Kinome Kitchen: new Japanese pop up at The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, and tasting evening review.


     

Japanese food is something quite rare in Birmingham, but is becoming more popular. For Vegetarians it has plenty of options, Nobu in London (Japanese and former Michelin Starred) a few years ago had a meat free cook book out, and its development into veggie friendly dishes has increased as people have become keen to eat less meat and fish. Traditionally there is a lot of vegetarian food in Japan, much of it from Buddhism. Tofu is an example as is Tempura (fried vegetables or herbaceous plants). 

In January Kinome chef Sachiko Saeki did an evening at Vegetatian The Warehouse Cafe for Guardian newspaper members, which went down well, but good Japanese food is still quite hard to find in our city. 

Things are begining to change though as Kinome Kitchen (aka Sachiko Saeki) is about to launch a Japanese Food culture pop up restaurant at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. Begining on Saturday 2nd April and then on select dates through to June 30th, it gives an opportunity to try out something different with a chef who has worked in a Japanese Michelin Starred restaurant in Mayfair, London and with Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall where she featured in River Cottage Heroes. 

In 2011 Sachiko’s trip to Koya-San, a Buddhist Temple complex in Japan, led to Shajan Ryari- vegetarian Buddhist Monk Food. It was these experiences that created the ideas for vegetarian dishes and attracted the production team of River Cottage and Hugh Fernley Whitingstall. 

Kinome simply means spring buds. It is also a herb from the Sansho tree with a strong distinctive aroma. The Sansho tree is one of the traditional spice trees in Japan and every single part can be used for cooking in different ways. This use of the whole is typical of Japanese cooking methods.

Kinome Kitchen have a Spring Vegetarian menu for April and May that will be run alongside the meat and fish menu. 

For £40 you can get 7 Courses of vegetarian Japanese food: Shajan-Ryari. 

Shojin Starter-Smoked tofu, homa tofu and Namsu.

Chawan Mushi-Steamed savoury eggpot with gingko nuts and yam.

Tempura-Seasonal vegetable tempura with Maccha Salt.

Sea Vegetable.

Tofu Balls with Kuzu sauce and crispy vegetables.

Box pressed vegetable sushi with miso soup. 

Fruits Yose Kanten. 

£40 per person. 

For full menus including non veggie see below: 

http://www.kinomekitchen.co.uk/#!menu/fcuwz

http://www.kinomekitchen.co.uk/

For bookings contact Kinomejapanesecooking@gmail.com or 07504327840. 

For full dates see the poster below. 

Expect to see Japanese Craft Beers on the menu too.

Be introduced to Japanese Food Culture. 

  
  

Kinome tasting evening launch night review.

 

I recently attended the launch of the Kinome Pop up at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. Photos below.  
  

The food was informally presented, but constituted three different dishes. The first Vegetarian dish was the Aubergine and Miso Bao. 

Served in a bao or bun (which was home made) the gently fried aubergine had the sweet and earthy flavour of the miso paste which gave it a delicious flavour. Beautiful. This came with Spicy Edamame (Soy beans in a pod) which had a contrasting salty flavour to the soy like miso.

  

This was followed by two Vegetarian skewers which like tempura were fried vegetables and came with a Tonkatsu sauce which is a vegetable and fruit based sauce often served with fried food. Both weed lively and whetted the appetite for more. 
    

The third dish was a desert. The Strawberry Daifuku. 

A traditional Springtime sweet sold by confectioners in Japan. 

A soft, sweet whole strawberry encased by a soft and sweet paste was a match made in heaven. Exquisite.

The desert was Served with Maccha Green Tea (stoneground green tea) which was handmade in front of us, and tasted refreshing and full of lovely warming and healing flavours. 

The tea ceremony centres on the prepetation, serving and drinking of Maccha. 
    
   

Maccha green tea and the tea ceremony. 

The Kinome pop up launch night was a major success and fully booked out. The food was beautifully made, presented and served with pride. The pop up is sure to be a culinary journey of Japanese food and I for one am very happy to return and continue my vegetarian Japanese food Culture journey. 

Kinome Pop up restaurant is at The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, 17 York Road, B14 7SA.

Opening times: 6.30pm-10.30pm

Last orders 8.30pm.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Dawn breaks/ drizzle of white rain/ on sprouting buds- Sojon Hina.

The spring arrives with the sent of moss, suspended in the drizzle of rain is a sense of anticipation. In the Japanese traditional short poem called Haiku, Konome (the same character but pronounced differently) is the seasonal word for spring time. I see the English spring in there too. 

Sachiko Saeki. 

Cookery School: 

Sushi with Sachiko Saeki at Leith’s School of food and wine, London, 16th April 

Shojin Ryori with Sachiko Saeki at Demuths Cookery School, Bath, 12 June. 

She has also Worked with the Harborne Food school in Birmingham. 

#Veggiebreakfastwatch: Kitchen Garden Cafe: Kings Heath.


The full veggie as I call it can come in many different forms. Some with veggie sausage, some without, some with fried egg, some with scrambled. Some with beans on the plate, some (my preference) in its own pot. There’s no right or wrong way, but for me generally it’s all in the egg. The egg, and how it’s made, can make or break a breakfast. I always hope it oozes and has a lively bright yellow yolk. But then that’s the thing about eggs, the joy is in the beholder. The choice is yours. At least at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath it’s free range and in this case organic. 

  
  
The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road In Kings Heath is a funky kind of place. It’s wooden rustic tables look like they’ve seen a lot of the years. It’s their ethos of organic produce and veggie friendly menu that makes this place a jewel in Kings Heath. With a garden centre, deli and live music and events programme attached to it, it’s a place for all occasions and has a real community feel. 

There are numerous vegetarian breakfast options, that also include the veggie hash potato with onions with a choice of grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a free range egg, (see review below)  pancakes and eggs florentine. 

http://t.co/aFE5Y6AVLD

The Kitchen Garden Full Vegetarian includes veggie sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, free range egg (fried or poached) grilled tomato, fries slice and toast (Brown or white) for a bargain £6.95. 

  
It’s a delicious breakfast, in fact almost perfect. Good veggie sausages, a perfect runny fried egg. Only where it falls down is with the mushrooms, which are a bit hard I this occasion, but I’ve had it before when they’ve been perfectly cooked. The beans are on the plate (not to everyone’s taste, but ok for me.) I like the fried bread slice. Always welcome, and not greasy or oily but just enough to make it fried bread, so not too unhealthy. 

I like the Kitchen Garden Full veggie. It’s a good size, good value and with a coffee or tea a nice way to begin the day in a funky ethical and free range kind of place. Again service is friendly, relaxed and staff are happy to adapt the dish for dietary or other requirements (such as the beans) yes you Ruth!

My parents also enjoyed their veggie breakfasts and have become big fans of The Kitchen Garden Cafes home cooked food. 

It’s a lovely place for any time of day. Though breakfasts are only served until 12. 

      

     For pudding. 

  Cappucino 

  For afters Homemade Fruit Cake. 

   

          
   
 

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

I paid for my breakfast. All opinions are my own. 

You can find The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 

Nomad: Memory, Nature and Place and Vegetarian in Kings Heath Birmingham


    

It is very on trend to make vegetables the central ingredients on the plate. The centre of attention. Non veggie Bruno Loubet is doing it in London at The Grain Store and other top chefs were involved in creating a meat free week menu in London a few weeks ago. Though for Vegetarians our food especially In so called fine dining restaurants has always been about this. Stand up Vanilla Black in London. 

The new venture led by chef Alex Claridge, Nomad offers this concept to meat eaters, where a smaller portion sits amongst fresh seasonal and foraged ingredients. Tit bits that form the centre piece of the dish, the journey, the experience. I’ve proclaimed the joys of the vegetarian long menu for ages,  had the best food of my life at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel in the Lake District. Jewels on a plate, ingredients that make you think. You get the picture. For many this is a new experience, no huge slabs of meat, no pasta, no risotto, no potatoes (on this occasion) but pure joy in the ingredients and skill in which they were presented and yes tasted. 

For vegetarians this is a vintage time, where chefs are suddenly more interested in ingredients, in foraging, in the produce. 

Anyone who knows Alex’s food from Bistro 1847 and Warehouse cafe in Birmingham will know he can cook, boy can he cook. In this menu there aren’t many carbs, which is refreshing in that some vegetarian menus are heavy on them. Even more exciting is the fact that so many of the ingredients and techniques require to be looked up on the Internet. Love that. I suggest you do. 

Nomad at present is a 3 month pop up from April-June. Based at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, a quirky venue that fits well I think. Alex is passionate about ingredients, about foraging and making you think when you eat. He aims to explore, memory, place, and nature though cooking, changing the menus weekly, even daily dependent on what’s current, what’s available, the weather. 

The Vegetarian menu that I ate can be taken long 8 courses or short 5 courses. Priced £42 and £32. 

Both Ruth and I chose the long menu, but Ruth the meat variation. 

So to the food. 

   
 

   
 

Moss, vinegar, old Winchester.

Two morsels of moss on a plate, though only one in the picture as Ruth ate it before I took the picture.😄 taken with Old Winchester cheese, on the hand, eaten simultaneously, lively flavoured slightly salty, very creative, lovely flavour and texture. Very exciting start. 

  
Cauliflower three ways:

Aerated, pickled, and dehydrated. A stunning cacophony of flavours, beautifully presented, a cauliflower lovers dream dish. Contrasting techniques, demonstrating great skill. With a texture of Parmesan. 

   
 Fresh Ricotta in Herbs, roast lettuce

An incredible depth of flavour in this dish, loved the roasted lettuce and the ricotta balls were very tender, with a substantial degree of clever cooking. What I call a wowser dish. 

   
 

Broccoli, sea herbs, yolk, dark beer. 

My favourite dish. Pleasing to the eye and to the palette, delicate broccoli, with a heavenly yolk of egg with the herbs sea herbs textures. Mouth-wateringly good. 

   
 

Mushroom, sunflower seed, gorse flowers. 

A full flavour of mushrooms, the sunflower seeds have a back note of flavour that complimented the dish and had its own flavou that lingered in your mouth. The gorse flowers edible with a slightly almond taste and coconut aroma. A Beautiful dish. A close second for me. 

   
 

Manouri in onion ash, beets, Apple, Dittander. 

As a lover of beetroot i couldn’t go far wrong with this dish. The Manouri (Greek semi soft cheese) had a clean subtly nutty flavour, creamier than feta, but covered in this context with edible onion ash, yes ash, which I remember having at L’Enclume a few years ago. Which gave a complex bitter and smokey flavour to the Manouri.  It worked well. 

The Dittander, a damp coastal herb with a subtle mustard flavour lifted the dish and made the flavours and textures very enjoyable,  And I can imagine Noma esque dish. 

  
Lemon verbena, willow catkins, chestnut crumble. 

The first of the two deserts, more pre desert in size, the dish had enjoyable flavours. The ingredients, superbly sourced and very enjoyable. 

   
 

Carrot, cumin, honey, sea buckthorn parfait. 

I wasn’t altogether sure of the carrot in this dish, but the flavours of honey and the cumin came through well. Technically superb, executed well. A mixed last dish, though had good flavours. Looked pretty. 

   
   

Throughout the meal the service was excellent. Well informed, they explained the dishes and ingredients. 

The Kitchen Garden cafe looked lovely, flowers on the table, well lit, and it felt romantic and at the same time relaxed. 

The concept of Nomad is unique to Birmingham with the skill and high technique of the cooking leaving you satisfied and usurping many more high end establishments in the city for bravery and culinary flavours. For me it felt like going on a weird and wonderful vegetarian journey, with new ingredients to discover, and new tastes to experience around every corner. I learnt such a lot. 

The foraged additions blended well with the veg, from ingredient to ingredient, not settled, or established, always searching, but ever encompassing and trusting. 

That’s the ethos of Nomad. 

And let’s be grateful for that. 

   
     

A  Gin martini at Fletchers

   
 

The Kitchen Garden Cafe

Ruth and I were  invited to Nomad by Alex our meal was complimentary,  but we paid for our wine. All opinions are honest and my own.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

http://foodbynomad.com/# 

For bookings use the above lInk.

  

Nomad pop up: Nature, memory, place in Kings Heath Birmingham. Vegetarian Menu preview. 




  

  

I want to cook food that excites me. Nomad is a collection of ideas, focusing on memory, place and nature. I want to explore these things through cooking’ 

So says  chef Alex Claridge formally of Vegetarian Bistro 1847 and The Warehouse Cafe and from experience of Alex’s cooking and dishes it promises to be a superb residency for vegetarian food lovers. 

Alex Claridge Chef Owner   

 

Head Chef Brian Smith

Nomad is the name of the new pop up restaurant that is opening on April 3rd at The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road in Kings Heath, Birmingham. 

Alex brings his innovative take on food, offering innovative, creative and foraged ingredients and food for a 3 Month residency begining in April. 

Nomad will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings and some Thursday’s at the Same venue that has housed pop ups previously from Epi Restaurant and Blue Rabbit. 

Nomad is expected to move to other locations around Birmingham with a City Centre residency planned for June. 

With Nomad he is expected to ‘explore ideas and thoughts about nature, place, memory  and British Cuisine. 

Alex is an innovative chef who creates dishes that explore ingredients that are foraged, seasonal and unique in the UK. This with a view to create a sensory and progressive veggie foodie menu that is a challenge to the palate and mind. 

Diners can initially experience two fixed tasting menus of 5 courses and 9 courses for £32 and £45 respectively. Short and long. 

The Vegetarian menu is: 

April £45 long: 

Reindeer Moss, egg, mushroom, coffee,

Cauliflower and Pine cream, fermented watercress, seared hearts, 

Pickled Mushrooms, Japanese, rose, aged kelp, 

Cox Apple, 

Fresh ricotta in ashes

Grilled Broccoli, duck egg, hay, milk

Hogs weed, grilled carrot cake, purple carrot, Manouri, buttermilk, wild carrot. 

Ewes milk, pickled bilberries, 

White chocolate, caramel, seaweed popcorn

April: £32: Short

moss, egg,  coffee. 

Pickled mushroom, dulse, sunflower seed, Japanese Rose

Fresh ricotta, in ashes, wild garlic

carrot cake, purple carrot, Manouri, buttermilk, wild carrot. 

Goats milk, pickled billberries. 

Cauliflower, Pine, Sorrel, Wild Watercress (three photos)  

           

Dishes above: 

Fresh Ricotta in Ashes, Wild Garlic (first two) and Reindeer Moss, egg yolk, mushrooms (Second two). 

On booking mention that you are a vegetarian to guarantee the menu and ingredients. Please note due to the creative process of Nomad and the seasonality of ingredients the menu you have may not be the same as above. 

Reindeer Moss, egg yolk, mushrooms   

 

Other menus will include meat and fish options and menus are available via the website. 

 Nomad is now taking bookings for April, and May. 

Please visit the website for bookings. 

http://t.co/CFUtHjePuF

http://www.foodbynomad.com/

@nomadbirmingham 

Nomad should offer a delightful evening of indulgence, ideas and exploration of the senses. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊





Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath 

All photos given to me by Alex to use on this post, apart from the ones of Kitchen Garden Cafe which are my own and not so good. 😊

Thanks Alex. 

Nomad, Kitchen Garden Cafe, york road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14. 



REVIEW: BLUE RABBIT & CO POP UP IN KINGS HEATH AND FLETCHERS BAR


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There are a number of fantastic foodie places in Kings Heath in the South Birmingham area, from cafe’s, delis, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs.
Blue Rabbit & Co is one of the most recent to pop up, in fact it is a pop up for the remainder of the year at least.

Blue Rabbit based in the Kitchen Garden Cafe, a lovely oasis of calm on York Road near the Hare and Hounds pub.

In the daytime it has a garden centre, food deli, and cafe in a garden type terrace with outdoor tables. The Kitchen Garden Cafe always have good vegetarian options.

At night time three evenings (thursday, Friday and Saturday 6-9.30pm) a week it becomes the Blue Rabbit & Co pop up restaurant, a bistro, an independent serving home cooked food at reasonable prices.

Blue Rabbit offer a small, but regularly changing menu which includes a vegetarian option for a starter and main course.

For the price 2 courses are £15 and 3 courses are £18 it is exceedingly good value for fresh and seasonal ingredients well served, flavoured and presented.

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Chef Dominic Simmonds has worked at a number of Birmingham’s top restaurants and is now cooking his own food.

Ruth and I visited on a Saturday night. The Kitchen Garden Cafe is a lovely venue. Wandering up a narrow path off busy York Road through plants, flowers and into the courtyard, it had a certain mystique about it. On entering we were greeted warmly, but found an almost empty restaurant apart from one other couple. We were advised that as Brum Yum Yum street food market KingshEATh was on earlier in the day they had decided to not go out in the evening as well. Shame.

The Kitchen Garden Cafe looked lovely, flickering candles and with its wooden tables, wide windows, and quirky air the pop up felt right there. Looking out on the courtyard was lovely and felt romantic.

Not deterred as we had come for the food we ordered two glasses of wine and ordered our food.

We were brought some delicious homemade bread to eat before our starter.

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For a starter we both ordered the Grilled peach, ricotta, balsamic vinegar. We felt that the flavours were fresh, the peaches and the ricotta working well together, to make a lovely summery salad, that felt light and full of flavour. It was a lovely vegetarian starter.

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For a main course I ordered the
Goats cheese ravioli, broad beans, courgettes. The dish was lovely. The quality of the ingredients shone through, the goats cheese ravioli, hand made, with a delicate flavour that with the summery broad beans and courgettes made a stunning fine dining like dish. A real delight.

We also ordered a side dish of roasted Butternut Squash which was full of flavour and bite and went well with the pasta or eaten on its own.

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For desert Ruth ordered the selection of sorbets, she felt that they were delicious, with the cherry flavoured one to be recommended especially. She felt that the flavours were original and summery.

I ordered the divine sounding chocolate tort with vanilla cream. It was full of deep chocolate flavour, the pastry was well made, the right thickness and as a desert it was fabulous, a lovely tort.

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The Blue Rabbit & Co is a welcome addition to the Kings Heath dining scene. It offers something different to the tapas, curry and pubs/bars already thriving. The ingredients used in the dishes are well sourced and are seasonal. The vegetarian dishes well made, thoughtful and full of seasonal flavour.

The Blue Rabbit edge more towards fine dining or a good quality bistro than cafe and that is shown with the changing weekly menu. Keeping it fresh and challenging.

As a restaurant I loved it. It is good value, and the quality on offer is worthy of paying more. The veggie options are fresh and keenly observed. Fully recommended.

See the website for menus.

Hopefully the Blue Rabbit & Co will go on to achieve great things when its pop up stint ends and is well worth visiting whilst it remains in Kings Heath.

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Before and after our meal at Blue Rabbit & co we visited Fletchers Bar next door to the Kitchen Garden Cafe.

We enjoyed two cocktails at Fletchers before our meal a Dry Manhattan, and a Margarita, both well made and good value, plus two glasses of Malbec after our meal.

The bar is quirky, friendly, informal and the cocktails and real ale are excellent.

I have eaten at Fletchers and can recommend the food which is more sophisticated than the traditional pub food offerings with some good vegetarian options and changing specials.

Fletchers is owned by the Kitchen Garden Cafe.

Fletchers is part of the Independent Birmingham card with a discount on food.

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Blue Rabbit & co
Kitchen Garden
17 York Road
Kings Heath
Birmingham
B14 7SA

0121 443 4725

@DominicSimmonds
http://www.bluerabbitandco.com
Facebook: Blue Rabbit & co
07580551218
Info@bluerabbitandco.com

http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk

wwwfletchersbarandeatery.co.uk

Disclaimer: We paid for our own dinner. My review is a true and honest assessment.

Thanks for reading.

If anyone has any thoughts or comments on places to eat in Kings Heath and Moseley that are good for veggies and vegans let me know?

Has anyone else been to Blue Rabbit, what did you think?

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Tasty Morsels: bite size foodie happenings


Kings Heath in South Birmingham, is currently a hot bed of foodie delights. There are a number of exciting tasty morsels happening as we speak:)

1. Hare and Hounds pub Five Week restaurant project. With a different pop up project every week taking over their recently refurbished upstairs bar area and kitchen.

Week 1 Thursday 17th July 2014 sees City centre rustic Mexican street food pioneers Habaneros take centre stage offering 3 courses for £17.50. Begins at 7.30pm.

Please note this event was cancelled. There are full refunds available.

Week 2: Japanese caterers Pika Pika pop up on Thursday 24th July to provide 3 courses of authentic Japanese food including a veggie set menu for £15.

Week3: Esteeemed pop up due Clarke and Lee of CANeat fame take over the bar with their twist on Asian soul food. See Clarke and Lee in the Heath plus cocktails from the Hare and Hounds on the 31st July at 6.45pm. Price £22.50.

Please note that this pop up isn’t suitable for veggies and vegans:(

Week 4: veggie Pop up Dosa offer their fab dosas (like crepes) from the southern Indian region of Kerala. Starts at 7.30pm for 3 courses costing £12, bargain. 🙂 on the 7th August. Dosa’s can be made vegan by request.

5: August 14th: Fingys Take Over. Alan ‘Fingy’ Thomson brings an evening of Peruvian and Latin food of the highest order. Three courses for £15.

Tickets available for all on website.

Hare and Hounds is on York Road on the corner of the High Street.

See http://www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/events-listings for details and reservations/bookings/tickets.

2. The Blue Rabbit & Co are operating out of The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night offering 2 courses for £15 and 3 courses for £18.

Led by chef Dominic Simmonds @Dominicsimmonds, they offer high quality simple food at reasonabl prices for the quality of the sourcing and ingredients. a great independent bistro idea:) There are good veggie options. Contact 0121 443 4725 for reservations.

3. Taco Tuesday’s continue at Cherry Reds in Kings Heath on the last Tuesday of the month. Cherry Reds is in Kings Heath on York Road near The Kitchen Garden Cafe. Veggie options are always on the menu, dates to come 29th July and 26th August. Beautiful soft shell taco’s and killer Margaritas will be on offer. http://www.cherryreds.com for details.

4. Blue Ginger at 72 Poplar Road Kings Heath, serve authentic Singaporian and Malaysian Foood, Its the sister restaurant of my recently reviewed Blue Piano bar and restaurant in Edgbastion. Every Monday night they hold a vegan night, serving vegan dishes. On the menu I’ve counted 5 starters, 7 Mains, 6 sides, and 2 deserts. See webiste http://www.bluegingerrestaurant.co.uk for menu. Contact 0121 444 0999 for reservations.

If you order before 6.30pm Monday-friday you get 20% off the food bill.

Hoping myself to get to some of those at some point.

If anyone knows of any items that maybe considered ‘Tasty morsels’ in your area, and are food and drink related please get in touch or leave a comment on my blog under this post.

Until the next ‘Tasty morsel’. 🙂

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