Birmingham Independent Food Fair is now in its second year, following on from #futurefoodies @ Hotel LaTour in 2013 (#futurefoodies was Wifey and I’s first foodie event in Birmingham and we were the first visitors to arrive!).
Created by the minds behind Dine Birmingham, Birmingham Independent Food Fair is a flagship event in Birmingham’s foodie scene, bringing together streetfood vendors, suppliers, independent stores and some of Birmingham’s best bars and restaurants.
This year, as per the previous year, the event was held at Millennium Point, it’s also two days long which means double the time for food!
Wifey and I popped along to see what was happening (settle in, this will be a long one!).
The sun was shining as we strolled along through Eastside Park to the food fair and got to see a glimpse of the goodies, with the outside stalls, before picking up our wristbands.
After picking up our two day bands, we had a quick survey of what was going on inside.
First up on the indoor tour, The Spice Kitchen which specialises in high quality hand-blended and homeground Indian Spices:
Next, Wrapchic, formerly located in North Western Arcade, now at the Bullring end of the Bullring Link by Debenhams. They provide fusion Indian/Mexican cuisine with Indian-style burritos:
Next stop, BAKE, purveyors of some of the most delicious cakes and treats in Birmingham. They’re a regular at Moseley Farmers Market and Brumyumyum. By the time we usually get to their stall, they’ve usually ran out as they sell out that quickly. This time I managed to snag their Chicken ‘n’ Waffles Bundt Cake, which had gone viral on Twitter, whilst Wifey picked up a New York Crumble Cake. We didn’t snack on them, instead saving them until we got home.
After that, it was on with the tour. Next stop, Springfield Kitchen, who make a wide range of chutneys and preserves.
Then, off to see the wonderful Pip’s Hot Sauce, Wifey and I’s perennial saucy favourite! Pip has been going since 2012 and we often see her around the city’s streetfood markets. You can also buy her amazing sauces online! We purchased an XXX Hot boozy BBQ for Wifey’s dad, had a nice catch up then it was time to wander around again.
Next, Kneal’s Chocolate, providers of luxury handmade chocolate. They have been making choccy treats since September 2011. We first sampled their wares the previous year, and we’ve seen them at Moseley and Sketts Markets . I’m also happy to report they won a Great Taste award this year too!
We chose 6 of their mini bars from a pick & mix selection for family and friends, which is a great way to sample their range.
Also doing choccy treats were Henley’s Chocolates, a Warwickshire based chocolatier running since 2012.
Time to go back outside to enjoy the glorious sunshine and a bit of Caribbean streetfood from Jamrock.
The smell of Jerk Chicken really set our bellies growling as we waited for our food.
We chose to share a Montego Bay Burger, a jerk chicken burger with salad and slaw served in a floury square bun.
The burger was a little spicy for Wifey but also gave a great taste; the meat was a touch on the dry side with the burger integrity being more of a jerk chicken sandwich. However, it didn’t last long whilst we chatted with Dave Massey from the famous #BrumHour, and Vicky & Dan from Brumderland.
To accompany the burger and chat, we had a selection of beverages from Cellar Door Drinks. Wifey had a Finbarra Craft Irish dry cider. I went for a 1/3rd of a pint of Rothammer Imperial Pils (the only keg in Europe) which weighed in at 9% ABV! A half of Freedom Four also helped things along.
Whilst we noshed and quaffed, there was a live acoustic set from Demi Mariner, a local musician.
With our first dish done and dusted, it was time for a look down the streetfood section in the glorious city sunshine.
Platinum Pancakes, a stalwart of the Brummie Streetfood scene.
Then Penang Laksa Co. another regular at BrumYumYum, who provide Malaysian noodle dishes.
Next, The Indian Rasoi, who are a newcomer to the Birmingham streetfood scene but have been at Two Tower‘s brewery nights (always great fun!)
Next along the row was Penang Island cafe based in Henley in Arden
We stopped a few further stalls along at Shake that Ting! as Wifey was getting thirsty in the heat. It’s quite a standout stall too!
We ordered a Snowberry smoothie with mixed berries and yoghurt.
To escape the heat, we went back inside and thought it was time to snack on a bit of Dim Sum from the team at Chung Ying Central. They were also celebrating a win the previous evening from Birmingham Future Faces for Venue of the Year (jointly with The Edgbaston).
We chose curried chicken rolls, vegetarian spring rolls and deep fried squid. There was seating in the ground floor atrium for us to enjoy our food.
Whilst eating, I snapped a few pics of the other traders around including the team from Independent Birmingham, Zapper (one of the sponsors), Food Birmingham card, and Greens Vegan Catering.
After finishing our moorish snacks, we headed upstairs for some more beverages, of the alcoholic kind.
Upstairs was the Loki Wine stand, based in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade. it has become one of the most lauded wine merchants since opening.
Alongside them was Bitters ‘n’ Twisted (previously reviewed here). Marmalade and The Jekyll & Hyde were sharing the old counter for The Giant Screen (a sad loss for Brum when it closed).
The Jekyll certainly had a good selection of gins on offer!
I chose a Death’s Door Gin and Fentiman’s Tonic whilst Wifey went for a Marmalade Senorita Cocktail.
There was a banner listing the venues around Birmingham, which is soon to expand with the opening of Buffalo & Rye next to Bodega on Bennetts Hill
After finishing our drinks, we headed outside to watch a Chef Demo hosted by the lovely Vicky Osgood of Brumderland and The Cookery Theatre Company.
The one we attended was the Patisserie with UCB demo delivered by Chef and lecturer Gary Goldsmith. It was entertaining and massively informative, with tips for mousse, reductions, silicon moulds and chocolate transfer sheets.
We also got a demonstration of what is garnish and what is part of a dish (hint, next pic is garnish!)
A bit of fun along the way with testing if the meringue had set sufficiently
With that, it was off home to rest our sore feet and prepare for round 2 tomorrow (as well as eat our treats from BAKE)! Though it sounds weird, the chicken and waffle bundt cake was outstanding and perfect with the maple syrup icing. The New York Crumb cake was great too!
Where: Birmingham Independent Food Fair 2015, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham
Who: Dine Birmingham, Bitters & Twisted, The Spice Kitchen, Wrapchic, BAKE, Pip’s Hot Sauce, Kneal’s Chocolate, Jamrock, Cellar Door Drinks, Shake that Ting!, Chung Ying Central, Marmalade,The Jekyll & Hyde, Brumderland, The Cookery Theatre Company, UCB and Gary Goldsmith
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