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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Opus leads the way in showcasing Birmingham’s independents.


Opus one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Birmingham is leading the charge for independents, joining forces with some of the best talent in the city.

Billed as a celebration of the bespoke, Opus in Cornwall Street is keen to support local businesses that offer something different from the norm and has so far linked up with artists and an award-winning wine merchant.

Pawel Skrzypinski, general manager at Opus, said: “Birmingham is an exciting, diverse city in which to live and work and if you are willing to meander off the beaten track through our lovely city centre, you will be rewarded with shops and artists showcasing an individuality and tailored approach that makes you feel special and appreciated.

“We think it’s really important for independents – especially those who have a natural synergy – to support one another because we have a unique offering. The beauty of being an independent business is that you have the opportunity to team up with whomever you like and over the past few months alone we have found some real stunners with whom to work.”

Over the summer, it is collaborating with Loki Wine, the award-winning wine merchant and wine bar based in Great Western Arcade, enabling customers at both venues to take advantage of some fantastic offers.

Loki is offering 15% off the Loki Wine Tasting Card for Opus Loyalty Card holders, while Opus is offering all holders of a Loki Wine Tasting Card 25% off all bottles of wine purchased (see T&Cs online)  and £10 off the flight of five wines that accompany their weekend five-course tasting menu.

Phil Innes, of Loki Wines, said: “There’s already a natural crossover between Loki and Opus customers but the opportunity to work with the restaurant, which will benefit all our customers could not be passed up. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Opus.”

Sculptor Viv Astling, OBE, has two pieces of art being displayed at the restaurant over the next few months.

An elected member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) and a former student of the renowned sculptor John Tonks, he uses English limestones particularly from quarries in Portland, Dorset, and Ancaster, Lincolnshire. His piece Turning Point is being displayed at Opus’s reception desk, while Ariel is on display in the bar area.

Bar Opus at One Snowhill has joined forces with Jewellery Quarter-based Argentea Gallery to feature a selection of photographs by Birmingham multi-media artist Sophie Hedderwick from her critically acclaimed series Swift As A Shadow.

Argentea is a new gallery in the Jewellery Quarter launched by Jennie Anderson and is dedicated to showing the very best contemporary photography from both British and international artists.

Jennie said “We were thrilled to have Sophie exhibiting her work at the gallery and to collaborate with Bar Opus is another great way to take her work to a wider audience and engage with people who wouldn’t necessarily think of visiting an art gallery.”

Also at Bar Opus are five works by Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, known as LOWLFE. The pair take everyday objects, such as phones, plants, coins and dead insects, and introduces them to the world of miniature people in whimsical settings.

The new collaborations follow Opus’s inaugural art exhibition with Mark Howard of independent fashion store Disorder Boutique earlier this year, when the walls become a canvas for his creations.

Pawel added: “The past few months have been exciting as we have expanded our support network of leading independent talents and we’re looking forward to continuing our efforts to introduce other great Birmingham names to our customers. So make sure to watch this space".

Great to see such a fantastic collaboration between two of the cities best independents.

Also note that Opus are offering 50% off select wine in August. It includes a range that covers most tastes. From lighter summery whites to fruity cherry-like reds and rose wines a bargain is to be enjoyed with the new set price menu or tasting menu.

In Bar Opus news become all Italian and try a Rose Aperol Spritz with complimentary nibbles for £5 from 2-5pm. Aperol Spritz is one of the finest drinks and with added nibbles and hopefully sunshine on the Bar Opus terrace one of the must things to do this Summer in Birmingham. Go on try it!

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All photos and information courtesy of Opus, Bar Opus and Clive Reeves PR with thanks.

#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. 

#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 😊

#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!

Two courses for £25 and 3 courses for £30.

Opus Restaurant have also introduced a tasting menu.  This is priced at £45 per person. Menu below. 


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