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. 


Review: Amantia Spanish and Mediterranean 


  
Amantia is a new family run (and family friendly!) independent, Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant right off New Street in Birmingham City centre, taking the ground floor and basement of the iconic Sun House.
This building on Bennetts Hill was the house of the Sun Insurance offices, which were founded in 1710. The name Amantia is the name of some ruins near chef and owner Andrea’s birthplace and also includes the initial of him and Marta’s (owner and front of house’s) children. 

Amantia is a smart place. Inside the space is large, bordering on vast, with a sweet bar area to the right of the entrance as you walk in. Serving pinxos  or Pincho (Basque country small snacks from Northen Spain). Oh the memories of San Sebastián are returning. It is in itself a good spot for after work downtime. 

I digress though. The decor of Amantia, contemporary- purple, grey with black and white prints on the wall, smart, and cooling. 

   
   
Though it could feel impersonal it doesn’t. The atmosphere is good,  quite busy too on a Friday evening and the warmth of the service from Marta and her team is a joy. Marta twinkles with charm and enthusiasm for the food and the adventure she and her husband are on with Amantia. 

Ruth and I were invited by Marta and her sister Silvia (also from Amantia) to taste and review some of the Vegetarian dishes on the menu and some new ones not yet on the menu. For that reason the food came out of the kitchen like tapas (discussed on arrival with Marta) and thus this review will reflect that. I like small plates though, tapas is one of life’s pleasures whether italian in nature, or Spanish (tapas) or pintxos for that matter. 

It is fun to have an element of surprise and not order from a menu. It’s very informal and thus more interesting. 

Ruth and I ordered some Olives and two glasses of Manzanilla Sherry whilst waiting for the tapas. The sherry a refreshing fino from Andalusia, served chilled it’s a perfect aperitif and goes well with tapas like dishes. 

   
 
The dishes we shared ( Ruth was a Vegetarian for the evening) were a selection of  croquetas Amantia, (blue cheese and creamy mushroom)  a Rustica mushroom Crepe, a Greek Salad, Roasted Vegetables and Vegetable Moussaka. 

   

 
Having tried the Blue Cheese Croquetas before I was looking forward to eating them again. They held a lovely creamy blue cheese flavour, a recommended vegetarian tapas. A star dish. 

On the other hand, the Mushroom croquetas were disappointing. Quite bland in flavour, with not a lot of mushroom filling,  the croquetas lacked an intensity of flavour that maybe a porcini mushroom filling could have brought. A shame. 

Oh the contrast The Rustica Crepe with its mushroom centre had a deep intensity of flavour. It wasn’t too cheesy which was a relief and the quantity and quality of the mushroom filling made for a very satisfying and enjoyable crepe and served with a side salad would make a excellent and filling main course offering. Maybe use the intense filling for the mushroom croquetas.  Recommended. 

   
 
The Greek Salad, was also very good and looked very appetising.

  
Lettuce, tomatoes, sliced cucumber, onion, Kalamata Olives, Feta cheese, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It was well seasoned, with salt and oregano and the splash of olive oil made for a nice ripe and fresh salad. The feta creamy and the flavours bold. A very refreshing contrast to the hot dishes. Lovely. 

Our Roasted Vegetables were also well presented and looked stunningly appetising. I think roast vegetables get a bad press sometimes from vegetarians and vegans, cited as a bit boring, but when the veg are fresh and carrying a good in season flavour there arn’t  many better summertime dishes. It always makes me think of sunshine and hot sun and alfresco dining. (Appologies I was lost in memories of Italy there). 

   
 
The peppers and courgettes were delicious and looked stunning. I also didn’t mind the presentation on a board. It worked with this dish. 

   
 
The final hot dish we tried was the Vegetable Moussaka. I think of all the dishes We tried on the night this was our favourite, we felt we could have eaten more of it, it was that creamy, hearty and warming. The combination of aubergine, and potatoes, and tomatoes worked well and made for a classic Greek dish with a veggie twist. 

It also went well with the Greek Salad. A complete summer main course. 

We washed down our mains with a delicious Spanish White Wine: a Marques de Luna macebo. Amantia has a good wine list and also serves cocktails and Sangria. 

As Ruth and I border on hungryly greedy (or just nosey or easily tempted)  types when it comes to food and the fact that Tiramisu was on the menu we felt we had to try a desert. 

Ruth chose one of her favourites the Churos Con Chocolate  

 
Which she exclaimed was beautiful and one of the best she’d had. I tried a mouthful and it indeed was decadently a top pudding. 

Of course onto my Tiramisu test. 

One of my test dishes Is the above pudding. I’ve had it all over Italy and one in particular in Verona on our honeymoon I remember with salivating affection ( the restaurant had won the world tiramisu award, yes there is such a thing! ). 

Yes, it true I wasn’t disappointed. 

   
 
It looked stunning for a start and had the right quantity of coffee flavour and certainly ‘picked me up’. It was very cool, dreamy and light. It had a classic image and was nicely layered. Delicious, it passed the test and was one of the best I’d tried in Birmingham. 

We also enjoyed an after dinner Liquor    and two double espressos. 

   
 
The Vegetarian dishes at Amantia are excellent. I highly recommend it for veggies in Birmingham.

 I would like to see more in particular in the tapas section of the menu for Vegetarians (tapas and summer go well together) how about a veggie paella? On talking to Marta I know they are rolling out a Vegan menu at some point and are working on new veggie dishes which will be introduced dependent on seasonality of the ingredients. 

Amantia though has many strengths, it’s in a good location just off New Street and has a warming and cooling (at the same time) kind of atmosphere. 

The service is charming and aims to please. It’s friendly and demonstrates that it cares. 

Amantia is a good Authentic place for a lunch whilst shopping in Brum or for a delicious evening meal With a group or  with a partner. It ticks all the foodie boxes. 

Maybe some live music would be nice, some Spanish guitar or flamenco or a pianist would help fill the space. That’s Always good for atmosphere (Maybe live music nights). 

I liked Amantia, it’s a gem in the city and the type of authentic mid price restaurant that Birmingham needs more of. Good Solid cooking without the gimmicks, independent and with a good heart. 

And as Feargal Sharkey sang in 1985 that’s hard to find. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Thanks to Amantia (Marta and Silvia) for the invite to the restaurant. Our food was complimentary, though we paid for our drinks in full. My review is honest and has my own opinions as always. 

http://www.amantiarestaurant.co.uk/

Amantia, 9 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS. 

0121 643 3647. 

  

Amantia do an after work social from 4-7pm with a free Pintxo with your drink and £2 for all cocktails weekdays. 

It also has a children’s menu for £6.25. For a main, desert and a drink. 

  
Facebook: Amantia restaurant

Twitter: @RestAmantia

  


New Meat free Monday’s at The Church and Peel and Stone Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. 


  

From Monday 1st June Soul Food Kitchen have launched their very own Meat Free Monday. 

 Across both Soul Food Project sites The Church in the Jewellery Quarter and Peel and Stone there will be special offers on a selection of our Vegetarian and Vegan food offerings!

At The Church they’re offering 50% off all vegetarian and vegan main meals (excluding the Shia NoBeouf)

At Peel and Stone bakery you will get a free selected cake with any selected vegetarian or vegan sandwich. 

The bakery will also put emphasis on using less meat on a Monday in general too.

Showcasing how great food is without relying on the meat!

For details keep an eye on both Twitter and facebook accounts and websites. 

I’m sure to making a journey down to them soon to check them out. 

  
Blueberry & Goats Cheese Salad available at The Church.

Photography by Jack Adams.

http://www.churchjq.co.uk/

http://www.peelandstone.co.uk/

https://mobile.twitter.com/churchjq

https://mobile.twitter.com/peelandstone

For details on Meat Free Monday see below: 

https://mobile.twitter.com/meatfreemonday

http://www.meatfreemondays.com/recipes/

The Church, 22 Great Hampton Street, JQ, Birmingham, B18 6AQ. 

Peel and Stone, 33 Water Street, Birmingham B3 1HL. 

#VeggieFoodie guide to Vegan food in Birmingham: Veggie Foodie and Stay.com


In February I was asked by Stay.com (a travel app and travel website) to be a trusted traveller on the recommendation of Birgit Kehrer of ChangeKitchen CIC (award winning vegetarian and vegan catering) Thank you Birgit!

The idea being that I would recommend eight places to eat for Vegans in Birmingham. A personal choice at the time and eight’s not that many in light of a growing vegan foodie scene in the city. 

This got me thinking that of course there are a lot more than eight, and many places cater for vegans in many different ways from specialised shops, street food to vegetarian restaurants and restaurants with Vegan menus. Though I’m not a vegan myself, I find it frustrating in many restaurants that a vegan diet seems to be ignored or fobbed off as something they dong have to worry about. As a vegetarian some restaurants in Birmingham alas don’t understand a veggie diet never mind a vegan one and that’s some very high profile independent ones too not just the chains. 

Though I’m not one for lists on blogs, I appreciate  that as a vegan and indeed a vegetarian, recommendations can be helpful particularly for s travellers, or someone who has recently moved into the city. 

Hence the extra places that I’m going to mention. 

To begin my list for Stay.com. See below. 

http://www.stay.com/birmingham/guides/509858-e4ce5aa4/vegan-friendly-birmingham/

Includes in no particular order 

The Warehouse Cafe – A vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Digbeth area

Veg Out Cafe- All day vegetarian cafe restaurant in Kings Heath area. 

Bistro 1847- vegetarian restaurant in Birmingham City  Centre 

Cafe Soya- A Vietnamese and Chinese cafe/restaurant in Birmingham City Centre 

Raja Monkey: Indian Street Food cafe restaurant in Hall Green area. 

Jyoti: Indian vegetarian restaurant/ sweet shop in Hall Green 

Blue Ginger: Singaporean Malaysian cuisine in Kings Heath with a dedicated vegan night every Monday. Plus good vegan options on the menu. 

Loco Lounge: part of the Lounges group based in Kings Heath but with branches around the city including Harborne. Dedicated vegan menu every day. 

So I apologise if your favourites are not mentioned on my initial recommendations. 

My extended choices include again in no particular order: 

Bodega Bar and Cantina: based in the city centre, Mexican, Burrito’s, street food, tacos plus a dedicated every day Vegan menu. Keep an eye on my blog for a review soon. 

Mr Singh: Vegetarian and vegan pizzas in Handsworth are of the city. 

Deepalis: Indian Vegetarian restaurant in The Jewellery Quarter. 

100% Vegan Shop: based in the Warehouse Cafe building but selling 100% vegan food, snacks, health products, whole foods. Based in Digbeth. 

The Vegan Grindhouse: 100% vegan streetfood, burgers, plant based, fab food. See them at various events round the city and Midlands. 

Blue Piano: Sister Venus of Blue Ginger based in Edgbaston. 

Boston Tea Party: Cafe and restaurant, based in city centre, and Harborne. Serving breakfasts, cakes, sandwiches etc including vegan options. 

Cherry Reds cafe Bar: two branches one in city centre and one in Kings Heath. Vegan breakfasts, cakes, and burgers. 

ChangeKitchen CIC: vegetarian and vegan catering. 

Byzantium: tapas in Kings Heath, vegan options. 

Cosy Club: soon to be open in City Centre. Has a vegan menu. 

Barebones Pizza: streetfood trader with a vegan pizza on the menu. See them around the city. 

Tall Poppy Foods: A vegan cake and food company, dairy free and animal by product free. Wraps, pastries, sandwiches, cupcakes and brownies. 

KusKus Foods: vegetarian and vegan street food inspired by the Middle East, Whole organic home made food. See them at Moseley Farmers market for example. Think tagines, falafels. 

Plus many other Indian Restsurants will cater for a vegan diet on request. 

Plus Pizza Express have a vegan pizza. Branches at Brindley Place, Bullring and on Corporation Street. 

Pret A Manger have vegan options and sandwiches. Branches throughout the city. 

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has other recommendations for great vegan food in Birmingham or elsewhere. Whether independent or chain. 

For menus set links below: 

http://www.thewarehousecafe.com/

http://www.bluegingerrestaurant.co.uk/Home.html

http://www.jyotis.co.uk/

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

http://www.cafesoya.co.uk/

http://by1847.com/

http://thelounges.co.uk/lounges/loco-lounge/

http://vegoutcafe.co.uk/

http://www.byzantiumtapas.co.uk/

http://www.changekitchen.co.uk/

http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk/

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/?m=1

http://www.100percentvegan.co.uk/

http://www.thebluepiano.co.uk/

http://mrsinghspizza.co.uk/

http://www.deepalisrestaurant.co.uk/

http://bodegacantina.co.uk/

http://www.tallpoppyfoods.co.uk/





Photo courtesy of Stay.com

Stay.com Is a travel app and travel website for city trips all over the world. They were founded in Norway in 2009. 

The guide is based upon creating your own information, to share guides with friends via Facebook, Twitter. Ask for tips from friends via Facebook. Personalise your guide. 

Stay.com has over 150 destinations and has maps that work offline( so no roaming costs) 

Facebook.com/stay.com

Twitter.com/staydot.com

http://www.stay.com/

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊