#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. 

From street food beginnings to the Mockingbird. Bar, Bistro and Theatre at The Custard Factory. 


   

 Anthony Duffy and Craig Essex have just launched their new bar and bistro The Mockingbird at The Custard Factory. 

Previously seen as Big Papas at the Sunflower Lounge, that residency has now finished and a new exciting venture is open. 

At The ‘Mockingbird bar and bistro’ you can expect an exciting fresh seasonal evolving bistro menu with a keen focus on using locally sourced produce. 

Their new head chef has worked in some fantastic kitchens including Purnell’s. 

You may also expect a unique and carefully designed craft beer and cocktail menu, taking influence from small cocktail bars in Harlem, independent spirits, lesser known quality wines and fizz. 

The key objective and focus for the Mockingbird is to push the smaller, independently crafted drinks, championing the local breweries. 

As well as the exciting food and drink (including good vegetarian options) they will be offering a truly unique and eye catching industrial interior married with a relaxing atmosphere. 

As well as the Bar and Bistro, The Mockingbird also offers a 101 seated  cinema and theatre space which offers an intimate, atmospheric experience in live events and unconventional cinema that is unique to the Birmingham region. Plus DJ’s playing some light soul and funk and some very alternative music, live music acts, and comedy.

The Mockingbird provides a unique and diverse programme of events, embracing the city’s cultural diversity and young rising talent. 

The Vegetarian dishes at Big Papas demonstrated to me in their simplicity and eagerness to please an understanding that Vegetarians care too for what’s on their plate, fulfilling the adage that  when their’s a meat eater in a group there is often a veggie too. 

I was impressed then through conversation with the boys their thoughtfulness to please and get their veggie dishes right for the customer, and a keenness to evolve their menu. Thus I’m looking forward to seeing how their new venue develops. 

With the announcement that The Vegan Grindhouse are doing am all day/evening kitchen takeover every Monday until the end of the year, for Meat Free Monday’s there’s going to be a lot for veggies and vegans too like about The Mockingbird. 

I’m going to be at the launch party on the 6th August so look out for further reports and updates soon. 

Andy 😊

   
   

Birmingham Independents day: Saturday July 4th. 


On Saturday 4th July, while America celebrates its Independence Day, BrumHour invites you to share #BrumIndependentsDay across social media and support your local businesses. 

If you don’t know #BrumHour and use Twitter then you should make yourself familiar with it. Every Sunday from 8-9pm is Brum Hour where the opportunity is there to shout out your business, blog or whatever takes your fancy, a new shop you’ve found, an event or just a jolly good meal. It’s a very supportive hour, and all the better for it I believe. 

Dave Massey from BrumHour (and I quote) said “I’ve seen businesses across the UK take part in Small Business Saturday in previous years and I wanted to do a version we could do in Birmingham”. Dave works hard to promote the Birmingham scene and has been a massive support to my blog and his posts on his blog are eclectic and interesting. 

https://brumhour.wordpress.com/ 

This Saturday join in using #BrumIndependentsDay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
For me it’s about highlighting great Independent businesses in and around Birmingham and shouting out that they are the cornerstone of all that’s good about Birmingham and what makes this city unique, alive and current. And I believe it’s fun to explore. 

Next week in fact sees pop up kings Two Cats open up their permanent restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter, with some good veggie options. Stay tuned for more. 
Also a new Greek deli called Treat has opened in the Great Western Arcade and seems to be doing a good trade. Expect fresh salads, pies, figs, cheese, and Greek coffee. This joins All Greek Deli on Stephenson Street near New Street station. 

Recently Harborne has welcomed Paradice Gelateria to its indie ranks.   Serving cooling ice cream, waffles, deserts and drinks. 

   
   
A fantastic Flat White at independent coffee shops Yorks Colmore Row and Yorks Bakery Newhall Street. 

   

 

  
Amantia Mediterranean and Spanish  restaurant Birmingham City centre. 

   
 
Vegetarian Veg out Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham

   

   
Vegetarian Sunday lunch at The Plough Harborne. 

   

 
Gas Street Social and its veggie brunch #allyoucaneatbrunch Mailbox Birmingham. 

  

Blue Ginger restaurant Kings Heath. 

   

 
Henry Wong in Harborne

   

   

    
Veggie tapas, courgette salad and Gin Martini at Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath

   

    
 
Veggie breakfast bap, flat white and cappuccino at Grand Central Kitchen opposite New Street Station

   

 
Flat white at Faculty Coffee and tea in Piccadilly Arcade in City Centre. 

   

 
Veggie burger at The Victoria pub on John Bright Street. 

   

 
Coffee or breakfast  at Cherry Reds on John Bright Street City Centre and York Road, Kings Heath 

Of course I can’t mention Independents in Birmingham without mentioning independent Birmingham and the great work that Joe does in the city 

For details of the many independents in Birmingham not just food take a look at their website. 

App coming soon. 😄👍

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

Also bag yourself an IB Card via their website for discounts at many independent establishments in Birmingham. 

For more great independents check out the Colmore Business District Food Festival on the 4th July in Victoria Square. 

  

See my post for traders and menus. 

http://t.co/FtCNg5Hwr0

Thanks for reading and have fun. 

Andy 😊



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