#SupportLocal!:Vegetables in a league of their own at Opus Restaurant. 


Spring brings delight. You know Spring has sprung when the first British early season Asparagus is viewed in markets and on supermarket shelves. When I’ve  eaten one bunch I’m ready for the next.  In restaurants I feel it’s compulsory to devour Asparagus hungrily if it’s on the menu. 

That’s why Opus restaurant source theirs from Local Worcestershire farms, the heart of Asparagus country and the beginning of the delicious season of celebrating vegetables in the U.K which stretches to the end of the year. 

Opus Restaurants new Spring Vegetarian Menu demonstrates that vegetables are much more than side dishes. 

Try dishes such as British early season Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and poached egg, light goats cheese mousse in a crispy filo basket 

Plus mains like rich Wild Mushroon Wellington, white onion purée and seasonal vegetables. 

All using the freshest homegrown local produce from local farms in Worcestershire, Leicestershire and surrounding areas. 

Sample menu: 

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/VEGETARIAN-MENU.pdf

#SupportLocal!

This July sees the return of one of the best Vegetarian nights in Birmingham. The Source Dinner Series of events is well known to showcase homegrown and sourced produce from wine, meat, fish and potatoes amongst other things and the vegetables is rightly given equal billing. 

Growing vegetables is a labour of love, trust me I know. From seed to the fully fledged and edible time can go slowly by. It’s labour intensive and demonstrates love, pride and passion for the earth and the produce itself. 

At The Opus Vegetarian dinner with Worcester Produce you can enjoy the freshest produce over five courses with wines to match for £65 per person. You also get to meet the farmers and producers who grow the veg, fruit and salad which make this event special. 

The produce is grown at Worcester Produce and other local farms across the Vale of Evesham and picked on day one and on the plate in day two.

‘We only supply hand-picked produce that has been nurtured by local farmers, grown with pride and delivered fresh from local fields.’

It’s a lovely night and well worth supporting the producers and Opus and eating some delicious Vegetarian food made from the produce. 

The Vegetarian Source Dinner is on Friday 14th July and Is £65 pp please call 0121-200-2323 for reservations and details. 

Remember #SupportLocal#

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Precious Reviews of Opus Restaurant’s vegetarian menu and Vegetarian Source Dinner:

https://t.co/AIpppfvenl

http://t.co/WkopBcpQ9P


Vegetarian Food at Opus Restaurant. 

The first two photos are courtesy of Opus Restaurant. The other three are my own. 

Birmingham Viva Vegan festival: Beer Festival 15th April, Gunmakers Arms, Birmingham.



Beer, Beer, Beer, if you can’t get enough of it then this is for you. If you are a vegan or veggie then even better. 

As part of The Viva Vegan Festival on the 15th April, The Gunmakers Arms in Birmingham is holding a festival of the most excellent quality with a number of local breweries represented. 

The Beer list for the beer fest at Gunmakers Arms on 15th April includes:

Bottle and Can List

Cider list

Two Towers Bottle list 


Cask List 

The beer fest is part of the Birmingham Viva Vegan Festival which is been held at three separate venues: 

The Macdonalds Burlington Hotel at 126 New Street Burlington Arcade, B2 4JQ.

The Studio, 7 Canon Street, B1 5 EP which is off Corporation Street.

The Gunmakers Arms for the beer festival from Noon to midnight and is located at 93 Bath Street, Birmingham, B4 6HJ.

Festival highlights for Saturday 15th April 2017 and not to be missed are:

2 stall venues

150 amazing stalls

15 caterers

Children’s activities in The Studio. 

Cookery demos

Talks 

Vegan beer, wine and cider festival at the Gunmakers Arms

Films

Free Samples

Nutritional advice

Workshops

Yoga

And 10 world food caterers.

Including The Indian Lunchbox for tasty Indian snacks and treats,  The Vegan Society and Almond nut specialists Butterbelle. 

Plus Third Eye in The Studio with Oreo cake. 

The excellent Mex it up are also at The Studio serving their wonderful Burritos. Not to be missed as they are excellent.



The festival will showcase some of the best vegan food in Birmingham and Midlands and not to be missed.

Saturday 15th April 2017, Macdonald Burlington Hotel and The Studio across the road. 10am – 6pm. £3 entry on the door (under 16’s free)

https://www.facebook.com/events/649818158500141/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

https://www.viva.org.uk/festivals/birmingham-2017

@BirminghamVivaVeganFestival 

Ring in the holiday season with Park Regis afternoon tea. 


Park Regis Birmingham has added a very special festive Christmas Afternoon Tea.

Here It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas.

Afternoon tea is a lovely treat as a gift, party, or special romantic indulgence.

It’s Available until the end of the year, visitors to the hotel’s 1565 Bar and Lounge will be able to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea full of tempting festive treats and even a glass of fizz.
Park Regis’ Festive Afternoon Tea includes ‘Snow White’ marshmallow (check for veggies) and coconut knot, lemon frangipane drizzle, clementine mousse, ‘Nut-Crackers’ dark chocolate macarons, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a glazed ‘Egg-Nog’ brulee tart – all of which are certain to leave you Santa-sfied.

For Vegetarians alongside this it will include The below replacement sandwiches. Vegans can also be catered for with advance notice (same for veggies)

– Roast pepper and hummus
– Mozzarella and pesto
– Mediterranean roast vegetable and aioli

Alongside this are a delicious assortment of savoury snacks, including British roast turkey sandwiches with cranberry and apple chutney, Warwickshire truckle cheese with red onion chutney sandwiches and ‘Sleigh’ roasted sirloin of beef on a toasted brioche bun. To kick the whole thing off are a duo of festive amuse bouches Which can be veggie.

The Afternoon Tea comes with a selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolate, and for those really looking to get into the festive spirit, a glass of Prosecco is available as an extra treat for just £5.

Robin Ford, General Manager of Park Regis, said: “Our Afternoon Tea has already proved to be extremely popular throughout the year, but we’ve been busy giving it a festive makeover just in time for Christmas.

“It’s the perfect way for couples, families and friends to finish an afternoon of Christmas shopping as it provides visitors with the opportunity to sit down and enjoy some fantastic festive treats in the comfort of our 1565 Bar & Lounge.”
Park Regis’ Christmas Afternoon Tea is available at £25 and tables can be booked by calling 0121 369 5555.

Looks a lovely seasonal tea in one of Birmingham finest hotels.

As a veggie My advise is always to check the ingredients used in the above treats. Substitutes may be available with the sweet ones.

For more information see

http://www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk/

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Park Regis Birmingham, 160 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT.

In Praise of: Blue Ginger, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


Sad news reached me last week that the excellent Kings Heath based restaurant Blue Ginger is closing down after Christmas.

Blue Ginger has been one of my favourite restaurants ever since Ruth and I first visited when we first met, roughly eight years ago. We’ve enjoyed such great nights and meals together and I can’t remember how many times we’ve visited this small neighbourhood gem in Birmingham.

Dishes such as the outstanding Carrot Cake (savoury not sweet, a majestic dish and one of the best in the whole city, captures the simplicity of the restaurant dishes combining carrots, mooly, rice flour and spices). Possibly my favourite dish in Birmingham. Then there’s the curries Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Yellow Curry, a mild but exotic delight of vegetables. A delicious flavour. The jackfruit and Rabutan Red Curry, sweet and savoury together, with the Jackfruit the star combined with aubergines and mushrooms.

Both dishes are Vegan friendly.

Blue Ginger also became known locally for its Vegan night on a Monday. 7 main course dishes to choose from and numerous starters. Some going and if the truth be told it’s one of the best places for Vegans and Veggies to eat in Birmingham. It’s comfortable easy going service combined with deftly constructed Malaysian and Singaporean dishes packed with flavour made it popular and a relaxing and warm venue to visit. The atmosphere often buzzy and the space just the right side of intimate lent itself to a solid informal date night venue.

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Yellow Curry

Carrot Cake Jackfruit and Rabutan red curry.

Mixed veg platter: for the undecided. Including the divine carrot cake. Kang Kon leaf side dish.

Roti Prata and rice. Essential to mop up the curry.

Pandan crepe: for afters. Good neighbourhood Restaurants like Blue Ginger are few and far between in Birmingham which seems to favouring the more glitzy venues these days and although the food at Blue Piano is the same as Blue Ginger the ambience and intimate space isn’t. In saying that I’ve enjoyed Blue Piano on the two occasions I’ve visited so will be visiting again in the new year for my Carrot cake fix.

Just to say that Ruth and I feel sad that Blue Ginger’s leaving us, gone but not forgotten, let’s just hope that the space is used by another independent restaurant and hopefully not another curry house or kebab shop. It’s a good space and deserves a new favourite to develop in Kings Heath.

Thanks for all the meals and good times from us both.

All the above dishes are available at the excellent Edgbaston based Blue Piano. Well worth a visit.

For my review of Blue Piano see here:

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/05/11/the-blue-piano-restaurant-and-bar/

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Blue Piano,  26 Harborne Road, Birmingham, B15.

The Blue Piano guesthouse, restaurant and bar

Restaurant Review: Sabai Sabai, Moseley, Birmingham. 


Picture the scene. Out with Ruth,  a romantic meal cut off from the main Moseley drag on Woodbridge Road. A window table, private, candlelight, very nice. When suddenly out of no where a group of drunken men walk past and decide to pull faces at the window and shout out things you hear on a Saturday night, breaks the romance and a scene remembered to this day.

Then picture the scene when for Ruth’s Birthday meal we arrive at the same restaurant and see a table for two free in the same window, hearts miss a beat and words I’m not sitting there pass through our mouths.

Fear not there are also free tables inside so we sit comfortably away from the door and aforementioned window. That’s the story of one of our many visits to Sabai Sabai in Moseley. One of three Thai restaurants owned by Torquil and Judee Chiswick. The others in Harborne and Stratford Upon Avon have their own identities, their own regulars. We though love the intimacy and bijou feel of the original, (10 years old) it’s perfect for couples and for a little romance.

The Bohemian ways of Mosley Village dictate that the decor is as rich with colour as the food. There’s a good buzz about Sabai Sabai and it’s popularity desires you book on a weekend.

Having recently won the Best Oriental Establishment at The Food Awards, held in Manchester, Sabai Sabai’s star is ascending. The recent opening in Stratford Upon Avon is the first out of Birmingham and a hit already with the theatre crowd.

And then the food. So often Thai food can be so richly spiced that Fireman Sam needs to be called out to rescue the choking Norman. But here delicate flavours are contrasted and compliment perfectly the booming spice that makes these dishes whisper fire.

Kanam Jeeb Pak starts me off. Steamed mix veg dumplings topped with crispy garlic and served with a delicious sweet dark soy sauce contrasting perfectly the depth of flavour in the dumplings which are perfect for dipping. Balanced flavours, crisp and firm a delight.

Sabai Sabai have a huge choice for Vegetarians from stir frys to a recommended  Phad Thai and a tempting set menu for the undecided. My choice the Gang Ka Ree, yellow curry, was a colourful and vibrant veggie slice of heaven. Golden fried Tofu simmered in coconut milk with potatoes, onion, mixed veg in a mild and sweetly spiced yellow curry sauce. It’s a deeply satisfying main course with just the right amount of sweetness from the coconut milk to pronounce the rich creaminess which though milder than some of the dishes packs a punch on many levels with its vegetables and sophisticated delicacy.

I ate it with Kao Pad Kai (Egg fried Rice) which worked beautifully with the outstanding curry.

We also shared some delicious Pak Choi in garlic sauce, stir fried perfectly. A joy.

I have found desserts are sometimes hit and miss in Thai restaurants. An after thought, an add on that they feel they must put on the menu because we dictate we need a pudding after the meal in the west. Much like some Indian desserts many are underwhelming.

The distinctive green colour of the Pandan leaf makes  a vibrant pancake into a satisfying end to the meal. It offers a wonderful subtle flavour to the gentle coconut. Traditionally a breakfast sweet originating from Bali it proves to make a fantastic dessert and well recommended to quench the spicyness of the previous courses. A winner.

Pandan leaf pancakes with coconut.

Sabai Sabai in Moseley is a lovely restaurant. The food is top notch, and with invigorating flavours and a cosy feel it’s a recommended dining choice in Birmingham for Vegetarians. 

The only critique I can find is that the service can be erratic (not listening, waiting for drinks, a tad rushed) and either very good or a bit noneplused. Though always friendly and at times efficient it’s just best to put up with it as it’s a minor quibble and doesn’t detract from a lovely experience.

The Cosyness and intimacy of the venue is an asset and I was pleased the music volume had been lowered (as once it was so loud it was more club like than romantic restaurant). Sabai Sabai in Moseley is one of the most romantic spots to eat in Birmingham and perfect for a date. Just remember though if you are seated in the window to watch out for interruptions, can it be funny? though with Thai food this good who can fail to miss out on this real taste of Thailand.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

We enjoyed a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with our meal. A good though pricey wine choice at £29.95.

We paid for a food and drinks in full and why not I’m happy too.

Sabai Sabai Moseley, 25 Woodbridge Road, Birmingham B13 8EH.

0121-449-4498.

http://www.sabaisabai-restaurant.co.uk/

Sabai Sabai is part of The Gastro Card and you can receive 10% off food bill Sunday-Wednesday.

To buy a card see link here:

http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/buy/

http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/

Sabai Sabai – Moseley

Veggie Foodie Tip: 

Have a glass of top quality wine at the excellent new independent wine bar Cheval Blanc in Moseley Village before dinner. Cocktails also served.

I enjoyed a glass of Red, Le Gourmand Domaine du Janicer from France.

Ruth a superb Gin Martini.


The Mockingbird Cinema and kitchen launch. 



One of Digbeth’s most popular bars will be launching as a dedicated cinema following a major reinvestment into the business.


The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen based in the Custard Factory, will become a full-time cinema from Friday, November 18 – officially launching with the Warner Bros’ mega-release Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  

Following 12 months entertaining audiences with screenings of cult favourites – from Brat-pack classics to rib-tickling horrors – The Mockingbird will become one of the city’s only independent cinemas, screening blockbusters straight from Hollywood.  

The 100-seat cinema will typically offer four screenings a day, seven days a week, with special offers and concessions available to its customers.

For example, anyone booking to see the 11am and 2.15pm screenings of Fantastic Beasts can buy tickets for the price of just £5. 

Traditional cinema refreshments, like nachos, popcorn and sweets, will be available from the box office. 

However, for those who want to make a day or an evening out of visiting The Mockingbird, the cinema’s kitchen and bar will be open, offering a wide variety of southern American inspired food. 

Popular picks from the menu include chilli-cheese fries, sandwiches, and vegan burritos. 

The cinema’s co-owner and chef, Anthony Duffy, has also designed a specials menu and cocktail menu that will change to compliment the films on show. 

 As an example, those booked in to see J.K.Rowling’s latest offering, will have the chance to dine on a ‘fantastic feast’ or search through the cinema’s library for a list of magical cocktails.   

The cinema’s owners spotted that customers loved the quirky additions of movie-related meals and themed cocktails, so they wanted to make that a key part of the cinema experience they have on offer.

Anthony said: “We knew people wanted something a bit extra when we started putting on film nights where themed food and drinks were on offer as a tribute to what we were screening”.  

“One of our biggest successes was hosting a sold-out screening of The Big Lebowski, where every customer got a White Russian and an In-N-Out Burger. We still get people emailing us asking if we’ll be putting on another event like it. Well we’ll be doing it permanently now.”

Head of programming, James Brown, explained that he and his fellow co-owners wanted to make The Mockingbird a destination for film and food lovers – where they could spend all afternoon and evening enjoying the cinema and bar. 

James Brown, head of programming, said: “People love cinema.
“It’s an entire experience for a lot of people – to go out, maybe eat beforehand, buy snacks and enjoy a movie. 

“We wanted to create the ultimate cinema experience with The Mockingbird that few other cinemas can offer.”  

Anthony added: “We’ve aimed to create a destination in the Custard Factory.
“A place where people can join us for food, films, drinks and even dancing at the weekends, when our resident DJs take over the decks to spin some soul, disco and funk.” 

The bar will be open from 11am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday, then from 11am till late on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Well worth a visit and supporting this unique independent business and the food is excellent. 

The Mockingbird Cinema

The Custard Factory

Gibb St

Birmingham

B9 4AA

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


 

Kings Heath food market: Saturday 12th November. 



Kings Heath Street Food Market returns this Saturday 12th November featuring The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox Esme’s Eats, Stufo, The Spice is Right street food, Street Kitchen Brothers and Charlie Dumpling. 

All of which should have veggie and vegan options. Of course The Vegan Grindhouse is completely Vegan friendly. 

Replacing the wonderful Veggie Foodie favourites Brum Yum Yum it takes place at the same venue in Kings Heath Village Square from 11am-5pm. 

Organised by the Kings Heath Business Improvement District it will take place as its predecessor  on the second Saturday until at least the end of the year. 

Antoinette Hasson, General Manager of All Saints Community Development Company, said:

“All Saints Community Development Company, who host and organise a variety of monthly markets and community events on Kings Heath Village Square, are delighted to work with Kings Heath BID to create a new and exciting Food Market following on from the popular Brum Yum Yum.

The new Kings Heath Food Market will feature established street food vendors and showcase new talent to delight and excite.

The event will be Accompanied by entertaining live music and specialty drinks courtesy of local Kitchen Garden Cafe. 

For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/EnjoyKingsHeath and http://www.asckh.co.uk Kings Heath Village Square.

Should be a nice event. See you there.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

6/8 Kafe Craft Beer festival 10/11/12th November, plus discount.


Scaffolding is a necessary pest, a bit like slugs eating my veg or wasps in the summer. 

I once went to Florence and the great cathedral was covered in the stuff. How annoyed was I. The same happened in Rome with The Trevi Fountain. I was not amused. 

But then it comes off, as if by magic the structure below appears, more beautiful, brighter and and all is well. 

This is what 6/8 Kafe hope now their monstrous outdoor cover has been taken down and to celebrate they are having a craft beer festival. Well why not, they deserve it. Let’s toast progress! 

Sitting at the back of House of Fraser on Temple Row 6/8 Kafe is an independent coffee shop of some repute in the city and a innovator of the fine art of the Barista.

Festival organiser and proprietor Dav said:

”Our festival is about enjoying local beer with the amazing people that make them.

”It’s about tasting, learning and enjoying everything about craft beer. 

The line up includes: 

On Thursday ‘meet the brewers’. 

Burning Soul Brewing:

Bringing OCT IPA 6.7%

Mount Olympus Pale Ale 5.2%

Insert [Blanc] Single Hop Ale 5.2%

On Friday there is a ‘meet the brewer’ session with Twisted Barrel Ale who are launching their annual winter special ”Dark Knight Rises” and a Belgian Dubbel at Six Eight.

http://www.twistedbarrelale.co.uk/


On Saturday two Black Country brewers Sacre Brew at 6pm and Fixed Wheel are at the festival. 

Fixed Wheel will bring ‘Carbon Black IPA 6.8%, ‘Coffee Fix ‘6.1% and ‘Single Speed Equinox’ 4.5%.

Sacre Brew will bring  3 beers: Sloe Loris, Wendigo, & Donkey’s Years! 

Throughout the festival they will have live acoustic musicians appearing and playing to their hearts content. 

Tracks like down with the scaffolding should be popular on the playlist. 

Sacre Brew Microbrewery

http://www.fixedwheelbrewery.co.uk/

Tickets are £3.66 or £2.66 using my discount   ANDY_H at the checkout which will get you your first pint and access at the event. Enter the promotional code at the link. Andy_H.

Here: 

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=JuO6H&m=gcE2TaB8ITvENEE&b=VsnXDFvrrJivKpZnMQMmMQ

https://www.facebook.com/events/1618496268450152/

Also present will be Digbeth Dining Club favourites Stufo providing the food. 
http://www.stufo.co.uk/

http://www.sixeightkafe.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1618496268450152/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


Veggie burger watch: The Kitchen Garden, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


The Kitchen Garden is one of my favourite places to visit. Be it breakfast, lunch or just a piece of cake and cup of tea, it covers all bases and covers them in a cosy cosseted kind of way. Just taking the walk through the winding path through the garden centre and past the organic food shop feels reassuring and lifts the gloom on a cloudy rainy day. 

Entering this tranquil oasis there’s an abundance of choice for Vegetarians and Vegans and all with a nod to local and ethical sourcing. I’ve tried and reviewed most of the key elements to the hot veggie food menu for breakfast and brunch, but had never tried the veggie falafel burger that at £7.95 is competively priced and decent value. 

The better veggie burgers have a balance of flavour and hold well in the bun. For this The Kitchen Garden falafel burger is a success with a good falafel filling that with the halloumi makes a filling burge that has a nice depth and isn’t too stodgy. 

The chips though aren’t the best. A bit cool, a bit off coloured and rubbery for my liking and not to the standard I’d like with this decent veggie burger. 

It Came with coleslaw and a nice original salad including chick peas, lettuce and red onion, which I liked as it wasn’t too powerful a flavour with the burger. 

Falafel burger at Kitchen Garden 

The Veggie Falafal burger is a very decent choice of lunch time indulgence at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, and if their chips could be as good as their sister Fletchers next door then this dish would be amongst the best in the area. I suppose that’s something to work on and proof that a good chip goes a long way in making a fantastic burger meal perfect (Or certainly near). 

The Kitchen Garden is a lovely cafe and this veggie burger is well worth eating again. 

A good lunch time meat free choice. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

We paid for our food and drinks ourselves. My opinions are honest as always. 

Vegetarian street food traders The Indian Lunch Box are at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter this week. 



Make sure you get down to 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter this week as vegetarian Indian street food company The Indian Lunchbox are taking over the kitchen for one week only. 

Street food trader Reena Mistry has a mission to open minds and mouths to tasty, homemade Vegetarian street food. The Indian Lunchbox is all about fresh ingredients and many of the dishes are served traditionally on the streets in India, and have been passed down the family.

Their signature dish is the Double Roti burger- a soft bread bun filled with potato curry, Chevdo (like Bombay mix), chopped onions, peanuts, and a chilli coriander chutney.

Other highlights include Bhel, a dish made with puffed rice, potato, chickpea, and a tangy tamarind sauce, and Pav Bhaji, a mixed vegetable curry. There are also Onion Bhaji’s. 

All these dishes are suitable for Vegans. 

The food will be complimented by the delicious and local Indian Brewery, one of the most recent additions to The Birmingham evolving craft beer scene. 

They will be laying on a selection of their crisp and refreshing craft ales. As well as the highly new Birmingham Lager. If it’s ready in time on draught. 

Established in May 2016 The Indian Lunchbox is a Veggie Foodie rising star and one to watch in 2017. 

The menu’s below: 



1000 Trades can be found at 16 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
The Indian Lunchbox will be at 1000 Trades from Monday 31st October to Saturday 5th November, serving from 5-10pm Monday- Friday and 1-10pm on Saturday. 

Should be a fantastic week of vegetarian food. 

Thanks for reading, 
Andy 😊

All photos courtesy of Indian Lunchbox and 1000 Trades. 

Look out for The Indian Lunchbox at Streetfood events around the Midlands. Including the new Hawker Yard in the city centre.