Anyone who went to Big Papas at The Sunflower lounge will know the work that Anthony and Craig put into their businesses. What’s always impressed me is their flexibility and nuance in understanding veggie diners and dishes, and what’s put out onto the table. They are open to experiment, your ideas and opinions.
The vegetarian menu at their new venture The Mockingbird, Bar, Bistro and Theatre is evolving. It’s early days, it’s short at present, a bit too short, needs a couple of additions, maybe the Big Papas Mac and cheese, (please) veggie burger, sweet potato fries? why not? Plus think seasonal specials, be imaginative.
We had the three dishes on the nights menu: Starters: Nachos with cherry tomatoes, salsa lemon and chive cheese, chunky guacamole, garlic and cheese ciabatta, and Main: Cauliflower and Brocolli fritters.
The Nachos, which we shared. A good Tex-Mex dish. The tortilla chips were crisp, though maybe on reflection the dish could have done with a few more to get the balance right with a delicious salsa lemon and chive cheese sauce and nice guacamole, which slightly overpowered the tortillas for that reason. The flavours were there though and the size was ok for a starter. Could do a larger plate to share as a larger starter. Enjoyed.
Well made garlic bread, with a nice balance in flavours. Thin, crusty. Very nice. Not too cheesy or greasy which I liked. Presented on a black slate which I liked. (shared)
Cauliflower and Broccoli fritters.
My fritters had a good and plentiful filling of cauliflower and broccoli and a nice crisp fried outer breading.
I enjoyed the fritters, the filling was different but had good flavours and filled the batter to leave a satisfying main dish. Again, the sauce that accompanied could have been reduced in quantity in order to get the balance right. I liked the tomato garnish though.
Maybe introduce seasonal fillings, courgettes, mushrooms in autumn.
I also ate a few of Ruths chips which were ok.
Ruth also enjoyed the Buttermilk fried chicken with fries. She said it was fantastic. Perfectly cooked chicken. She knows, trust me!
The Brunch menu has a decent range of dishes, all of which can be adapted for the vegan diner.
Both Ruth and I loved the music played in The Mockingbird. A mixture, of soul, funk and a bit in between. It made for a good atmosphere and on a Wednesday night a steady flow of people were coming in, eating and having a drink before the film that was showing that night at the cinema that The Mockingbird has (Jaws in that case). The menu we had was the cinema/film menu and enabled you to take a desert with you into the film.
The industrial feel of the decor and seating make The Mockingbird a chilled and relaxing place to visit for food or just drinks. The bar includes craft beers, including vegan beers (marked clearly) wine, and cocktails.
I enjoyed two craft beers, the Goose Island IPA: 5.5% ABV, from Chicago, which has a fruity aroma with a dry malt middle and long hop finish. A very nice beer that went well with the informal food. A hop lovers dream.
Plus, Meantime London Lager (suitable for vegans) from the award winning brewery based in Greenwich, London. It has the perfect balance of bitterness and hopiness, and is 4.5% ABV. If you like hoppy, malty beers this is for you. A really nice modern English lager, a quality beer.
On a weekend they have DJ’s which we both agreed would be a great time to visit as well as comedy nights, a theatre and of course the cinema.
The food at The Mockingbird is well executed, and though the options for vegetarians are limited at the moment, they are happy and excited to develop the menu further and ease the vegetarian and vegan diner. I liked The Mockingbird, in fact loved it. The vibe, the music, the concept. The hard work ethos pays off. I’m excited to see how those veggie dishes evolve and though not perfect at the moment you can see the potential and possibilities. It’s a place to visit at any time of day and livens up the Custard Factory somewhat in the day and for that it is achieving its aims well.
The owners Anthony and Craig have the heart and soul for The Mockingbird, and yes this bird can sing.
Every Monday is Meat Free Monday at The Mockingbird with The Vegan Grindhouse taking over the kitchen. From Brunch/lunch to dinner keep an eye on social media for menus and guest chefs/Streetfood traders.
See Mex it Up on Monday August 31st. Vegan Mexican street food. Guest kitchen.
See below: re Vegan Grindhouse Meat Free Monday’s.
Thanks for reading
Disclosure: Ruth and I were invited to visit The Mockingbird. Our food was complimentary but we paid for all drinks drank in full. In no way did this make my views biased which are honest as always.
Thanks for the invite. 👍
The Mockingbird, the Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B 9 4AA.