Vegetarian street food traders The Indian Lunch Box are at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter this week. 



Make sure you get down to 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter this week as vegetarian Indian street food company The Indian Lunchbox are taking over the kitchen for one week only. 

Street food trader Reena Mistry has a mission to open minds and mouths to tasty, homemade Vegetarian street food. The Indian Lunchbox is all about fresh ingredients and many of the dishes are served traditionally on the streets in India, and have been passed down the family.

Their signature dish is the Double Roti burger- a soft bread bun filled with potato curry, Chevdo (like Bombay mix), chopped onions, peanuts, and a chilli coriander chutney.

Other highlights include Bhel, a dish made with puffed rice, potato, chickpea, and a tangy tamarind sauce, and Pav Bhaji, a mixed vegetable curry. There are also Onion Bhaji’s. 

All these dishes are suitable for Vegans. 

The food will be complimented by the delicious and local Indian Brewery, one of the most recent additions to The Birmingham evolving craft beer scene. 

They will be laying on a selection of their crisp and refreshing craft ales. As well as the highly new Birmingham Lager. If it’s ready in time on draught. 

Established in May 2016 The Indian Lunchbox is a Veggie Foodie rising star and one to watch in 2017. 

The menu’s below: 



1000 Trades can be found at 16 Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
The Indian Lunchbox will be at 1000 Trades from Monday 31st October to Saturday 5th November, serving from 5-10pm Monday- Friday and 1-10pm on Saturday. 

Should be a fantastic week of vegetarian food. 

Thanks for reading, 
Andy 😊

All photos courtesy of Indian Lunchbox and 1000 Trades. 

Look out for The Indian Lunchbox at Streetfood events around the Midlands. Including the new Hawker Yard in the city centre. 

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Urban pop up #JQ Vegan night 1st September, Birmingham. 


  

There’s something Vegan friendly happening in September in the Jewellery Quarter. 

The next in the #Urbanpopup at their Jewellery Quarter branch sees them celebrating all things Vegan. 

The menu is Thai themed and will include 5 courses tasting menu plus drinks to match for £39. Everything been vegan friendly. 

Tickets are £39 plus booking fee if booking online. They can also be brought at the JQ emporium or via Eventbright. 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-pop-up-vegan-night-tickets-27028607292

Courses as follows; 
1. Tom Yum Soup. 
2. Tempura Smoked Tofu with Ginger and Lime Dipping Sauce.

3. Mango and Kale Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice.

4. Coconut and Rasberry Mousse.

5. Chocolate and Orange Salted Caramel Tart.

Looks a good menu. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

#TastyMorsel: The Eight Foot Grocer opens: A Feast of Veg in the Jewellery Quarter


If you are a vegetarian and you don’t eat or like fruit or vegetables, then maybe ask what’s the point. Veg are the kings of vegetarian and vegan living. All hail the veg 🙂

So in that respect any news that an Independent food grocer is opening in Birmingham is therefore greeted with the applause and plaudits it deserves.

That’s why I love the idea of The Eight Foot Grocer. i did wonder if the guy who owned it initially was a giant, that eating all those veg like your Mother told you to do had made him grow so much that he had turned into a fairy tale character, old Jack himself.

No in fact, his name is Chris James and his grocers is in the lovely Jewellery Quarter and is housed in a eight foot wide former loading bay near
St Paul’s Square.

Chris has turned a quirky venue into a new fruit and veg store selling exciting deli produce locally sourced where possible and all in a eight foot wide space. The store is in Caroline Street next to the Braderie Vintage shop and opposite The esteemed Bloc Hotel.

The shop is an eclectic mix of local art, and photography, and receives daily fresh bread deliveries from nearby Peel and Stone bakers and stocks such items as jams, marmalades, loaclly made Cufuffle preserves,
Kneals Chocolates, Pip’s Hot Sauce, pastas and olive oil.

It also serves porridge for breakfast, and sandwiches, salads, and cakes for lunch.

It’s a proper shop, independent and local and open from
8am-8pm Monday-Saturday.

The Eight Foot Grocer
13-15 Caroline Street
off St Paul’s Square
Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham
B3 1TR

@The8footgrocer

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#Coffeetime: Coffee Lounge, Wake up and smell the coffee


Coffee Lounge is a newish independent coffee shop located on Newhall Street in Birmingham City centre near St Paul’s Square.

It’s tucked a bit out of the way of the main drag of the city centre, but is well worth the walk.

It was in mid week, feeling quite stressed due to moving house that I decided to find some calm and enjoy the soothing harmony ‘s of lower Newhall street and the nearby St Paul’s Square.

On entering Coffee Lounge I found a laid back and contemporary coffee shop that was quite quiet and had the peace and serenity that I required to read and relax.

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Coffee Lounge has a good mix of sofas and table seating and bar stools that should suit all tastes and customers. Though it is apparent that at certain times of the day it caters for the local business sector, it’s was also popular with families and customers eating afternoon tea and stopping off after touring the Jewellery Quarter.

The decor is modern, light with a good purple and white colour scheme that is cosy whilst been spacious. It’s a relaxed space, good for work, good for catching up with friends and good for reading.

It’s not crammed full of tables so it feels a place whereby you don’t feel rushed to leave. You can take your time and relax. Perfect😊

My flat white was good, well made, a good coffee flavour and though not the best in the city it came with a nice biscuit that is quite rare to find generally in coffee houses in Birmingham. Very welcome as I didn’t feel like any cake or sandwiches, well not on this occasion.

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The food on offer last looks good though, from cakes, pastries, sandwiches, afternoon tea, breakfasts such as full English, and burgers, soup and jacket potatoes, it is quite a lengthy list.

Charmain and Daphne are the owners, the service is friendly, and they have created a fun, modern and relaxed place to while away time and in my case chill for awhile.

As an independent coffee shop it’s a nice addition to the growing Birmingham scene, and has a different feel to the ones in the main part of the city.

This is good and I recommend the informality and charm this brings us coffee drinkers.

The Coffee Lounge is a place to return to, and for me to eat in and read or write.

A good detour with a nice vibe.

I used my Independent Birmingham card to obtain 10% off my drink. You can also gain 20% off afternoon tea for two people with the IB card. See website below if you wish to purchase one or two.

Twitter: @cdlounge
http://www.facebook.com/cdlounge

http://www.independent-Birmingham.co.uk

Coffee Lounge,
101 Newhall Street
Brindley House
Birmingham
B3 1LL

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Thanks for reading.

Has anyone been to the Coffee Lounge?

Please feel free to leave a comment underneath or via Twitter @andydhare

HARD TO FIND WHISKEY: WELL NOT ANY MORE


I came across information on The Hard To Find Whiskey shop in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter via Twitter and a fabulous piece in the Birmingham Post by Mary Griffin.

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/…/good-whiskey-no-longer-hard-7878177

I’m a big whisky fan and single malts always go down well with me.

Birmingham has a few places that you can buy whiskey by the bottle, the Whiskey shop in the Great Western Arcade is the pick of them and the most reliable for a good range and good service.

That is until now. The Hard to Find Whiskey Shop is different, it aims to sell those hard to find drams for collectors, but also celebrates single malts and splits their display into whiskey regions, areas and a section for foreign imports. For example Japanese.

The shop newly opened in the Jewellery Quarter is crammed full of whiskey from the most expensive at £35.000 ( a 50 year old Macallan) to a £25.00 bottle plus £1.95 on some whiskey liqueurs.

They also sell Macallan honey, marmalade, and even a whisky bath gel, for those indulgent whiskey moments,

The shop is on Spencer Street and has set out its displays on whiskey producing regions in Scotland: The Highlands, The Lowlands, Campbell Town, Islay, The Islands.

The Hard To Find Whiskey Shop Also sells Bourbons, blends and is in the process of setting up tasting masterclasses and a bar stool area where customers can sample the whiskey.

Keep an eye on their website for details and classes when they arise,

http://www.htfw.com

There is also a growing link with whiskey and food.

Itihaas restaurant have recently held a whiskey and indian food tasting with the Birmingham Whiskey Club who run events throughout the year.

There maybe plans for more nights like this and the growing trend to pair Spirits with food is becoming more available such as Jekyll and Hyde’s Gin tasting and gin inspired food menus.

The Birmingham Whiskey club have up on their website an event next March 2015 Birmingham’ s whiskey festival at The Bond in Digbeth, where the Soul Food Project and Peel and Stone will be developing a menu for the festival. Menus to be announced.

http://www.whiskeybirmingham.co.uk

The Birmingham Whiskey scene is certainly on the up and for Hard to Find Whiskies the shop in Spencer Street, Jewellery Quarter is the shop to start.

Go seek out those Whiskies😊

http://www.htfw.com

1 Spencer Street
The Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham
B18 6DD

08456803489

Email: sales@htfw.com

http://www.Facebook/HTFWhiskey

@HTFWhiskey Twitter.

The Whiskey Shop

Unit 35 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5 HU

http://www.whiskeyshop.com

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JEWELLERY QUARTER MARKET 14TH AUGUST ST.PAUL’S 4-9PM


Event details:

Date: 14th August 2014
Time: 4-9pm

Event Location:

St Paul’s Square
Birmingham
B3 1QU

http://www.24carrots.org.uk
@24carrots
http://www.facebook.com/24carrotsmarket

http://www.jewelleryquarter.net
Twitter: @MyJQ

In the beautiful surroundings of St Paul’s Square every Easter, summer and Christmas 24 Carrots organise a food and crafts festival comprising of local food and arts and craft producers and traders.

This week sees the Summer festival take place on Thursday 14th August between 4-9pm.

It will be just the occasion to grab a bite to eat and browse the stalls in beautiful surroundings.

There are always superb vegetarian and vegan options including The Vegan Grindhouse for vegan burgers and hot dogs and Italian slow food principled Squisito Deli.

St Paul’s Square is at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham near the city centre.

The stalls will range from hot and cold food and handmade gifts, real ale and chocolates to coffee.

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The good stalls confirmed so far with some superb vegetarian options are:

-Afia’s Samona Shop: Delicious Indian food.

-Beans and leaves: speciality coffee and tea

-Cutfutile: conserves and chutneys

-Pips Hot Sauce:) spicy hot chilli sauces

– Squisito Deli- Italian deli and food

-The Bean Stall: great coffee

-The Vegan Grind House: vegan street food 🙂 and snacks brought to you by vegan Vox.

– TwoTowers Brewery: local ale

-More Cocoa- chocolates

-Peel and Stone: bakery in Jewellery Quarter

-Mrs Milk Cakes- cakes and bakes.

The Summer Market is organised by the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood forum
http://www.jqnf.org.uk

It should be a lovely evening, and is always a good occasion. There will be more vendors added in sure.

See website, twitter and Facebook for updates.

If anyone has any comments on the JQ summer market or knows of any other food based stalls please let me know and I will add them to the list.

For food and creative things check out the summer market at St Paul’s Square.

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Brewsmiths: Coffee and tea #Coffeetime


I’ve been hearing about Brewsmiths for awhile, via social media and Independent Birmingham. So it had to be on my ‘hit list’ to visit for #coffeetime 🙂

Brewsmiths is a little out of the centre of Birmingham, but well worth the short walk to nearby Livery Street, by Snow Hill Station (rear entrance) next to Connolly’s wine shop and near the Peel and Stone bakery. It sits in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (St Paul’s Square and city side) and is a cosy and quaint looking place that is the epitome of independent in Birmingham.

On walking into Brewsmiths I immediately felt relaxed by its cosy air and wacky cushions, books, and comfy seating. It’s like a home from home kind of place, a very relaxed home with friendly staff and a feel good atmosphere.

Brewsmiths is owned by Andrew McKay who gives the impression that he knows his coffee and his audience well. Brewsmiths make superb coffee. My cappuccino I tried was excellent, well made, smooth, Italian style, with a an excellent coffee blend, deep and well executed.

I didn’t eat any food as I arrived quite late in the day and there wasn’t much choice on offer as far as cakes were concerned, so vowed to return and sample another time. Having though seen the reports, their cakes and all day breakfasts and pastries sound superb.

Brewsmiths is a quaint and homely coffee and tea destination, it has a relaxed vibe, with free wif fi (always a bonus) and an excellent selection on smart boards behind the counter of coffee and tea. They specialise in both, so for tea lovers it is a cool place to go too:)

It has mixed seating. Some comfy seats, some long communal tables, some and many cushions. It seems to be spacious, though it’s small inside, it’s cosy, and feels as I have said like a home to chill in. It plays laid back chilled music, its snug, and wort trying at different times of day to get a different atmosphere. I certainly will.

Brewsmiths plays to a mixed crowd, those on their way to work, those making use of the free wi fi and those out strolling in the lovely Jewellery Quarter.

It has fully stacked bookshelves, that can be read and brought if you wish, (proceeds going to the Big Issue). It’s a place to come back to over and over and is well recomended.

I sure will be, now I’ve found the Brewsmiths brew.

Brewsmiths Coffee and Tea
24 Livery Street,
Birmingham
B3 1EU

hi@brewsmiths.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/brewsmiths
@brewsmiths_JQ

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

Independent Birmingham IB card holders get 10% off with IB card at Brewsmiths. See website above for details.

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All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I payed for my own drink.

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Lasan Restaurant-teasing the senses-review


Let’s get this out of the way from the begining 🙂 I think Lasan is one of the best restaurants in Birmingham. I have been there many times over the years since it opened and I think it is one of the best places for vegetarians to eat in and around Birmingham City Centre.

Lasan is located in the Jewellery Quarter area of the city just off St Paul’s Square. It is in a tidy location, one that is smart and discerning, with many good eats and drinks.

Inside Lasan is smart (again), with a contemporary style and old world charm that feels comfortable and spacious, with its ornate mirrors and its F Word trophy 🙂 It feels busy, it feels popular, the food aromas are good, it ‘teases the senses and stirs the soul’. I like it. I really do 🙂

Lasan restaurant has won numerous awards winning Gordon Ramsay’s the F Word a few years ago. Chef Director Aktar Islam has graced our TV screens on the Great British Menu with aplomb cementing his and Lasan’s reputation as a culinary go to destinaion.

My wife Ruth and I were visiting to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary, its a special place for us, one of the first places we went together, its friendly charm and service along with the glorious food makes us feel that its a restaurant deserving of a celebration.

So to the food.

There are many good vegetarian options on the menu. Ruth and I decided to share a vegetarian platter for two which includes a assiette of traditional vegetarian bites, caraway spiced paneer, which is a subtle blend of mild cheese and tasty spices that coated enhances the flavour, spinich and potato tiki, onion and palak pakora,, south indian potato cakes and sweetcorn and onion bhonda, all served with a tamarind and mint sauce. It is superb, the flavours and variations of scents are magnificent. It is without doubt the dish to have for vegetarians for the full flavour of Lasan. For me the Panner is perfect, the best I have had anywhere, and the potato cakes an all round taste sensation.

To follow (Ruth ate non veggie, because she is) 🙂 I ate the sweet potato kofta, a particular favourite. This is sweet potato roundels flavoured with crusted corriander and cumin seeds, rolled in toasted cashew crumbs resting in a rich onion and tomato sauce. This main course is superb. The rich tomato and onion sauce is subtly creamy, its spice resting around the sweet potato with a punch that is not to overpowering but richly compliments the toasted cashews and onions of the kofta. A taste sensation that when accompanied by one of the many side dishes that are all vegetarian makes for a hearty main course with many tempting flavours.

On this occasion I chose the Gobhi Angara, a tandori roasted cauliflower which is coated in a beautifully scented onion masala. A lovely dish, that compliments the silky rich tomato sauce of the kofta perfectly.

There are many good veggie options on the menu.

We ordered two puddings to follow. Ruth ordered the spiced apple macaroon, which was a warm cinamon scented apple macaroon that she said was delicious. A good flavour of spiced apple against a well made macaroon. Superb.

I ordered a the Gajar halver Samosa, which was a sweet carrot and ground pudding with pistachio in a traditional samosa pastry, served with kulfi. It was lovely. The pastry was delicious, not too thick, the cinamon gave it a subtle flavour that proved to be a superb surprise, and a good desert to order if you have the room. Well we were celebrating 🙂

The service throughout was friendly, and as always with Lasan is spot on.

The lasting impression of Lasan Restaurant is one of confidence. A confidence in their dishes, their flavours and their hospitality. Those are all the things to applaud with Lasan, and the feeling you have the diner when you leave is when can I return.

This is a testament to the hard work that goes into making the Lasan experience whole and complete.

One that teases the senses and stirs the soul.

Thanks Lasan for that last line 🙂

Disclosure: we paid for our meal and all the opinions are honest and my own,

Lasan Restaurant

3,4 Dakota Buildings

James Street

St Paul’s Square

Birmingham

B3 1SD

0121 212 3664

http://www.lasan.co.uk

@lasan

@aktarislam

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Great British Menu Finals week. Go Aktar!


If like me you have been following the Great British Menu on BBC 2 in recent weeks, you will know that the finals of the competition for 2014  are starting on Monday 2nd June and continuing all week until Friday 6th June when the banquet will be held.

Birmingham’s own Aktar Islam, Chef Director of acclaimed Lasan Restaurant in Birmingham’s St Paul’s Square area (apt) is competing against 7 other chefs. Only 4 of them will get the honour to go to St Paul’s Cathedral to cook a very special banquet to honour the men and women who gave so much for our country. The banquet itself will be televised on Friday 6th June, the 70th Anniversary of D Day.

I have always loved Aktar’s food and Lasan restaurant is one of the jewels in Birmingham’s fine food scene. As a veggie I have enjoyed some superb food over the years. See my review to come shortly of Lasan Restaurant.

On watching the Central region’s heat I loved and admired Aktar’s desert choice, (always a good section of the programme for veggies) called ‘Victory is Sweet’ which proved sweet for the judges in the heat. Aktar’s take on the queen of puddings featured  a Winston Churchill cigar filled with ganache, plus crumble, meringue, a quinelle of raspberry sorbet and spun sugar crowns. The judges said it was ‘the perfect pudding’ giving it a perfect score of 10 all round, making 40 points of sweet indulgence!. Fantastic!

The competition will be tough as there are some great chefs and competitors on show.

It should be a great week on the Great British Menu (GBM).

I wish Aktar a great week, we are rooting for you. Go Aktar! Go Birmingham!

 

Lasan Restaurant

3,4 Dakota Buildings

James Street

St Paul’s Square

Birmingham

West Midlands

B3 1SD

0121 212 3664

http://www.lasan.co.uk

@lasan

@aktarislam

@gbmofficial

@gbchefs

http://www.greatbritishchefs.com

 

 

INDEPENDENT BIRMINGHAM (Believe in Birmingham)


Birmingham is thriving as a city of independent businesses. It is quite easy to believe the opposite looking around the Bull Ring and the high street. More and more independents, shops, cafe’s and restaurants are now thriving in and around the city centre.

Independent Birmingham is the flag waving movement and website of all things independent in Birmingham.

IB as it known is dedicated to unearthing the very best of Birmingham’s hidden gems and best kept secrets with the aim of encouraging people to re-discover the city we love.

The ethos of supporting businesses with a local leaning and conscience is superb in my opinion, some of the best places to go in Birmingham City Centre and its neighbourhoods are independent and offer friendliness and a uniqueness that chains don’t provide.

Independent Birmingham provide a year long membership card for £15 or two for £20.

The card provides discounts and deals in signed up shops, bars and restaurants. It is a unique pass to a sunshine of localism and top quality places that provide an experience as well as uniqueness.

Their website http://www.independent-Birmingham.co.uk provide a directory of all outlets signed up.

Independent Birmingham announce new additions to the card frequently so keep an eye open for more.

Recent additions are The Electric Cinema in the city centre who are offering IB card holders 2-4-1 tickets on standard seats form Sunday-Thursday, Rico Libre tapas in Digbeth who are offering 10% off breakfasts and tapas excluding Saturday evening, Itihaas Restaurant, 20% off Sunday-Thursday and The Coffee Lounge on Newhall Street 10% off and 20% off for afternoon tea for 2 people.

They have recently announced places such as, Vintage Hideaway, Fletchers Bar and The Sun at the Station and Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath and the Dark Horse pub, Cafephillia, and The Java Lounge in Moseley.

Plus Michelin starred restaurant Adams in the city centre, Ju Ju’s cafe by Brindley Place have joined along with the Jekyll and Hyde pub are offering 20% from Monday to Thursday off food. See website for full offers.

Keep on eye on their twitter and Facebook accounts for further details, new additions and discounts.

Others already signed up include:

Stirling’s bar and lounge, Loki wine, The Victoria bar, The Bureau, Brewsmith’s coffee and tea, 6/8 Kaffe, Cherry Reds, Alfie Birds, Rose Villa Tavern, The Church inn in the Jewellery Quarter, Urban Coffee Shop, Home is where..cafe and deli, Island Bar, Twist, The Sun on The Hill in the city centre.

For more see the website directory on
http://www.independent-Birmingham.co.uk.

Or you can sign up for the Independent Birmingham blog via their website and sign up for the card on the website too.

If anyone has any personal favourites and wants to recommend places please feel free to leave a comment below at,

Twitter @independentB’ham
Facebook independent Birmingham community
Hello@independent-Birmingham.co.uk

Or at Twitter @andydhare or on the comments section below.

Thanks for reading Veggie Foodie.