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    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

    News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    What’s Your Biggest Craving…?

    Mini Cravings are the latest product to join The Laughing Cow family and they’re designed to offer a satisfying nibble when you’re craving something but don’t want to spoil your appetite.  They come in a range of flavours, including original, smoked cheese and garlic & herb.  They’re also 14 calories a square and my calorie-conscious mother has already tried them and given them her seal of approval – she had a couple right before lunch and I was a bit worried, thankfully they really didn’t spoil her appetite but did give her enough energy to wander around some shoe shops first.


    Ahead of their Cravings Cube rolling into Birmingham this weekend to launch the Mini Cravings range, the team at The Laughing Cow decided to play cravings genie, promising to satisfy my cravings after posing the question to me “What’s Your Biggest Craving”.  For someone who is pretty much constantly curious (and not just about food), this is a terrible question.  After discounting things like Bernard’s Watch to stop time, one of those Matrix plug-in thingies so I can learn everything, or a pet dinosaur, I realised that by biggest cravings were pretty simple – and food and drink related, obviously.

    coffee and waffles

    Having just moved into a flat and gained a kitchen of my own, I’ve found myself wistfully coveting kitchen gadgets, to the point where my mum will often find me wandering off to gaze at them when we meet up to go shopping.  As someone who spends a lot of time busy doing things and not enough time sleeping, I’m always crazing lazy mornings with good breakfasts.  I have a total weakness for disco coffees (coffee with some sort of sugary flavouring) which I indulge a little too much on my way to work when I’ve decided to press snooze one too many times.  Plus my new flat means that my mum and her husband sometimes pop in on their weekend cycling trips for a coffee, so good coffee is an absolute requirement in my home.  I’ve been eying up a proper coffee machine for weeks now so I can save my pennies and make my own disco coffees at home, but I’ve been buying practical things like bookcases instead.

    waffles and ice cream

    And you know how the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I love nothing more than treating myself to something a little indulgent at the weekend.  Ever since I stayed in a hotel which had its own waffle maker I’ve been wanting a waffle maker of my very own.  Ordinarily I prefer savoury over sweet, but waffles and maple syrup (with streaky bacon if I remember to buy it) is a gloriously indulgent breakfast.  Until now, I just used to buy the pre-made ones, but always fancied having a go at my own.  They’re also pretty nifty with a few scoops of ice cream for pudding too.

    The Laughing Cow’s Cravings Cube has been touring the country and will be rolling into The Bullring this Saturday and Sunday, 22-23 August 2015, to offer you the chance to play the cube and possibly win some great prizes, check out the mini cravings range and try out the Mini Cravings too.  Check out The Laughing Cow Facebook page for photos from previous visits too.

    caving cube locations

    So what have you been craving?

    Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with The Laughing Cow.  As always, they are my honest opinions…and my mum really did eat the cheese right before we left for lunch. I also resisted any urges to make jokes about how my surname sounds a bit like cravin’.

    Food and Restaurant News, News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    Food & Drink news – August 2015


    It’s not just new venues occupying my Birmingham-ish food gossiping sessions; there’s plenty of tales of other food and drink related news too.  In an effort to spread the word – and clear my inbox, here are a few things that might interest you…

    The ‘Full Spanglish’ comes to Brum

    New independent Spanish bar and restaurant, El Borracho de Oro, is serving up a touch of España to Edgbaston with its new breakfast range.  The star of the menu is surely the Full Spanglish, which includes bacon, specially-made sausages with a hint of chorizo flavourings, Spanish black pudding morcilla, Spanish potatoes, eggs, toast and baked beans.  Other items on the breakfast menu include tortilla Espanola, churros con chocolate, croissants with jam, and bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches for the traditionalists.  Breakfasts will be served from 8am- 11.30am, Monday to Friday initially, with plans for weekend openings in the works.

    Itihaas opens in Manchester

    Not content with serving tasty curry to Brummies for over a decade, the team behind Itihaas have recently opened up in the other second city, Manchester.  This award-winning restaurant team with a focus on authentic South Asian food, including dishes from the northern Punjab to Kerala and Goa in the south, has opened in Manchester’s intu Trafford Centre.

    Itihaas also recently collaborated with a local microbrewery to create a craft beer, Sambha IPA, that matches their Indian cuisine.

    Record numbers at the Colmore Food festival

    The fifth annual Colmore Food Festival saw approximately 32,000 foodies visit the event over two days – 6,000 more visitors than last year.  Visitors were able to try out dishes from a number of eateries and drinkeries (if that’s a word) in the area, as well as enjoy on-stage cooking demos and live music from The 31st Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival.  And they let me judge Best Dessert too.

    GPFNK sells out

    Guests have snapped up all 400 tickets for Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen with Friends, in record time.  The October event sees Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell and Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace join forces to serve up a culinary adventure with TV personality and chef Rustie Lee serving the first course.  The audience will enjoy a four course meal prepared under Glynn’s guidance and served by the award-winning catering team at Villa Park, where the event is being staged.

    Meat free Mondays at Mockingbird

    Purveyors of all things animal-free, The Vegan Grindhouse will be serving up an Americana style menu at the Mockingbird Theatre, Bistro & Bar in the Custard Factory every Monday from 10th August.  Brunch will be served between 11am – 2pm, which will feature waffles, scrambled tofu, granola, BLT and bagels.  Dinner will see a weekly menu change all featuring food from different regions of the USA, with the likes of Philly cheesesteaks, meatball marinara subs, mac’n’cheese and all American sides and desserts.  There will also be vegan beers and soft drinks on sale, as well as free film screenings.

    re-think Tequila with Bodega

    If you think tequila is just a shot to be suffered at some point in a heavy night out, then Bodega, the South American bar and cantina on Bennetts Hill aims to change your mind, with a month dedicated to the spirit – and its cousin mezcal.  With a Tequila and mezcal masterclass planned for Thursday 13 August, as well as ‘Tequila of the Week’, a Taco & Tequila promotion and deals on the classic tequila cocktail the Paloma, there’s plenty of chances to change your mind on this spirit.

    Got some food and drink gossip you want to share?  Email me on  hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    Birmingham’s first vegetarian street food event

    bbyveggie7Brum Yum Yum and vegan street-food vendors The Vegan Grindhouse have teamed up for the region’s first meat-free street food event this Sunday in Kings Heath village square.

    Featuring Birmingham’s leading street food chefs, the event is open from 11am – 5pm will showcase entirely vegetarian or, in some cases, vegan dishes available on each stall – Vegan Grindhouse, Pietanic, Bare Bones Pizza, Savanna Grill, Bombay Tapas and 9 Tea Cups are all confirmed.  It’s not just food that’s on offer either, Coventry’s all vegan independent brewery, Twisted Barrel Ales, will be there along with stalls selling organic fruit and vegetables, crafts, cakes and a juice bar.

    I was going to make some pithy comment about put down the burgers and head over to try something new…but The Vegan Grindhouse’s “cheeseburger” is pretty bloody good. So maybe just head over there and pick up a burger (if they’re doing one).

    Lisa Burbidge-Brown, co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “Street food has become more and more popular in Birmingham, and it is about time people got to try some amazing vegan and vegetarian street food from some of the most popular street food chefs.”

    Duncan Stanley, Brum Yum Yum founder, said ” Here at BYY we’ve always set out to prove that street-food isn’t just about the meat-in-a-bun classics and I firmly believe that a lot of the best street-food out there is served up by the vegan and veggie traders. What better way to spend a Sunday than stuffing your face with some of the tastiest and most interesting meat-free meals in town?!”

    Brum Yum Yum goes veggie on Sunday 19 July, 11am – 5pm, at Kings Heath Village Square, High St, B14 7RA

    News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    Weight Watchers Feel Good Cafe at Victoria Sq

    Feel Good Cafe 1Forget bikini-body, summer ready, fat shaming nonsense, Weight Watchers are on tour bringing their Feel Good Cafe to Birmingham until the 27 June.

    Located on Victoria Square, diners can tuck into three different meals which have been created using easily available Weight Watchers products and are designed to show that you don’t have to give up dishes you love.  From sausage sandwiches and cereal for breakfast to afternoon treats and chicken katsu curry or mac & cheese for dinner, there’s a pretty impressive range of dishes on offer. Yep, healthier chicken katsu curry…that’s got to be worth a try, surely.

    The Feel Good Cafe also has a selfie station for diners to snap some Feel Good photos with friends and family.  They’ll be asked to upload them with the hashtag #feelgood to be entered into a prize draw to win 1 of 100 hampers filled with Weight Watchers goodies.

    Zoe Griffiths, head of programme and public health at Weight Watchers UK, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing the Feel Good Café to Birmingham. We want to help change people’s relationship with food for good by showing Birmingham residents they don’t have to give up their food favourites to be healthier. We look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to show them some delicious ideas.”

    If you can’t make it down to Victoria Square, tweet Weight Watchers at @ww_uk or find them on Facebook at for another chance to win a Weight Watchers hamper.

    Drinks, News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    Free beer this Saturday

    Bottle with promotional neck labelFancy a free beer this Saturday?  Speckled Hen are running their Hunt for a Hen Travelling Bar in a secret Birmingham location on Saturday 21 March – although it’s not that secret going by their fairly obvious clues, because why would they want to deprive you of free beer?

    Those up for the excellently titled ‘aleventure’ need to follow @SpeckledHenry on Twitter and keep an eye out on the #huntforahen hashtag, where they’ll be given some clues to crack to head to a secret location for free Old Speckled Hen ale.

    But if free beer isn’t enough to lure you in they’ll also be offering the Old Speckled Hen ‘Hen Hunt’ competition, with prizes including the chance to win free beer for a year, £1000 in cash and other goodies.

    For more info on Old Speckled Hen and Hunt for a Hen check as well as their Facebook and @SpeckledHenry on Twitter.

    Events, News, Pop Ups and Streetfood

    Holi Rave & Indian Feast-ival

    holiraveChucking colourful powder at each other in order to celebrate Holi, the festival of colour, sounds like a pretty fun way to celebrate a Saturday anyway, but team it up with a pun-tastic Indian Feast-ival and it just gets even better.

    Amusement 13 (on Kent St – near the Nightingale) is playing host to Holi Rave & Indian Feast-ival this Saturday – 21 March 2015.  Celebrating the ancient Hindu religious festival of colour, the Birmingham Holi is being organised by Shaanti and will feature live music from bhangra and electronic artists, the usual colour powder celebrations, henna tattoos and Indian God/Goddess face painting – you can totally be a god/goddess for the day!  And the bit I’m most excited about; food from Indian street food vendors from around the Midlands and local restaurants.

    Holi Rave is teaming up with Taste & Liquor to bring you the Indian Street Food Feast-ival.  Confirmed vendors so far are Mahirs ExperienceVichag FoodsField-Elicious  and local legends Wrapchic.  For those looking for a drink, there will also be Taste & Liquor’s first pop-up cocktail bar (they’ll later be a permanent fixture inside Amusement 13, tailoring their menus to compliment the venue’s events).

    Manga Singh managing director of Taste & Liquor and founder of Indian Street Food Feast-ival says; “Shaanti is always exciting, because they offer a very tasteful selection of events. For us it’s an honour to launch with their second festival Holi Rave –they’re unique and you know they’re going to put on an incredible event. Combining their love for music with our love for food gives the public a great way to try lots of different world flavours and sounds without having to leave Birmingham.

    “Indian Street Food Feast-IVAL also provides an opportunity for start-ups and small businesses to get out there and give it a go – without any overheads, it’s important to support local chefs and produce – it’s an idea setting to engage with new customers face to face and introducing new and exciting dishes from Bombay to Calcutta, from Lahore to Birmingham.”

    Get your tickets for the Holi Rave via the website or Ticketmaster.

    Disclosure: This was posted because it sounds interesting and unusual and you can totally pretend to be a goddess all day and get yourself covered in pretty colours all whilst eating yummy food. Why wouldn’t I want to help share that news?! Also the photo belongs to Holi Rave which I took from their website, with permission.