Colmore Food Festival 2018

Full Disclosure: On Wednesday 20th June I attended the launch event for colmore food festival at purecraft bar & Kitchen – Food & Drink was complimentary (I Bought a round anyway). However, this doesn’t affect the below…

 

It seemed fitting to return properly with this post. The Colmore Food Festival is one of the highlights of viv and I’s year on the birmingham food scene.

Bringing the cream of the Colmore BID‘s bars, restaurants and cafes in a showcase over a Friday (For workers) and Saturday (For relaxers).

— (If you want to skip my ramblings and get on with the food bit, skip past this and head to Day 1) —

Colmore Row & Colmore BID

As usual, Viv and I attended both days. We both work in the Colmore BID (same company no less). It’s a short walk from one end of Colmore Row to the other. It’s a shame that the Row has lost some of its previous grandeur over the decades. The ugly lump of Snow Hill Station always saddens me a little. It’s a hump of brown bricks with little to no character, the opposite to its sister station Moor Street. Happily, a little further along, the restoration of The Grand Hotel to its former glory is in the final stages. A few more steps along, passing the pit which was Madin’s NatWest tower, we reach Victoria Square.

I doubt there is any place in Birmingham that goes through so many re-inventions over the year as Victoria Square. Sandwiched between the Town Hall and the Council House, it’s an intrinsic part of Birmingham with The Floozie (potted into her former jacuzzi), the statue of Queen Victoria and those odd lions.  I dearly miss Iron Man, currently replaced for ogling by a hereto undiscovered cobbled road revealed as part of the Metro works. Ever changing Victoria Square was the centrepiece of the Commonwealth Games handover and there’s always something going on albeit a protest, a stage, a graduation or even a food festival (yes, I’ll finally get onto it now!).

Colmore Food Festival

So onto Colmore Food Festival; I’ve already written about it in the previous 4 years as well as attending prior to starting the blog but I’ll cover the history a little if you’ve not read those.

Colmore BID, who run the food festival, is one of the city’s numerous BID’s (11 and counting). Their purpose (via a small levy on businesses in their area) is to run projects, services and initiatives in their defined area to improve and promote their district. Working in the BID has given me a chance to see the numerous improvements they have conducted over their last 10 years. They include Church Street Square, a shared space housing a bee hotel, and numerous street team members caring for and keeping the district safe.

Colmore BID’s flagship event is The Colmore Food Festival,  a 2 day event celebrating the diverse range of cuisine available from simple pub grub to Michelin starred dishes. All dishes are capped at £4 (drinks vary) and it’s held on Fridays and Saturday.

Day 1

For Viv and I, Day 1 was a lunchtime only visit as we had a busy evening. We still did our best to fit in as much as possible and started off with a couple of Festival newbies, Adams and Wayland’s Yard.

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We opted for both dishes from Adam’s (we usually share). The dishes were a Crab Satay with coriander and ginger, and a Mango, Thai Green Curry & Coconut concoction. The Crab Satay, was a small, but well formed dish. It was fragrant with crab catching the breeze and was a delight, although I’d have been happy with twice the amount. Alas a £4 price point does have its restrictions.

The Mango, Thai Green Curry & Coconut was a suprise; with those ingredients I was expecting more of a savoury dish. This was more of a rice pudding style dessert. The mango was refreshing, the coconut gave an added depth to the flavour, however, the Thai Green Curry was a tad on the mild side. I was expecting a punch of lemongrass, a slice of lime and the spice of chilli and ginger. This seemed lost in the sweetness of the coconut and mango. A shame as all other elements had come together with a finesse expected of Adams.

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Our next stop was Wayland’s Yard, a new favourite of mine on the Birmingham food scene, taking over an old printing shop on Bull Street. It’s the second shop to open with the first store open in Worcester. Hopefully more on the way soon! We had an Eggy Crumpet (their house special) and an Iced Tea to salve ourselves in the heat.

The Eggy Crumpet was delicious when I found it! A small hedge had appeared in the box burying the crumpet but that was soon dispatched with. The only other negative for presentation was that it had been served in a box with knife and fork to slice. The box was quite deep and hard to hold and cut whilst walking around. Happily, the plastic knife supplied was on the sharp side so I made swift work using careful angles to maintain cutting power. Under the hedgerow, an abundance of Chilli Jam was present adding heat to the dish. Eggy crumpets are a favourite treat of Viv and I and it’s a dish I make often. This one was a solid dish too and I look forward to having it again.

The Iced Tea came sealed with a wedge of lime. It was much appreciated in the heat and disappeared quickly between us.

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The final stop for Day 1 was to grab some treats for the afternoon back in the office from Hindleys Bakery. We picked up four small treats split between the two of us. I chose the Chocolate BrownieApple & Almond Cake, whereas Viv selected a Viennese Whirl Pineapple Cream.

My Chocolate Brownie was rich but crumbly rather than soft; to be expected in the heat. The Apple & Almond Cake had retained its wetness and was a delicious little morsel. I didn’t get many more notes other than that both were finished off with gusto.

Viv reported that the Viennese Whirl and Pineapple Cream were yummy, although she had forgotten how sugary sweet the pineapple cream was!

It was also great to have a quick catch up with some of the other bloggers in attendance (Bite Your Brum, Hey it’s Fay, and City Fever) also enjoying the food on offer.

Day 2

We arrived for Day 2 a little later into the Saturday. The World Cup Semi-Final between England and Croatia was on in the afternoon and as neither of us are great sport fans, we’d assumed the crowds would lessen a little as those more enamoured with the game filtered off to various venues around the city.

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First stop was to the other Michelin Starred attendee, Purnell’s. Their main was a Daube of Pork served in a rich jus, with caramelised apple puree, crispy shallots and watercress. The daube of pork fell apart at the touch of the fork and was well seasoned. The crispy shallots reminded me a little of Rice Krispies but added texture to the dish. For dessert it was Mr Purnell’s Soft Scoop Cone. A waffle cone filled with both strawberry cream and violet ice cream, sprinkled with hundreds and thousands. On first lick, I was taken back to the Parma Violets of my youth. The rich violet ice cream was the perfect anecdote to the stifling heat of the mid afternoon sun.

Drinkwise, Viv went for a Thyme for Pimms Cocktail from Gingers Bar at Purnell’s Bistro whilst I popped over to Purecraft Bar for a half of one of my all time favourite beers, Longhorn IPA. We then caught up with a few of our blogger friends (Caramel Latte Kiss and Brumderland) whilst watching some of the cooking demos and live music, including a colourful rendition of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name Of’.

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We were lucky enough to bag a table under the covered seating area, a rare treat at the Food Festival. We were joined by Warwick & Jo, and the aforementioned Caramel Latte Kiss and Brumderland.

Whilst Viv settled down, I went to grab our next dish from Jailbird which has taken over from Nosh & Quaff . We had the Wings with Leeks and Spinach Risotto. The wings were a very generous portion, with three wings on a bed of grilled leeks. The chicken was well cooked, juicy and tender and well worth the £4 spend. Viv tackled the majority of the Spinach Risotto, but what I ate was delicious, with salty crumbly feta cutting through the richness of the spinach.

I grabbed another half of beer, this time a Blue Moon from the Square Peg. Viv went for a Chase Grapefruit Gin & Tonic from Primitivo, which was sharp yet refreshing.

Our final dish of the day was really saving the best until last, from OpusPan Fried Fillet of Hake with Fennel Pasta Salad. The Hake was cooked beautifully and flaked with a brush from the fork. The sweet, perfumy flavour to the fennel pasta made a great combination on a summer’s day. Hats off to Ben Ternent and the team; it was a triumphant flourish to the weekend’s fun.

We learnt afterwards that Opus has donated 50p for every dish sold at the Colmore Food Festival to SIFA Fireside. If you’ve not heard of SIFA, they provide food, clothing and shower facilities for Birmingham’s vulnerably housed and homeless adults. It’s a fantastic charity and they need all the donations and help they can get (especially, currently, underpants). If you are interested in helping or donating, find their link below:

https://www.sifafireside.co.uk/

It’s great to see movement towards sustainability also, with recycling on point and a significant lack of plastic straws all around. The only thing I’d like to see in 2019  would be wooden rather than plastic cutlery. As a popular supermarket used to say ‘Every Little Helps!’

All in all, it was another fantastic year, and I hope Colmore BID heads into chapter 3 of it’s life in March, and I cant wait until the 2019 Colmore Food Festival.

All dishes and drink were paid for by myself and Viv.

You can read previous years’ posts hereherehere and here.

When:  Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July 2018

Where: Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre

So… …I’m Back…

Hello All! It’s been a while…

To paraphrase a hoary old Mark Twain mis-quotation. The reports of my blog’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Apologies it’s been so long. It was meant to be a winter break, which turned into a winter, spring & summer break. I thought I’d give a brief explanation of why before I get back into the regular posts.

Why?

First off, I felt my posts were getting a bit samey and repetitive, and that’s not fun. Not fun for you to read or for me to write. The original intention of the blog was to champion local independent food in Birmingham and further afield but I felt I had lost my way. I wrote a lot more frequent, but shorter posts. It’s a disservice to both myself and you for me to write when it’s not working, so I thought a break would clear my head, allow me to breathe a little and try and recapture that creative spark.

Secondly, Geeky Brummie has taken up more time than I thought it would need. It’s grown from a weekly radio show, to add a podcast, a website and a YouTube channel. It’s been fantastic to watch it grow and the team, and thank you to all who, watch, read or listen to anything we do. As we all work or study full time, you can imagine to keep the consistency of quality we strive for, it needs attention. I had to make a hard choice on what to dedicate my available time to. I felt Geeky Brummie required more time but now things are moving along a little smoother, I can give some time back to blogging.

Thirdly, my amazing and supporting wife, Viv, and I are moving. After several years in the beating heart of Birmingham City Centre, we’re to move out a little to the suburbs. Viv and I are still in the middle of getting things sorted and haven’t found a place yet. So as a warning, posts may be sporadic for the short term!

Fourthly, in my absence, there’s been a lot of dispute and toxicity, on which I decline to comment on. I’ve kept myself mostly out of it and, to be quite frank, I want nothing to do with it all. I thought it better for me to wait until it had blown over before popping my head back over the parapet.

So what’s the plan going forward?

The plan is for less frequent but longer form blog posts. For now, expect probably one or two a month, the focus being on independent food and drink. I might throw in some culture too.

Where I receive an invitation or a ‘free’ meal as some describe, this will always be flagged as an ‘Experience’ in the title. It would be unkind for me to pretend this would not be different to a regular visit, or hide it in microscopic text. Therefore, this gives you the choice to read it or not. I’ll leave that up to you.

So I’m happy and raring to go again! Quite happily, there’s been a raft of new eateries in Birmingham for me to sink my teeth into! I hope you’ll join me again for the ride, and enjoy a newer look to Brummie Gourmand.

Anyway, my first ‘proper’ post back will be one of my favourite events of the year. Colmore Food Festival, so keep an eye out for that.

Otherwise, for now, I’ll leave you with a taster image from one of the days…

Review: #WifeyWrites – A lot of CocknBull in Stourbridge

You know it’s big news when Stourbridge gets its first dirty burger eatery.

I grew up in Stourbridge, my parents owned Mayson Chinese Restaurant for the best part of 25 years so I was raised in the catering & service industry. I started working at the restaurant when I was 16, like my older brothers before me, and it taught us all a lot about the industry.

Back then, the nearest Stourbridge had to quality burgers was McDonalds. Today, the High Street is full of chain coffee places, Pizza Express, Wetherspoons and the odd independent eatery smattered between.

Which brings us onto the Cock’n’Bull. This is their first eatery, with the  second due to be in Glasgow. When I found out they were opening in Stourbridge only a few months ago, I thought I would check out the place.  My parents still live near Stourbridge and as I was having a catch up with my college friend Sarah, it gave me the perfect excuse!

We turned up early evening Friday and it was already packed. We hadn’t booked ahead but were told there would be a short wait and if we wanted to get a drink at the bar, they would let us know when a table was available. No sooner had we ordered our drinks and perused the menu, printed on butcher paper, a table was available.

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There’s a good choice of sharers and mains, it was almost too much.  The foodie in me just wanted to order a bit of everything but knowing how it was likely to turnout out (i.e. significant left over food!), we went for burgers with a couple of sides to share.

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My choice was the Cheese & Bacon Filthy Burger, which consisted of 2 free range Herefordshire Beef patties with Monterey Jack cheese and streaky bacon housed in a brioche bun. The burger was cooked perfect for me, with the saltiness of the bacon counterbalancing the sweetness of the brioche. I don’t often finish burgers but I managed to wolf this down well, which is a good sign that I really liked it!

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Sarah went for the Cockadoodle burger, free range buttermilk chicken coated & seasoned in their own recipe crumb with mayo and lettuce. Classic & simple, the coating was crispy, light and slightly salty.  She found the brioche bun quite filling, much preferring the chicken itself.

We skipped the fries, something I don’t normally do,  and went for sides of onion rings and Asian slaw.  The onion rings were done in tempura & black sesame seed batter, which was light if slightly greasy.  The Asian slaw was quite heavy on the red onion but tasty nonetheless.

For me, this is good news for Stourbridge, to get a new and different experience.  I found the staff friendly and attentive.  The next visit will most probably be with Ryan, as he’s already had a mooch at the menu and wants to try all of it.

 

When: 24/11/2017

Where:  Cock’n’Bull, 109 High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1EE

Who: Cock’n’Bull

 

News – New cook book is launching to support refugees around the world

I love food, not so much cooking, but if I do. I usually have a cookbook to hand, and this one supports a charitable cause so what more could I want?

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“This Cookbook Belongs To Us”, compiled by Bearwood and Kings Heath Action for Refugees, brings you stories of food – of making, sharing and enjoying – to show the importance of welcome, friendship, tolerance and love for refugees in our community. The book is dedicated to all the people who call Birmingham and Smethwick home, and to those fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in new ones.

Birmingham and Smethwick have welcomed those escaping conflict and persecution since the early 19th Century, offering sanctuary to individuals and families. Fostering a culture of welcome and extending a hand of friendship to those forced to flee their homes, where it is most deeply needed. The region is home to individuals and families from Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central America.

This Cookbook Belongs To Us is a collection of recipes; from Birmingham to Damascus, each with a different and personal story behind it. It is for everyday home cooking but can also be used to find inspiration for those special occasions – rustle up a quick post-school/work dinner with Mujadarah, Arabian Buttered Eggs for a lazy Sunday brunch, creating “The Best Lamb in Ethiopia” for a dinner party with friends, or baking up some delicious Syrian Toffee Apple Cake for a special birthday treat or just plain old elevenses (any day!).

Food plays a vital and powerful role in migration and in welcoming new communities. The familiar smells and tastes of a favourite dish providing comforting replenishment – a reminder of cultural ties to home but also a potent way of connecting with new and undiscovered places and in constructing new identities.

The sharing of new tastes, ingredients and techniques cannot be seen more clearly than in Birmingham and the Black Country. They have diverse, multi-cultural neighbourhoods with many different communities and with a wealth of ingredients and cuisines available locally in supermarkets and restaurants: from fine dining (Birmingham has no less than five Michelin starred restaurants) to street food and cafés celebrating cuisines from South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and beyond.

The book can be pre-ordered online now:

http://actionforrefugees.bigcartel.com/product/this-cookbook-belongs-to-us,

the book will be available to buy from 25 November from a range of stockist across Birmingham and the Black Country and will be sold at craft fairs in time for Christmas. The pre-order cost is £10 (£12.50 afterwards) with all profits going towards the Aegean Solidarity Network and the vital projects they support.

The official Kings Health launch will take place at ENKI gift shop, (Kings Court, B14 7JZ) on the 5th December, 10am – 5pm where you can sample sweet treats from the book and festive refreshments; there’ll be some fun crafts for the children too. The Bearwood launch will be on the 2nd December, 7.30pm – late, at the charity Barn Dance at the Corks Club (Bearwood High Street, B66 4BT). Tickets can be purchased on the door (£5 / £2.50 concessions) for a night of fundraising, fun and Flying Scotsmen, featuring The Ceilidh Band. All money raised goes towards supporting refugees.

ACTION FOR REFUGEES

Bearwood and Kings Heath Action for Refugees were set up in September 2015 in response to the current crisis and are part of the Action for Refugees network. They are volunteer-led groups engaging local individuals, groups and schools in helping refugees and asylum seekers through fundraising, awareness raising and advocating for refugees locally. They fundraise for the Aegean Solidarity Network and proceeds of this book will support refugees in transit through the grassroots projects they fund.

For more information visit https://actionforrefugees.org

AEGEAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK

Aegean Solidarity Network Team UK (ASN), a UK registered charity, launched in September 2015 after witnessing first hand the desperate plight of refugees and people fleeing conflict arriving on the Greek island of Leros. The group is dedicated to supporting all people escaping life threatening conflict landing in Greece by supporting safe places to stay, safe spaces to talk, provisions of food, dry clothes, and education amongst many other needs.

The ASN team are passionate about what they do and have all spent time working “in the field” or have been involved in refugee support extensively since summer 2015.

Funded solely by donations, ASN seek out volunteer-run initiatives. They ensure that the projects they support are volunteer run so that donation has maximum positive impact in supporting refugees.

For more information visit the website https://asnteamuk.org/

News: The BEAST Comes to Birmingham

So, there’s something Bouncy and Beasty coming to the neighbourhood, so I thought I’d let you know.

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSE LANDS IN BIRMINGHAM

FRIDAY 8th – SUNDAY 17th DECEMBER, 10.00am – 11.00pm

#TheBouncyBeast

Tickets are now on-sale today for the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, The Beast returning to the UK at the NEC, Birmingham this December. At an unbelievable 272m long, The Beast is the ultimate nostalgic bouncy castle experience for adults. Unleash the beast this December and run, bounce and dance your way around the phenomenal 32 obstacles open to the public for eight days only – the perfect office, family or group party!

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Take on The Beast and enjoy a feast of Birmingham’s finest street food vendors washed down with craft beer, cocktails and prosecco on tap. Live DJs will combine with an extraordinary sound and lighting show that will complete the most ridiculously fun day out you could possibly imagine.

The Beast is the brainchild of UK promoters Nick Zuppar & Joe Arditti. Nick and Joe said:  “The Beast London was such an unbelievably huge success with 20,000 bouncy revellers through the doors, we’re bouncing with excitement to bring it to Birmingham for the first time ever for the ultimate party occasion this DecemberYou have to see it to believe it!”

Tickets are limited and expected to sell out very quickly so don’t miss out by booking yours today. The Beast sessions are ticketed and will run throughout the day in 30 minute blocks from 10.00am to 11.00pm, with morning sessions for kids, from Friday 8th December – Sunday 17th December. Spectator tickets are also available and will gain access to the food, drink and party areas which will be open throughout.

 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE: www.ilovetobounce.com and www.theticketfactory.com

Date: 8th-17th December 2017 (not 11th and 12th Dec)

Venue: NEC, Birmingham

Address: National Exhibition Centre, Halls, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT

Prices: £20.00 (+ £2 booking fee)

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in Birmingham you might want to know about.

News: Bitters n’ Twisted Venues Support Acorns Hospice with #AcornsFriday

 

I’ve been to a few of Bitters’n’Twisted‘s venues, and I’m happy to tell you about their wonderful partnership with Acorns Childrens Hospice from Friday…

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November 24th aka “Black Friday”, the day the internet and shopping centres go wild for pre-Christmas bargains.  Bitters ‘n Twisted wanted to do something a little different to crazy sales and mad purchasing and offer something back to our nominated charity, Acorn’s Children’s Hospice.

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Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues (Island Bar, The Victoria, The Jekyll & Hyde, Bodega (Birmingham, Worcester, Leicester and Derby), The Rose Villa Tavern, Marmalade and Buffalo & Rye will be donating £1 to Acorn’s for each cup of warm Winter Cider sold on Friday 24th November, renamed #AcornsFriday

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What’s more, from 1st Dec – 31st Dec for each cup of Brother’s Winter Cider sold in any of the venues, Bitters ‘n Twisted will donate 50p to Acorn’s – resulting in a big cheque being given to the charity in January.

 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about.

Experience: Lasan – Jewellery Quarter

Lasan is a well known name in the foodie scene of Birmingham. What many don’t seem to realise is how close it is to the City Centre.

Nestled just off St Paul’s Square, on James Street and a touch past the concrete collar which encircles the city, it feels like a million miles away from the bustle of the Bullring. There’s almost a country village feel to it…

A peek through the windows, feeling like Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’, is a different story; the inside has been transformed into a light, airy space which a few press shots can show you much better than my camera can.

This was (shamefully) my first visit to Lasan, the jewel in the crown of the Lasan Group, having been founded in 2002. After their refurbishment is a new ethos: ‘True to India’. They’ve handpicked a range of dishes from all around the sub continent to cover all tastes, whilst giving each dish a homely feel. There’s also a decent sized space to have pre or post dinner drinks, with an extended bar area that has views into the main dining room.

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My dining companions for the evening were the superlative Paul Fulford – food writer extraordinaire, and Alev Dervish, fellow MFDHA finalist and who blogs under Bella & Robot. Both were great company for an evening of food….and what a wonderful bit of food it was. After a Jaipur IPA from Thornbridge Brewery, it was time to settle down and choose from their Menu.

For starters I had Haleem on the recommendation from Mr Fulford.  A Hyderabadi mutton stew combination of slow-cooked pickled shallots, pearl barley, five varieties of lentils and crisp salt lamb, commonly found in Hyderabad and across the Middle East. This was a rich, hearty peppery dish perfect for a cold evening; the lentils, pearl barley and lamb slow cooked for multiple hours into a smooth experience.

Alev picked the Ananas Paneer as it suited her gluten free needs. This was a pineapple-infused paneer tikka, marinated in red bell pepper, garlic and onion seeds, with textures of sweet baby beetroot and pineapple chutney; it looked stunning.

For main I had a Punjabi Makhan Chicken, made from marinated chicken tikka slowly simmered in a creamy tomato kaju sauce, partnered with a plain naan. I have a real love for Chicken Tikka. There’s something about the seared meat cooked in a tandoor. When teamed with the velvety tomato and cashew sauce, it was a delight with a tangy hit, smoky meat and then the tinge of spices at the end of the palate. This is Chicken Tikka elevated to the next level. The naan, another tandoor classic, is the perfect compliment to the dish and was mainly tasked with mopping up that delicious sauce in between big bites of chicken.

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My final dish of the evening was their selection of sorbet, in this case, raspberry paired with fresh fruit and ‘meringue wings’. This was a great palate cleanser after the richness of the starter and main. I did look at their wider range of desserts but there wasn’t much room to squeeze more in but that will have to wait for another time.

It was time to saunter off into the crisp autumnal air for a walk home. Both belly and eyes, full and content. A return visit is on the cards with Wifey in tow, as I’ve been remiss to treat her to a good curry for a long while…

 

When: 07/11/2017

Where:  Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul’s Square Birmingham, B3 1SD

Who: LasanLasan Group, Paul Fulford, Bella & Robot

Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of Paul Fulford and Lasan who provided all food and drink. This provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

 

 

GUEST POST – #BRUMHOUR GOES FOR A SPOT OF AFTERNOON TEA AT ROFUTO

Last month, it was Wifey and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary so we flew over to Jersey for a few days to visit my brother-in-law and his family, and ate too much food (more on that soon!).

So when an invite popped up, in my stead, I sent the fantastic Social Media superstar, #BrumHour (aka Dave Massey) to enjoy an afternoon tea with Rofuto.

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Afternoon Tea at Rofuto has launched on Saturday afternoons from 12pm-4pm at Rofuto, providing a more relaxed approach than the dining experience already offered in the evenings. The modern Japanese influence can be felt throughout this new menu. A glass of Prosecco is our arrival drink and we are seated at high long tables. There’s much on the Afternoon Tea menu to distract.

Rofuto, at the top of Park Regis, provides a unique space in Birmingham, from its sleek eye-catching bar to the panoramic views across our lovely and surprisingly green city. However, I’m slightly afraid of heights so I’m not that willing to go near the windows. But I’m not here for the view. I’m here for food!

We begin with Coronation Chicken Bao Buns, a steam bread-like bun. It’s lighter than I was expecting and certainly a change from regular sandwiches.  Next is Smoked Pepper and Avocado Nigiri, with rice and then there is Salmon Uramaki (I don’t eat fish or seafood so I’m not able to pass comment on this).

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Tea

There’s a selection of teas to choose from including Lapsang Souchong, Sencha Green Tea, Rooibos and Earl Grey.

Next, we move onto sweet starting with a lovely mini Salted Chocolate Caramel Gateaux, a Rose Lychee Macaroon which I ate with one bite. I’m not 100% convinced I’m delicate enough for this menu! Saying that, next I tried a White Chocolate Peanut Butter Lolly which was great. There was a great Yuzu Cheesecake with Blackberry and a Mango and Coconut Sesame Roll.

We are then treated to Scones, and the debate about jam first or cream first begins, so I have on with jam first (the Cornish method and then cream on top.) and the second one I have is cream first (the Devonshire method). There’s also some Lemongrass Curd to choose from, which tasted great.

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Menu

I really enjoyed the food and think that Afternoon Tea at Rofuto is a great alternative to those looking for something different with a touch of class. One of our fellow bloggers who was with us has specific diet requirements, and it was great to see they created a specific set of items to include this.  It shows they are flexible, with some notice, to create a tailored menu.

Visit Rofuto for Afternoon tea on Saturday afternoons from 12pm-4pm, the session lasts 2 hours including free flowing Prosecco. £25pp.

Find out more here: http://rofuto.co.uk/afternoon-tea/


 

About #BrumHour  / Dave Massey

Dave Massey created #BrumHour in 2013 with an aim of getting businesses and individuals to network with Birmingham. Join #BrumHour Sundays at 8pm on Twitter.

 

When: 27 October 2017

Where: Rofuto160 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT

Who: Rofuto, #BrumHour, East Village Agency

Disclaimer: For this visit, Dave was a guest of Rofuto and East Village who provided all food and drink. As with all posts on this site, this blog was Dave’s personal, unaltered, opinion. Brummie Gourmand strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

 

News: Unda’s Saturday Kitchen arrives at Bar Opus

 

I’m a big fan of Bar Opus, it’s location being a few steps away from the office and I’ve been a fair few times, so I was happy to hear about their newest regular event:

Next Saturday (11th November)  will be the inaugural Unda’s Saturday Kitchen, where guests will be able to join in the fun and let your inner chef skills shine.

Chef Unda will show each participant how to cook and present 3 different dishes, of course while enjoying a complimentary Bellini.

 

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Unda’s Saturday Kitchen

Pull up a chair at our open kitchen, sip a Bellini and allow chef Unda to show you how to cook and present 3 different dishes professionally, then use your new found culinary skills to wow your friends at your next dinner party!
Bi-monthly from Saturday 11th November, £25pp, 11am-12pm
Bellini on arrival, 10% off lunch at Bar Opus.
*Introductory offer: £20pp for first class on Saturday 11th November*
Limited to 6 places per session.
You can book via Telephone on 0121 289 3939
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NOTE: This is not a sponsored post or endorsement, just news of something happening in the food scene in and around Birmingham you might want to know about.

GUEST POST – PHILIP ELLIS GOES TO SAN CARLO WITH GRANA PADANO

A few weeks ago, it was Wifey and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary so we popped over to Jersey for a few days to visit my brother-in-law and his family, and ate too much food (more on that soon!).

So when I had an invite to the renowned San Carlo, in my stead I sent the superlative Philip Ellis, freelance journalist extraordinaire to enjoy a bit of cheese and wine with Grana Padano

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To celebrate its 25th anniversary, San Carlo teamed up with Italian cheese producers Grana Padano to create a very special menu. I went along to the restaurant’s Temple Street location in Birmingham for my first ever taste of Grana Padano, along with three luxurious courses inspired by this decadent cheese.

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The event kicked off with a tasting of three separate vintages of Grana Padano. The 11 month is softer and less grainy than older vintages, with a creamy texture and mild, buttery flavour that makes it ideal for family dining. The 16 month is crumblier, and its stronger flavour makes it a popular choice for cooking. The Riserva, aged for a minimum of 20 months, is much more potent, with a deeper, nuttier flavour; the perfect addition to a cheeseboard.

We then moved onto lunch itself, where we sampled each dish from the menu invented with the aim of showcasing the strength and versatility of Grana Padano as an ingredient.

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The first course was Gnocco Croccante; large, crispy coated gnocchi, served in a thick, creamy Grana Padano sauce with shavings of fresh black truffle. The gnocchi was served with a fresh, light Pinot Grigio which cleared the palate rather than overpowering the flavours of the cheese.

Next came a rich, delicious and incredibly hearty winter risotto with mushrooms, served quite spectacularly in a gigantic wheel of Grana Padano; a genuine showstopper. This was paired with a pale rosé, which prevented the rice-based course from becoming too heavy.

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Third and finally, the cheesiest dish of them all – gnocchi in a gorgeous gorgonzola sauce, served in an edible Grana Padano basket with a glass of full-bodied red wine.

You might think that a three course meal where cheese is the star ingredient in each dish might be overwhelming, but the chefs at San Carlo have come up with three delicious creations which highlight the subtler flavours as well as the stronger ones. Even after the final course was served, guests still found themselves picking at the extra pieces of Grana Padano on offer!

 


 

About Philip Ellis

Philip is a WriterJournalist, and Broadcaster in the United Kingdom who mainly focuses on exploring inter-connectivity of social media, entertainment, politics, culture, technology and relationships. He has written for The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue and Style Birmingham. You can find more of his work at freelancephilip.co.uk

When: 26/10/2017

Where: San Carlo, Temple Street, B2 5BN

Who: San Carlo, Grana Padano, Philip Ellis

Disclaimer: For this visit, Phil was a guest of San Carlo and Grana Padano who provided all food and drink. As with all posts on this site, this blog was Phil’s personal, unaltered, opinion. Brummie Gourmand strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.