Follow:
Browsing Category:

Pop-up and Event reviews

    Food and Restaurant News, News, Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    Brum Breakfast Club at Nomad

    Kedgeree_pearl-barley_spelt

    Confession time.  I actually went to this meal on the same day as the St Patrick’s Day parade, but I’ve just been super lax at finishing the write up.  However with the news that Nomad is evolving, Pokemon-style, into The Wilderness, it seems a good time to post about it.

    Despite all my known heritage being Irish, I avoid going anywhere near the St Patrick’s Day parade because being up early on a Sunday, surrounded by crowds of (usually fairly) drunk people and not knowing what the hell is up with my bus home is not my idea of fun.  I totally get why other people like it, but I’m good with a cup of Barry’s tea and seeing the photos on Twitter.  So when I tell you I got up early, got on a bus and went to Digbeth on the Sunday of a St Patrick’s Day parade you better bloody well know it took a lot to get me there.  And that ‘a lot’ was a Brum Breakfast Club presents Nomad breakfast.

    cocktail_tea_nomad_brum-breakfast-club

    Firstly, I was a 45 minutes early, because it turns out, much like when it snows, the buses seem to work better when they theoretically shouldn’t; I assume this was down to most people leaving the cars at home (something they should do more of).  After a quick trip to Yorks for a coffee it was over to Nomad which has now found a home in BOM on Dudley St.  I’ve raved about various incarnations of Nomad before and I like that they’ve managed to create a rather chic place in what’s a bit of a bare-boned warehouse/workshop/exhibition space.

    On arrival we were given a cocktail.  Now pre-midday drinking isn’t something I generally do but I’m willing to make an exception for Nomad, because they rarely do me wrong.  This took the form of a drink they’re calling Viking Bubbles which contained mead, honey and cava.  It was lovely; sweet but not overly so and didn’t have that alcohol burn, which made it pretty perfect for a cheeky mid-morning tipple.  I paired it with black tea because I could and awaited the first course – apparently we were having a three course breakfast, which is entirely fine with me.

    nomad_eggy_bread_starter

    The first course was three nibbles: tansy eggy bread; reindeer moss with bacon, egg and coffee; Forest of Arden honey and homemade yoghurt.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice the distinct lack of yoghurt in the photo and that was because my ability to tolerate dairy that day wasn’t great, and I’m not about to inflict that on anyone, but I hear it was lovely.  The eggy bread had a nice crispness to it and the reindeer moss, as well as looking very pretty, had a nice crunch before disintegrating to create a lovely flavour along with the egg and coffee.

    sea-buckthorn_mimosa_nomadWe then had another cocktail, a sea buckthorn mimosa.  Now sea buckthorn is one of those slightly divisive ingredients, due in part, I suspect, to its tartness.  It’s not often seen on menus, but Nomad have used sea buckthorn before and it’s nice to feel like there’s something a bit different going on.  Given it’s a bit sour, it seems to work well with the sparkling wine and balances it out well.  This paired well with our ‘main’ course, which like the first course had elements of the drink incorporated into the dish.

    Kedgeree_pearl-barley_spelt

    The second course was a twist on Kedgeree, made with pearl barley and spelt, topped with poached eggs and smothered in sauce.  I have a soft spot for pearl barley so I was delighted at this and I think it gave it a meatier meal, particularly alongside the delicate fish and rich curry sauce.  Kedgeree is one of those dishes I think works well for any occasion but feels almost like a bit of a comfort dish, gently lulling you into a lazy Saturday morning at brunch.  This one still had that element of safety but the twists just lifted it to be a bit more interesting.

    apple_juice_nomad

    After a glass of freshly-pressed apple juice we were onto, what I think, was the real star of the show.  I’d been joking with Nomad over twitter earlier in the morning about them giving us Frosties for breakfast and I wasn’t entirely wrong.  Well only in so far as the last dish of the meal was a play on milk and cereal…but with bugs.  Yep, Nomad brought out the bugs again and I think, like previous times, this was a bit of a stretch for some people but they bought into the spirit of it and dove in.  I’m not sure you can see it in the photo, but there are roasted crickets in the mix and they had a delicious bite along side the crunchy cereal and caramel pieces.  It’s also worth noting that the ‘milk’ was actually caramelised milk mousse which you can’t see because it was presented to us first – putting the milk in first is usually a cardinal sin, but entirely forgivable it this time round.

    bug_cereal_nomad

    Yet again Nomad have delivered a dining experience that was both fun, inventive and a bit challenging.  Whilst this wasn’t from their ordinary menu, it included a lot of the same themes of seasonal, local produce without it being a marketing exercise.  The reimagining of three breakfast dishes along side drinks which worked as introductions to the next course gave a flow to the menu which is something often forgotten about.  All of the Birmingham Breakfast Club collaboration meals I’ve been to have been superb and this was no exception.

    So what’s with the name change?

    I mentioned that Nomad are changing their name and whilst this might be largely due to legal reasons, I think it’s a positive step.  Having moved around from south to central Birmingham, they’re now putting down roots in a part of the city centre largely forgotten about.  And sure, The Wilderness isn’t about how Dudley Street has been lost amongst the regeneration of Grand Central, but more that they seem to be wandering out into a drinking and dining experience that the city hasn’t really seen before.

    The Wilderness retains some of the previous team, but also is expanding with chefs coming from rosetted and Michelin-starred backgrounds, as well as an award-winning bartender curating the cocktail menu and a well respected barista from some of the city’s local indie coffee shops heading up the hot drinks programme.  Theatrical set designers Stax Creations are transforming the restaurant into a dining experience, with The Wilderness will be open to the general public from 25 May 2016.

    Disclosure: Paid for this all myself. Although some might say I didn’t get my money’s worth because that whistle totally didn’t work. Just kidding, it was an amazing meal.

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    The Studio Spring 2016 menu tasting

    apple_tarts_studio_spring

    Due to the day job, I end up at quite a few conference venues in the city centre and so if I were ever to do a Buzzfeed style listicle it would likely be on conference lunches in Brum. Most of them are fairly uninteresting to be honest, but one that is less bland sandwiches and more restaurant quality food is The Studio on Cannon St.

    Rather than just roll out trays of beige, The Studio offer delegates a proper meal at lunch time; and they switch up their menu seasonally; and they invite regulars along to give them feedback on the menu. And so being as I’m there so often the staff seem to know me, and clearly liking my food, I went along to their spring menu tasting.

    salad_selectionMoving into spring this is transitional menu which balances the heavier winter food with something a bit lighter for those few sunny days we get in Birmingham. As well as the meat and vegetarian options, there are puddings and a range of salads. Now personally I struggle a bit with salad because I usually get bored before I’ve eaten enough but these salads have been thought through enough that they keep you interested as well as sated, and can be added as a side dish to your main.  I’ve since been back to The Studio for a conference and had the vegan Caesar salad alongside the Philly cheese ciabatta sandwich and worked really well as a tasty, nourishing meal in between a series of talks!

    spring_vegetable_casserole_dumplings

    A lot of the dishes are proper main meals which are part of what makes The Studio an ace venue (the staff are also great and they have a colouring in wall, no seriously).  Given that it’s spring, there’s a nice mix of fresh flavours and they’ve gone for a good range of cuisines from Chinese through to Cajun, Thai and something a bit more on the classic British.  I really liked the Chinese belly pork with spinach and pak choi, a brave option for a conference venue when you need to serve thirty odd people at once. Belly pork can sometimes be hard to cook well, but this was delicious, a perfect balance of crisp and chewy.  Another great dish was the pan-seared chicken on a bed of new potatoes, black olives and oven-roasted tomatoes, which sounds like a pretty simple dish but was executed well – one of the other testers on my table went back for seconds of that one!

    green_thai_curry

    But what really impresses me about The Studio menu tastings is that they’re genuinely looking for people’s opinions on what works and what doesn’t.  I really liked the Thai green vegetable curry with basmati rice, but it was a little on the spicy side for me – it would certainly blast away any winter cobwebs! It’ll be interesting to see if it makes it onto the final menu…though I suspect not.

    And just a note about the desserts, oh yeah every lunch has a dessert.  The French apple tart with caramel sauce (the first photo on this post) was delicious, sweet, fresh and with the sauce was sweet without being too sickly.  There were also delicious Victoria sponge sundaes, trifles, cheesecakes and a zingy lemon & lime eton mess with passionfruit.  Frankly I think every meal should have a pudding, and if they’re as good as this then even better.

    dessert_in_a_cup

    Sadly, The Studio isn’t a restaurant that you can book into, but it is an excellent event space for meetings and conferences and worth a look if you’re booking  something – just invite me for lunch, yeah?

    Disclosure: Oh god, this again? It was a menu tasting for a conference venue, of course it was complimentary. But given how often I seem to be there between work and conferences I think they just assume I live there and feed me anyway.

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    The Studio winter 2016 menu

    sausage_wellington

    I love an excuse to visit The Studio on Cannon St for events, and the quarterly tasting for their new seasonal menu has to be the best reason yet.  A couple of weeks ago it was time for their winter menu to get put before the hungry eyes and tummies of a select group of people…actually I have no idea who most of the other people who attend this are, I’m too busy ooh-ing at six days worth of hearty lunches and puddings.
    beef_guinness_pie

    As you’d expect with a winter themed menu, the dishes are warming and comforting.  Pastry is a big thing, which is something I wholeheartedly agree with.  That said the sausage wellington, or “posh sausage roll” as I called it was lovely, but I just couldn’t quite understand how it fit as a main meal.  Which is a shame because it was really nice! It’s going to be interesting to see if it makes the final cut, as not everything does, or whether it ends up appearing somewhere else.  I’m guessing The Studio probably do snack menus if you ask, but their standard day delegate rate package includes a proper hot dinner and pudding (and little snacks with morning and afternoon refreshments).
    chicken_marengo

    One of the days had paired Chicken Marengo with roast potatoes and a Bubble & Squeak with leek and cheddar for the vegetarian option.  The bright colours were a welcomed sight when winter food tends to be focused on heavy, hearty foods. and the lack of sunshine means seasonal food isn’t always the most colourful.  The chicken marengo full of flavour, almost fruity and the chicken was nice and moist.  Sadly I didn’t manage to try any of the Bubble & Squeak as it had gone before I managed to get back…so I took that as a good sign!

    bubble_and_squeak

    We’ve used The Studio at work a bunch of times and once, after a great first day, I looked at the feedback to discover it was all about the food.  Seriously, it felt like there was more about the food than anything else on the day – and the puddings in particular seemed to be a real hit.  This time round, dessert continued the usual mousses and cheesecakes in little glass dishes.  These are a great size, just enough to boost you up, but not enough to lull you into a sugar-coma for the rest of the afternoon.  One of my favourites was the Star Bar Chocolate Cheesecake, which is odd because I’m not normally one for chocolate desserts.  But it was just the right portion size with a sweetness that felt like a treat but wasn’t overkill.
    chocolate_cheesecake

    Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of my favourite puddings and it’s become a tradition amongst my family that I make one a boozy version for Christmas pudding.  So when I spotted the sticky date pudding with burnt caramel I was pretty excited.  These aren’t sticky toffee, but they’re not far off and with a nice crunchy crust they’d be nicely accompanied with a cup of tea, ready to set you up for another afternoon of events!
    sticky_date_pudding

    Disclosure:The Studio invited me down to the menu tasting as we book the venue in my day-job for events. They didn’t require me to write anything about it, but given that all our feedback is about the food, I figured I might as well.

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    BBC Good Food Show Winter 2015

    james_martin_supertheatre

    As I was editing the photos from the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016, it occurred to me I took a lot of photos of alcohol.  Thankfully though I’ve been to enough Good Food Shows to know better than to try and drink spirits before midday, had a big breakfast beforehand and topped up on coffee once I got to the show.  Oh and I packed a bottle of water and wore sensible shoes. Remember these tips for next year folks.

    The BBC Good Food Show Winter 2016 was much like all the other shows, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  There are rows upon rows of food and drink providers offering samples as well as selling their wares, demos galore and a whole host of celebrity chefs.  If you go to both the summer and winter shows, as I’ve done for the last few years, then you get used to some of the same names appearing, but for me there are a few chefs who I’ll happily watch again and again and thankfully I managed to catch one of them this time round.  James Martin, host of Saturday Kitchen, was cooking up a few sweet dishes although he seemed to be running a comedy show between the cameraman and commis chef.

    debbie_andrews_stall

    After giggling away at James, it was time to wander around the show.  Having run a competition for them recently, I headed over to see the Debbie & Andrew’s stall and tried some of their sausages, as well as picked up some of their festive treats, which I think I was supposed to save until Christmas, but instead snacked on throughout the week after.  Every year I tell myself I’ll have a proper plan to methodically walk through the isles, but the good thing about going on the first day is there are less people than the weekend and it’s easier to meander about more.

    thomas_dakin_gin

    I soon (soberly) stumbled into the alcohol section, which seems a lot bigger in the winter show than the summer one.  Gin was a big thing at the BBC Good Food Show winter; I spotted a few well known names with plenty of people crowding round for samples, but for me I always like the chance to go and try some of the newer things.  As a thank you for the competition I ran for them, Thomas Dakin gin had a bottle waiting for me so I picked up that as well as listened to one of the staff on the stall tell others about its history.  I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to these things but I always like to hear more about the history of a spirit.kings_ginger_pour

    As well as plenty of gin I also spotted (and tried) into a few other interesting things – King’s Ginger liqueur, which was formulated in 1903 for King Edward VII and pretty perfect for the wintery months.  And a very new to market, Birmingham Lager from the Indian Brewery Company.  In fact during the BBC Good Food Show winter it wasn’t actually on sale outside of the hall, as far as I could tell, but you can now pick some up at Stirchley Wines.

    birmingham_lager

    After another sit down and a cup of tea later, as well as watching a few chefs cooking and being interviewed, I went off in search of more things.  I found the Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer van and listened as the man opposite cooking fish tried to get them to bring over samples.  I also stumbled across the Dean’s mascot who I thought at first was a giant chip, but turns out to be a shortbread – I think.  I had a nibble on some biscuits at their stand and they were lovely, particularly their Crème Caramel biscuits, which I meant to go back and get some of…but I swear the Good Food Show is some sort of shapeshifter and I rarely end up being able to find the same place twice.

    deans_shortbread_man

    I was really pleased to see Urban Herbs.  I never really know how to describe them, but being that I was reading about sixteenth century spice merchants I’m going to call Urban Herbs herb and spice merchants and hope they don’t get cranky at me for it.  They’re a great family run business and you often see them out and about at farmers markets in Birmingham, so it’s really great to see them at a big food fair like the BBC Good Food Show winter.  And their mixes are delicious, as are their herb plants.

    urban_herbs

    The one place I was determined to find again was Bluebird Tea Co.  Earlier in the year I’d managed to get some of their Hot Cross Bun flavoured tea which was lovely, but I’d been hearing about their Christmas blends and knew I had to get some – the Christmas Cake tea is delicious, but excitingly has these adorable snowflakes in the tea mix.  I may also have bought a few other types of tea and should be set for a few months, when I’ll actually have to try ordering from them online.

    The final stop for me was the Pomora olive oil stand.  I’d remembered them too from the previous Good Food Show and wanted to go back and actually buy some oil.  It’s always nice to chat to the people at the stall and I really like their unusual method of supporting traditional farmers by asking people to adopt an olive tree and then they send you olive oil, rahter than just being something you pick up at the shop.  There are a few different types of flavours that they do and I picked up some of the olive oil with garlic, as I’m keen to have a go at using it with pasta and try it out with some roast potatoes.olio_doliva_olive_oil

    And with that I was done.  It never fails to surprise me how tiring wandering round the show can be, particularly the BBC Good Food Show winter, which is much larger than the summer show.  It was nice to see an array of old favourites, as well as celebrity chefs and pick up a few bits and pieces that I wouldn’t ordinarily get to.  I’m already looking forward to what BBC Good Food Show summer 2016 brings!

    https://www.bbcgoodfoodshowwinter.com/

    Disclosure: I was invited to the BBC Good Food Show as part of the blogging team, so my ticket to the show was complimentary.  Other than picking up a bottle of gin which I’ve already mentioned, I had much the same experience as everyone else – apart from being able to sit in the press room where there were chairs and tea.

    Drinks, Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    Glenfiddich whisky tasting

    glenfiddich_bottles

    There are few better ways to spend a wintery evening than sitting in the snug of a pub, drinking a dram of whisky.  Glenfiddich brand ambassador Mark Thomson recently came to Birmingham for a series of events to extoll the virtues of the brand, and on a blustery weekday evening the Birmingham Whisky Club invited a few of us down for an intimate tasting.

    For me, one of the draws of whisky is the rich history that encompasses the spirit and the story of Glenfiddich is not short of them.  One of the world’s biggest selling and most awarded, this family run business first produced whisky on Christmas Day, 1887.  Still run by the fifth generation descendants of founder William Grant, Glenfiddich’s family ownership means that they are able to do a few things a bit differently. Such as, in 1963 they were the first whisky brand to market single malt Scotch to America, a risky move, given the country’s bourbon production, which ultimately paid off.

    A natural storyteller, Glenfiddich’s brand ambassador Mark Thomson was able to spin a rich tale of the origin of whisky, the story of William Grant and the evolution of Glenfiddich’s production over the 128 years.  If you’ve sat through a number of whisky tastings they can get a little repetitive, but Mark was engaging and peppered the story with anecdotes and humour.

    glenfiddich_brand_ambassador

    And then of course there was the whisky.  We started with Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, probably the most well known of the selection with it’s iconic green triangular bottle; it’s a regular on whiskies shelves in most bars.  It’s a light fruit whisky, reminiscent of summer time with vanilla, fresh pear and caramel.  The Glenfiddich 18 year old is the sister to the 12 y/o, mainly due to a similar mix of barrels used to age the whisky.  To me, this was a smoother whisky, with flavours of cooked fruits, older oak and dare I say it, a touch of Christmas.

    Glenfiddich 15 year old has a different style, more earthy, nuttier, oily and dry – Mark called it the pinot noir of the range.  Unlike the other two whiskies, the 15 y/o uses a solera method to age the whiskies, a method developed by sherry producers, and so 15 years is youngest of whisky component in this bottling.  It gives it more of an earthy flavour which would compliment game meat, particularly as an Old Fashioned – a good gateway into easing people into whisky drinking (and a damn tasty cocktail too).

    Our fourth whisky of the evening was the Glenfiddich 21 year old Gran Reserva whisky.  This is finished in a rum casks, which are created in the Caribbean especially for Glenfiddich, and you can certainly note some of the rum flavouring, particularly the sweet brown sugar, fruits and spices.  The last of the age statement whiskies we tried was the Glenfiddich 26 year old, which is certainly likely to challenge drinkers preconceptions due to its pale colour, which probably comes from the American white oak casks used to age it.  It is light with flavour that really lasts and lingers, and a slight peppery note.

    whisky_glassWe were also treated to a tasting of Glenfiddich The Original.  A limited edition whisky, inspired by the 1963 Glenfiddich Straight Malt which was taken to America to introduce the world to single malt Scotch, it was created with help from the original recipe book from Glenfiddich’s fourth Malt Master.

    Having been to a number of The Birmingham Whisky Club events in the past, this was another fantastic chance to hear more about a brand with a rich history and try their range, particularly from an engaging storyteller like Mark Thomson.  The Birmingham Whisky Club run a number of whisky tastings throughout the year themed around brands, styles and countries, as well as Whisky Birmingham, a whisky festival which is taking place again in March 2016 and tickets are on sale now (hello Christmas present).

    http://www.thebirminghamwhiskyclub.co.uk/

    Disclosure: I was invited to the whisky tasting as a guest of the Birmingham Whisky Club, but wasn’t obliged to be positive or write anything…which is probably wise, given the state of my notes from the evening.

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    UK Burger Battle October 2015

    beefy_boys_burger_battle_oct15

    I love a good pun, so the final (for Birmingham, at least) UK Burger Battle being called JudgeMEAT Day was pretty clever.  I’ve written about a few of the Burger Battles before (three times in fact – January, May and June) so you probably know the drill by now – a ticket gets you two burgers, one from each stall, and a voting slip to pick the winner.

    This time round the competitors were Hereford’s The Beefy Boys and What’s Your Beef from Manchester.  The Beefy Boys have been at the UK Burger Battle before so I knew to expect something good.  This time round they brought us the The Chipotle Boy; a third of a pound dry-aged Hereford beef patty with maple-cured bacon, homemade chipotle mayo, Swiss & American cheese, lettuce, onion and gherkins all served in a semi-brioche bun.  I’m not entirely sure how a semi-brioche bun works, but maybe that’s what the sesame seeds were about.  It was a good burger; the bacon had a good bite to it, a nice flavour from the cheese, oh and I asked them to leave off the onions so they gave me extra pickles – bonus points, surely.

    whats_your_beef_shell_burger_battle_oct15Can we stop a minute to appreciate the wrapping the What’s Your Beef burger came encased in…it looks like a shell!  It confused a few people on how to open it for maximum effect, but I thought it was relatively easy – plus it meant it saved me from having burger sauce drip down my arm.  It also meant that I got to eat all those little bits of burger that usually escape.  Good work, What’s Your Beef.

    Their burger was the The Stateside Deluxe; a freshly made dry-aged patty from grass fed cattle, home dry-cured streaky bacon, mature cheddar, fried onions, Dutch pickles, lettuce, beef tomato, ketchup and mustard served in a toasted brioche bun.  Personally I found the ketchup a little much, it sort of distracted from the other flavours and made the burger feel a bit ordinary.  I don’t think I’d realised that most of the street food burgers have forgone ketchup, but this was a reminder of why – it overpowers the rest of the ingredients.

    whats_your_beef_burger_battle_oct15To me the clear winner was The Beefy Boys and their The Chipotle Boy burger.  The ketchup of the What’s Your Beef burger just overpowered it too much to be able to really tell what the rest of the burger.  I don’t know what the semi-brioche bun was about, but I liked that it had more structure that the alternative burger.  The judges on the evening and the public vote also went to The Beefy Boys, so it wasn’t just me!

    Sadly, there are no more UK Burger Battles planned, and this was the last one in Birmingham.  However that’s not to say that there won’t be others elsewhere, there has already been one in Leicester so it’s always worth keeping an eye on https://twitter.com/ukburgerbattle

    Disclosure: I paid for my own ticket to the burger battle. But I wouldn’t be overly positive about a burger that didn’t warrant it, because burgers are important.

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    Review: The Man and the Myth

    man_myth_menu_urban_coffee

    With the exciting news that Nomad are setting up a permanent home in BOM Lab on Dudley Street, it reminded me that I still needed to post about my trip to The Man & The Myth, Nomad’s pop up, experimental kitchen and testing ground for Bar by Nomad.

    I’ve eaten at Nomad a few times now, for both their No Rules evenings and when Nomad first popped up at the Kitchen Garden Cafe.  I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again, I think Alex Claridge is one of a handful of chefs really trying to do something a bit different in the city.  Sustainability, locally sourced and foraging are all buzzwords bandied around various types of cooking, but Nomad embody it; like their namesake they cook using ingredients that can be found at the time of cooking – seasonality and locally sourced are an integral part of what they’re serving up.king-oyster-mushroom-beef-dripping

    We start the evening with bread from Brummie bakers Peel & Stone.  It is typically delicious and the butter, liberally sprinkled with sea salt, certainly helps.  This is followed up by a palette cleansing liquid amuse-bouche of tomato, basil and cucumber, garnished with a delicate purple flower.

    Having been a bit thrown by travelling all evening and eating a late lunch, my friend Roz and I decide to take Nomad up on their offer of trying all of the small plates as a relaxed tasting menu, sharing most of them but having a couple each to ourselves – there are some things you know are going to be too good to share.  The first dish of king oyster mushroom in beef dripping is nothing special to look at, but tastes great; a superb play on the idea of mushrooms being a substitute meat, this is indeed meaty in both texture and taste, coming from the beef dripping.
    courgette_nasturtiums_capers

    This is followed by a riotous collection of greens; courgettes, nasturtium and ‘capers’ (which are pickled nasturtium berries).  The flavours combine well with a nice bite to the courgette ribbons and saltiness from the pickled nasturtium.  It’s an usual, but delightful salad.

    Samphire is one of those ingredients that always delights me to see listed on a dish and this was no exception.  The vibrant green stalks have a lovely crisp, almost coastal saltiness to them and work well with the earthy beetroot and smoked yoghurt.

    pea_broad_bean_black_pudding_mint The pea, broad bean, black pudding and allotment trimmings dish is possibly my favourite of the night.  Served warm, the broad beans and black pudding have a delightful heartiness to them that feels nourishing.  It’s a nice contrast of colours on the plate too and the iberico black pudding is just something else entirely.

    Following the broad beans and black pudding is the cauliflower, hake and pickled dulse.  The dulse seaweed has a nice salty and slightly smoky flavour to it – it’s no wonder people are claiming scientists are able to bring humble dulse one step closer to tasting like bacon.  It works well with the hake and cauliflower to make a lovely dish.

    figs_cheese_toast

    Summer truffle and figs with Cotswald brie takes us into the sweeter dishes.  I adored the figs and whilst I enjoyed the brie, my lactose intolerance was playing up a little so after nibbling on the, effectively, cheese on toast I settled for savouring the figs.  For people who aren’t overly keen on sweet things and instead prefer the cheeseboard over dessert, this was the sort of taster plate which would satisfy both.
    wild_blackberries_yoghurt_mint

    The final dish on the menu was the wild blackberries, blackberry sorbet, caramelised yoghurt and mint.  This dish was beautifully presented and everything tasted spot on, but something about it just felt a little disappointing to me.  Having been used to Nomad pushing unusual ingredients, this dish felt a little safe – I almost midded the wood ants that Alex Claridge and Nomad have become somewhat infamous for!

    That should’ve been our last dish of the evening, but earlier in the week a regular diner of Nomad’s pop ups donated a glut of plums that had been growing in their garden and needed using up.  This resulted in a bonus dish of plum, almond cake, creme fraiche and lavender.  For me, the plums were too tart for my liking, but certainly fulfilled my desire for something a bit different to end the dining experience with.plum_cake_creme_fraicheAs with all previous trips to various incarnations of Nomad, the experience was incredibly enjoyable.  The staff were, as ever, superb in both their service but also their enthusiasm for the dishes they were serving.  Each of the dishes was incredibly well thought out and overall the experience introduced me to new ingredients and gave my palate an adventure.

    Nomad is moving to a new home in BOM Lab on Dudley Street (sort of round the corner from The Electric) from Friday 13th November.  During the day they be serving snacks and small plates, with fixed multi-course menus, full cocktail and experimental drinks matching during the evenings.  Plus they intend to continue to continue working closely in their allotments and with foragers, gamekeepers and small local farms.  By the looks of it they’re booking up quickly for November, so if you want to be one of the first in, head over to their online reservations diary.

    http://foodbynomad.com/

    Disclosure: Alex invited myself and Roz down for a complimentary meal but didn’t expect us to write about it, and in my sleep deprived state I hadn’t intended to. But uhh, that’s sort of the point of running a food blog, right?