Restaurant Review: Raja Monkey, Birmingham.


Birmingham’s current fondness for all things Indian Street Food is in a word becoming interesting though maybe the beginning of its undoing. With two new street food places due to open before Autumn snuggles into Winter, and one recent one Indian Streatery doing well in the centre of Birmingham, you may easily forget the original cafe in Brum that is the funky Raja Monkey.

Owned by the good kids of the Lasan group it strikes one instantly of the organisation and sophistication of its big brother Lasan (though on a smaller more intimate street food scale). Here you find the same high quality ingredients, the same beautiful attentive, polite and obliging service, and the same attention to detail in the cooking, that has heralded lasan as one of best, if not the best Indian palace of gastronomy in Birmingham.

The dishes are simpler here at the roadside Dhaba like Raja Monkey and more authentic.

The dishes show a vibrant complexity of flavours, spicing and cooking that is the sale of the century when you tally it with the price of the dishes.

To say the food is outstanding is in a way to undersell the joy that I experienced. I’ve been before (with Ruth) and salivated over the veggie Thalis and supreme dosas. And yes I’ve eaten so many takeaways from these guys that I’d hate to count up the total bill. Yet compared to some other more recent openings on the Indian Street Food trail Raja Monkey is the Manchester United to the Aston Villa (and I’m a villa fan). One that others should learn from in its effortless simplicity and devotion to the diner having a fine night out.

On this occasion my dining partner wasn’t Ruth, but a guy called Paul (Ruth did know where I was, so I wasn’t dodging fatherly duties, but then I may have been slightly!)

To say Raja Monkey is intimate is an understatement though it’s size doesn’t detract from the comfort of the comfortable long bench seats that recreates the informal rustic street food cafe look well. The walls adorned with retro pictures and artefacts with the faint sound of Indian music in the distance conjures up the road side cafe image it sets out to be.

The food is influenced by the Southern Indian cuisine of the continent.

Set off from the busy Stratford Road in the Hall Green part of Birmingham, Raja Monkey greets and meets that neighbourhood eatery concept well.

The Popodoms or Papads we ate whilst looking at the menu were crisp, served with a deliciously sweet yogurt Raita that had a delicious flavour.

I ate a Samosa Chaat, Chickpeas, potatoes, fried samosa pastry, served cold, piled high, with a soothing spicing that tickled the mouth and danced in the club of classic curry dishes and then somehow betters them making you sigh and dip into your cold beer with joy. An instant satisfying joy.

I also tried the Pau Bhaji, a deeply satisfying Street Food snack of mashed veg Bhaji with roasted pau buns, brioche like with uplifting flavours and spicing made with panache. A very satisfying starter.

We both moved onto a Vegetable Kadai a melange of veggies in a masaledar gravy. Colourful crunchy vegetables with an appetising appearance. Rich with tomatoes, a good chilli heat gave the veg a rich textured flavour that rewarded generously.

Mopped up with an appreciative Roti it was a sensational dish of perfect spicing and immaculate cooking.

A delight of a vegetarian curry.

To finish, a lip smacking soft and spongy Rasmalai was enjoyed. A melt in your mouth texture, and the perfect refreshing pallet cleanser after a spicy curry.

A pudding of pure joy.

Raja Monkey Excels with its Brilliant Vegetarian cooking. They make use of quality ingredients and thoughtful spicing with an artistic touch of sophistication, all without the pomp. It’s self confident and on a Tuesday night the food hit the curry longing spot like a Romalau Lukaku shot on the turn.

Raja Monkey always been good, but to be honest now It excels.

For a sublime, but informal curry with a great value price maybe it can’t be beaten in Birmingham and for Vegetarians if it’s not on your list of places to visit or revisit then I’m afraid you don’t deserve promotion to the Premier league.

A true road side cafe.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

<

Thanks to Paul Fulford for the invite to dine with him at Raja Monkey. My food and drink was complimentary but all views expressed are my own.

Our Food was washed down by a couple of Cobra lagers.

Raja Monkey, 1355 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9HH.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<
commend a take away from Raja Monkey. Menu on website.

http://www.rajamonkey.co.uk/

My previous review is here:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/vegiefoodie.com/2015/01/23/raja-monkey-authentic-indian-street-food-in-birmingham/amp/

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#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Mowgli Street Food is opening at Grand Central by the end of September, offering simple Indian street food.

YouTube Vlogger Nisha Katona owns the restaurant which originated in Liverpool.

Mowgli will opening in the centres casual dining area next to Tapas Revolution and Pho. Serving home style fresh food including tiffin boxes.

Mowgli sets itself up as taste of adventure with their famous yogurt chat Bombs at the heart of the menu.

The menu will include many vegan dishes and will now doubt be popular amongst veggies and vegans in Birmingham.

A healthy mix of good food and fun atmosphere awaits.

Watch this space for more news as I know it.

Laghi’s Deli has just opened on Islington Row just off Five Ways island.

Italian delights a plenty, home made breads, cakes, homemade pasta you name it it’s here. They also do Aperativi. The aperitivo period after work in Italy when for the price of a cocktail or wine finger foods can be enjoyed alongside. So try focaccia, olives or cheese maybe. Heaven! Is there a finer time in Italy? From 5-7pm

Oh and good coffee…but of course.

They also stock an impressive range of wine.

The 40 cover restaurant bar is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Expect a visit from me, to sample their wares, at some point… could be the Italian gaff I’ve been dreaming of for Brum!

At last.

Laghi’s is open from 8am-11.30pm Mondays to Saturdays.

Vegan Mex it Up are presenting An American Affair on Saturday 30th September at The Pie Shop in Stirchley on the Pershore Road.

The menu is below:

Booking via info@mexitupfoods.com

The Vegan Cakery will be providing the desert.

Mex it up have also been nominated for best vegan caterer. You can vote for them below.

https://london.vegfest.co.uk/awards/vote/

As mentioned in the previous Tasty Morsels, The Indian Streatery is now open for business with a great selection of veggie and Vegan dishes. The menu is below:

Find it on Hill Street just off New Street in Birmingham City Centre.

I Can’t wait to try it out.

Las Iguanas opened on Temple Street in the city centre on the 28th August. The Latin American themed restaurant has many vegetarian dishes and a devoted Vegan menu on offer. Plus 2-4-1 cocktails all day every day. They are also still open in The Arcadian area of Brum.

Tamatanga.

Anther new Indian Street Food eatery is due to open in Birmingham City Centre on Navigation Street this month. Tamatanga is Nottingham based for over ten years and is now opening up a flag ship restaurant in Brum. Authentic Indian dishes will be served all day including breakfast and the restaurant will be completely family friendly.

Open from 7.30am food will include breakfast items and thali’s and small plates, 3 dishes for £15 and five for £23.

Veggie Dishes include Chaat, veg samosas, chilli paneer and a dish called ragda Pattice, crispy potato cakes on masala yellow peas, with homemade chutneys.

Cocktails are also served.

They will have crayons, high chairs and kids menus.

Sounds a brilliant family restaurant.

Can’t wait to try it.

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 are offering 50% off in Birmingham this month (September). For tables up to 4 people, when booking quote September50 in the comments section online and receive the deal on their a la Carte menu.

Sounds veggie and vegan heaven to me.

Photo AH

And another new kid on the block is Grit -Food and Drink- opening at the space in the Jewellery Quarter vacated later this month by the excellent Two Cats Kitchen.

The former Jewellery workshop on Warstone lane will be serving affordable quality food from an A la Carte menu. More neighbourhood restaurant than fine fine dining a sample menu highlights some lovely sounding veggie dishes such as caramelised cauliflower, scorched salad , truffle, cheddar and sunflower seed. Using some of the old Two Cats team this opening sounds right nip my street and offers the type of food I love.

Can’t wait, Standby for more details when I have them.

Open October 17th.

And finally Brewdog in Birmingham have a showcase and meet the brewer on Friday September 8th with Kings Heath, Vegan Brewery Glasshouse Beer Co.

Showcasing 4 beers, Vermont Pale, IPA, Choccy Milk, and Stout and Raspberry Pale.

A Brewery to keep an eye on, but of course I’m biased.

Oh, and Ben and Jerry’s are now selling Vegan ice Cream across U.K. Supermarket s. Check out the flavours below. Enjoy.

That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All images and photos courtesy of restaurants and breweries apart from where stated.

Vegan Twisted Barrel Ale on the move and Summer Beer festival .


Vegan and Veggie friendly Twisted Barrel Ale are moving from their current premises in Coventry city centre FarGo Village. The new premises will be in nearby Far Gosford Street. Just a few doors down.

The new site is much larger with a brand new 24 keg bar. Producing roughly three times more beer than currently.

The entire bar and Brewery will be moved shortly and the Summer Beer Fest is the last opportunity in the current site to enjoy a fine list of beers.

Included are 16 keg lines and over 15 cask beers. Along with cans and bottles that can be taken home.

Gluten free beer is also available.

The Indian Lunchbox will be also offering their tantalising Vegan Indian

street food on the Saturday 26th August.

The Beer festival is running from the 25th until the 28th August from 12.00 until 20.00.

Find them at Unit 5 FarGo Village, Far Gosford Street, CV 1 5ED, Coventry.

Full beer list below:

If anyone’s trying to plan their weekend, this is the keg order for the weekend.

When each keg is gone they’ll move onto the next round for that tap. Expect most of round 1 to be gone tonight / early tomorrow afternoon.

What this list proves is there’s a tremendous amount of Vegan friendly beer locally and in the U.K, and that the move towards this is becoming more popular.

For full details of the Beer festival see the Facebook link below.

http://www.facebook.com/events/273820209730422

Thanks for reading,

Andy😊

Photos are not my own and from Twisted Barrel Ale and The Indian Lunchbox with thanks.

Apologies for the lists but the amount of Vegan friendly drinks available is testimony to a changing industry and I wanted to show how many choices are out there.

Please note the list of beers is correct at time of going to press and maybe subject to change. Thanks to the Brewery for the lists via face book.

AH

#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Vegan Vybes are at Two Towers Brewery for a pop up on August  19th. 

They will also be hosting the Kings Heath Vegan Community Market on 29th July from 11am-15.00.

Wolverhampton based company Cakes and Ish will be present.

Karma Collective has announced another vegan business in its collective.

Most people will know Karma Collective through its existing tattoo studio or Purely Vegan Store & deli both located in Kings Heath.

However the latest project is based in Stirchley and is simply named The Pie Shop.

This new venture will bring something new to the ever growing vegan community and hopefully encourage more people to eat cruelty free. 

Stirchley is an up and coming area and Karma Collective hope to bring new interest to the area with a menu full of tasty pies and pizza. The idea is to engage with the local community as well as the established vegan community by opening the first 100% plant based pie shop in the West Midlands and quite possibly the UK.

The menu will offer a growing variety of pies based on everyday favourites to some more unusual combinations. Both savoury and sweet, as well as pizza and differing specials. All served with a choice of vegetables, potatoes or chips.

The Pie Shop aims to provide a basic need for tasty home cooking at affordable prices. The setting is a fusion of olde world meets modern world. 

Eat in or Take away is available and a local delivery service is planned for the future. 

As well as providing tasty food, The Pie Shop will also be raising money for Animal Charities currently supported by Karma Collective by donating profit from certain meals to Wonky Pets Rescue and also The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice.

The Pie Shop will also host a number of regular evening kitchen take overs with various themes by different caterers. 

You can get all the updates on The Pie Shop by finding them in social media…just search @kcpieshop

The Gunmakers Arms are holding a Vegan cheese night on Thursday 27th July from 7.30pm.

Expect cheese and Two Towers vegan friendly beer.

Sally from the fabulous Vegan in Brum blog will be introducing and talking about the cheeses.

Find her blog here:

https://veganinbirmingham.co.uk/

The event starts at 5.30 with the talk from

Sally at 6.30.

The Beer Yeti blog will also be in attendance matching the beers to the cheese.

http://www.BeerYeti.com

Full details on the Facebook events page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/667550230108218/?ti=cl

This event is part of Birmingham Beer Week 2017.

From the 21-26th August The Vegan Grindhouse are taking over the kitchen of a 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter.

South American food and drinks independents Bodega are opening in Sutton Coldfield.

There menu is full of Vegetarian friendly dishes and has a Vegan menu too. So with cocktails a plenty and a fun filled vibe those summer nights may just go on and on.

Oh, and new Vegan cafe Fressh is due to open in Birmingham at the City Arcade in October.

I’ll have more on that soon.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All Photos courtesy of restaurants and businesses with thanks.

Restaurant Review: Zindiya, Moseley. 



Close your eyes And you can well imagine a perfect restaurant. Service tick, ambience tick, food tick, atmosphere tick, drinks tick.

Then tuck into the written word of those in the know, or whom think they do and then you’d feel well what’s the point in visiting it sounds so perfect. 

Me included have waxed lyrical about this place (at the time without trying it, lesson learnt) and from my point of perspective well it’s based entirely on the perceived menu and it’s very veggie friendly leanings. 

The written word, the gospel according to Birmingham is not always entirely accurate. 

It’s not that Zindiya is poor it’s just on the night Ruth and I visited, shall I say underwhelming and disapointing.

The hype suggested get your chops round this, and you’ll be reborn, but then when those chops get chewing and ready to rock and roll we found a game of two halves Saint.  It’s a game of two halves. 

I wanted zip and zing but didn’t find it sadly. 

Specialising in Indian street food dishes the menu is full of Vegetarian options which should make it essential and full of taste explosion and colour. 


Now Imagine you are in India, smell the air, the food, the atmosphere. Now let’s get our hands dirty and snack our lips with the intoxication of flavours. 

Unfortunately we aren’t in India. 

The good bits: Well we had two more than decent Dishes. 

An excellent traditional fast food dish Papri (Papdi) Chaat, which melted in the mouth and was very comforting that warmed the palate and an indulgent Idli Sambar, tifin dish. Idli’s are a traditional breakfast dish a savoury cake (for dipping) which came with a flavoursome Sambar, a touch of hot lentil soup with some nice textures of vegetables running through it. A Very enjoyable dish. 

Plus we ate An ok Hara Bhara Kebab, which was different. A snack like a cutlet that had subtle veg flavours with slightly bland spicing that made it not very binge worthy sadly and a bit dry. The dip alongside was also underwhelming. 

We also ate the Chilli Paneer which was not to my taste, and left me stunned with disappointment to its bland sweetness, and didn’t lift the paneer to any heights.

The masala chips, we ate were sadly disappointing with very little flavour (apart from a resemblance to a McDonalds fry without the salt) and if they were homemade chips then I’ll be Greavsie to the aforementioned Saint and then a unremarkable desert of chocolate balls filled with strawberries, served with chilli ice cream. (Chocolate Gol Gappe). 

Ruth ordered an ok Alphonso Mango Sorbet. 

I also drank a nice Massala Chai. 

As an aside I would have liked some Poppadoms to nibble on with thecmenu and maybe some Pani Puri on the menu. 

Papri Chaat

Hara Bhara Kebab

Idli SambaarChilli paneer 


Maybe we just chose badly on the food front and we missed a jewel from a long menu, but it wasn’t just the food but the whole experience that felt underwhelming and a tad dull, forced and lacking energy which for a street food cafe which promises authenticity and a buzz was surprising. 

The atmosphere felt stilted, more restaurant than cafe, not at all lively and bustling like I imagined an Indian street food gaff to be.

It was a Saturday night so that’s unusual in Moseley, right? 

Staff are friendly and helpful to a degree,  a bit chatty but didn’t inform us about their so called amazing cocktails or beers that I keep reading about or about any beer, cocktail matching with the food. Shame! 

Small bites careering from good to not so. Some a bit dreary (masala chips) some unforgettable (chilli paneer) An evening of what ifs and why nots. 

It’s a most peculiar place. 

When the food’s good my it’s good but then at times the place feels confused, unsure of itself, and it’s concept. But then I suppose  we aren’t in the hot aired and noisy streets of India, but hipster Moseley with its drip fed trendiness and right on smiles and why not there’s a lot to smile about in this part of South Birmingham. Stand up Cheval Blanc, Kababish, Sabai Sabai and Carters. 

So it should be more authentic right? After all Moseley can cope with this can’t it? 

Pluses. There’s lots of veggie choice. Which is fantastic. More than anywhere I know outside a veggie restaurant. Which I guess makes it more disappointing to me. This alone should get me a season ticket and get me dancing Bollywood style. A sight to behold! 

I liked the decor, the outside is bright, cheery, but gives the impression you are entering a lively eatery which sadly wasn’t our experience. Inside touches of Bollywood, bright and airy. 

It’s quite large too which I think doesn’t help the street food vibe, unlike Raja Monkey or Indian Brewery maybe it didn’t feel cool and intimate. 

There are places in Birmingham that do this better with more panache, better cooking, more simplistic style. More authenticity and self confidence, more cafe than restaurant. 

More crafty.

Zindiya didn’t feel anything special and a muddle of ideas served in a muddled way. I feel sad writing this. It’s a shame. I so wanted to love this place. 

It undermined the decent dishes. 

There’s some work needed on pulling the whole thing together, making the experience more seamless, explaining the dishes, exploring the tastes of the diners more, (both food and drinks)  making the whole experience more authentic. Bringing the street element more into focus. 

It felt like a restaurant not street food cafe. 

And yes, please remember to promote your cocktails and craft beer to me. Aren’t they supposed to be special. To be shouted about. 

Or at least as good as the chaat.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Disclaimer: We paid for our food and drinks in full. All opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the experience we had on the evening. 

Zindiya, 21 Woodbridge Road, Birmingham, B13 8EJ. 

0121-439-0593.

http://www.zindiya.co.uk/

Veggie Foodie tip: 

Do try Cheval Blanc in Moseley for cocktails and wine before and after a meal. The food is also raved about with veggie options on the menu.

I’m up for a food visit soon.

Also Carters of Moseley is outstanding for a special night of vegetarian seasonal decadence. 

The Kababish for curry. Delightful veggie dishes in nice surroundings. Tarka Daal anyone? 

Visit Sabai Sabai for sumptuous Thai food. 

AH.

New Indian Streetfood restaurant Zindiya set to bring colour to Moseley. 




There have been a lot of false dawns with restaurant openings recently. The hype doesn’t always result in a place been good for repeat visits. For Vegetarians disappointment when the menu is presented to you, a lack of choice, a lack of thought. I can safely predict that Zindiya doesn’t fall into that category looking at the menu which is on first glance predominantly veggie. 

Zindiya, a new Indian Street food eatery and cocktail  bar opened on the 7th February in Moseley, Birmingham in a building that has been empty for 10 years. Some of you may remember Lukers  the bakery. Others won’t, well it was 10 years ago! Remembering last week is hard enough. 

But, you’ll remember Zindiya. Well that’s the plan from owners Ajay and Shivani Kenth. Moseley born and bred, and back to rock the village with little plated curry stuff. Hurray! 

Derived from the Indian name for life and the name of the owners daughter ‘Diya’. Seating 90 people it’s decor is colourful bustling, Indian street food market. 

Across the road, is one of the best. Kababish a Moseley icon is different so don’t go to Zindiya expecting the same. This is Street Food, tapas like sharing plates and dosas, flatbreads and more sharing dishes than  a family picnic in the summer. 

It’s the Cocktails that are on the tips of people’s tongues though. Created by Rob Wood the man behind so many great cocktails in the city they borrow influences from all over India and can be paired with food, which I’m hoping to be convinced is ok. 

Purity Beers are providing the beers for those that prefer. Lawless lager and Longhorn IPA is the name of the game. Plus delectable bakes from Miss Macaroon and wines from city centre based Connolys. 

Also Birmingham Lager from Indian Brewery Co.

The food menu is reasonably priced and won’t set you back on your mortgage repayments and includes for Vegetarians: 

Chaat street food: £4

Pani puri, papri chaat, Bhel puri, Aloo tiki chaat, Pav Bhaji, samosa chaat, chilli Paneer, and Vada Pav ( potato pasty and bun with chutneys) 

Side Street: £3

Chilli cheese toast (Mumbai cheese and toast) okra fries, Mogo Chips, onion bhajis, Masala chips.

A La Carte: £6.50

Idli Sambaar ( steamed rice and lentil dumpling served with sambaar, a lentil based stew, with coconut chutney, 

Trio of Dosas, (Masala aloo, Paneer)

Grill Street: £7 cooked over charcoal. 

Paneer tika, 

Hara Bhara Kabab(served with yoghurt dip and salad.

Paranthe Wali Gali: Flatbread. 12-4 Saturday and Sunday only. 

Aloo Paratra: potatoes and onions.

Plain Paratra 

Gobi Paratra (cauliflower)

Metri ( fenugeek leaves) 

Deserts include Chocolate Gol Gappe and kulfi and Cin alla Kreer (rice pudding) 

With so many Vegetarian options Zindiya goes straight to the top of the must visit list (for vegans check beforehand). 

Also available will be An Afternoon tea which includes sandwiches, Pakoras, Cardamon scones and chai infused prosecco. 

For the best in good value eat-drink-share It’s sure to do well and bring a spot of Indian colour to Moseley. 

See you there. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Zindiya is at 21 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13.

Closed Mondays. 

0121-439-0953 Or hello@zindiya.co.uk for bookings. 

http://m.imgur.com/a/nuOtV&nbsp;

See the above link for full menu. 


All photos courtesy of Zindiya. 

New venue from Taste of Liquer and No’ 21 Milk Street. No21 Digbeth launch Friday 27th January. 




You can never have too much Street Food in my opinion so the news that another weekly Street Food event is hitting Birmingham is exciting news for those seeking a relaxed and informal Friday evening. 

The team behind Taste and Liquor and 21 Milk Street is launching a new venue called No21 Digbeth. The venue is located on Milk Street and is described as “a new hub for global street food, cultural festivals and diverse community events.”

Launching on 27th January the opening launch will showcase a weekly Indoor Street Food hub across Winter and Spring made up a range of international flavours paired with contemporary traders. 

Taste and Liquor wanted to provide an offering that is as unique as the city itself. It won’t just be meat heavy too with Vegetarian and Vegan options.

Boxfood will be doing Vegan Caribbean food and it’s their 1st Birmingham showcase.

Plus the Indian Butcher will have Paneer dishes  and Pizza Di Bruno will have veggie pizzas..

The Turk will also have a vegetarian option. 


The Friday event also shows support to new and emerging talent by giving new traders the chance to experiment and play with ideas without the pressure of having to take on a restaurant. Taste and Liquor aims to support new chefs throughout the year. 

Taste and Liquor’s Friday event will be championing live music, emerging bands and DJ’s With an exclusive platform showcasing the regions hottest acts. Speakerbox, a showcase produced by Sharinta K Athwal will present  the best of the regions raw talent and hottest emerging stars of 2017.

Every Friday welcomes The Digbeth After Work Club between 5-7pm where local residents are invited to start the weekend early, with specials two-for-one offers on all drinks. Head towards the main bar, featuring bespoke cocktails, craft beer, wines and a vast range of bespoke tonics and spirits. 

Monthly themed events will also be held every last Saturday of the month. Highlights include Gin and Meat Festival (February), Besr of British Street Food (March), Brum’s Big Fat Pizza festival, (April), Mr Hyde’s national Burger day festival (August). 

Cultural celebrations and festivals will also include Holi Rave colour festival in April, Taste and Liquor 1st birthday party weekender in May, Asian indepen-dance a celebration of 70 years of Indian independence in August and Digbeth Mela in October. 

Taste and Liquor at No21 will launch on Friday 27 January and will be hosted every week. Friday entry will be free from 5pm. Last food orders at 10.30. 

For more information log into http://www.tasteandliquor.com.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😋

#Digmas: Christmas Fair with Vegan stores and Veggie/Vegan food. Saturday 26th November.


Merry #Digmas:

Brum’s favourite independent Christmas fair and family day out returns to the Custard Factory!

Kick off the festive season in style at #Digmas, Birmingham’s favourite independent Christmas fair and family day out. The fun-filled event will return to the Custard Factory at the heart of Birmingham’s Creative Quarter on Saturday 26 November from 11am to 6pm. 

Entry is free. There’ll be something for everyone in the family; from street food, gin, craft beer and market stalls for the adults to Santa’s grotto, face painting and craft activities for the kids.

Tara Newman, Head of Events at the Custard Factory, said “#Digmas is a Digbeth tradition for foodies, friends and families looking for an alternative to the usual pre-Christmas crush on the high street. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up some unique stocking fillers, enjoy a day out and get into the festive spirit”.

At the heart of the Custard Factory there’ll be a lively indoor market with high quality art and crafts from the Paperdolls Handmade Markets plus locally-made cakes, chocolates and other goodies. 

There’ll be Vegan stalls filled with gifts, and fashionistas can peruse the rails of clothing from a selection of leading brands.

Shoppers will enjoy browsing the Custard Factory’s resident shops who will all be open during the day’s festivities. They can enjoy a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst revelling in live music by the lakeside from Bostin Brass, The Glamophones and a cheerful carol singing quartet.

Foodies will tantalise their taste buds with some of the best street food in the city and dishes include macaroni cheese,  warming soups, spicy curries and irresistible churros and chocolate. Plus cakes by Mrs Mills. The covered food court will have a great atmosphere with a DJ playing festive favourites, perfect for meeting up with friends to enjoy a glass of gin or craft beer from the pop-up bars.

The kids will have a great time too with a visit to Santa’s grotto and a packed programme of festive storytelling performances, craft activities, cupcake decorating and face painting.

 #Digmas is free to enter and all ages are welcome to enjoy the fun, food and festivities. Advanced booking for some activities is recommended. 

http://www.custardfactory.co.uk/digmas2016 for more information.

Alongside all of the fantastic entertainment, food and activities already revealed, they have been working with local organic and Vegan friendly drinks company U-Juice to curate a friendly selection of vegan stalls at #DIGMAS! Food & drink, clothing, jewellery, beauty products and lots, lots more – all produced ethically and organically.


Other Vegan and Veggie friendly traders also thete will be Aah Lovely, (handmade gifts including ceramics, bags and cards), Dr Ice ( Men’s grooming products), Viva la Vegan (organically made clothing and best fashion brand award winners), Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary, (handmade gifts) Badger’s Dairy Free, (side dishes), Purely Vegan (Vegan Grocers) The May Bakery (Vegan cakes, cupcakes and cookies) Honest Skincare, and Custard Factory resident Clink craft beer have a Vegan range too. 

The May Bakery.

Street Food from Littlesixtythree ( soups and stews) locally produced served with fresh crusty bread and Quarter Horse Coffee and Hot chocolate. 


Yumlaut: traditional German Sausage with Vegan-friendly and deliciously named ‘Veggie Brat’.

Churros Susanna: Churros and chocolate. Plus dairy free. Sugary happiness. 


Veggie Foodie favourites The Indian Rasoi: Indian Street Food and curry to warm you up. 


Holy Moly Macaroni: Macaroni cheese who are launching on The Birmingham  street food scene at #Digmas, plus offering a Vegan option that replaces cheese with butternut squash. Comfort food with a difference. 


Holy Moli Macaroni.

Plus drinks from Gin Box and Clink Craft Beer who will have vegan/veggie choices. 

Read more about the Vegan stalls on offer on Sat 26th here: 

#DIGMAS 2016 – First Vegan & Ethical Market at the Custard Factory

Looks a lovely way to kick off the Christmas period, and celebrate Birmingham’s independent and creative scene. 

The Custard Factory and sister venue Fazeley Studios are based in Digbeth a short walk from Birmingham New Street and The Bullring shopping centre in the heart of Birmingham. The area has long been established as one of the countries leading creative and digital business destinations, with a thriving business community residing alongside Birmingham’s independent retailers. 

Home

http://www.fazeleystudios.com/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

The Glamophones who will be singing at #Digmas.

All images and photos courtesy of The Custard Factory. 

Kings Heath food market: Saturday 12th November. 



Kings Heath Street Food Market returns this Saturday 12th November featuring The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox Esme’s Eats, Stufo, The Spice is Right street food, Street Kitchen Brothers and Charlie Dumpling. 

All of which should have veggie and vegan options. Of course The Vegan Grindhouse is completely Vegan friendly. 

Replacing the wonderful Veggie Foodie favourites Brum Yum Yum it takes place at the same venue in Kings Heath Village Square from 11am-5pm. 

Organised by the Kings Heath Business Improvement District it will take place as its predecessor  on the second Saturday until at least the end of the year. 

Antoinette Hasson, General Manager of All Saints Community Development Company, said:

“All Saints Community Development Company, who host and organise a variety of monthly markets and community events on Kings Heath Village Square, are delighted to work with Kings Heath BID to create a new and exciting Food Market following on from the popular Brum Yum Yum.

The new Kings Heath Food Market will feature established street food vendors and showcase new talent to delight and excite.

The event will be Accompanied by entertaining live music and specialty drinks courtesy of local Kitchen Garden Cafe. 

For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/EnjoyKingsHeath and http://www.asckh.co.uk Kings Heath Village Square.

Should be a nice event. See you there.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Veggie Street food watch: Buddha Belly. 


  

It seems that you cannot escape street food in Birmingham these days, and rightly so as the informality of eating food this way is an enlightened experience that in particular is Summer on a plate or container in this case. I’m a massive fan and am finding more and more to celebrate with this kind of eating.

It maybe easy to think that the street food scene isn’t for vegetarians and vegans, but one that’s top heavy with burgers and meat traders. Though to a degree this can seem true on occasions, there is a number of vegetarian and vegan traders on the scene as well as traders that cater well for meat free options. It’s just a case of knowing where and to whom to seek out. From burgers, Indian, Thai, Malaysian, Mexican, pizza, cakes, crepes and Mediterranean there’s a whole world to discover.

The beauty of Streetfood is that there’s usually something for everyone. Go with friends, family, children, take your time and explore. Ruth and I frequently go to Brum Yum Yum #KingshEATh in Kings Heath. Often She goes one way for food, I go another then we meet and eat and enjoy a beer with the food. Sometimes we go to the same place, Ruth even has vegetarian or vegan on a occasions. It’s often not knowing what you will choose to eat until you get there that is the pull and where discoveries arise.

So as a way of celebrating streetfood in all its guises I’m introducing an occasional series of posts focusing on the best traders and dishes for Vegetarians and Vegans to try in the Midlands area. 

Buddha Belly run by Sai and her husband James is authentic Thai streetfood that can be enjoyed by everyone. Though not a fully veggie/vegan trader Buddha Belly has superb options that are authentic and a taste sensation. You can find them around Birmingham and the Midlands at streetfood events such as Brum Yum Yum, Digbeth Diner and Scoffs streetfood in Coventry amongst others. 

Sai appeared on Masterchef in 2012 and out of that experience came the Buddha Belly concept that thrills so many and has made them ‘Best Streetfood trader in the Midlands’ and ‘Best streetfood in England and Wales’ winners in 2014. 

Food prepared fresh from scratch, low in fat and authentically made with passion is the name of the game here. Ingredients are sourced locally and all meat (for your chums) is organic/free range and locally supplied. 

All sauces are freshly made, have a serious kick and make the dish what it is..Joyous. 

I tried the Vegan Yellow curry: A creamy, comforting delight of authenticity. Roasted cumin, Corriander seeds, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Courgettes.

A big dose of aromatic flavours, a thick consistency, with a delicate velvety texture. 

With lovely spices running through the bright yellow golden ray of sunshine, it’s a Vegan curry to beat. 

Without question the nicest Thai Yellow Curry I’ve eaten in the UK, that’s generous in size for £5 of your street food funds. 

Beautifully memorable flavours and presented to restaurant standard. 

  Vegan Yellow Curry.   

  

Buddha Belly at Brum Yum Yum: KingshEATh. 

  
    
    
 Brum Yum Yum in the sun. 

http://www.buddhabellystreetfood.co.uk/

Wash down this delicious curry with  local Two Towers Brewery, Vegan friendly Beers Complete Muppetry and Hockley Gold from The British Bus Bar. 

   

 
 
Buddha Belly also serve Vegetarian Spicy Noodles at streetfood events such as Brum Yum Yum and Digbeth Diner.

Brum Yum Yum is held on the second Saturday of the month, in Kings Heath, Birmingham.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊