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. 

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#TastyChristmasmorsal: Bistro 1847 Veggie Christmas menu


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Bistro 1847 in Birmingham City Centre last week launched its modern vegetarian Christmas menu.

They have a two course and three course menu available from Monday to Friday over lunch and dinner, plus Saturday all day and Sunday lunch.

There is also a six course taster menu available. Contact the bistro for the menu.

The menu includes vegan options too.

To make a booking call Birmingham on 0121 236 2313.

Or email them at Christmas@bistro1847.co.uk

Booking is advised.

For the menu see

http://bistro1847.com/menus/ChristmasPDF.pdf

Or at http://www.bistro1847.com under Christmas

Please note the menus may differ to the ones on the website.

Menus: 2 courses £18
3 courses £24

And a tasting menu is £40 for six courses plus coffee and petit fours.

Bistro 1847 are also running a cocktail masterclass for £29.00 for 2 courses and £36.00 for three courses including 2 cocktails which you will be shown how to make yourself.

For my review see below:

Bistro 1847
26 Great Western Arcade
Colmore Row
B2 5HU

http://www.By1847.com

@by1847

0121 236 2313

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Review:

A visit to Bistro 1847 whatever the time of year is a joyous experience of perfect harmonies and sweet choral voices, but at Christmas it’s like a sweet Christmas carol that evokes the season and makes you swoon and smile.

As always with Bistro 1847 the dishes are innovative, quirky and a pleasure to the eye. The service on the night Ruth and I visited was spot on, attentive and friendly with an enthusiasm for the seasonal menu and knowledge of the excellent cocktails which we enjoyed.

Ruth and I chose off the Christmas mini a la carte-grazing menu.

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To begin we ate:

Lemon-grass, chili, coconut, parsnip, potato crackling, wild mushroom, (2nd photo)

Ruth really enjoyed the complex flavours and the combination of textures on this dish.

I ate the

Wild herb sauce, wild sea cabbage, Brussel sprout, potato crackling and ‘parmesan’ dumpling: (1st photo)

I have to say an outstanding dish, you either love or loath sprouts, but even the most hardened sprout hater would love the textures and slightly crunchy cabbage and bitter sprout flavours of this dish which was a real twist on the Christmas tradition. Lovely.

To follow we both chose the same dish:

Spiced squash and nut praline filo, real ale gravy, seasonal vegetables.

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Probably the most traditional Christmas dish on the menu. Deliberately chosen for this reason. It ticked all the boxes for us, a real warming, filling comfort food dish, with lovely notes of squash and real ale gravy. The filo was delicious, firm, but soft, beautifully presented, a real winner.

For desert Ruth chose and enjoyed the Christmassy toffee flavours of the Sticky toffee, chestnut, smoked ice cream

I chose the sorrel, white chocolate, Apple, Douglasfir.

Very Bistro 1847, a lovely combination of flavours with the white chocolate running through the dish, really nice.

We finished off with two coffee liqueurs, which were a coffee hit, almost espresso like, lovely.

The Christmas mini a la carte menu is a lovely festive menu. Innovative, thoughtful with a delicate leaning to the season, tradition and most definately jolly and different.

On the night the Bistro was full, which was lovely to see and why we booked and wished to visit on a Friday night.

For a different Christmas type experience with good veggie and vegan dishes Bistro 1847 is a restaurant worth checking out.

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Our two meals and cocktails were kindly complimentary, we also purchased ourselves two glasses of organic wine and a side of fresh bread. All opinions expressed are my own and honest as always. A favourable review was not required.

I would like to personally thank all the staff at Bistro 1847, chef Alex, and Damien for all their kind support of my blog this year.

Thanks guys and have a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Here’s to the New Year’s dishes. 😊 and further visits in 2015.

Thanks for reading

Andy 🙂

#Coffeetime: Yorks Espresso Bar Birmingham City Centre


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I’ve watched the new Yorks Espresso Bar on the corner of the Great Western Arcade and Colmore Row (opposite Snow Hill Station) progress from an empty building to what can now be described as the most unique and trendily urban hangout selling delicious coffee in a city full of great independent coffee shops.

I visited last week, its first week of business to try it out and was rewarded with a brilliant and rewarding coffee experience.

Yorks Espresso bar, little brother of Yorks Bakery on Newhall Street 10 minutes up the road sells great coffee. It’s different. I has a vibe that’s feels very welcoming, knowledgable, and passionate about coffee and its whole experience. It’s modern and cool.

The new bar is the first of its kind in the UK to have a ‘kegorator’ serving cold coffee from a beer style keg system in the bar. I was able to sample some. It’s delicious, refreshing, and punchy in flavour, well recommended,

I also enjoyed a delicious Yorks Flat White, and single espresso. Both beautiful. The flat white like at Yorks Bakery is superb, creamy, with a touch of class, maybe the best in Birmingham City Centre. The espresso packed a punch and was excellent too.

A coffee paradise.

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Yorks Espresso bar also serve the trademark Yorks cakes, sandwiches, pastries and muffins. The cakes are lovely if like at Yorks bakery, though I didn’t eat on this occasion.

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The decor has a comfortable mezzanine section upstairs and downstairs where I sat bar stools to watch the passers by from. Being nosy that’s where I sat watching the rain ease.

The bar is rustic, and has a long wooden bar with tiled wall areas and menus written on glass on the walls. Very hip, very Yorks.

Yorks Espresso bar is already a favourite of mine and one of the finest independent coffee shops in Birmingham, I’m loving the vibe and urban coolness and rustic quirkiness. take yourself, take your friends, and then encourage them to take their friends too 🙂

A superb coffee treat.

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Yorks Espresso Bar
Colmore Row
Great Western Arcade
16a Colmore Row

@yorkscolmorerow
Facebook/ YorksBakeryCafe

Thanks for reading.

Has anyone been to Yorks espresso bar? What did you think?

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#TastyMorsels: Chung Ying Central Summer Menu Express Lunch


Chung Yung Central is Birmingham’s newest Oriental restauarnt, located on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre. It sits in the Colmore Business District area of the city near to The Bureau Bar and Victoria Square. It opened in November 2013.

Chung Ying Central has a modern and contemporary decor and offers a variety of high quality Dim Sum, specially selected dishes and cocktails in its cocktail bar and beers.

The Express Lunch runs from 11.30-2.30 in the week and 12-3pm on Saturdays.

It is priced at £5.95 for any dim sum and soup. With other options available for more money. The dim sum and soup is the best for veggies.

For veggies the menu offers vegetarian Spring Rolls and crispy vegetarian Won Ton for dim sum.

The restaurant has advised me that the two soups and some of the other dishes on the menu can be veggified (great word) too on request. So veggies need not miss out:)

It seems a brilliant deal. One that is Summery and at a good price.

The menu has many other options for non veggies, so grab a friend or six from your office or just go yourself and try it out.

Chung Ying Central also offers a Happy Hour on its cocktails, beers and bar snacks where you buy one get one free on selected drinks. This is from 4pm-7pm daily.

Chung Ying Central
126 Colmore Row
Birmingham
B3 3AP
0121 4000 866
@centralCY
http://www.chungyingcentral.co.uk

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CBD Food Festival 2014


One of my favourite food festivals of the year is Birmingham’s own CBD Food Festival (Colmore Business District) which is on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th July 2014 11am-7pm at Victoria Square off Colmore Row and New Street Birmingham City Centre.

Now in its fourth year, the CBD Festival organised by Colmore BID is a two day foodie extravaganza showcasing and celebrating the excellent food and drink offerings in Birmingham’s Commercial quarter CBD.

For me the best place for bars and coffee shops in Brum.

Venues from the CBD will serve tasters of signature dishes ranging from £1.50 to £5. All food options are priced at £3 or under, a bargain 🙂

All the businesses and participents are local to the area within a 10 minute walk of Victoria Square, including restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries and deli’s.

Included in the participents are:

-Contemporary Indian restaurant Isaacs
-The Bureau bar and deli
-Purnells restaurant
-Purnells Bistro and Ginger’s bar
-Pure Bar and Kitchen
-Urban Coffee Company
-York’s Bakery and cafe
-Hotel Du Vin
-JoJolapa Bar and Restaurant
-Opus Restaurant
-Hindley’s Bakery
-Edmunds Lounge and bar
-The Old Joint Stock pub
-Chung Ying Central
-Asha’s Indian Resturant
-Chi Bar and Restaurant
-The Jekyl and Hyde
-The Old Contemptibles pub
-The Square Peg pub

For Veggies and Vegans that is a feast of good food:

I recomend Ashas, The Bureau Bar and Chung Ying Central, and Opus for food.

Ashas will be serving the lovely Papadi chaat served chilled £3
The Bureau: Beetroot Bon Bons £3
All Bar One: Veg Pad Thai £3
Chi Bar and Restaurant: Pav Bhaji served with a mini roll £3
Chung Ying Central: Veg spring roll with noodles. £3

There will also be cocktails, gin, pimms and cofee and toasties plus cold drinks and champaigne no doubt.

Try Ginger’s and the Bureau Bar for Cocktails and Hotel Du Vin for wine.

Coffee shops Urban and Yorks bakery will be there with your caffeine fix.

There will also be an entertainment programme at the festival, cookery demostrations, drink making demo’s, from top chefs including Glynn Purnell and David Calcombe of Opus Restaurant.

This years festival will also include a programme by The Young Rep, The Youth Theatre Company, Colmore Chorus CBD’s Choir of local business people.

There will also be deckchairs to sit on and a magician.

For full details see the CBD website and the free magazine’s that can be picked up at Snow Hill Station and the Tourist Information points.

It promises th be a fun couple of days with great local food and some fine independents demonstrating their culinary and bar skills.

Should be a fab foodie weekend:)

http://www.colmorebusinessdistrict.com
Twitter: @ColmoreBid

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THE BUREAU: MUCH MORE THAN A BAR


Information and plaudits for The Bureau have crept up on me. In fact, it was with the news of the introduction of The Langley’s No’ 8 Rooftop Terrace that my ears pricked up and I got excited. (See my previous article)

You see, I’m a sucker for being outside, either eating or drinking-alfresco-with a view, even better.
How very European-how very Birmingham 🙂

The Bureau is on Colmore Row within the Colmore Business District area of the Birmingham City Centre, near to Victoria Square and the Cathedral. In an area of some of the best independent bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.

The Bureau aims to create a friendly and social environment where guests can indulge in locally produced and thoughtfully sourced deli and bar food. Along with a seductive drinks menu, creative cocktails, cask beers and fine wines and of course gin.

When my wife Ruth and I visited we found the bar to be a great mix of elegant styles, from vintage to modern. A very comfortable bar, well designed and with plenty of space.

The Bureau is housed in an old picturesque building, No’ 110 Colmore Row. It has a main elegant bar, with booths and tables, some circular, some rectangle. It also has bar stools and tables and a basement bar for parties and private functions.

Now The Bureau has a roof top terrace (recently opened) which you can reach either by lift or if you are fit by a long spiral staircase which is very evocative and lovely. The terrace we found to be a superb place to sit on, very relaxed with plants and booths, and outdoor tables, a real mix of styles which was well designed and had a touch of class about it. It is sponsored by local gin company Langley’s and is cleverly called Langley’s No8 gin terrace after the house gin of The Bureau. It is the place to sip a gin and tonic or a sparkling Gin Martini.
Ruth and I did both, well it would be rude not to 🙂 They were both superb. The Gin Martini, crisp, elegant, a touch of class, well mixed and the Langley’s No’8 local gin is delicious. Well recomended.

As your doctor says a gin a day…no that’s not right…but hey when in Rome…or in Birmingham 🙂

We had also heard very good things about the food at The Bureau. Hence another reason for being there midweek.

There are plenty of interesting and dverse options for vegetarians on the menu. From canapes to deli plates to a veggie burger (see menu on website).
I chose deliberately the deliciously sounding and indulgent
Leek and Double Worcester Cheese Tart.

It was delicious, creamy cheese with as superb flavour, offset by a subtle taste of leeks which really made it moreish. As someone nearby in the bar said recomending it to a friend it’s ‘to die for’. Maybe not neccessary to go that far, as then you wouldn’t be able to sample the long and decadent drinks menu 🙂 It was lovely though, and excellent choice especially with an excellent side order of of Sweet Potato wedges, which were crisp, golden and a perfect alternative to chips (made with Beef dripping according to website). A well recomended combo.

As and aside Ruth sampled the meat Hot Dog, which has received rave reviews from reviewers. She said it was superb and to be well recomended. Maybe a veggie hot dog option. That would be lovely…please? 🙂

The Bureau is a superb contemporary bar and deli. It is to be commended for its dedication to locally sourced and innovative veggie food options. It’s much more than a bar that serves superb drinks, much more that a roof top terrace. It’s an intoxicating mix of quirkyness and vintage chic with a modern air of elegance. The service at the bar and at the table (table service for food and drinks options, but can also order at the bar) is charming, relaxed, friendly and dedicated to knowing about their drinks and craft. I requested a Negroni. They made me one so perfect that I thought I was in Italy, it’s not on the cocktail menu, but that was no problem. It was punchy and superb.

The Bureau is stylish without being snooty and alienating.

So for some of the most interesting veggie options in Birmingham try The Bureau (must try those deli slates next!). It’s great with friends, great for couples, great in the sunshine, or rain, come for the bar, come for the roof terrace, but try the food.

So do visit The Bureau.

A small masterpiece in Birmingham City Centre.

The Bureau
110 Colmore Row
Birmingham City Centre
B3 3AG

0121 236 1110

info@thebureaubar.co.uk
@thebureau
http://www.facebook.com/TheBureauBar

http://www.thebureaubar.co.uk

http://www.langleysgin.com
@langleysNo8

wwww.independent-birmingham.co.uk
@independentB’ham

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Disclaimer: We paid for our own food and drink. The opinions shared are my own and honest.

Yorks Bakery Cafe: #Coffeetime


Over recent years there has been a much needed influxof Independent coffee shops and cafe’s opening and thriving in Birmingham. The ammount of money and artistic superlatives that these bring to the City Centre and Birmingham suburbs is no doubt huge.

In essence Independents thrive on prividing great coffee and food combinations, taking the process seriously and always striving for that artistic difference that makes them popular and unique. They all offer something different. Whether that be majoring on great coffee, events they put on, or the food that they provide. Often made on the premises.

The one thing they all have is a sense of community and a spirit that has been developed out of research and their craft. That is what makes them interesting and gives them the foodie factor.

Personally, I’ve always loved cofee shops. They’ve always been a space to go to over and over. To relax in before and after work, a destressor, to read in, to write my poetry and now my blog in, to meet friends and family in and to make friends in.

This post is the first of a series of occasional articles/reviews mentioning those independent coffee shops that make up the
developing coffee scene in Birmingham (and sometimes beyond).

York’s Bakery and Cafe is on Newhall Street (on the corner) in the City Centre off Colmore Row in what is known as The Colmore Business District or Financial district.

At its essence is the design of community, care for ingredients, and a craft in its food and design of premises. The ingredients it uses are well sourced and the barristers know their coffee and tea are enthusiastic about the coffee process. The staff also care about you, the customer 🙂

I visited on a busy Friday lunchtime. I’ve always had a soft spot for York’s, but hadn’t been for awhile due to the huge coffee shop options available in the City Centre. I’ve often visited and wrote my poetry, chatted with friends and visited with my wife Ruth for food on a weeekend.

On the day I visited it was busy. A bustling sound and atmosphere. AI notice a good mix of customers, from those who were at work, to families with small children and buggies, from students to people who had obviously were trying York’s Bakery and Cafe out for the first time.

York’s believe in an honest approach to its ethos. Inside you are greeted with cool artwork, which is rotating in that they invite local artists to display their work every three months. You also have sturdy wooden furniture which looks like it belongs and zonal seating which make the room seem uncluttered and offers plenty of space depending on your requirements. I like that aspect. Their are two rooms, one at the back is hidden and offers a more private space for meetings and for the studious and groups of friends.

At the counter you are greeted with mountains of cakes stacked high, all very inviting. I chose a beautiful chocolate brownie, my test cake, it was beautiful, firm, rich, but soft, with the right balance of chocolate and cake, which slid down well with a perfect Flat white, which was smooth and had the right texture and flavour punch of coffee. A work of art in fact in it’s pretty design on top.

The urban feel of York’s works well. The service was friendly, knowledgable, and helpful and they even wiped and cleaned the tables. They were attentive. The music is funky too in the shop, plenty of chilled tunes, a bonus.

They have a good selection of teas as well and obviously give them the same billing as the coffee.

Over the next few weeks and months, York’s say that they are undertaking a transitional phase, in that they are stripping back their menu to provide the characteristics of a great coffee shop. A Smart food and coffee mix. They provide a specials board of pancakes, sandwiches and hot breakfasts in the week and weekend. It also sells flour to make bread with.

York’s Bakery and Cafe has a warm and relaxed atmosphere. It is a well recommended independent choice in the City Centre. In fact it is a coffee shop to return to again and again, for the coffee and the cakes and food.

York’s Bakery Cafe
1-3 Newhall Street (corner of)
Birmingham
B3 3NH

@yorksbakerycafe
http://www.yorksbakerycafe.co.uk

http://www.coffeebirmingham.co.uk

@coffeebrum

http://www.independentbirmingham.co.uk

For details of the Independent Coffee scene in Birmingham see http://www.coffeebirmingham.co.uk and blog.

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The Bureau and The Langley Gin terrace opening


The Bureau has been on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre since October 2013. Housed in a beautiful grade II- listed building built in 1902-04 it has been a place to be seen in The Colmore Business District.

It has a main bar and a cocktail bar and downstairs a basement lounge area which has its own bar area and can be used for private functions.

The Bureau is known not only for its drinks but for its hip bar deli food with a difference. Small plates of food both meat options and good veggie options. A menu demonstrates thought and skill and with a choice of five for £10 is decent value.

On the 26th June 2014 The Bureau will open its roof terrace to the public. Birmingham is not blessed with roof terraces, but The Bureau promises to set the highest tone of indulgence and offer a sophisticated place to drink and eat and just in time for the summer weather. Their will be a weekly barbecue on offer and a well stocked bar to tempt and delight.

It’s set to open as the Langley’s No 8 Gin Roof Terrace (distilled near Oldbury).

Also, there are plans for a second floor bar and a mezzanine level conference rooms.

The success of The Bureau up to now is based around its aims to create a friendly and social environment where guests can indulge in locally produced and regional sourced food including many veggie options ( see my review soon).

The owners from Birmingham Paul Rutter and Zack Foley have certainly created a buzzy hospitable space.

As a bonus with the Independent Birmingham members card a 10% discount is given.

The Bureau has won many awards including ‘Hidden Gem Award’ from fantastic bar website Design My Night’s users.

The Bureau is a place for deli food and drink already, but the terrace should make it a place to enjoy the summer months much more.

The Bureau
10 Colmore Row
Birmingham
0121 236 1110

http://www.thebureaubar.co.uk

Info@thebureaubar.co.uk

@thebureau

@langleyNo8

http://www.langleysgin.com