Veggie Lunch Watch: Cafe Opus @ Ikon Gallery.


  

  
Lunch is a serious subject. Whether it’s the luxury of eating at Carters of Moseley, Turners of Harborne or Purnells Bistro (I’ve tried all those) or the informality of Bodega and Amantia its a serious subject. One not to be undertaken (unless it’s at your desk) lightly. Cafe Opus takes lunch seriously, not in a fine dining kind of way, but by providing that informality one feels comfortable in right away and one that suits the Ikon Gallery where it resides down to the ground. 

Cafe Opus is the little brother of big Opus, Restaurant that is on Cornwall Street and of the young whippersnapper Bar Opus near Snow Hill Station. What they all have in common is the keen response to seasonal ingredients, sourced locally, market fresh and of a consideration to Vegetarians and Vegans in their menus. 

Ruth and I stopped by to try their all day 2 course for £10.50 menu (available Tuesday to Saturday) after a look around the Ikon Gallery. 

The menu includes a good choice of Vegetarian dishes and some Vegan options. It’s an all day menu that offers brunch dishes, sandwiches and light bites as well as more substantial mains. 

The first thing that you find at Cafe Opus is how light floods the room and how relaxed the restaurant feels. With original art on the walls and a quirky informal seating arrangement that is more cafe than formal dining  the modern dishes on offer perfectly fit the gallery vibe and is ideal for a lunch whilst visiting.

  
    
  

The 2 course menu is ideal for lunch or for an early evening supper. It includes homemade soup of the day to start (always a vegan version) and any dish off the menu for £10.50. 

For our starter we both ordered the Mushroom Soup.

 

The deep mushroom flavours came through, perfectly seasoned with chunky mushrooms adding a rich texture to the creamy warmth. Lovely. A near perfect soup. 

On the other hand the bread was beyond dry and possibly the worst I’ve witnessed in a restaurant/cafe for years. It was fairly inedible and would have been better made into croutons. It’s beyond why it came out of the kitchen to be honest. 

  

For my main course I ordered the Vegan friendly Penne Pasta tossed in Basil Pesto with wilted rocket and sun blushed tomatoes. 

  

Now imagine sitting in an Italian square In the sunshine with a glass of wine. Sun beating down, loads of time, a bowl of pasta in front of you.  This light pasta dish had that same kind of sunny easiness about it. 

Take a good flavoured light coating of basil pesto and mix with wilted rocket and sweet and succulent sun blushed tomatoes, toss with well cooked penne and you have simple dish that spoke to me of sunnier days and not the grey showery one that greeted me outside. An escape to the Med on a drizzly day, with a glass of red wine, happiness. 
 

  
  

Ruth ordered the Brixham Fish Pie for her main course which she said was lovely, with well cooked fish, though this again came with the aforementioned stale bread which was a shame.

We also ordered a couple of large glasses of wine. A good plummy red Pinot Noir for me and a glass of white Sauvignon Blanc for Ruth. 

Cafe Opus is an excellent place for lunch for vegetarians. The dishes on offer are of a high standard, Flavours marry together and the informality of the cafe makes it ideal for a relaxed break after a visit to the gallery or during a wander around Brindley Place. The service is friendly and with smoothies on the menu a healthier juicy option is available on drinks. 

The fact that the menus change seasonally is also good for repeated visits and the terrace on a nice day begs to be lingered over. Hey, if I close my eyes I can even imagine that it’s Italy. After all lunch (and terraces) are a serious subject.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Cafe Opus is at the Ikon gallery, 1 Oozells Street, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS.

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/cafeopus?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

We paid for our meal and drinks in full. All opinions are honest and my own as always. 

  
    
    
  

 

Outside on the sunny terrace. Summer’s almost here. 
Photos courtesy of Cafe Opus  

   Afternoon tea at Cafe Opus available for £10 per person.  Smoothies available at Cafe Opus. 

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New menu launched at Cafe Opus At Ikon with Vegetarian options. 


Cafe Opus is a lovely light flooded restaurant for a relaxing brunch or lunch. Part of the Opus family, with Well regarded Opus Restaurant and Bar Opus, the cafe sits comfortably and temptingly in the Beautiful building that is the internationally acclaimed contemporary Ikon Gallery, which is surely one of the best places to visit in Birmingham. 

Again like its other siblings, the cafe focuses on local seasonal produce, ethically sourced and informally put together to make a high quality cafe in its own right.

   

Ikon Gallery
  
 

Cafe Opus have now launched a new seasonal menu (See above) that has a number of tempting Vegetarian and Some vegan dishes on it. 

Try Slow Baked Aubergine, rich tomato and Quorn ragu. (Not vegan) 

Penne Pasta tossed in basil pesto, Wilted rocket and sun blushed tomatoes (vegan) see photo below.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Opus/Clive Reeves PR.  

Spaghetti with homemade rich tomato and Quorn bolognaise sauce. (Not vegan) 

Note: for vegans the menu says vegan friendly for a number of dishes, but only certain quorn products are vegan friendly. This after discussion with Opus is under review. 

Plus light bites: 

Buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil pesto salad

Homemade Soup (Vegan soup option available daily).

Goats Cheese, roasted beetroot salad dressed leaves, red onion marmalade. 

Cafe Opus also serve a daily all day Brunch menu that includes mushrooms on toast, and fluffy pancakes- maple syrup and banana. 

And for £10.50 you can enjoy soup and another dish off the menu. 

Cafe open Tuesday-Sunday 10-5. 

Cafe Opus also serve Afternoon Tea every day for £10 per person. This includes finger sandwiches, fancy cakes, scones, clotted cream, fresh fruit conserves and tea. (See photo below) 

Spoil Mum this #MothersDay with their  #AfternoonTea package. Afternoon Tea with prosecco for two, just £30. 

Call 0121 200 2323 for a gift card – the perfect present!
   
 2 Photos above courtesy of Cafe Opus. 

Janet Mendelsohn: Varna Road exhibition: 

At the moment until April 3rd The Ikon Gallery hosts the largest exhibition to date of photographs by American academic and documentary filmmaker Janet Mendelsohn. 

Part of a ‘photo-essay’ Mendelsohn made as a student at the University of Birmingham during 1967–69, the photographs depict everyday life in the inner-city district of Balsall Heath, focusing in particular on a young woman referred to as Kathleen, with whom Mendelsohn formed a close relationship.

Balsall Heath during the 1960’s was Birmingham largest Red light district. A place of work for 200 prostitutes. This included Varna Road which the exhibition is named after. 

Mendelsohn photographs show a working class distinct in flux prior to the so called slum clearance that followed within 2 years. 

This challenging exhibition of photographs is on until the 3rd April 2016.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

  Summer at Cafe Opus. 

Cafe Opus, 1 Oozells Street, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS.

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

https://ikon-gallery.org/event/janet-mendelsohn/

https://ikon-gallery.org/


Birmingham restaurant director receives prestigious membership at leading hospitality association.


  
Birmingham City-centre restaurant, Opus is celebrating another fantastic achievement after one of its directors was awarded the prestigious role of academician at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RAOCA).
Irene Allan director at Opus at Cornwall Street, Cafe Opus at Ikon and Bar Opus at One Snowhill, was presented the outstanding membership earlier this month (November) following a rigorous application and interview process. She is the fourth hospitality professional from the city to take on the role, joining Glynn Purnell from Purnell’s and Luke Tipping and Andreas Antona from Simpsons. 

With an aim of raising the standard of the hospitality industry as well as inspiring the future generation of restaurant professionals through education, training and recognising and rewarding talent, the RAOCA is the UK’s best and leading professional association, whose members include the country’s top head chefs and restaurant managers. To achieve the esteemed role of academician within the association, applicants must first be nominated by three current RAOCA members, before completing an application stating the unique attributions they can bring to the association as well as partaking in an intensive interview.

Through initiatives such as working with the University College Birmingham to offer the ‘Opus Scholarship’ programme, achieving the highest possible accolade from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and adopting a school to educate pupils of the importance of food knowledge, Irene has demonstrated an exceptional skill set in raising the standards of the catering sector by sharing her wealth of knowledge and skills with the younger generation. She has mentored a number of her staff through to achieving awards of excellence in their careers. 
Irene said: “Opus is having a tremendous year so far, what with celebrating our 10th year in business and recently being named the most sustainable restaurant in the Midlands, so to also achieve the role of academician at the RAOCA is another brilliant achievement for us. From a personal level, I’m thrilled to have been given this added responsibility and with it, I hope to inspire and mentor the next generation, as well as highlight our fantastic industry within the West Midlands” 

For more information on Opus, please visit 
http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

I want to congratulate Irene personally on her wonderful and much deserved achievement and thank her for the support of my blog. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Good Food guide 2016 announces Cafe Opus as a Birmingham’s ‘local gem’. 


  

  
Cafe Opus at Ikon has been named Birmingham’s ‘local gem’ by The Good Food Guide 2016 a superb achievement for the Ikon Gallery based cafe. 

The contemporary cafe was given the seal of approval by The Good Food Guide 2016 earlier this month (Friday 4th September), stating that the food was “fabulous and excellent value for money” whilst the setting was “the ideal opportunity to watch the world go by”. 

The Good Food Guide, which was set up in 1951, reviews restaurants, pubs and cafes across the UK, to highlight the best eating establishments in Britain. Reviews are compiled by feedback sent in from readers, as well as anonymous inspections to ensure every entry is assessed afresh. It does not accept advertising so readers can be rest assured that every review is authentic and honest. 

Irene Allan, director at Cafe Opus, said: “We opened our local gem two years ago on the ground floor of the magnificent Ikon gallery and to have this accolade from the UK’s best food guide is fantastic news. The fact that these entries are based on anonymous inspections is an even greater achievement, and is proof of the commitment and passion of our manager Greg, chef Zack and the team to provide quality and value to our customers. We are very proud.”

The entry is not the first time Cafe Opus has received attention from top food guides, as it was recently described as “one of the country’s top 18 venues for al fresco dining” by Stylist magazine and one of the “top 10 inspirational indies to eat for well under £10” by The Guardian Travel Guide 2015. 

   
    
 
Opus at Cornwall Street, the flagship restaurant of the Opus family, was also entered into the food guide and received high praise for its “vibrant modern British dishes based on fresh, seasonal produce, delivered by confident staff”. 

I’ve enjoyed numerous good meals and drinks at Cafe Opus, and the terrace is certainly one of the best outdoor eating and drinking areas in Birmingham. 

For my most recent review, see here: http://t.co/he503QGrWu

For more information on Cafe Opus at Ikon, please visit:
http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

  
Manager Gregg and chef Zac. 

Photo courtesy of Clive James PR. 

   
   
   
 
Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

All other photos are my own. 

Review: Cafe Opus at Ikon: Birmingham 


   
 
Cafe Opus is located in the Brindley Place part of Birmingham City Centre at the acclaimed modern art Ikon Gallery on Delightful Oozells square. 

It’s a stylish, modern British cafe on the ground floor of the Ikon Gallery building with a tempting outdoor terrace that begs for sunny days and nights and is perfect for their informal menu that’s designed to let you eat what you fancy when you fancy it. Serving cafe classics, afternoon tea, fine beers, wines and coffee, at reasonable cafe prices. 

The true taste of Cafe Opus is that they are independent and source their produce locally and ethically, knowing all of their producers, farmers and fishermen. It’s all about utilising fresh produce and allowing the simplest of ingredients to shine through. 

In fact I think the summer months are the best time to visit Cafe Opus. The terrace itself demands it, and the produce, well speaks for itself. 

   
 
Ruth and I have have always loved visiting Cafe Opus on a Summer evening and thus couldn’t resist the recent good weather. We chose a Friday evening partly because Ruth wanted to try out the steak on ‘steak friday’ and because they were running what’s called ‘Come Vinyl With Me’. 

Now, this is where you can bring your own records and be a DJ by serving up three courses of musical delights in 10 minutes. This is strictly vinyl, but is very eclectic music wise and was good fun. At least our dinner was accompanied by a decent soundtrack. 

We didn’t bring any records ourselves on this occasion, but you never know in the future. This is held on the first Friday of the month. 

So there we had it, good music and maybe good food. 

Having visited Cafe Opus before to eat  on many occasions I knew the Vegetarian Dishes were always diverse and thoughtful. So that’s me satisfied too! 

We did sit on the terrace, and ordered a local Langley’s Gin and tonic (1724) for me and a glass of white wine for Ruth. The gin and tonic was lovely, perfect on a summers alfesco night. 

  
   
 It’s the informality of the menu that makes Cafe Opus the ideal Summer venue. The food feels relaxed, continental and I always feel sitting on the terrace whatever time of the day that Birmingham is some far flung city not just home and familiar. 

For that reason I chose The Vegetarian Plate from the all day menu. Comprising of Welsh rarebit, hummus, and toasted pitta, piquillo pepper stuffed with couscous, marinated grilled vegetables. 

   

   
All of the elements were excellent, nothing was out of place. The Piquillo peppers were the stars though, the contrasting flavour of the pepper with the slightly spicy couscous was summer in itself and reminded me of some lovely tapas meals in Spain. The Rarebit, with a good string cheese flavour was excellent too and the marinated vegetables (courgettes, aubergines) delicious. It was a good plate of food, though simple it was a good example of how informal dishes can be uplifting if the ingredients are fresh and well cooked. I also ordered some fat chips which were delightful and went well with the vegetarian plate. 

   
 
Ruth surfice to say loved her steak aged for 28 days to ensure their succulent flavour it appeared to work. She was happy. 

We ordered another 2 glass of wine and a Chapel Down brewery Curious IPA and Lager (from the winery in Kent that makes some delicious wines and some nifty Sparkling brut too). 

The IPA a powerful but hoppy Indian Pale Ale. Very drinkable, very flavourful. Lovely in the sunshine. 

 
  
We were both happy to order puddings too. Ruth ordered a lemon posset, fresh raspberries which was very nice. Fresh, summery and quite light. No picture I’m afraid as she started before I could take one. 

I ordered the Mixed Summer berry pavlova. The combinations of meringue, cream and strawberries and raspberries worked well. Though it was quite creamy in texture it didn’t feel heavy, but was light was a subtle meringue crunch. A well made and enjoyable pudding. 
 

  
Cafe Opus is a lovely spot for a light summery dinner or lunch or afternoon tea. If the weather is fine, the terrace is a super spot to people watch and to take in those sunny Rays. 

The food, been seasonal is of the highest quality, fresh, well made. 

Cafe Opus do the simple things delightfully well. 

The dishes are well cooked, the Vegetarian dishes are thoughtful, not just an add on ( though could do with a few more, maybe specials?) and with the seasonal aspect feels modern and interesting. 

They are more cafe orientated than fine dining, but that simple nature works well. 

 The menus are affordable and the service was good throughout. 

Cafe Opus is well worth a visit for an ethical slice of artistic Birmingham whether after, before or separate from a gallery visit. There’s a lot to like about Cafe Opus. It’s got so much right. 

Now when’s my next visit? 

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/menus/

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

   
   
  
Cafe Opus at Ikon, 1 Oozells Square, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS. 

0121-248-3226

Meat Free Monday: every Monday at Cafe Opus, daily vegetarian specials. Day time only. 

   

 Afternoon tea 
  
Come Vinyl with me at Cafe Opus. 

You can also receive 2-1 on all breakfast menu items until 12pm (Monday-Friday) or 10% off the bill (all day all week) with the Independent Birmingham card. See link to purchase the IB card. 

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

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We received our food at Cafe Opus complimentary, but paid for our drinks. All of my opinions are my own and my review is honest and without bias as always. I was not required to write a positive review. 


Bar Opus: Snow Hill, Birmingham.


    Bar Opus is the youngest sister in the Opus family that includes Opus on Cornwall Street and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery. 

The other week Ruth and I were invited by Anne Tonks of Opus along to try out some of their vegetarian options. 

Bar Opus is at No’ 1 Snowhill in Birmingham City Centre, a new complex behind Snow Hill Station that is next to the new Midland Metro team line which should be complete shortly. It has a nice terrace that is primed for Summer and its reincarnation into something more uber cool in the forthcoming months, imagine those long cocktails, bar snacks and lazy afternoons. It’s a sun trap in the day and a lunch time favourite. 

In fact Bar Opus is very continental with its open kitchen and smart decor. Inside its modern, stylish, and has slick lines, in its simple design. It has cosmopolitan floor to ceiling windows, and is filled with thoughtful touches like its internal Parisian like clock face, and it’s well lit interior. With a mix of bar stool seating and low bearing tables it lends itself equally to drinking and eating. 

The menu a mixture of bar snacks/plates  to eat with those delicious handcrafted cocktails or quality wines or as a starter. 

Bar Opus has an extensive Breakfast and all day menu and more substantial dishes for lunch time indulgence. The sharing bar plates are varied and with good vegetarian options is one of the best places for informal veggie dining in the city. 

   

     
The Opus family of restaurants have a real skill in making simple ingredients and dishes taste well above the average, and it’s in their ingredient led principles where the flavours begin. The produce though is only half the story, it still has to be cooked and created into an irresistible dish which Bar Opus do well, simplicity in itself. 

For example our Asparagus, and Hollandaise from their specials menu was cooked perfectly, the dish sang and I feel may not be beaten this Asparagus season, it had a beauty of flavour, creamy, every element cooked perfectly, a real delight. Simple but hard to do in the wrong hands.

   
 

To follow I tried the homemade flatbread with daily vegetarian special. The flatbread, again perfectly indulgent, not over cooked, light, fluffy, with a delicious red onion jam which gave a punch to the dish and combined with feta worked perfectly. Plus, in its generous size makes a good starter alone or generous sharing plate to tear between friends.

To finish our meal I ate the Shashouka Hash, a very popular dish on their all day menu, and one that makes a lovely brunch or lunch dish too. Wilted Greens, rich vine tomato compote, potato cake, and fried egg. The fresh ingredients again shine through, the egg perfectly runny, the tomatoes full of flavour, lifted the dish from heaven to the space that surely must be above that in the veggie foodie world. Warming potatoes and the wilted buttery greens, completed the dish, which I think is a vegetarian must when visiting Bar Opus to eat. Again a simple dish brought to ex halted heights due to the quality of ingredients and the quality of the cooking. 

   
   

The Shashouka Hash

  
 

The vegetarian Flatbread. 

Yet, Bar Opus isn’t just about the food, but also the cocktails and a fantastic wine list. 

I tried on the night a beautiful Smoked Negroni. Now a negroni always reminds me of Italy. Lazy evenings in Florence, Rome or Venice. Though I’d never had a smoked variety which came to the table theatrically smoking and yes winking at me. It was delicious, part gin, part vermouth, and then Campari. I think Bar Opus make the best Negroni in the city and if like me you love this drink, then try it here. It’s an aperitif, and a classic. 

Ruth and I also loved the glasses of Pinot Gris we had with our food. From New Zealand, Dr Renwick, it was light, and complimented the informality of the food perfectly. Lovely. 

Bar Opus also have a good selection of beers, craft ales and real ale. 

The service throughout was excellent, and was warm, attentive and consistent throughout. 

   
     

Bar Opus is a smartly appointed bar with trendy background music and at times an office like clientele, but don’t let that put you off. 

It’s sophistication is in doing the simple things well. A mixologist that knows a cocktail from, well, a cocktail. A chef that knows how to get the best out of well sourced seasonal ingredients and creates delicious simple dishes that  make you feel hungry even though you may not be. So be tempted. 

Though the cocktails are the pull, the ace on top the pack of cards is the food, a thoughtful concept, and a gentle buzz, a European bar after work, but please don’t tell David Cameron because he may close it down, European Moir…for vegetarians its up their with the best Birmingham can offer, good dishes made well, decent choice, well made, sound drinks. 

And with the Summer approaching a place to chill outside and take in the sun, hopefully. 

Bar Opus is an all day venue that you may not leave, I like it, so do others, it’s the city bar redefined. 

Now where are my Euros. 

Bar Opus, One SnowHill, Birmingham, B4 6GH. 

0121-289-3939

http://baropus.co.uk/

http://baropus.co.uk/eating/

My previous review of Bar Opus. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/11/07/bar-opus-launch-for-breakfast-lunch-and-after-5pm-fun/

@baropus: Twitter

We were invited to Bar Opus to review some of their vegetarian dishes. Our food was complimentary, but we paid for our own drinks. My review is independent of the invite and is honest and carries my own opinions as always. 

Thanks to Ann for the invite and Sam and Gail for their service and passion for their menus. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Twitter: @andydhare

   
 

Bar Opus launch for breakfast, lunch, and after 5pm fun


Bar Opus is the newborn child of the Opus family of restaurants that include Opus on Cornwall Street and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery. Both firm favourites of mine 🙂

This week Ruth and I were kindly invited by Ann and David of Opus to attend one of their pre launch evenings to sample the ‘after 5’ sharing plates and some of the drinks.

Bar Opus is at No’ 1 Snow hill, Birmingham City centre, a new complex behind Snowhill Station. That it resides in such a nice location is a positive for the bar with a clutch of through foot traffic, local businesses and the new Midland Metro tram line nearby when it’s complete.

Bar Opus has an inviting terrace area for those Alfresco lazy summer days and evenings which I can imagine will be a real sun trap and will provide the Birmingham with a continental type atmosphere.

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On arrival we were greeted with two glasses of Champagne and were straight away impressed with the light and modern decor which is a mix of Cafe Opus decor and a continental inspired light openness.

The bar was busy, with a lovely atmosphere. The bar area is split into a long bar, an open kitchen, some seating in the windows around tables for eating on and some bar stools and tables.

Near the bar is an impressive Musee d’Orsay (art gallery in Paris, if you haven’t been go) clock (see photos above) which gives
Bar Opus a real iconic central image that invites the eye. A real symbol of the bar and its continental leanings.

As a vegetarian I have always loved the Opus food, whether the formal Opus restaurant or the laid back cafe in Brindley Place with its fab terrace and Meat Free Monday menu.

The ‘After 5’ sharing plates were what we had come to sample. The premise is that from the open kitchen the chefs will serve up a variety of dishes from £4.50 onto plates where the colour indicates the price. The waiter will at the end count the plates you’ve had and produce your Bill.
The plates include meat, fish and vegetarian a whole plate is £10.50.

Ruth tried the meat and fish options that were handed round and loved the complex flavours and in some cases simplicity of the dishes, they were presented in a delicious looking way.

My vegetarian options were plentiful. The ones that stand out are the confit tomato & mozzarella croquettes, which were delicious, real Italian creamy mozzarella, which complemented a complex and lovely tomato texture. The other I enjoyed was the Daylesford organic cheddar rarebit which was the best cheese on toast ever.

They reminded me of the type of food that you find in Aperitivo hour in Italy which is a very relaxed thing to do with friends and family..try it with a Aperol or Campari Spritz or Negroni.

The food I tried at Bar Opus in conclusion was made with the same high quality ingredients as at the other two venues and I was impressed with the vegetarian selection on all the menus. The all day menu includes four different options which is superb.

To add I also enjoyed a lovely Negroni Cocktail which was well made and probably the best I’ve had in Birmingham.

Bar Opus has a lengthy cocktail list, a good wine menu and also stocks craft beer and their very own Opus lager. A lot of the menu has local gin makers Langley’s on it, the Negroni was made with Langley’s gin.

Bar Opus is a superb addition to Birmingham’s food and bar scene. As an all day venue from breakfast until evening it’s going to be a very popular and exciting place to go.

I can’t wait to visit properly and try out their all day menu and ‘After 5’ options in full.

Bar Opus is a bar redefined.

Thanks to Ann and David for their invites. The food and first two drinks were on the house and our glasses of wine hereafter were paid in full by me. I was not required to write a post for my blog.

All opinions are honest and my own.

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Bar Opus
1 Snowhill piazza
Birmingham
B4 6GH

0121 289 3939

Open from

7am-11pm Monday to Friday
10am-11pm Saturday

@baropus

http://www.baropus.co.uk

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#TASTYMORSELS: NEW BAR AND RESTAURANT OPENINGS NOVEMBER 2014


There are two new bars/restaurants opening in November 2014. Both of which will be superb for vegetarians and be a classy addition to Birmingham and to Worcester.

The first is Bar Opus from the Opus Team who will be opening their third venue after their Opus Restaurant on Cornwall Street and Cafe Opus in Brindley Place in Birmingham City Centre. Bar Opus will be based in a new Snow Hill complex near the railway station in the Colmore Business District and adjacent to the new Midland Metro line due to open in 2015.

Bar Opus will be open for breakfasts, and lunch, but it is the after 5pm hours where the bar will come into its own. Its inspiration will be Barcelona and Copenhagen, offering shared plates of food created from an open kitchen. There will be good vegetarian options. The ethos will be the same as the other restaurants, well sourced local produce, creatively delivered with a twist. Bar Opus will also have a terrace on the piazza of the new One Snowhill building which should enhance the continental idea, ableit in the Summer months. 🙂 a full wine, cocktail and drinks menu will be available.

It’s a city bar redefined.

Bar Opus is due to open its doors on the 6th November 2014.

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

http://www.baropus.co.uk

The second #TastyMorsel is in nearby Worcester where the fantastic Bodega Cantina will be opening in November. Bodega owned by the Bitter N’ Twisted group already have a very successful and veggie friendly bar/restaurant in Birmingham City Centre which is superb.

Bodega are known for their hand crafted cocktails and delicious food in equal measure, will be offering their authentic South American food-Burritos, nachos, and tacos with a large vegetarian selection. It will be right next door to Foregate Street train Station. They are not taking bookings as yet, but keep an eye on their website, facebook page and twitter page for details, or you can sign up for their mailing list on their website.

Bodega will also be offering their Go Go Burrito take away service.

All being well Bodega will be opening in Worcester at the end of November.

I will keep you posted.

Two great openings:)

@bodegaWorc
@bodegaBirm

http://www.bodegacantina.co.uk/locations/worcester

14 Foregate Street Worcester WR1 1DB (near the train station)
01905 22200

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OPUS RESTAURANT: MARKET FRESH IN BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE


Opus restaurant is one of my personal favourite restaurants in Birmingham. It’s independent, classy, contemporary and market fresh, using the freshest produce available.

It’s been open for eight years on Cornwall Street in the heart of the Colmore Business District, a thriving area in Birmingham city centre and home of some of Birmingham’s best cafe’s and restaurants.

Opus Restaurant celebrates the freshest ingredients, British, mostly locally sourced, knowing their farmers, producers and history of their fruit and veg.

It is one of the best restaurants for vegetarians and vegans as you can always guarantee a lovely seasonal meal.

It daily changes its menu, called market menu which allows what produce is best and now. Allowing all of the ingredients to shine through.

The Market Menu is great value a main course is £10 two courses are £14 and three £16 and includes home made bread. Which was excellent.

That is why Ruth and I visited on a Friday evening to sample the here and now. Ruth loves lobster, sold by Opus for a short period of time when it’s in season and at it’s freshest.

It’s a regular yearly treat and visit at this time of year for us.

For me the luxury is to try such great summer produce by sampling their market menu.

The Market Menu offers one veggie option for a starter and main, which though limited in choice is outstandingly good value. It’s probably the best value meal in the city for the quality in both food, service and the classy Opus environment.

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We began in the bar which is a really nice way to start a meal at opus as it sets the tone and it feels right and proper.

As an aside, two years ago we watched Mo Farah win his second gold medal at the London Olympics, in the bar, on our i phone:) it’s that kind of place:).

We ordered two Martinis, one dry and one wet, both excellent, both well made with local Chase Gin.

The restaurant area is spacious and caters for couples, small groups and large groups well. You never feel crammed in, and the room feels airy and classy.

I chose my dinner from the market menu.
For my starter I can only describe it as one of the best tomato soups I have ever had. A total luxury of flavour.

I had the Roasted Plum tomato soup, pesto, croutons.

The flavour of the tomatoes were so fresh and rich, an indulgent starter, demonstrating what Opus do well. Fresh bang on in season ingredients. It was superb, with a delicate pesto drizzle on the top and crunchy croutons sitting inside. Lovely presentation.

Ruth ate from the A La Carte for her starter and enjoyed the fresh bite of her celery, Braeburn apple, toasted walnut salad with Roquefort dressing.

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For my main course I had the Tian of grilled Mediterranean vegetables, gnocchi, and heritage tomato sauce.

Again, a superb dish, well flavoured, with the punch of the tomato complimenting the soft potato gnocchi , and well flavoured seasonal vegetables that were delicately grilled and gave the dish it’s balance. The accuracy of cooking shown and the balance of flavours are the key to a simple dishes brilliance.

Ruth of course ate her lobster, she said it was superb, I knew that, because she told me:) she always enjoys it:)

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I decided to stick with the two courses, and because we haven’t ever eaten the cheese at Opus we decided to share one. This gave us three British Cheeses plus homemade fruit chutney, celery and walnut bread, which is plenty between two after a filling meal. You can order more.

We chose the Sparkenhoe Red Leicester which is the only Red Leicester made in Leicester, a superb cheese, so much better than the norm, fresh and full of flavour.

The Perl Las from Cowes Canarth in Wales. A strong but delicate cheese, salty but creamy. Lovely.

The Wild Yarg garlic, a Caerphilly style cheese, from Cornwall, again a nice flavour and the three together compliment well.

The walnut bread again was good, though maybe needed a bit more on the plate:)

With the cheese we chose two glasses of Quinta de la Rosa LBV Port, lovely, and very generous in size:)

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The service throughout was as refined and unfailingly good, friendly and with a touch of elegance about it. Throughout a good team, from kitchen to front of house.

There is so much to like about Opus Restaurant. It’s a superb advert for all that’s good about knowing your producers, your farmers and suppliers. It’s veggie dishes are fresh, simple, but exciting, three good things on a plate. The presentation and skill is superb, the smells of the food at the table, shows the care in the ingredients and freshness of produce.

My two vegetarian courses from the market menu were outstanding and I’m sure the non veggie dishes will be too. The best I’ve had at Opus and I’ve been many times.

As a restaurant they are fiercely committed to their core values and quality with an ethical approach to food where the best is only good enough in season. The produce brought, the dishes created. Sounds simple. It is, but so many restaurants don’t adhere to this basic principle.

That commitment is to be applauded and our commitment to that should be too. The humble veg never tasted so good, so respected, indeed Opus is a vegetarians idea of heaven.

Opus Restaurant,
54 Cornwall Street
Birmingham
B3 2DE

0121 200 2323
Restaurant@opusrestaurant
@opuscornwallstreet

Opus restaurant will be hosting a Worcester produce source vegetarian dinner on Friday 15th August 7pm.

This will be an opportunity to meet the farmers and producers from the Worcester area and eat 4 courses of vegetarian food for £45 per person with wine.

Contact the restaurant on the addresses above for details.

I will see you there:) it should be a good night. An evening to savour. An evening for the Veg:)

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Please note that the market menu that you have at Opus Restaurant may not be the same as the one I enjoyed. The menu changes daily. Enjoy:)

We paid for our own meal, my opinions are my own and are honest and true.

#TastyMorsels: New tea, cake, breakfast & Tapas


These three tit bits on Tasty Morsels include a bit of everything:)

1. Byzantium Meditteranean Tapas on York Road in Kings Heath have relaunched a tapas menu at lunchtime.

For £6.95 you can order three tapas veggie options are strong and include olives, Mini flatbread, Humous, Patatas Bravas, Spanish Omelette with potatoes, spinich and caramelised onions, and greek salad and Patatas Alioli.

They have also introduced an early bird menu special for £25.00 when you sit between 5.30-6.30pm the meal for two is inclusive of drinks and includes 1 Flatbread, 1 dip, 3 tapas, 1 special, and 2 drinks.

I love the food there and recommend it very strongly for veggie and vegans.

See earlier review.

2. The Boston Tea party group of all day cafe’s have just this week opened in Harborne. They already reside in Central Birmingham on Corporation Street. They specialise in Breakfasts, cakes, tea and coffee serving brunch, and all day and evening food.

Boston Tea Party are a small family owned independent cafe group serving ethically sourced feel good food and drink that is home made and fresh.

They are well known for their ethical stance, and awards for sustainability (recently awarded a 3 star rating) Their food is 100% free range and organic, their milk is too:) and they cater for veggies and vegans well.

Amongst other things They serve Veggie Breakfasts, eggs florentine, pancakes, sweet potato couscous, salads, mushroom burgers, cakes, toasted sandwiches, loose leaf tea in teapots, coffee and everything is home made on the premises. See website for full menu.

The cafe seats 100 guests, and caters for 50 outside in a private courtyard walled garden area. It is in New The School Yard site off the High Street in Harborne.
0121 427 8722
http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk

3. Cafe Opus in Brindley Place is still offering this Summer its Afternoon Tea deal. At £10 per person, this is a wonderful way to relax over three tiesr of sweet and savoury delights.

Finger sandwiches, fancy cakes, scones with clotted cream, and fresh fruit preserve, and a pot of tea.

On top of this is can be taken weather permitting on a beautiful terrace looking out on peaceful Oozell Square.

Afternoon tea is served daily between 2.30pm-5pm at Cafe Opus at The Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells St, Brindley Place B1 2HS.

Just a note, from my previous review. Cafe Opus is still serving a veggie and vegan supper menu for Meat Free Monday. All produce is market fresh. Every Monday savour all things veggie with a glass of house wine with every main course ordered.

It’s all from local produce as only Opus know how:)

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