Review: Leon, Natural Fast Food in New Street Station, Birmingham. 


  

Now just imagine this..healthy fast food..now that’s a discovery..imagine all fast food was healthy. How many Marmite crisps would you eat? Now that’s probably just me, I think I’m the only sane person in the world that likes them, hey what do you mean, insane? No seriously healthy fast food, that’s the domain of Leon, yes even their chips which are baked. 

I love much of vegetarian style fast food, a veggie pie, a good veggie burger, a slice of pizza, sweet potato fries, and eating chips on Aldeburgh beach in Suffolk, yum..no surprise to anyone who follows my blog. Yet, healthy fast food, is a new one on me. In fact it’s a new one for Birmingham to, if the rise of Five Guys burger chain is anything to go by..big anti vegetarian Yuk! (Oh dear sorry) (must remember to not get so cross!) 

Leon has recently opened its first store in Birmingham temptingly close to the main atrium of the New Street Station / Grand Central complex. With branches famously in London for 11 years and an expansion plan in place, Leon will become more familiar outside of the capital in due course. Serving food from breakfast until evening. The menu includes burgers, wraps and superfood salads as well as breakfast baps, breakfast muffins, smoothies, and coffee. Fast Naturally Food with an excellent vegetarian and vegan choice. 

Wow, The Leon menu covers every moment. 

As its in New Street Station just below the shiny new Grand Central it will naturally be a top choice for the commuter and those on the move. It’s also a very good choice for families with lots of choice for children, with the smaller pots ideal for the younger foodie. (See children’s menu at foot of my review) 

Though quite small inside the turnover of tables appears quite quick which is helpful. The decor is industrial feeling, but is light and feels bigger with tables not on top of each other. Plenty of space for cases, bags and buggies. It has a friendly feel and staff are happy to advise on dietary needs and ingredients in the dishes. Service is also prompt and the restaurant tables are kept tidy and clean. 

All food and drink on the menu is made fresh daily. Their coffee is fair trade and organic, as are their eggs, milk and porridge oats. Leon are also a founding member of the Sustainable restaurant association. 

   
   
Leon was founded in 2004 and only employ people who are “full of sun”, (not full of chips). The award-winning, London-based company is as I’ve said the healthy side of fast food with a notable leaning towards Vegetarian and Vegan dishes. 

Take the Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Chinichurri: In my case onion, courgettes, pomegranate, roasted with turmeric and cumin with alioli and baked fries. (Side extra). £5.10 plus £2.50 for the fries. 

Packaged in a nice box, the inner cauliflower Salad packed plenty of flavour, cauliflower has always been a personal favourite and though I asked for a recommendation I knew I wanted to try this dish. The dish full of fresh flavours, crunchy textures with a good turmeric and cumin finish, was delicious. It felt healthy and nutritious,  it felt warming and filling and good value for the price. 

The Baked fries on this occasion I hasten to add were not so good, though packing plenty of potato flavour they were not to hot and felt disappointing in the end. I like the sprinkled seasoning and the curly look though and would order them again, as i’m sure they could be done better. Nice alioli though. 

With my food I ordered a Flat White. Though their were delicious juices and smoothies and coconut water on the menu an opportunity to try a coffee never escapes me, and it was a very good flat white, great for a take away. 

(My Recommendation was the Halloumi wrap by the way,which I’m looking forward to trying along with the supper food salads.)

  
   
  Baked Fries 

 
  
  
Roasted Cauliflower salad 

Leon is a chain, and though I’m not usually a massive fan of chains I’m a big fan of what I’ve seen and experienced thus far. It’s because they do care about Vegetarians and Vegans, about the food we eat and about the ethics of it all. Yes, Birmingham has another chain, and yes I wish somebody independent could offer this kind of food, this kind of experience, but until that happens Leon will be a place I’ll call back to any time of day. It’s ethos should be applauded and the food on offer with its high nutritious leaning eaten. Food should taste good, and if it can do you good as well even better and for this Leon is a vegetarian friend. 

  

  

Leon cookbooks available at all good booksellers.   

  
http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/16.PAPER_MENU_2015_AUTUMN.pdf

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/birmingham/

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/menu/children/

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/vision/sourcingsustainability/

You can find Leon in Birmingham at Unit 25, New Street Station B2 4QA. 

0121-643-5925. 

Open from 6.30am-10pm every day apart from Sunday which is 8am-10pm. 

I paid for my meal in full at Leon. My views are my own, honest as always. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

#Tastymorsel: Bring on the revolution: Tapas Revolution set to open up at Grand Central. 


   
 

   
 
With tapas and small plate sharing dining becoming increasingly popular in Birmingham we welcome another to its growing canon. In this case it’s a small chain with a big reputation in London. 

I love this form of eating, it’s social, and it allows you to sample more dishes and with a hood drink or two it’s s great way to relax after work or on a weekend. For vegetarians in fact it’s usually works well, and allows for seasonal ingredients to be used more vociferously. 

Tapas Revolution, the Spanish-style tapas restaurant group from Omar Allibhoy, is set to open its fourth site in Birmingham this September.

The all-day tapas bar in Grand Central will feature a copper-topped bar, an open kitchen and marble tables, and will serve a changing menu, from breakfast, which will include pastries, Spanish-style coffee and freshly-squeezed Valencia orange juice, to lunch and dinner options such as a paella for £7.95 including a glass of beer, wine or soft drink included. 

For Vegetarians:

Nibbles: pan con alioli, pan con tomate, toasted almonds, olives, 

 Tapas: Try Gazpacho de sandia, Piquillos peppers stuffed moth mushrooms, Paratas Bravas, potato and onion tortilla, red and yellow tomato salad, or fried sweet padron peppers. 

Desserts will include churros (long, thin doughnuts) prepared to order and fried in specialist “churreria” equipment imported from Spain, and then tossed in cinnamon and sugar and served with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.

 The drinks offer will begin with sangria, available between 5pm and 7pm, (on half price) plus Estrella de Galicia beer on tap and a craft beer menu from every corner of Spain, including one brewed with honey and Mediterranean seawater. There will also be a selection of Spanish-brewed gin and wine from all regions of the Iberian peninsula.

There will also be Spanish sandwiches (bocadillos) and coffee available to take away.

First launched in 2010, Tapas Revolution began at Westfield Shopping Centre in White City and now has sites at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and in London’s Shoreditch.

Allibhoy said: “Tapas is more than food; it’s part of everyday culture. Food and life are always best shared. Tapas Revolution in Grand Central is my version of the lively and bustling tapas bars back home. Birmingham has a great food scene and is increasingly becoming a destination city. I wanted to get involved in the buzz happening here and bring a real taste of Spain to the city centre.”

Life and tapas are best shared. 

You can find Tapas Revolution at Grand Central from Thursday September 24th. 

http://www.tapasrevolution.com/section/45/1/birmingham/557a0749502c604e7953ec5ab02d8693

http://www.tapasrevolution.com/

http://www.grandcentralbirmingham.com/

http://www.tapasrevolution.com/section/8/1/omar-allibhoy-tapas-revolution

@tapasrevbham

tapasrevolutionbirmingham: Facebook

tapasrevolution: Instagram 

   
 
Omar Alibhoy (The Antonio Banderas of cooking according to Gordon Ramsey) riding the bull of Birmingham. 

  
All photos and images courtesy of Tapas Revolution with thanks. 

  
Desert at Tapas Revolution 

  
Photo courtesy of Grand Central. 

   
   

   
   
  
Grand Central Birmingham.