Veggie Brunch/Lunch watch: Bloom, Kings Heath, Birmingham.


I could live here.

That could well be the end of my review but alas that would insult my indulgence and yes your intelligence and would beg the question why? Well the plate of food I tried here at Bloom in Kings Heath is easily the best plate of food I’ve eaten anywhere this year. It could quite possibly be edging towards bern the best brunch dish I’ve ever tasted. It’s mind bogglingly good. Harmonious flavours, interesting ingredients, originality in its essence and cost, the bargain of the century. It’s informal dining at its best, though there’s nothing casual about the dishes coming out of the kitchen.

So Let me introduce you to the Vegan friendly Carrot Gnocchi, Red beets, sherry radishes, gingered swede, caraway pickled walnuts, and orange hemp seed dressing. £7.5

Complex flavours, a melt in the mouth texture. When a dish is this good it’s hard to find fault and dwelling on the superlatives is the same only rational response. The use of carrots to make gnocchi is new to me, but works in a way that is beyond words. The Sherry radishes, a delightful crunch with subtle sherry overtones, and the majestic red beets, an exotic touch. Autumn on a plate, a beautiful hug me all over and hug me again moment. I’m speechless even now. A divine treat on a plate.

Ruth was also happy (well it was her Birthday lunch) with her Bubble and Squeak, Boston Baked Beans, Poached hens egg, pea shoots, with Grilled Haloumi or streaky bacon £8. She ate it with bacon but for veggies haloumi is an option. Beautifully presented (as my dish was too) it had a good flavour, with the homemade beans hitting the spot. She felt she should have had the haloumi though instead of the bacon which she felt would have worked better to make a fuller more well rounded dish.

Our food was washed down by two excellent liquid Cuddle Beers Which Complimented the two dishes well.

Bubble and Squeak dish.

To follow we ordered two cakes from the selection which were of high standard and lovely with the coffee. Well worth having on their own.

pumpkins, pumpkins pumpkins.

The flat white (£2.50) we ordered was excellent. The perfect execution. Possibly the best in the area.

Inside this cosy buzzy place plants hang deliciously against clean white/grey walls and the wood interior makes for a Scandinavian vibe that is homely and inviting. The service is charming, friendly and informative of the food and enthusiastic for the menu. It’s refreshing and a reason to return alone.

If you want traditional brunch fare then it’s not for you. If you desire to be challenged and try top end food for a bargain price (though not cheap) then this is the place for you where innovative exciting Vegetarian dishes (there were five on the short menu.) are amended frequently and the chef cares enough to bravely mesmerise the diner.

Bloom stands out like a (good) sore thumb amongst the average curry houses in Kings Heath. A place for every occasion. It can only be good for the area. It’s what it needs.

It’s a Kitchen with ambition and it’s mine to work my way through its menu. Sharpish. Blooming lovely.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

We paid in full.

Thanks to Alasdair for the hospitality.

You can find Bloom at 32 Poplar Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham. B14 7AD.

No reservations taken.

Served 9.30-2.30pm

Open Wednesday through to Sunday. Day times only.

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Veggie takeaway watch: Esme’s Eats, Kings Heath


Sometimes a takeaway is just what’s required on a Saturday evening and after eating numerous (and enjoyed) Kings Dining curries a change was in order. 

Ruth’s a big Caribbean food fan. She loves the meaty curries and flavours that are de rigour of the region. 

I’ve eaten a bit of Caribbean food, but as a veggie it’s harder to find the variation in dishes to keep me keen and interested. 

What I’ve eaten I’ve enjoyed and having been brought up in Handsworth the homemade Jamaican Rum Cakes I’ve had resulted in superlatives that I can still see, feel and hear now. 

So it was on a cool Saturday evening that I walked up to Esmie’s Eats to collect our food. This local Kings Heath restaurant has had a bit of a makeover in recent months and offers, breakfasts, lunches and evening meals as well as takeaways. Inside it’s cafe like, but in a lovely way that makes it feel authentic and when busy would provide a cracking atmosphere that is the escence of the Caribbean. 

That evening it was quiet, I’d ordered over the phone and felt instantly comfortable and trusting of the lovely service and friendliness of Esme’s charms. The menu isn’t as you would expect full of Vegetarian dishes but at this point I didn’t mind and the Veggie Mutton Curry intrigued me and scared me in equal measure. 

Made from soya protein and mushrooms slowly cooked in its own juices its a delightful dish, that was as piping hot as the Strictly dancing that gobbled me up with my thirst quenching Purity Ubu beer. Full of good flavour and subtle spicing it was a lovely warming dish that was deeply satisfying. Served with Rice and Peas. 

We also ordered a portion of Fried Dumplings and a side portion of Plaintain which were both excellent and added to the curry. 

For heartwarming food Esme’s Eats is a good choice for an alternative weekend bite. Especially if you live with a meat eater and don’t won’t to do without the Veggie Mutton Curry is heart- warming food with good flavours and spicing and a satisfying meal for a winters evening. 

For veggies well worth trying. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊



Esme’s Eats is located in Kings Court in Kings Heath High Street opposite ASDA. 

3 Kings Court, 93 High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ.

0121-439 8282.

Veggie Sunday lunch watch: The Station: Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


  

The Station pub in Kings Heath underwent a refurbishment early in the year. Previously called the Sun at The Station, it’s now returned to its original name after been sold on. 

For many years in Kings Heath’s history it was the pub closest to the now erased railway station that ran via Moseley from the city centre. Oh for its return. The train line is still there and caters for mostly freight trains, but the name of the pub has now returned to its rightful place as the first point of call on the High Street as you come in from the city via Moseley. 



It’s a cosy local neighbourhood pub with a laid back feel with a large back room for events. 

With a good selection of real ale, cocktails and friendly staff it makes a nice alternative to the Hare and Hounds and Fletchers Bar further down the High Street on York Road and it’s refurbishment does the style and age of the pub justice. 

Ruth and I visited on a Sunday lunchtime in order to try out their Menu which includes a Veggie Nut Roast.

The Nut Roast came with lashings of Red wine gravy which is compulsory in my book and in many ways is a good test of the lunch. In this case the gravy was rich and punchy, though could have been a tad warmer. 

The Nut Roast itself was lovely. Nicely textured, with a moist nutty feel that wasn’t over cooked or under flavoured in any way. It came with a huge Yorkshire pudding and mixed vegetables of carrots and peas and roasted potatoes. It was a good size Sunday lunch, and very enjoyable. 

For pudding I  enjoyed an apple crumble with custard, which again was surprisingly good and in this case the custard was hot. 

The Station in Kings Heath is a lovely suburban pub to visit. The Sunday Lunch menu is good value and with decent sized portions is a nice alternative in Kings Heath to curry, Italian and tapas. Outside their is a large beer garden which is comfortable and is a nice sun trap in the sunshine. 

The vegetarian Nut Roast is to be recommended and was surprisingly full of flavour and depth and a decent choice for a roast in the area though not the best in the city by a long chalk. Well worth revisiting though for a straightforward hearty Sunday lunch in a cosy setting.

For a beer alone it’s worth a visit but stop for a bite to eat too, after all that trains not arriving for awhile. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

7 High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7BB.
0121-444 8749.

http://www.stationkingsheath.com/

The Station also puts on live music events  for up to 200 people and their back room can be hired out. 

Sunday lunch is served from 12-6 every Sunday. 

One course: £8.90

Two courses: £11.90

Three courses: £14.90.

They also serve food all day and brunch. All meat and eggs are free range. 

We paid for our meal in full. 

The Food Assembly comes to Birmingham


   
 A new way of buying food has come to Birmingham’s suburb of Kings Heath. As seen in the BBC and The Guardian. The Food Assembly is an online service that brings people together to buy food directly from local farmers and foodmakers. 

Every week Food Assembly customers in Kings Heath can order food online from local producers before picking it up weekly at a local venue. The local venue in Kings Heath is the Hare and Hounds pub on the corner of York Road and the High Street. All the food comes from within 100 miles of the area. 

Weekly shoppers can choose from unique local products, such as artisan bread from Peel and Stone, local fruit juice from Model Farm Shop, and local chedder from Heath Grange Farm. 

Plus local fresh vegetables and cheeses, pasture fed meat, butter and eggs. 

Community is at the heart of The Food Assembly, it connects neighbours to farmers, neighbours to each other, and everyone to to their food. For its efforts it won Best British Food Initiative at the BBC Food and Farming Awards. 

The Kings Heath Food Assembly is organised by three university lecturers: Valerie Leick, Emilia Prodanova and Catherine Vincent, who love the idea of bringing food to their friends, family and neighbours. 

Valerie Leick says: 

“I can’t wait for the idea to grow in the wider community that live and work in Kings Heath. It is important for us to give people the chance to eat really fresh, ethically produced food and share our love of socialising around home-cooked delicious meals.”

“We Would like to attract more people to the idea of eating healthily and enjoyably, as well as helping local producers supply food directly to interested people at the fairest prices for all. It’s going to have a huge positive impact.”

The Kings Heath Food Assembly takes place every Tuesday from 7.30-9pm. The venue is Hare and Hounds on Kings Heath High Street. Locals can meet farmers, foodmakers and neighbours and indulge in the finest local food. 

To join the Kings Heath Food Assembly and for more information see below: 

https://foodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7362

Remember there is no commitment to buy. You can buy as much or as little as you wish. Orders have to be in by 12pm on the Sunday before the Tuesday of the assembly.

Changing your shopping habits a little could lead to a big positive change for the world. 

I’ve joined and can’t wait to get started. 

  
    

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/food-and-farming-finalists

https://thefoodassembly.com/en

All photos courtesy of The Food Assembly.

Spring Food Pop Ups: Take Over series: April at The Hare and Hounds Kings Heath. 


 

The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham this April is opening up its kitchen for their latest instalment of its pop up food takeover series. 

It sees Pika Pika, The Indian Rasoi, The Vegan Grindhouse and The Flying Cows all serve up a specially created 3 course set menu in the back bar each Thursday throughout the month. 

First up will be Pika Pika on the 9th April who specialise in Oriental fusion home cooking and have recently completed pop ups at near by Cherry Reds in Kings Heath that I had the pleasure of trying last year. 

There will be a Vegetarian menu available. But specify when booking. 

Starters will be a mixed starter platter and a Maki Sushi Roll vegetarian with dumpling edamame

Main course: Nasu Katsu curry- a traditional Japanese curry with onion, carrot, potato topped with breadcrumbs and deep fried aubergine slices filled with Karashi (Japanese mustard) served with boiled rice and salad

For desert a Matcha cake served with cat biscuit and azuki bean whipping cream. 

Cost of the 3 course is £15 and the pop up starts at 7pm

  

On the 16th April The Indian Rasoi will be providing an evening of authentic Indian Cuisine. 

On the menu are dishes for Vegetarians  such as:

Potato/peas Tikki Chaat, served with marinated chick peas, pomegranate and red onion, mint and chilli chutney. 

Methi, mixed bean medley. Served with flame griddles aubergine purée, home ground spices, cumin rice, Tawa bread parantha, turmeric oil and warm coriander slaw. 

Warm Indian chilli infused carrot and coconut cake with homemade kulfi ice cream

The cost is £15 for three courses. 

   

 

On the 22nd April The Vegan Grindhouse will be taking over. 

Serving a completely Vegan menu it will include: 

Starters: Buffalo Cauli wings served with Pip’s Hot Sauce

GrindHouse Nachos. 

Main course: Grindhouse Burger, signature meatless, quarter pounder with vegan cheese. 

Philly Cheese steak 

Organic six bean chilli, homemade and much loved. 

Sides 

BBQ beans, Grindhouse Slaw, side salad,

Deserts: New York ‘cheese cake gluten free and vegan. 

Ice cream cookie sandwich. Vegan 

For £20 per person you receive 1 starter, 1 main, 2 sides, and 1 desert. 

   

   

On the 30th April the Flying Cows takeover the Hare and Hounds. The cost is £15 for 3 courses menu to be announced. Keep an eye on Veggie Foodie for an update. 

For all reservations, tickets check The Hare and Hounds website/events. 

http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/event-listings/

Hare and Hounds, High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JZ. 

http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/

@hareandhounds:Twitter. 

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

@andydhare