#WifeyWrites: Orientee Artisan Bakery & Cafe

Dale End probably isn’t the first place you would think of to open an Artisan Bakery, is it?  But Orientee is hoping to change opinions on that!

Bakery

After following them for a few months on Instagram, ooh-ing & aah-ing at their oh so lovely pics of  bread & pastries, I was pleased to see they finally had an official opening date of 17 September.

Last week, I popped along to their soft launch for foodbloggers / foodies. It’s just a few doors down from the Peaky Blinders bar, under the ramp part of Priory Square.

My lunch date was Geeky Brummie crew member and freelance writer @philipellis.

The moment you walk into Orientee, you are welcomed by friendly staff and the irresistible smell of freshly baked bread, both signs that this is a place where you can relax and feel at home.

And with the promise of authentic Chinese pastries (they sadly weren’t ready in time for the opening), I’ll be adding Orientee to my list of Birmingham cafes that are perfect to sit with a book, a cuppa and a treat.

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Having decided where to sit, menus were popped down and we had the chance to admire the simple chic interiors: hand painted wall scrolls, not too dis-similar to ones that hang in my parents’ home, placed against faux brickwork wallpaper.  I felt the need to go and touch it, after Phil asked it was actual open brickwork; got me fooled!

Food & Drink

Anyway onto the food and drink, which is probably why you’re reading this. They have a good selection of brunch dishes and hot drinks.  I ordered a flat white (my usual) and Sweetcorn Fritters, one of Orientee’s vegetarian options.

 

Whilst waiting for the food, we caught up on what we’d been up to during the week.

The food arrived and we tucked in.  My Sweetcorn Fritters were sweetcorn, courgette, red pepper and spring onion, chilli jam, crushed beetroot, served with a minted yoghurt and a poached egg.  The fritters themselves were soft, light and piping hot, the hit of the chilli jam just perfect for my palate; the yolk of the egg oozing out beautifully.

Phil’s choice was very pretty looking too. His thoughts?

I went for The Rejuvenator, a colourful, light and tasty mix of edamame, beetroot, avocado, feta and hummus, complete with a poached egg and freshly baked focaccia. Virtuous and extremely satisfying, washed down with a rich and earthy Matcha and Sea Salt Hot Chocolate.

There are options to add bacon, salmon and extra halloumi or make it vegan, by replacing the feta and egg with crushed beets and extra corn. 

Brunch

Phil thought it was the “perfect Sunday brunch spot, with options on the menu that will sort out any hangover, from the usual big breakfasts and Eggs Benedict to vitamin-rich vegetarian dishes. Or if you’re feeling in need of comfort, honey-glazed pork chops and fried rice.”

Orientee’s breakfast and brunch choices cater for all palates. Given the traffic running past on a regular basis, the calm interiors is enough to escape the High Street for awhile if you’re out shopping or even wanting somewhere quiet to work.

Upon leaving, one of the bakers popped out to say hello and told us about the different breads they make ranging from Russian Rye to Italian Foccacia. We were invited to take away samples of the breads to try at home, which I can confirm were delicious. A couple of colleagues at my office tried them, and Ryan and I had them for dinner later that evening with soup.

Return

The pastries weren’t quite ready during my first visit but I stopped by during my lunch break when they officially opened with #BrumHour.

I thought I’d try the latte this time while Dave had the peach oolong tea.  Their proper menu includes soft drinks, and there are separate breakfast and lunch menus. We also chose some sweet treats: me a Lemon & Poppy seed slice with cream cheese icing, and Dave a Lemon Cheesecake doughnut. He also went for the avocado on sourdough toast, which was very crunchy and he devoured it…..after his doughnut! My cake was light, not too sweet and moist.

You know I will be returning to try the rest of the menu…and the cakes.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Wifey Writes – Sakerol Spritz at Rofuto with #BrumHour

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to accompany Dave Massey aka #Brumhour to try a new summer cocktail at Rofuto in the Park Regis.

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already be aware Ryan has visited a few times to sample food and whisky. As I’m not a big fan of whisky so it was interesting to see how I would fare with this sake based cocktail.

Rofuto is based on the 16th floor of the Park Regis Hotel, at the Five Ways end of Broad Street.  It offers lovely views of the Birmingham’s skyline, which is best seen at glittering night rather than the many cranes and scaffolding during the day.

They have created a Japanese inspired twist on the classic summer drink Aperol Spritz with Sake, peach liqueur and yuzu juice.

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Whilst catching up with Dave, our mixologist got to work on the cocktail.  Sadly no pictures of the creative process but you can happily enjoy the video shot by Rofuto:

 

For someone who doesn’t like Sake, this was actually perfect for me because the peach liqueur and yuzu juice added a lovely sweetness.  I also liked the Vog prosecco that was used to make our drink.

The drink is on their current cocktail menu and available now.

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Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of BrumHour and Rofuto who provided the 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.

When: 05/08/2017

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel