Opus fixes the price not the diners options.


Birmingham restaurant Opus has once again reinvented the wheel with fixing the prices, but not your dining options.

Opus one of the leading fine-dining restaurants in Birmingham, has scrapped the individual prices on its à la carte menu and has instead introduced a fixed price for either two- or three-course dining.

Opus believes it is the only restaurant to have this standout offering. It will enable diners to choose any dish from its full à la carte menu, with a two-course lunch or dinner costing £27.50 or a three-course meal £32.50. 

The vegetarian menu costs £25 for two courses and £30 for three. 

The concept has been spearheaded by award-winning executive head chef Ben Ternent. He said: “Typically you find that the cheaper, fixe prix menus in restaurants offer limited options for diners, but we were keen to do something a little different from the norm.

“We decided that our diners deserved to enjoy our full à la carte options for a fixed price. It’s not something many restaurants do and I’m thrilled to introduce it here at Opus.”

Ben joined Opus, on Cornwall Street, as commis chef shortly after the restaurant launched in 2005 and worked in almost every section of its kitchen before being promoted to executive head chef in 2015, when it celebrated its tenth anniversary.
During his time at the restaurant, Ben has achieved a number of prestigious awards, including being crowned the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year in 2006 and achieving his Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Award of Excellence in 2009.

Ann Tonks, managing director at Opus, said: “We’re renowned for doing things a little differently here and because we are independent, we are always looking for new and innovative initiatives that benefit our clientele. Ben’s idea to remove the individual à la carte prices and instead have a fixed price across the whole menu is a great idea and I’m sure our diners will agree, too.

Vegetarians can enjoy dishes such as creamy goats cheese mousse, roasted English tomato and red pepper soup plus Leicestershire wild mushroom and truffle Wellington, Evesham beetroot risotto and tian of Pershore vegetables followed by a warm dark chocolate fondant or raspberry and blueberry iced parfait and a strawberry pudding, the choice is truly yours. 

Diners can, of course, choose one course only if they prefer and those dishes are individually priced.”

The menu is available for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Monday to Saturday.

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Vegetarian-Menu.pdf

For full menu information, visit: 

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

Goats cheese tart 

Beetroot risotto

Strawberry pudding

Ben Ternent.


Opus Restaurant Vegetarian Source Dinner with Worcester Produce is also on Friday July 16th at 7pm.

The Source Dinner series includes this Veggie extravaganza. Enjoy 5 courses with wine pairing in conjunction with Worcester Produce. The fruit, vegetables and salad are grown in their nurseries and farms in the Vale of Evesham, picked on day one and are in the Opus kitchen on day two. It’s always an evening to savour.

Look out for my review soon. 

 Price £65 pp. 

Call 0121-200-2323 for booking. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Thanks to Opus and Clive Reeves PR for the photos. 

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.

#TastyMorsels: New Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Nyam Nyam will be bringing their Caribbean vegetarian and Vegan food to the Moseley Festival on the 1st July. 

http://www.facebook.com/nyam_nyam_brum for updates and details on menus.

The second Vegan Vybes event is set for Saturday 17th June at Kings Heath Community Centre on Heathfield Road. 

They are popping up to share with you the joys of vegan living through urban food. Come and have a great time, meet new people, enjoy a truly lovely community atmosphere and take part in the vegan vybe. 


The Real Junk Food Project have another one of their Vegan pop ups at The Gunmakers Arms on the 17th June from 6-9pm.  Free admission. 

In fact they are at The Gunmakers Arms every month with vegan friendly beer from Two Towers Brewery. 

Pizza Express have announced that From June 20th, they will have a Vegan mozzarella alternative on the menu.

Made in Italy using Italian ingredients, it melts perfectly in the pizza oven and gives a creamy finish to any pizza. To celebrate, they have taken some of their favourite ingredients and created a new pizza recipe that combines artichokes with new season asparagus, red onion, garlic oil, black olives and seasoning all on a classic dough and passata base. Called the Vegan Giardiniera. 
The vegan mozzarella is available across the board on all their pizzas. 

Read more from their Head of Food and Drink, Holly Davies, here: 

https://www.pizzaexpress.com/news/vegan-giardiniera


Moseley craft beer festival is on from the 28th-30th July at The Dark Horse. Expect to find Vegan and Veggie friendly beers and lots of laughs. 


Burrito top dogs Habaneros have begun a kitchen residency at craft beer pub 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter. Expect some lip tastic veggie friendly burritos and tacos on the menu. Otherwise catch them In  city centre near the cathedral in their street food burrito mobile. 

Tipton pie people Mad O’Rourke’s have a Brewery selling pies opening later in the year in Digbeth. Veggie and vegan pies a plenty. Expect opening sometime after August. Watch this space. 

Finally, Veggie Foodie favourites Sabai Sabai will be opening up a fourth venue for their fine Thai food in Birmingham City Centre. Open later this year on Waterloo Street. 

Following on from the original Moseley restaurant, Harborne, and Stratford Upon Avon. 

See you there. 


Here’s my latest review of Sabai Sabai https://t.co/s1aprNIf3g

That’s all folks. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

The Mockingbird Cinema and kitchen launch. 



One of Digbeth’s most popular bars will be launching as a dedicated cinema following a major reinvestment into the business.


The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen based in the Custard Factory, will become a full-time cinema from Friday, November 18 – officially launching with the Warner Bros’ mega-release Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  

Following 12 months entertaining audiences with screenings of cult favourites – from Brat-pack classics to rib-tickling horrors – The Mockingbird will become one of the city’s only independent cinemas, screening blockbusters straight from Hollywood.  

The 100-seat cinema will typically offer four screenings a day, seven days a week, with special offers and concessions available to its customers.

For example, anyone booking to see the 11am and 2.15pm screenings of Fantastic Beasts can buy tickets for the price of just £5. 

Traditional cinema refreshments, like nachos, popcorn and sweets, will be available from the box office. 

However, for those who want to make a day or an evening out of visiting The Mockingbird, the cinema’s kitchen and bar will be open, offering a wide variety of southern American inspired food. 

Popular picks from the menu include chilli-cheese fries, sandwiches, and vegan burritos. 

The cinema’s co-owner and chef, Anthony Duffy, has also designed a specials menu and cocktail menu that will change to compliment the films on show. 

 As an example, those booked in to see J.K.Rowling’s latest offering, will have the chance to dine on a ‘fantastic feast’ or search through the cinema’s library for a list of magical cocktails.   

The cinema’s owners spotted that customers loved the quirky additions of movie-related meals and themed cocktails, so they wanted to make that a key part of the cinema experience they have on offer.

Anthony said: “We knew people wanted something a bit extra when we started putting on film nights where themed food and drinks were on offer as a tribute to what we were screening”.  

“One of our biggest successes was hosting a sold-out screening of The Big Lebowski, where every customer got a White Russian and an In-N-Out Burger. We still get people emailing us asking if we’ll be putting on another event like it. Well we’ll be doing it permanently now.”

Head of programming, James Brown, explained that he and his fellow co-owners wanted to make The Mockingbird a destination for film and food lovers – where they could spend all afternoon and evening enjoying the cinema and bar. 

James Brown, head of programming, said: “People love cinema.
“It’s an entire experience for a lot of people – to go out, maybe eat beforehand, buy snacks and enjoy a movie. 

“We wanted to create the ultimate cinema experience with The Mockingbird that few other cinemas can offer.”  

Anthony added: “We’ve aimed to create a destination in the Custard Factory.
“A place where people can join us for food, films, drinks and even dancing at the weekends, when our resident DJs take over the decks to spin some soul, disco and funk.” 

The bar will be open from 11am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday, then from 11am till late on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Well worth a visit and supporting this unique independent business and the food is excellent. 

The Mockingbird Cinema

The Custard Factory

Gibb St

Birmingham

B9 4AA

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


 

Restaurant review: Mezze at So Mezze and lounge, Birmingham.


  

So Mezze is a reassuring place.  When you look at the menu you are greeted with a long list of Vegetarian dishes that cover All mezze bases and are salavatingly bursting with happiness. 

You cannot underestimate the comfort this brings and though the proof is in the eating its a positive start. The menu offers a mixture of cold and hot mezze, like tapas small dishes to share and ideal for grazing on with a cocktail from the long cocktail list. 

So Mezze serves Lebanese Mezze and is located in Birmingham City Centre in Holloway Head between Broad Street (near the ICC) and the Arcadian provides a lounging experience thats has a calm relaxed Arabesque feel about it and a comfortable cosy arrangement of seating and tables that asks you to linger long into the evening.

 

  
The beautiful thing about Mezze like tapas is its informality. Sharing food is one of my favourite things to do so the long  and varied vegetarian menu was perfect for Ruth and I to share, with plenty to satisfy all tastes.

We began with a couple of cocktail. Ruth the Dry Gin Martini and myself the Old Cuban. Both excellent with the perfect hit of ingredients. The rum and bourbon in mine, deep and velvety, reassuringly complimenting the informality of the dishes. Ruths with the perfect balance of gin and perfectly made. So good we had two more. Superb cocktails. 

  Gin Martini
  Old Cuban 

  

The dishes we ate were: 

Cold Mezze: Humous, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Fatoush, Warak Enab,

Hot Mezze: Batata Harra, Grilled Halloumi, Sambousek cheese, and Falafal, served with flat bread. 

All the dishes were excellent, lovely examples of authenticity and fully enjoyable. 

Take the cold Mezze dish Baba Ganoush, smoky rich, creamy, the distinct aubergine flavour meltingly good on an excellent flatbread.

The Warak Enab, vine leaves stuffed full of rice and spices, morsels of delight and perfect alongside a superbly creamy and silky smooth Humous and light and refreshing Tabouleh with its summery flavours and minty, Parsley soothing hit and the light and breezy Fatoush with its lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mint and onion on flatbread and olive oil dressing. The salads tempered with Middle East herbs are delicious. 

The hot Mezze were equally indulgent and summery. 

The star dish Batata Harra, spiced Lebanese fried potatoes cooked with peppers, chillies, garlic and Corriander. Small morsels if punchy flavours taken alongside the savoury Grilled Halloumi, with its golden brown savoury touch a delight. 

Another dish, the falafel had the perfect weight and flavour. Small balls of chickpeas and onion ( I’m a big fan of chickpeas) deep fried with a tahini sauce. Delicious. 

The only dish that was not such a winner to me was the Sambousek Cheese, which was a light savoury cheese pastry with feta cheese and parsley which was disappointingly bland compared with the deep savoury flavours of the other hot dishes. Shame.

The dishes also came with rice.
  Falafel.  

Batata Harra.

  Fatoush

  Tabouleh.

  Sambousek Cheese

  Humous

  Baba Ganoush  Warak Enab

    
  

Grilled Halloumi  Flatbread

    Rice 

    Veggie menu £20 per person.

Been quite full we decided to share a beautifully sticky and filling Syrup Drizzled Baklava: soaked layers of pastry and chopped nuts, sticky, syrupy. It’s all in the name, delicious especially with the fresh and refreshing mint tea that we enjoyed with it.

    Baklava

  

 Fresh mint tea.

  
  
Our meal at So Mezze was a generous meal. For Vegetarians it’s an excellent choice. With plenty of choice, to fill a number of repeated visits. The set menu allows a full journey and the delight in eating food in a shared informal way is perfect for summer or a group party. It has a confidence in itself, unfussy, and enjoyable in its simple charms. They also cater for vegans and Gluten Free diets with notice when booking and reassuringly  having so much choice is its key to its enjoyment. All the dishes we tried were excellent and we’d have no hesitation to visit again. A hidden, cool and fun gem in the city centre and perfect for us veggies.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

So Mezze,  89 Holloway Head, Birmingham, B1 1QP.

http://www.so-mezze.co.uk/

https://m.facebook.com/somezze/

You can receive a discount of 25% with The Gastro Card at So Mezze from Sunday-Thursday.
http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/restaurants/so-mezze-lounge/

Our meal and drinks were complimentary at So Mezze because of my work for The Gastro Card. All my opinions are honest and my own as always. 

  

New Vegan and Vegetarian coffee lounge to open in Birmingham City Centre. 


Exciting news has reached me that a new Vegan and Vegetarian coffee shop is set to open in Birmingham City Centre.

Called 3 Three’s Coffee Lounge it’s based in a unit in Martineau Place just off Corporation Street (the street by WH Smiths and Sainsbury’s). 

It’s not open yet, but according to their Facebook page, not long. 

Note: Due to own on the 6th April. 

https://m.facebook.com/3threescoffee/

Looking at their website they will sell a mixture of sandwiches, wraps, paninis, soups, salads and cakes, plus coffee and soft drinks. 

http://www.3threescoffee.com/

Most of the menu it seems is suitable for Vegans and offers meat style options (sandwiches, wraps) as well non meat style options such as hummus, avocados and roasted peppers. 

I’m looking forward to hopefully finding some interesting salads and warming soups as well as good quality coffee and cakes. 

Hopefully the food will be a leader for interesting vegetarian and vegan lunch time options and be a firm favourite with Brummies and visitors alike. 

   

  
 

  
Of course the proof will be in the quality of the food and coffee. Hopefully items will be made in house or from local suppliers.

The joy of course will be in the trying out. 

Any venture of this kind deserves support and is a positive start in creating a more defined informal vegetarian and vegan lunch stop in central Birmingham. 

The coffee shop is now open keep an eye on their Facebook page and website for updates. 

  
http://www.3threescoffee.com/

3 Three’s Coffee Lounge, Unit 8, 17-19 Martineau Place, Birmingham 

Photos courtesy of their facebook page. 

Review: Treat Greek Deli in The Great Western Arcade, Birmingham. 


   
 

The Great Western Arcade in Birmingham City Centre is one of the loveliest arcades to browse and pick up independent shop treats. 

Greek Food in the city has been up to recently been in my opinion not the go to food for vegetarians, with many Greek restaurants been generally uninspiring and meat heavy. The most recent opening in the Great Western Arcade is a small Greek Deli called Treat. 

Treat Deli sits at the Snow Hill Station Side of the arcade and offers high quality and home made pies, pasties, salads, healthy smoothies jams, preserves, olives and Greek Coffee-Hot and cold. 

As well as this cakes, olive oils, and herbs, coffee, and tea are on display to take away or eat in its small (with a small seating section) cosy inside. 

It brings together food from different regions of Greece all in one place. 

Run by a Father-Daughter team (George and Angeliki Xiarchou) I was invited by them to sample their vegetarian offerings. 

  

Tables outside Treat Deli.

  
  

What struck me about Treat Deli is how proud and how enthusiastic Angeliki is, and that passion runs through the family and is reflected in the baked goods on offer. The food is beautifully displayed with clear labelling and looks incredibly tempting and inviting. I’m a sucker for pies, pasties and anything baked. It’s a comfort thing I think. 

For vegetarians there are numerous cheesy pie options, plus a fennel pie, pumpkin pie, a tiropita, (cheese pie), a leek roll and a mixed vegetable pie (Skopolos) which is divine. Also the pre packed salads including a delicious Greek salad are available if pastry is not your thing. 

    
    
    

I tried their feta cheese skopelos which was lovely. Creamy feta with delecate herbs stuffed into a golden and well made pastry. Filling, tasty and would make a lovely lunch to take away or eat inside. 

Traditional food is what Treat deli specialise in, bringing the sunny tastes of holidays to the grey pavements of Birmingham. 

I also sampled the mixed Vegetable Skopolos which I enjoyed so much that I went in again the following week to buy some for dinner and share with Ruth. We both loved it, full of vegetables in a water crust pastry, beautifully flavoured. A divine accompaniment to potatoes at home or to take away. 

What also struck me was the size of the pies which are generously big. Which is good by me. 

I also tried a Baklava, which was delicious too. The Baklava which is also claimed by Greece as well as Turkey was a rich, sweet filo pastry with chop nuts and a honey filled flavour. Syrupy sweet, very nice, recommended.

Other sweet treats are available. 

   
  Pies and baklava 

  Baklava from Treat Deli

 

Skopolos mixed vegetable pie. 

  

At Treat Deli I also tried the Freddo (cold) cappuccino. If was beautifully refreshing and went superbly with the pastry. 

  Inside stool seating at Treat Deli. 

    Better than over the arcade. 

  Olive oils 

  Salads at Treat Deli. 

 Herbs at Treat Deli. 

   
    
 

Treat Deli is a relaxed place. Ideal for those working or passing through the Business district around Colmore Row. It’s a lovely place to take a break in, and amongst a few standout shops in the Great Western Arcade its another Gem on the independent foodie trail in Birmingham City Centre. 
It feels authentic. It’s a taster of the delights of their homeland and is made, presented and sold with passion and great care. 

For Vegetarians, who fancy a savoury munch or who want to remember sunnier days on holiday its an ideal stop off its ideal and proves that you can get a good vegetarian pie in Birmingham. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Thanks to Angeliqi and Demos for their time, hospitality and enthusiasm. You have a fan. 

I was invited down to Treat Deli to sample and give feedback on some of their vegetarian food complimentary. My opinions are honest as always. I was not required to write a review. 

Keep an eye out for their traditional Christmas goodies. 

Treat Deli, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham. 

Open Monday-Friday 7am-6pm

Saturday 9am-6pm.

  

Ciderfest at Bitters N’Twisted and Meat Free Monday’s at Marmalade. 


  

   Meat free Monday: 

Paneer Tika and Pea Samosas with Homemade pineapple marmalade. With Blind Pig Cider 

 

Meat Free Monday: 

Edaname  hummus, shiitake mushrooms, coconut crisps and grissini bread.  

  

Meat Free Monday: 

Beetroot, feta croustade with wilted spinach buerre blanc 

Marmalade at The Birmingham Rep has introduced Meat Free Monday food specials to its menu every Monday. Above are examples of previous dishes with a different dish (s) every week. 

Meat free Monday’s are a national initiate to help people have one meat free day a week to highlight the impact that eating meat has on the planet and our carbon footprint. 

http://www.meatfreemondays.com/

Marmalade has always offered a good selection of Vegetarian dishes, so this addition is to be welcomed. Keep an eye on social media for the Meat Free Monday dishes every week. 

   
    
 Vegetarian dishes at Marmalade. 
Previous review of Marmalade. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2015/02/20/review-marmalade-bistro-at-the-birmingham-rep-theatre/

  
   
   
Cider fest is back for its 5th year. 

 After previous successful summer festivals, independent Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues are on a mission to unite even more cider drinkers as its fifth annual Ciderfest runs throughout its venues throughout August. 
 The Victoria on John Bright St, The Jekyl and Hyde based on Steelhouse Lane, both located in the city centre, have been joined by Jewellery Quarter based The Rose Villa Tavern and Harborne’s The New Inn for a month long celebration of all things cider. 

New to the Birmingham bar scene, Marmalade , will be taking part too from their home in Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre.

 Ciders on offer range from traditional apple based scrumpy’s to lighter fruity modern ones, served straight up or over ice creating the perfect drink for when the sun comes out. Expected favourites include Maeloc Dry Cider, made in Spain using traditional methods for a crisp flavoursome taste. 

Also Blind Pig, a new cider to the market offering a mix of cider and rum in their not-for-the-fight-hearted Rum and Poached Pear Cider.

 The month long celebration will come to an end with the free Ciderfest Closing Party – an afternoon of cider drinking, live music and BBQ food hosted in the beautiful New Inn’s beer garden from 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31st.

Ciderfest kicks off at the start of August and will carry on until the end of the month at the Victoria, The Jekyll & Hyde, Marmalade, The Rose Villa Tavern and The New Inn.
   
    
 Garden at The New Inn
Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Meat Free Monday’s: The Vegan Grindhouse at The Mockingbird in Digbeth Birmingham. 


       
 

Monday’s will never be the same if you are a Vegan or Veggie in Birmingham. 

The news is that esteemed and popular Vegan Street food traders The Vegan Grindhouse are taking over The Mockingbird at The Custard Factories kitchen all day on a Monday from August 10th for the rest of this year for a Meat-Free Monday’s special.

  

BIRMINGHAM INDEPENDENT VENUE AND POPULAR VEGAN STREET FOOD COMPANY TEAM UP FOR MEAT FREE MONDAYS STARTING MONDAY 10TH AUGUST.

The teams behind the successful Mockingbird Theatre, Bistro & Bar and Midlands based vegan street-food company The Vegan Grindhouse have collaborated to host a new destination event every Monday in Digbeth, Birmingham.

The event, The Vegan Grindhouse presents Meat Free Monday’s at The Mockingbird which is taking place every Monday from 10th August at Mockinbird Theatre Bistro and Bar, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA. 

The Vegan Grindhouse chefs will be serving up an all-vegan Americana style brunch menu from 11am-2pm, featuring waffles, scrambled tofu, granola, BLT and bagels. 

Then every Monday evening from 5-9pm there will be a new menu featuring food from different regions of the USA, such as burritos, Philly cheesesteaks, meatball marinara subs, mac’n’cheese and all American sides and desserts. There will be gluten free options available on each menu also. 

In addition to the food, Meat Free Mondays will also feature free film screenings in the theatre, music and a range of vegan beers, soft drinks and plant-based milks for coffees and teas.

Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “We are so excited to take on this weekly residency at The Mockingbird. To give people a fully vegan restaurant menu every Monday is a great way to promote the Meat Free Monday message of reducing or eliminating their meat and dairy intake due to health, environmental or ethical reasons and this is a great opportunity for people to try exciting new vegan food and see why going meat free is a viable alternative diet and lifestyle.”

The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox travels around the wider Midlands area to markets, festivals and street-food events to bring their high-end Americana handmade organic vegan food to a wide range of customers. 

They have traded across the UK including Birmingham, Warwickshire, Blackpool, Manchester, Wales and London since starting the business in April 2014 and have many more events booked throughout this year working with some of the big names in Street Food events.

The Vegan Grindhouse is a small independent all-vegan mobile catering company from the West Midlands, who produce organic, fair trade, cruelty-free tasty vegan Americana street-food and treats.

The Dinner menu will change each week and will be announced prior to the Monday. 

Contact the venue for reservations or just turn up on the day/night. 
So introduce non vegans and veggies to a meat free meal with new dishes not served up by The Vegan Grindhouse on their truck. 

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/2015/08/exciting-announcement-meat-free-mondays.html?m=1

The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 YAA. 

   
 

  
Dinner menu for The Vegan Grindhouse Meat Free Mondays. 

Nomad: version 1 revisited. Kitchen Garden, Kings Heath. 


   
 
If you blink you may miss it. You see Nomad version 1 has only 3 weeks until Chefs Alex Claridge and Brian Smith and their merry band of Nomadic roamers leave fair Kings Heath and set up a permanent home somewhere away from my homestead and barter with a new crowd and venue in the big smoke. 

It’s been good having you in the Heath, and the kitchen Garden Will never be the same again. 

If moving from one place to another is true of the concept Nomad then it’s sure true of the nature of the Vegetarian dishes Ruth and I enjoyed last week. 

When we first visited back in April (see here http://t.co/RjhlejagxY) the food concept was still evolving and the vegetarian dishes though incredible were works in progress rather than the more formed and intricate plates that we now find. As with all concepts it takes time to develop a voice and in this case understand the customer and the nomadic skin you work in. 

So in this case the Seven courses we enjoyed were more complete plates of food, larger in size and scale and more rounded than before. Yes, in fact more adventurous and certainly an advancement in textures and flavours. Now maybe that’s the Summer produce, rather than the April Early spring variety, but I’d like to believe that it’s the added confidence of a kitchen more in tune with the diner and the Nomad concept including the ingredients. 

I’m not going to do a full review of the meal as your dishes may be different from ours, but suffice to say it was an outstanding meal. Indeed I think Alex is cooking the most innovative vegetarian food in Birmingham and certainly some of the best veggie food Birmingham has ever seen. 

So here are my photos of our meal.

   
 
Rowan berry doughnut

  
Globe artichoke, seared lettuce, egg yolk, nasturtium. 

  
Tomato, fennel. 

  
Broad bean, samphire, pea, tree mallow cheese. 

  
Burnt cauliflower, hay infused curds, ash dumplings, sea herbs. 

  
Caramelised white chocolate, strawberries. 

   
 
‘Sea buckthorn meringue pie’

If pushed then I would say my favourite courses were the Globe artichoke, the Broad Bean and the final desert the meringue pie. 

The only course that didn’t deliver so well was the Rowan berry doughnut which could have done with a touch more filling, but still they were delicious as a bread substitute. A nice idea though. 

The deserts in particular were a stunning improvement on our previous visit, much more pudding like and a good size portion. Excellent summery flavours. 

In all the courses the size of the portions were spot on and as a tasting like menu it was excitingly put together like a long journey of the pallet. 

Another nod to an improvement is with the service which is informed, crisp and friendly. A real asset to the Nomad experience. 

If you are able to get a table at Nomad in August at The Kitchen Garden then please do go. There is limited availability. 

For bookings: 

https://www.resdiary.com/Restaurant/Nomad

For Vegetarians it’s essential dining in Birmingham and one that’s improving all the time. 

In fact by time it reaches venue 2 in late September in the City Centre it may be nomadicly moving in another galaxy. It certainly makes the changing seasons and the advancement Of Autumn  quite exciting. 

See you on the other side. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our meal and drinks in full. My opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Nomad have also introduced their own wine and drinks list which is a positive development and compliments the food well. 

   
    
    
    
   
The night owl at the Kitchen Garden. Part of the Big Hoot Birmingham trail.