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 September.

I'll have more on that soon.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All Photos courtesy of restaurants and businesses with thanks.

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 😊

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


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

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

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

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

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

Festival organiser and proprietor Dav said:

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

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

The line up includes: 

On Thursday ‘meet the brewers’. 

Burning Soul Brewing:

Bringing OCT IPA 6.7%

Mount Olympus Pale Ale 5.2%

Insert [Blanc] Single Hop Ale 5.2%

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Sacre Brew Microbrewery

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

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

Here: 

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


Island Bar is 10 years old. 


  
Many years ago when I was much younger (say over 10 years ago) there wasn’t very much choice of bars or quality places to drink a varied and creative choice of drinks. 

The amount of independent bars were few and far between and generally if you wanted to have a night out you would have to go to a predictable chain that had a limited menu and certainly no cocktails. 

  
Island Bar opened in 9th September 2006. Situated on Smallbrook Queensway it offers an alternative option to the Birmingham pub and bar scene with handcrafted cocktails, classic creations and in-house Tiki concoctions as well as an extensive rum collection and a range of bottled beers. The venue’s ethos was and still is, to serve quality products by knowledgeable staff in an unpretentious venue. The bar has had many a makeover in the past ten years as well as seeing the cocktail offering expand and the music profile moving from indie / rock n’ roll to more soul and disco.

  
  

To mark this big birthday, Island Bar’s General Manager Simon Gilligan has created a line-up of events to celebrate including – a quiz night dedicated to the past ten years on Wednesday September 7th with rum based prizes to be won.

Thursday 8th plays host to a special version of “Tiki Thursday” with popular DJs Jam Jah Sounds playing dub and reggae alongside a bespoke menu by Jamaican rum Wray and Nephew. 

   
 Friday 9th and Saturday 10th customers are invited to join in the party atmosphere with DJs past and present taking to the decks to re-live some of the best moments from the Island Bar dancefloor. A one-off menu has been created by Simon for the weekend offering Tiki fans 2 for £10 all weekend on the favourite tipples of the past ten years.

Island Bar’s birthday isn’t just a milestone for the bar, but also a celebration for the independently run family Island Bar is part of. 

Bitters ‘n Twisted is one of Birmingham’s hospitality success stories, run by Matt Scriven who’s idea was to offer the flagging bar scene in the Midlands a much needed injection of creativity and fun 10 years ago. Following Island Bar’s opening in 2006 neighbouring boozer, The Victoria and then gin emporium Jekyl & Hyde were set up. Fast forward ten years and Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues owns and runs 10 venues within Birmingham and the Midlands with the most recent being a Bodega Cantina opening in Leicester, July 2016.  

​“Looking back to 10 years ago the hospitality scene in Birmingham has changed beyond recognition. We’ve been honoured and determined to play a large role in this renaissance of Birmingham and we remain passionate about contributing positively to this great city for another 10 years. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone and what we have achieved and I hope our customers continue to love what we do for many years to come.”

The team at Island Bar are asking customers to join in with them via social media to share their best memories over the years, using the #Island10 to collate a decade of anecdotes and pictures, the best ones will be rewarded with drink based prizes for the weekend.

  
   

Happy Birthday guys, and thanks for all the good nights so far across your venues from Veggie Foodie. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Island Bar, 14-16 Suffolk Street, Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1LT.

https://m.facebook.com/IslandBarBirmingham/

Home

  
All photos courtesy of Bitters ‘n Twisted and Island Bar with thanks.

Review: Two Cats Kitchen and Kam and Cat vegetarian collaboration. 


If those in the know (or think they are) are anything to go by then Two Cats Kitchen is the hottest dining ticket in town. For Vegetarians that might be greeted with, ‘for meat eaters maybe’ or yes really? But why should vegetarians be excused from the shouting or feel disinterested. After all we have the right to eat outside of vegetarian restaurants surely? 

So many restaurants that come by generally can be described by vegetarians as beern like a big black hole of an abattoir sent from outer space, a place to keep away from. 

For the unnanitiated Two Cats may appear a restaurant too far. For meat rules still, and Birmingham is generally living and breathing it in a massive way, if the Twitterati are to believed. 

This though is not all together a fair description of my city. I’ve spoken before of the good work Nomad are doing in Brum, as Marmalade at The Birmingham Rep with its Meat free Monday’s and the three Opus Restaurants. Two Cats is also treading the innovative line on veggie dishes, ingredient led and blossoming under the dim lights of its permanent home. 

Two Cats is the brainchild of Chef Nicki Astley. The food is described as ‘New Baltic Cuisine’. This is in fact Baltic-Russian cuisine,  re composed traditional dishes and some newer innovative ones. It’s very much stripped back fine dining, the plates of food tell a story, and in its story is the ideals in the cooking. It certainly stands out on the Birmingham dining scene. 

The vegetarian night was organised with Kam and Cat. 

Kamila is a raw food chef and is the owner and founder of Kam and Cat. They have completed numerous pop ups in Birmingham over the last year. 

Together with Nicki she provided the quirky dishes on the night. 

  
Two Cats Kitchen is on Warstone Lane near St Paul’s square and in the historical Jewellery Quarter area of the city. Itself becoming a fine food and drink location. 

After showcasing their food in various pop ups in the City Centre they’ve now settled in the cosy Jewellery Quarter and opened up in an even more cosy restaurant. 

The dining room is entered via a small delightful passageway that is reminiscent of some Trattoria’s you find in Italy, inside exposed brickwork, original tiles on the floor and some monastic stained glass is quite a surprise if you weren’t expecting it. It’s a fine discovery, simple, with a charming atmosphere that only such an old narrow space can provide. Maybe it’s the history, maybe it’s just me.! I feel at home. 

The menu itself is a bargain at £40 for seven courses. We had in order:

Aukstazupa” Beetroot and Buttermilk Gazpacho.

Oyster Leaves and Garlic Buttermilk, Plum, charred almonds.

Chickpea terrine, pickles, cheese custard, coal oil. 

Goats cheese Pelneni, lovage oil, sweet onion broth.

Golubtsy, slow cooked egg, cep mushroom stock.

‘Sorrel’

Kam’s Blueberry Vegan ‘Cheesecake’.

   
Aukstazupa, (Beetroot and Buttermilk Gazpacho). 

A Latvian Beet cold soup, slightly peppery, a bracing shout out I’m here kind of dish. Impressive veggie fare. 

  Oyster leaves and garlic, buttermilk, plum, charred almonds. 

Paired down, simple ingredients, put together well, so easy? Is it? 

  Chickpea terrine, pickles, cheese custard, coal oil. 

A third course of contrast, to the previous two. The chickpeas, complimenting well the cheesy heart of the dish: lovely. 

  

Goat Cheese Pelneni, lovage oil, sweet onion broth. 

An enchanting dish, all the elements came together. The tender Pelneni (chewy dumplings) of soft goats cheese stuffing, with an onion broth so crystal clear I could see my tired mid week night eyes peering jaded back at me from its depths, plus homemade lovage oil. Sweet, sticky, chewy, subtle-delicious.

  

Golubtsy, slow cooked egg, cep, mushroom stock. 

Russian/Ukraine Stuffed cabbage leaves (Golubtsy) wrapped round the cep filling, the stock and egg providing the added contrasting bite. A classic of Ukrainian food, here in Birmingham, a dish originally devised to use up left over food, now central stage. A Moma of a dish. A special dish. 

  

Sorrel

Simple sorrel leaf (pre desert) 

bunch of sorrel leaves tied together by twine with lovely textures and a sweetness that is surprising. To be taken in the hand and eaten like a bone ( sorry for the meaty term) sweet, and simple, served and presented artistically.

  
Kam’s Blueberry vegan cheesecake.

A vegan style cheese cake, finishing off the meal well. Good flavours and light touch. Lovely. Presented well. 

Two Cats Kitchen is terrific, gastronomic even, it is attempting to break barriers, but it’s feeding its customers well. I think you could keep returning here and finding new joys on the menu, or at least in some favourite tried before dishes and though this was a different Two Cats Kitchen night it whet the appetite for more in the near future. 

It does all the right things and for that they’ve succeeded in giving veggies another powerfully seductive experience whence once it thought not to tread and that’s all in the hands of the chef who knows how to please, and understands the beauty of food for everyone and that’s quite simply a relief for vegetarians in Birmingham. 

    
    
 

  

  Photo courtesy of Two Cats Kitchen. 

http://twocatskitchen.com/

https://twitter.com/twocatskitchen

27 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B18 6JQ.

0121-212-0070.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our meal in full. My opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Veggie dish of the day: Kitchen Garden Flatbread, Fletchers, Kings Heath.


  

A veggie flatbread is a blank canvas and you can cover it with almost anything and make a meal very quickly. In restaurants the plain variety (as in tapas) is popular. In many ways for me, the message is keep it simple: 

Take the seasonal butternut squash at Fletchers, set it off with a touch of crumbly gentle feta and wilting spinach, a rich tomato sauce base (crucial) that provides that slightly spicy chilli kick. 

Then you have probably the best Topped Flatbread in Birmingham. Simples! 

Fletchers in Kings Heath, is the venue. The Kitchen Garden Flatbread is the dish. Beautiful. 

Fletchers Bar and Eatery’s Kitchen Garden Flatbread was listed as one of the best cheese dishes by myself in Birmingham for Wow Brum (Birmingham Mail) in a recent article I was asked to do by them. 

See post here: 

https://t.co/MTEMGG2kbb 

  
  Fletchers Bar. 

  Topped Flatbread, Kitchen Garden: feta, butternut with chilli and spinach flat bread. Rich Tomato sauce. £9.95.

  
  

Order with sweet potato fries.

  Greek style fries also served. 

  

One of the best beers in the world? Wainwright from Thwaites. 

  

Craft beer from O’Hara’s. 

 

Yamazaki 12 year old Whisky from Japan. 

  Gin Martini at Fletchers.

  
  
Fletchers Bar and eatery is in the south Birmingham suburb of Kings Heath. Located on York Road, it’s friendly service and serious beers, Whiskies and cocktails make it a relaxed and veggie friendly choice in the area. Offering seasonal dishes and a varied tapas menu, Fletchers has an intimate and bustling vibe with a peaceful floral beer garden. 

It also offers independent Birmingham card holders 10% off the menu. 

Fletchers Bar: 7 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA.

http://www.fletchersbarandeatery.co.uk/#!menu/c24tf

http://www.fletchersbarandeatery.co.uk/

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

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

I paid for my own food at Fletchers Bar and Eatery. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Previous post on Fletchers veggie Halloumi burger: 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/09/19/fletchers-bar-king-heath-birmingham/

   
    
 Fletchers Beer Garden.

  

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: Veggie Burger Watch: Jekyll and Hyde, Birmingham. 


  

I think you can tell a lot about a pub/restaurant by its veggie burger. Vegetarian burgers can be tricky to make as they sometimes don’t hold their shape and the consistency in the ingredients are imbalanced and hence the flavours and textures don’t quite work. I’m on a quest to find the best veggie burger in Birmingham. Of course I’ll eat them anywhere, but that is where I live so why not. I like a challenge. 

  
The Jekyll and Hyde is one of my favourite pubs in Birmingham City Centre. Owned by independent Bitters n’ Twisted the people behind Birmingham venues Island, The Victoria, Bodega and Marmalade amongst others. Offering a wide range of drinks from G & T to cocktails, to real ales and mocktails. The cocktail menu is inventive and the G&T menu enticing. Plus with it’s Alice and Wonderland like courtyard is great in the Summer months. 

The upstairs bar, Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour. All dark wood, decadent drinking and a gin infused eat me drink me fusion menu in the latter part of the week is a bar of moral ill repute. See my review here. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/08/28/the-jekyl-and-hyde-gin-infused-menu-in-the-gin-parlour/

It has over 90 gins and offers gin flights and cocktail master classes. 

Downstairs, Mr Hyde’s Main Bar is more retro, quirky and Cosy. Turn up one evening for a quick half and you may stay all night. The bar with cask ales, ciders and cocktails is a jewel of design and for raucous shenanigans can’t be beaten. 

It is here that the main food menu is taken. 

   
 The Mr Hyde Burger: Sweet Potato and Home made chick pea falafel with sweet chilli sauce was a very good towering veggie burger. 

The Flavours and textures of the burger were spot on. The hold of the burger was fine, stated firm, but soft. The chick pea falafel blended well with the sweet potato and with the sweetness of the chilli sauce for dipping made for a satisfying dinner.  Where the dish fell down was with my fries which were sadly not so crisp and didn’t have much of a potato flavour.  They weren’t the freshest and let the good quality burger down unfortunately. 

Ruth and I also ordered some onion rings on the side which were pleasantly the real deal and were superb. 

  
The onion rings fully made up for the disappointing chips. 

Yet the burger was a joy and certainly one of the best I’d had in Birmingham with good balanced flavours and was a fitting tribute to Mr Hyde. 

My burger was enjoyed with a pint of hobgoblin Gold and a pint of Sadlers Stout. Both superb beers, with the Gold in particular going well with the burger. 

   
    
   
Eaten in the lovely Jekyll and Hyde pub the veggie burger is to be recommended and taken with keen ales or decadent cocktails makes for a fun quirky evening. 

In fact the pub is unique in Birmingham for its eclectic drinks list and inventive shenanigans. The dark realm of Mr Hyde’s bar is perfect for drinking in the potion of veggieness and the gourmet dining of cold beer, it’s a firm favourite of mine, but please leave out your chips from Dr Jekyll’s microwave. 

http://www.thejekyllandhyde.co.uk/

28 Steelhouse lane, City Centre, Birmingham, B4 6BJ. 

0121-236 0345.

With independent Birmingham membership you receive 20% off food from Monday-Thursday. 

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

   
   
Disclosure: We paid for our own food and drinks. My opinions are honest and accurate of my experience as always.