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    Shortlisted for BFDHA 2016


    I’ve been shortlisted under the Food & Drink Blogger category at the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards!

    I was entirely surprised because I hadn’t realised I’d been nominated, but there’s always the warm fuzzy feelings when people recognise the blood, sweat and tears time and effort I’ve put into the blog.  I love all the interaction and generally nerding over food, but a side effect of the whole sarcastic irreverence is that I’m entirely incapable of knowing what to do with people being nice to me.  I know, I know, someone call the therapist.  But seriously, something that started because  I wanted to write about my food and drink adventures in the city has led me to some weird and wonderful adventures – and they say no one cares about what you had for dinner!

    Public voting is open until the 8th May and I would very much appreciate your vote – just head over to the BFDHA website and vote for me!


    Cafe News, News

    Peel & Stone’s Harborne trials

    12963794_1016768338370235_4963485007455706341_nNot content with being the best bakery in the JQ, Peel & Stone are soon to be opening up in Harborne and they’re holding a series of pop-up events at their JQ site to give us hungry folk of Birmingham an idea of what to expect, as well as meet the team.

    On Saturday 9th and 16th April from 10am – 2pm they’ll be hosting a takeaway brunch with menu options including the likes of The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich, N’duja Hash and Montreal Cinnamon & Maple French Toast, as well as tea and coffee.  And I hear there might also be roasted banana sorbet, which is surely breakfast dessert, something I think Birmingham is well on its way to making A Thing.

    They also doing two afternoon / early evening pop ups those days too.  On Saturday 9th April is the Hockley Ke-Bab which is a menu of slow roasted lamb, jerk chicken or spicy potatas bravas kebabs with a side of old bay seasoned sautéed potatoes from 4 – 8pm.  And then Saturday 16th April is Cafe Cubano, at which they will be selling The Cuban sandwich and Fancy Grilled Cheese. The Cuban is likely to be featured on their Harborne menu, because why on earth wouldn’t you?!

    If you want to check out stuff it’s on their website.  And when it opens, Peel & Stone Harborne will be located at the top end of the High St, near the roundabout (but far enough away from the swimming baths that you won’t feel guilty for indulging).


    Food and Restaurant News, News, Pop Ups and Streetfood, Round ups

    News round up

    Park Regis on Five Ways now open

    Well okay, it opened last week and so this is sort of old news, but given occupancy rates in the city (and how bloody difficult it is to find meeting rooms), I for one am excited about a new hotel in the city and this one sounds fancy.  It’s up on Five Ways and they spent £50 million on this bad boy, which has 253 bedrooms, the largest presidential suite and ‘Shakina’ Urban Dry Spa as well as two restaurants.  I’m totally tempted to book in for a night; I hear the views are fantastic.

    Rofuto opens this month

    Bar Visual new

    Due to open on the 26th April, up on the top floor of Park Regis is Rofuto; a concept by former Ivy head chef Des McDonald, which has panoramic views of the city, with an izakaya-style restaurant, serving a high quality modern Japanese menu.  There’s also the Kurabu Cocktail Lounge, which will serve fresh Sake from Takashimizu Brewery in Northern Japan, alongside Koshua aged Sake from Shiraki Brewery, unusual wines, a rather tasty sounding cocktail list and around ten Japanese whiskies from the likes of Nikka and Suntory.

    Also, Des McDonald, the guy behind the concept said some pretty nice things about the city: “I am delighted to be opening my first modern Japanese restaurant Rofuto, with my partners at Park Regis Birmingham. I love rooftop spaces, having opened four successful restaurants on the roof of Selfridges in London.  I fell in love with the unparalleled dramatic views from the 16th floor, Birmingham is a great, vibrant city and I’m excited to become part of it’s dynamic and diverse dining scene.”

    Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen is back for 2016

    Michelin starred ‘Yummie Brummie’ chef Glynn Purnell will be bringing his Friday Night Kitchen back to Villa Park on 7th October to raise money for Cure Leukaemia.

    GPFNKLogo[1]Award-winning presenter Suzanne Virdee and Heart West Midlands presenter Ed James will host the evening, with Glynn assisted on stage by Sam Bailey (X Factor winner? I don’t know, I don’t have a TV).  With on-stage guests discussing and cooking their favourite dishes with Glynn before the  audience tuck in – presumably not all to the same dish as I doubt they’d be batch cooking on stage.  There will also be a live band and DJs after an a raffle for one lucky person to win a meal for six, cooked at home by Glynn and his team – and they’ll clean the kitchen up before they leave!

    Tickets are now on sale for the fun-filled, live show-cooking event via

    Opus’ Source Dinners are back too

    If eating food isn’t enough, Birmingham food enthusiasts can now meet the suppliers Opus use, hear their stories, learn why sustainability is at the heart of everything they and Opus do – and have dinner showcasing the produce.

    Ann Tonks, director at Opus at Cornwall Street, said: “Ethical and sustainable sourcing really is at the heart of our menus. Not only does sourcing our produce from great British suppliers mean that we are supporting the local farming and fishing industries as well as reducing our carbon footprint, but we believe there is a direct link between ethical, quality sourcing and the astonishing flavours of the finished dish.”

    Source Dinners include a fish dinner with M&J Seafood on Friday 17th June, vegetarian dinner with Worcester Produce on Friday 19th August, champagne Dinner with Laurent Perrier on Friday 30th September and rare breed beef dinner – Friday 21st October.  Each tickets includes an aperitif, a five-course dinner and matching wines. To book, please call 0121 200 2323

    And Foodies Festival returns with Bake Off winner from 3-5th June

    LogoFoodies Festival returns to Cannon Hill Park for its second year, serving up a lip-smacking feast 3rd to 5th June.  As well as Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, local chefs will be sharing their insights, including; Richard Turner from Turners, Brad Carter from Carters of Moseley and Nathan Eades from Simpsons.  There will also be a Feel Good Foods theme at Foodies Festival this summer, as well as a Vintage Tea Room and a special focus on Brazilian street food this year to celebrate the Olympic host’s cuisine and plenty more.

    Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 0844 995 1111

    Competition, News

    Top Takeaway awards, Birmingham style!

    hungryhouse curry on the sofa

    Lets face it, sometimes you want to sit in your PJs and eat tasty food instead of having to face the world.  And much as I would love to work my way through all the fine takeaways of Birmingham, that would require a lot of effort – and probably require me to move house several times. 

    So thankfully the good folk at hungryhouse have done some number crunching which has resulted in the Top Takeaway awards.  Unlike some high school prom, this isn’t just a popularity contest; they’ve taken into consideration high Food Hygiene Rating scores as well as fab food and exceptional service.  From more than 10,000 restaurants on hungryhouse, only 500 are awarded with ‘Top Takeaway’ status, and luckily for the good people of Birmingham, loads of our takeaways have been awarded this year.

    top takeawayOver 30 takeaways in and around Birmingham were awarded with a hungryhouse Top Takeaway award this year and they’re all available on a dedicated Birmingham section on the hungryhouse website, split them into cuisines to make all our lives easier.  Along with profiles of the top ranking takeaways and info in their most popular dish there are links to their menus so you can find out what all the fuss is about.  There’s also a search box for users to find Top Takeaways in their area, or if you’re at a friends and in need of curry.

    The top picks of Top Takeaways in Birmingham are…

    HCF Chinese Takeaway (Chinese)
    55 Wheatsheaf Road, B691SL

    Omar Khayam (Indian) – Have also been ranked No.8 in the overall UK list of Top Takeaways
    711 Bristol Road South, B312JT

    Kung Fu Kitchen (Chinese)
    66 Oldbury Road, B650JS

    Saporito (Pizza, fast food)
    68 Windmill Hill, B632BZ

    Fox Hollies Fish Bar (Fish and chips)
    299 Fox Hollies Road, B277PS

    And what better way to celebrate than with some free food?  The good folk at hungryhouse have given me five £10 hungryhouse vouchers to give to some lucky readers.  Entering is pretty simple, just check the rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Congratulations to Sarah L, Kim N, Zoey P, Keith H and Martin F for winning the vouchers!

    Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with hungryhouse. And as such I saved you the nightmare that is seeing me in my PJs shovelling curry into my face, because no one needs to see that.

    Competition, News

    Win tickets to Masterchef winner Tim Anderson’s ‘Taste Japan’ evening

    Paul Winch-Furness / PhotographerWant to win a pair of tickets to 201 1 MasterChef winner Tim Anderson’s ‘Taste Japan’ evening at The Balcony in Selfridges Birmingham?

    Taking place on Wednesday 2nd March from 7pm, the event promises to serve up traditional Japanese dishes with a modern twist, with influences from Tim’s personal history of worldwide culinary tourism and a keen interest in food science.  Guests will be served a selection of small plates, a ramen, a dessert, and matching drinks.  Sample dishes look pretty interesting and include Kumamato ramen (noodles in nose-to-tail pork broth with garlic chips, burnt garlic oil, pork belly, tea-pickled egg, and pickled mustard greens) and banana miso ice cream with black sugar syrup, kinako and castella.

    Alice Weryk, general manager at Searcys at The Balcony, comments: “We’re thrilled to welcome Tim for what we’re sure will be an outstanding event. As the youngest ever winner, Tim is well known for his excellent performance on MasterChef, and we can’t wait to see what he cooks up on the night. For fans of Japanese cuisine, the ‘Taste Japan’ evening promises to be an unforgettable experience…”

    Tim Anderson said: “I’m excited to be hosting this event at Selfridges in Birmingham – I love ramen & I want everyone to taste how good it can be, plus show off some of my favourite dishes from the book. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen there!”

    To win a pair of tickets, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.  Of course, if you want to buy some tickets yourselves, they’re available here.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Food and Restaurant News, News

    Le Bistrot Pierre to spring into Birmingham

    Birmingham Architectural Plans Ext - credit gillespie yunnie architects

    Architectural plan of what Le Bistrot Pierre in Brum will look like (not mine, I can’t draw)

    I mentioned this on one of the umpteen Coming Soon posts last year, but looks like Le Bistrot Pierre will be opening in Birmingham in Spring 2016.

    The Independent French restaurant group are set to open in a Grade II listed building in Gas Street, which has been empty for several years.  Le Bistrot Pierre’s co-owners have big plans to refurbish the historic building to bring it back to its former glory, no doubt be helped by a £9.8 million investment from private equity firm Livingbridge, which has accelerated the group’s expansion plans across the UK.

    Rob Beacham, co-owner of Bistrot Pierre said “Having acquired the premises in a prime location on Birmingham’s canals about three years ago, we always knew we wanted to open in the city.”

    “This opening is particularly exciting as it’s been a long process to secure planning approval and it’s such a unique premises to be developing.  We have been working closely with our architects to make best use of the stunning building, which will have original features throughout, and will give diners a real sense of its heritage which is all part of the experience we want to create.”

    The privately-owned restaurant group currently has 14 bistrots across the UK including in nearby Leicester and Leamington Spa.


    Birmingham Food Drive this Saturday

    The team behind the Birmingham Food Drive are asking for donation and volunteers for their event this Saturday.

    The Birmingham Food Drive is a project coordinating different organisations, including Amirah Foundation, to prepare, pack and distribute food, blankets, toiletries and warm clothes to those in need in Birmingham city centre.  On Saturday 9th January 2016 at Carrs Lane Church from midday, the team will be serving hot food (and cold food to take away) to the most vulnerable and needy in Birmingham.  They’re also hoping to provide services, including advice, free haircuts on the day, free health advice and have some light music and arts. 

    They’re looking for is volunteers in the run up and during the food drive, particularly those with cars for transporting items on the day, as well as items to donate.

    Donations they’re after…

    • Snacks, pre-packed and cold foods (biscuits, cereal bars, noodles, long life milk, crisps, pull top canned food, boxed drinks and juices,(energy drinks too) dried fruit, bottled water,  multivitamin supplements (sealed only) tea, sugar and coffee, squash.
    • Disposable food & drink containers and cups
    • Fold-away and/or paste tables
    • Insulated drink dispensers for hot drinks or soup
    • Transport vehicles
    • Winter wear (Jackets, hoodies, jumpers, hats, gloves, scarves and new socks)
    • Mens shoes/Boots sizes 8-11
    • Pet Food
    • Rucksacks
    • Torches
    • Water bottles (500ml)
    • Toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo) – small packs to make it easier to carry.
    • Sleeping bags

    If you’ve got any of these things and want to donate, you can drop them off weekdays from 10am-5pm at Amirah Foundation, Joseph Lucas Building, St George’s Community Hub, Buckingham St, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B19 3HU.  If you want to speak to someone call 0121 572 6821 or 07904 040 796.

    There’s more info, including how you can get involved, on the Facebook event.