dining Club regulars The Indian Rasoi are opening up an eatery and cocktail bar in Birmingham city centre. Called The Indian Streatery it’s due to be open from Saturday 26th August.

Their Chaat is legendary and with a plethora of veggie and vegan options it looks set to be one of the best places for meat Free options in the city centre.

It’s to be based in the original Adams restaurant building just off New Street on Hill Street.

Look out for more details on this blog when I have them on menus and a review in due course.


On 26th August Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath have a tapas tasting day. Free samples a plenty from 1-5pm. Well worth discovering.

And, Nyam Nyam, the Caribbean vegetarian and vegan street food trader will be at the Kings Heath Street Food Market this Saturday, 19th August.

Veggie heaven indeed.

That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Vegan Vybes are at Two Towers Brewery for a pop up on August  19th. 

They will also be hosting the Kings Heath Vegan Community Market on 29th July from 11am-15.00.

Wolverhampton based company Cakes and Ish will be present.

Karma Collective has announced another vegan business in its collective.

Most people will know Karma Collective through its existing tattoo studio or Purely Vegan Store & deli both located in Kings Heath.

However the latest project is based in Stirchley and is simply named The Pie Shop.

This new venture will bring something new to the ever growing vegan community and hopefully encourage more people to eat cruelty free. 

Stirchley is an up and coming area and Karma Collective hope to bring new interest to the area with a menu full of tasty pies and pizza. The idea is to engage with the local community as well as the established vegan community by opening the first 100% plant based pie shop in the West Midlands and quite possibly the UK.

The menu will offer a growing variety of pies based on everyday favourites to some more unusual combinations. Both savoury and sweet, as well as pizza and differing specials. All served with a choice of vegetables, potatoes or chips.

The Pie Shop aims to provide a basic need for tasty home cooking at affordable prices. The setting is a fusion of olde world meets modern world. 

Eat in or Take away is available and a local delivery service is planned for the future. 

As well as providing tasty food, The Pie Shop will also be raising money for Animal Charities currently supported by Karma Collective by donating profit from certain meals to Wonky Pets Rescue and also The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice.

The Pie Shop will also host a number of regular evening kitchen take overs with various themes by different caterers. 

You can get all the updates on The Pie Shop by finding them in social media…just search @kcpieshop

The Gunmakers Arms are holding a Vegan cheese night on Thursday 27th July from 7.30pm.

Expect cheese and Two Towers vegan friendly beer.

Sally from the fabulous Vegan in Brum blog will be introducing and talking about the cheeses.

Find her blog here:

https://veganinbirmingham.co.uk/

The event starts at 5.30 with the talk from

Sally at 6.30.

The Beer Yeti blog will also be in attendance matching the beers to the cheese.

http://www.BeerYeti.com

Full details on the Facebook events page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/667550230108218/?ti=cl

This event is part of Birmingham Beer Week 2017.

From the 21-26th August The Vegan Grindhouse are taking over the kitchen of a 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter.

South American food and drinks independents Bodega are opening in Sutton Coldfield.

There menu is full of Vegetarian friendly dishes and has a Vegan menu too. So with cocktails a plenty and a fun filled vibe those summer nights may just go on and on.

Oh, and new Vegan cafe Fressh is due to open in Birmingham at the City Arcade in October.

I’ll have more on that soon.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All Photos courtesy of restaurants and businesses with thanks.

Brum Vegan Beer fest returns, 20th-22nd July.


The Brum Vegan Beer and food festival returns this week from the 20th until the 22nd July at The Gunmakers Arms in the city centre.

This year it is one of the events of The Birmingham Beer week.

I've never understood the point in not making all beers, ciders etc vegan and Veggie friendly, after all in an economy that's sales driven surely by doing so you'll sell more beer and everyone will be happy. Of course others will disagree, but I'm a vegetarian so this is important to me. After all it makes perfect sense.

There are many vegan and veggie friendly beers on the market. The range gets bigger and bigger and breweries are now seeing the sense in this.

The Gunmakers Arms will host the festival. There house beer is brewed by Two Towers Brewery, who provide only vegan friendly beers.

The Gunmakers Arms has its own self contained Brewery-Two Towers Brewery.

For this it's third year it will be free entry.

However they are now offering beer tickets for £11.00 for 4 drinks. That means each pint is £2.75. Paid for in beer tokens.

Each ticket can be used on any of the festival dates.

These tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite: see below link.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brum-vegan-beer-fest-ticket-tickets-35862425480

The tickets can be brought on the day from the bar too.

There will be vegan beer in cask, keg, bottle and can formats.

Vegan food will be available on Friday from the superb Real Junk Food Project B'ham, and Saturday from Ubuntu Bakery and foods as well as Some of the food from the Gunmakers Arms.

https://www.facebook.com/TRJFPBrum/

https://www.facebook.com/ubuntubakery/

Brewery's and Beers on offer include are mostly local but include a few from further afield.

You'll find, Two Towers Brewery, Rock N Roll Brewhouse, Birmingham Brewing Company, Art Brewery and Boudicca Brewing Company Amongst others.

The full list of beers are listed below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/435382006794577??ti=ia

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brum-vegan-beer-fest-ticket-tickets-35862425480

The festival runs from 20th July to 22nd and is from noon until 11.pm.

See below link for full details and events of Birmingham beer week.

https://www.birminghambeerweek.uk/

https://twitter.com/birmbeerweek?lang=en

It should be a fantastic festival.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

The Gunmakers Arms, 93 Bath Street, Birmingham, B4 6HG. (0121-236-8486)

For more information on why some beer isn't vegan and veggie friendly see here:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/37350233

Opus fixes the price not the diners options.


Birmingham restaurant Opus has once again reinvented the wheel with fixing the prices, but not your dining options.

Opus one of the leading fine-dining restaurants in Birmingham, has scrapped the individual prices on its à la carte menu and has instead introduced a fixed price for either two- or three-course dining.

Opus believes it is the only restaurant to have this standout offering. It will enable diners to choose any dish from its full à la carte menu, with a two-course lunch or dinner costing £27.50 or a three-course meal £32.50. 

The vegetarian menu costs £25 for two courses and £30 for three. 

The concept has been spearheaded by award-winning executive head chef Ben Ternent. He said: “Typically you find that the cheaper, fixe prix menus in restaurants offer limited options for diners, but we were keen to do something a little different from the norm.

“We decided that our diners deserved to enjoy our full à la carte options for a fixed price. It’s not something many restaurants do and I’m thrilled to introduce it here at Opus.”

Ben joined Opus, on Cornwall Street, as commis chef shortly after the restaurant launched in 2005 and worked in almost every section of its kitchen before being promoted to executive head chef in 2015, when it celebrated its tenth anniversary.
During his time at the restaurant, Ben has achieved a number of prestigious awards, including being crowned the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year in 2006 and achieving his Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Award of Excellence in 2009.

Ann Tonks, managing director at Opus, said: “We’re renowned for doing things a little differently here and because we are independent, we are always looking for new and innovative initiatives that benefit our clientele. Ben’s idea to remove the individual à la carte prices and instead have a fixed price across the whole menu is a great idea and I’m sure our diners will agree, too.

Vegetarians can enjoy dishes such as creamy goats cheese mousse, roasted English tomato and red pepper soup plus Leicestershire wild mushroom and truffle Wellington, Evesham beetroot risotto and tian of Pershore vegetables followed by a warm dark chocolate fondant or raspberry and blueberry iced parfait and a strawberry pudding, the choice is truly yours. 

Diners can, of course, choose one course only if they prefer and those dishes are individually priced.”

The menu is available for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday.

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Vegetarian-Menu.pdf

For full menu information, visit: 

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

Goats cheese tart 

Beetroot risotto

Strawberry pudding

Ben Ternent.


Opus Restaurant Vegetarian Source Dinner with Worcester Produce is also on Friday July 16th at 7pm.

The Source Dinner series includes this Veggie extravaganza. Enjoy 5 courses with wine pairing in conjunction with Worcester Produce. The fruit, vegetables and salad are grown in their nurseries and farms in the Vale of Evesham, picked on day one and are in the Opus kitchen on day two. It’s always an evening to savour.

Look out for my review soon. 

 Price £65 pp. 

Call 0121-200-2323 for booking. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Thanks to Opus and Clive Reeves PR for the photos. 

Restaurant Review: Zindiya, Moseley. 



Close your eyes And you can well imagine a perfect restaurant. Service tick, ambience tick, food tick, atmosphere tick, drinks tick.

Then tuck into the written word of those in the know, or whom think they do and then you’d feel well what’s the point in visiting it sounds so perfect. 

Me included have waxed lyrical about this place (at the time without trying it, lesson learnt) and from my point of perspective well it’s based entirely on the perceived menu and it’s very veggie friendly leanings. 

The written word, the gospel according to Birmingham is not always entirely accurate. 

It’s not that Zindiya is poor it’s just on the night Ruth and I visited, shall I say underwhelming and disapointing.

The hype suggested get your chops round this, and you’ll be reborn, but then when those chops get chewing and ready to rock and roll we found a game of two halves Saint.  It’s a game of two halves. 

I wanted zip and zing but didn’t find it sadly. 

Specialising in Indian street food dishes the menu is full of Vegetarian options which should make it essential and full of taste explosion and colour. 


Now Imagine you are in India, smell the air, the food, the atmosphere. Now let’s get our hands dirty and snack our lips with the intoxication of flavours. 

Unfortunately we aren’t in India. 

The good bits: Well we had two more than decent Dishes. 

An excellent traditional fast food dish Papri (Papdi) Chaat, which melted in the mouth and was very comforting that warmed the palate and an indulgent Idli Sambar, tifin dish. Idli’s are a traditional breakfast dish a savoury cake (for dipping) which came with a flavoursome Sambar, a touch of hot lentil soup with some nice textures of vegetables running through it. A Very enjoyable dish. 

Plus we ate An ok Hara Bhara Kebab, which was different. A snack like a cutlet that had subtle veg flavours with slightly bland spicing that made it not very binge worthy sadly and a bit dry. The dip alongside was also underwhelming. 

We also ate the Chilli Paneer which was not to my taste, and left me stunned with disappointment to its bland sweetness, and didn’t lift the paneer to any heights.

The masala chips, we ate were sadly disappointing with very little flavour (apart from a resemblance to a McDonalds fry without the salt) and if they were homemade chips then I’ll be Greavsie to the aforementioned Saint and then a unremarkable desert of chocolate balls filled with strawberries, served with chilli ice cream. (Chocolate Gol Gappe). 

Ruth ordered an ok Alphonso Mango Sorbet. 

I also drank a nice Massala Chai. 

As an aside I would have liked some Poppadoms to nibble on with thecmenu and maybe some Pani Puri on the menu. 

Papri Chaat

Hara Bhara Kebab

Idli SambaarChilli paneer 


Maybe we just chose badly on the food front and we missed a jewel from a long menu, but it wasn’t just the food but the whole experience that felt underwhelming and a tad dull, forced and lacking energy which for a street food cafe which promises authenticity and a buzz was surprising. 

The atmosphere felt stilted, more restaurant than cafe, not at all lively and bustling like I imagined an Indian street food gaff to be.

It was a Saturday night so that’s unusual in Moseley, right? 

Staff are friendly and helpful to a degree,  a bit chatty but didn’t inform us about their so called amazing cocktails or beers that I keep reading about or about any beer, cocktail matching with the food. Shame! 

Small bites careering from good to not so. Some a bit dreary (masala chips) some unforgettable (chilli paneer) An evening of what ifs and why nots. 

It’s a most peculiar place. 

When the food’s good my it’s good but then at times the place feels confused, unsure of itself, and it’s concept. But then I suppose  we aren’t in the hot aired and noisy streets of India, but hipster Moseley with its drip fed trendiness and right on smiles and why not there’s a lot to smile about in this part of South Birmingham. Stand up Cheval Blanc, Kababish, Sabai Sabai and Carters. 

So it should be more authentic right? After all Moseley can cope with this can’t it? 

Pluses. There’s lots of veggie choice. Which is fantastic. More than anywhere I know outside a veggie restaurant. Which I guess makes it more disappointing to me. This alone should get me a season ticket and get me dancing Bollywood style. A sight to behold! 

I liked the decor, the outside is bright, cheery, but gives the impression you are entering a lively eatery which sadly wasn’t our experience. Inside touches of Bollywood, bright and airy. 

It’s quite large too which I think doesn’t help the street food vibe, unlike Raja Monkey or Indian Brewery maybe it didn’t feel cool and intimate. 

There are places in Birmingham that do this better with more panache, better cooking, more simplistic style. More authenticity and self confidence, more cafe than restaurant. 

More crafty.

Zindiya didn’t feel anything special and a muddle of ideas served in a muddled way. I feel sad writing this. It’s a shame. I so wanted to love this place. 

It undermined the decent dishes. 

There’s some work needed on pulling the whole thing together, making the experience more seamless, explaining the dishes, exploring the tastes of the diners more, (both food and drinks)  making the whole experience more authentic. Bringing the street element more into focus. 

It felt like a restaurant not street food cafe. 

And yes, please remember to promote your cocktails and craft beer to me. Aren’t they supposed to be special. To be shouted about. 

Or at least as good as the chaat.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Disclaimer: We paid for our food and drinks in full. All opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the experience we had on the evening. 

Zindiya, 21 Woodbridge Road, Birmingham, B13 8EJ. 

0121-439-0593.

http://www.zindiya.co.uk/

Veggie Foodie tip: 

Do try Cheval Blanc in Moseley for cocktails and wine before and after a meal. The food is also raved about with veggie options on the menu.

I’m up for a food visit soon.

Also Carters of Moseley is outstanding for a special night of vegetarian seasonal decadence. 

The Kababish for curry. Delightful veggie dishes in nice surroundings. Tarka Daal anyone? 

Visit Sabai Sabai for sumptuous Thai food. 

AH.

Charity Evening with Belinda Carlisle at The High Field, Edgbaston: Saturday 15th July 2017.


It was 1987 when Belinda’s Carlisle’s album ‘Heaven on Earth’ came out, proceeded by the number one single ‘Heaven is a place on Earth’ which catapulted her into stardom in the U.K and heralded a clutch of successful singles and two majorly successful albums. The follow up ‘Runaway Horses’ even included an icon of mine in George Harrison. If you remember ‘Circle in the Sand,’ Leave a Light on’and ‘Summer Rain’ and one of my favourites ‘World Without You’ like I do then this may be for you? 

On Saturday 15th July 2017, The High Field will be hosting a very special evening in aid of charity when Belinda Carlisle one of the biggest selling female global artists of all time, makes a one-off appearance at the Edgbaston venue.

This exclusive event, which is limited to just 250 guests, will feature a short acoustic set of songs from Belinda as well as drinks and dinner in a glorious garden setting. 

It will raise money for Belinda’s own co-founded charity ’Animal People Alliance:

http://www.animalpeoplealliance.com/

https://www.herfuturecoalition.org/

Tickets for this special event are now on sale and include fizz and canapés on arrival, followed by a three course Vegetarian or Vegan dinner with a menu created for the night by The High Field’s head chef Ian Meek.

After enjoying good food and drink in the stylish surroundings of The High Field, which was named the Best Gastro Pub in Birmingham at the inaugural Birmingham Food Drink & Hospitality Awards, guests will enjoy a short acoustic performance of Belinda’s songs. There will also be a silent auction with some brilliant prizes to be won, special guests and even the opportunity to win breakfast with Belinda herself at a secret location the next morning.

All the proceeds from ticket sales will be given to the two charities close to Belinda’s heart to support the vital work they undertake. 

Animal People Alliance’s mission is to offer high quality care to street animals in need, alongside robust employment opportunities to survivors of human rights abuses and other vulnerable populations in South Asia. 

 

Her Future UK provides shelter, education and high-wage employment to survivors of human trafficking and extreme abuse so that they may remain forever free; since 2005, the charity has helped thousands of women and children to build a bright and independent future.

Launching the evening, Sarah Robinson, General Manager of The High Field, says, “This is a fantastic opportunity to support these two amazing charities whilst enjoying good food and drink in a unique venue. “We are thrilled to be joined by Belinda Carlisle and to have this unmissable opportunity to listen to her music in such an intimate setting,” says Sarah. “As lead singer of the Go-Go’s, the most successful female band of all time, and one of the world’s biggest selling female artists, she is a true pop icon, and we are honoured that she will be performing here in support of these two great charities.

“It’s going to be a wonderful evening full of excitement and surprises, and we hope that as many existing and new guests will join us to help raise as much money as possible for charity,” she says.

Belinda Carlisle, says, “Animal People Alliance is a charity, based in Kolkata India, I co-founded with Paul Suit in 2014. Whilst still in the early days, we are starting to have a real impact, with our mission to provide quality care for India’s street animals, employment for survivors of human rights abuses and other vulnerable populations. We want to change the future generation’s consciousness towards animals, and raise awareness of the need to treat animals humanely.

“I’ve always dreamed of having an animal sanctuary and I have such a love of India. I had an idea on how great it would be to combine both with the invaluable help of Her Future, of which I’ve seen first-hand the work they do, and I’m humbled even to be in the same room as Sarah Symons (the co-founder of Her Future Coalition and inspiration of Her Future UK), as she does the work of angels.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the charity evening at The High Field, and grateful to all the generous people and businesses who are making this event happen. I will be performing a short acoustic set of my hits as music is still a big part of my life, as is Animal People Alliance,” she says.

There are just 100 tickets for this special evening costing £150 each, to include fizz and canapés followed by a three-course Vegetarian or Vegan meal, and a further 150 tickets at £75 each for those not wishing to dine, with a silent auction and some amazing raffle prices from sponsors.

To book, please email event@animalpeoplealliance.co.uk to request tickets. 

For updates on Animal People Alliance follow them on Facebook @animalpeoplealliance

The charity evening at The High Field with Belinda Carlisle takes place on Saturday 15th July 2017 from 5pm until midnight.

The High Field is at 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP. Tel: 0121 227 7068. 

In the UK alone, Belinda Carlisle has had 19 Top 40 Singles, and 7 Top 20 Albums. A lifetime animal rights activist and New York Times List Best Selling Author, Belinda Carlisle has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of the Go-Go’s. 

Thanks for reading. 

Just leave a light on for me! 

Andy 😊

Her Future UK 

All photos courtesy of The High Field and Animal People Alliance, with thanks. 

#TastyMorsels: New Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Nyam Nyam will be bringing their Caribbean vegetarian and Vegan food to the Moseley Festival on the 1st July. 

http://www.facebook.com/nyam_nyam_brum for updates and details on menus.

The second Vegan Vybes event is set for Saturday 17th June at Kings Heath Community Centre on Heathfield Road. 

They are popping up to share with you the joys of vegan living through urban food. Come and have a great time, meet new people, enjoy a truly lovely community atmosphere and take part in the vegan vybe. 


The Real Junk Food Project have another one of their Vegan pop ups at The Gunmakers Arms on the 17th June from 6-9pm.  Free admission. 

In fact they are at The Gunmakers Arms every month with vegan friendly beer from Two Towers Brewery. 

Pizza Express have announced that From June 20th, they will have a Vegan mozzarella alternative on the menu.

Made in Italy using Italian ingredients, it melts perfectly in the pizza oven and gives a creamy finish to any pizza. To celebrate, they have taken some of their favourite ingredients and created a new pizza recipe that combines artichokes with new season asparagus, red onion, garlic oil, black olives and seasoning all on a classic dough and passata base. Called the Vegan Giardiniera. 
The vegan mozzarella is available across the board on all their pizzas. 

Read more from their Head of Food and Drink, Holly Davies, here: 

https://www.pizzaexpress.com/news/vegan-giardiniera


Moseley craft beer festival is on from the 28th-30th July at The Dark Horse. Expect to find Vegan and Veggie friendly beers and lots of laughs. 


Burrito top dogs Habaneros have begun a kitchen residency at craft beer pub 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter. Expect some lip tastic veggie friendly burritos and tacos on the menu. Otherwise catch them In  city centre near the cathedral in their street food burrito mobile. 

Tipton pie people Mad O’Rourke’s have a Brewery selling pies opening later in the year in Digbeth. Veggie and vegan pies a plenty. Expect opening sometime after August. Watch this space. 

Finally, Veggie Foodie favourites Sabai Sabai will be opening up a fourth venue for their fine Thai food in Birmingham City Centre. Open later this year on Waterloo Street. 

Following on from the original Moseley restaurant, Harborne, and Stratford Upon Avon. 

See you there. 


Here’s my latest review of Sabai Sabai https://t.co/s1aprNIf3g

That’s all folks. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊