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Six Eight Kafe

    Food and Restaurant News, News, Pub and Drinks News

    Coming Soon #4


    Yep, it’s tine for another Coming Soon post…the fourth one of 2015.  This isn’t as long as the last few, but there’s some new and exciting places to look out for, including a brand new bar which I’ve just heard about, permanent pop-ups and pop ups permanently popping up (try saying that quickly).  The fact that there’s enough new places opening to justify a fourth ‘coming soon’ post feels like 2015 is a pretty exciting time for Birmingham’s food and drink scene (now, how to find the time to visit them all).

    The Night Owl

    Rumour has it a Northern Soul and Motown bar is coming to Lower Trinity Street in Digbeth at the end of June.  If my sources are right (and this is a good one) “The bar will boast a spring wooden floor perfect for dancing and be open every night playing a variety of associated music styles such as Motown, boogaloo, ska & funk but the big nights will be pure Northern Soul including an all ages night for the younger fans.”  Check them out on Twitter at @nightowlbham or Night Owl’s Facebook page for more updates.

    Epi chef moves to St Andrews Town Hotel

    After enjoyed a lovely lunch at Restaurant Epi in Bromsgrove earlier in the year, I was disappointed to hear that they were shutting up shop.  However chef Nathan Eades has put his plans to open a venue in Birmingham on hold to take up the position of head chef at St Andrews Town Hotel in Droitwich Spa…which is sorta near Birmingham.  It sounds like a great move for Nathan and I wish him all the best (and if I can figure out how to get there, might even pop down for lunch).

    Two Cats aren’t roaming anymore

    I’ve already referenced this in a blog post, but it would be remiss of me not to include it in its own right on a Coming Soon post.  The fantastic pop-up Two Cats Roaming Kitchen, who I’ve enjoyed dining with on several times, have announced that they will be opening their own permanent restaurant in the city’s Jewellery Quarter.  I honestly can’t wait.

    Sixteen bakery

    The team behind Sixteen, a small kitchen / bakery in the Piccadilly Arcade already supply their coffee shop neighbours Faculty with sweet treats, but it looks like they’ll be opening their own doors soon enough.  As well as cakes, they’ll be offering breakfasts and lunches…and if their photos on Facebook are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat!

    Amanzi and Empire

    The Birmingham Mail recently announced that a Liverpool venue popular with soap stars, footballers and singers is due to open a Birmingham branch at The Cube this summer.  The Liverpool venue, which opened earlier in the year, is the brainchild of Wolverhampton businessman Riad Erraji, who the article also reports might also be opening a bar next door to Amanzi, called Empire, which is due to open in July.  Amanzi, which is apparently Zulu for water, is said to have a pan-Asian menu focusing on fresh food from local suppliers, including beef from British native herds and a regional cheese board.

    Permanent pop up at at Six Eight Kafe

    Six Eight Kafé in Millennium Point is opening up its commercial kitchen to Birmingham’s exciting culinary talent as it announces a permanent pop-up space.  Following the success of Niki Astley from Two Cats Roaming, who used the venue after hours, the coffee-shop-by-day will be opening its space to a range of chefs wanting to challenge themselves.

    Jason Goodger, manager of Six Eight Kafé, says: “Taking place at our unique location in Millennium Point, our pop-up restaurants will be a formidable force to be reckoned with here in the heart of the Midlands.  We encourage any chef who would relish the opportunity to demonstrate their talent and culinary skills to enthusiastic and discerning diners to come forward and join us on our food revolution journey!”

    The next pop-up restaurants feature Michael Crew, Josh Porter and Chris Dance from En Place on Thursday 14th May and Friday 15th May, Mike Bullard and Jamie Desogus from the Harborne Kitchen / The Butcher’s Social on Friday 29th May, and Kam and Cat from the Live & Raw Food Restaurant on Saturday 6th June.

    Grand Central Birmingham

    Okay technically we already knew there were a bunch of new places opening this September when Grand Central Birmingham finally (hopefully) opens its doors but it looks like there’s even more food and drink places to whet our appetite, including Fuel Juice Bars and Frizzenti (sparkling wine, cocktails) bar, which have been confirmed and there’s also talk of an American candy store and somewhere selling fresh coconut macaroons too!

    Doner Kebab on Bull St

    If you’ve had the misfortune to walk down Bull St recently you’d be forgiven for missing this what will all the tram works going on, but it looks like a new venture appearing soon.   With branches in the United Arab Emirates and Sweden, the group are due to expand to Oman, Qatar, London and Brum soon.  For more information, visit their website

    Not really new: Wrapchic and Quarter Horse Coffee

    Okay so I’ve somehow missed these off previous Coming Soon posts, but it’s worth mentioning them for anyone that might have missed them too.  Quarter Horse Coffee is a new coffee shop with an in-house roastery located on Bristol St in the Southside area of the city centre  Everyone I know that’s made it down there has had really lovely things to say, so I’m looking forward to checking it out myself.

    Indian and Mexican burrito infusion food Wrapchic, who used to have a location in that arcade near House of Fraser I never remember the name of, has recently opened in the Bullring on upper mall west which is sort of between Gap and Debenhams.

    Any that I’ve missed? Feel free to email me, send me a tweet or drop me a Facebook message!

    Pop-up and Event reviews, Reviews

    Two Cats Roaming, March 2015

    You’d think given my life is basically punctuated by what I’m having for dinner I’d be better at keeping a track of when I last ate somewhere, but apparently not. I still can’t believe it’s been eight months since I last visited a Two Cats Roaming pop up, but that was when I last blogged about it and their food is so pretty I wouldn’t pass up an excuse not to share the photos.  However, I finally got round to revisiting them at their latest pop up at the newly opened Six Eight Kafe at Millennium Point, last month.

    Best described as New Baltic (at least according to their Facebook page), their five day residency at 6/8 was a fine example of the inventive yet tasty cuisine that chef Nick Astley and his partner Diana have come to be known for.

    First off we were treated to a linseed crisp with smoked eel and bacon pate, topped with celeriac noodles, and a cheese and cep cookies with cheese custard.  Both excellent to nibble at before the larger courses arrived.

    1 linseed crisp and ced cookie

    Delivered next to the tabled were chunks of bread nestled in brown paper bags to keep them nice and warm.  Soft, doughy but with a nice crust, this bread is always delicious and this was no exception.

    2 warm bread in a bag

    The Tartare ‘Olivier’ of beef, smoked duck, lumpfish, roe, coal, tarragon, pickled swede and chicken liver pate was delicated decorated with edible flowers and a quail’s egg with the shell still on.  There was some debate about whether this was the best way to enjoy the egg – I enjoyed the almost savoury mini-egg concept with the lightly crunchy shell, but one was enough for me (unlike actual mini-eggs which I’m convinced have addictive properties).

    3 quail egg and tartare olivier

    The soft shell crab with elderflower vodka and sourdough batter was just fantastic.  Wonderfully light batter, thanks to the vodka, alongside squid ink, flowers and kale was quickly re-named the best dish of the night by my friend Katie – a battle which raged for most of the night.

    4 soft shell crab

    For me though, my favourite dish of the night was definitely the pork belly with clear onion broth wild garlic oil, crackle and potato.  The onion and garlic broth was fantastically packed with flavours and the delicious pork topped with crackle was spot on.

    5 pork belly

    There were a couple of mysterious additions on the menu, one of which was just entitled ‘sorrel’ and this is exactly what arrived; stone-cold and fresh from the freezer this was dusted with icing sugar and needed to be eaten straight away.  Fresh, sweet but with a lemony zing this was an unusual palate cleanser but at least I could report back to my mum I’d definitely had my greens that day.

    Our first pudding was sliced apple with hazelnut praline, ice cream and dill.  This was my favourite of the puddings because I’m a sucker for anything with hazelnut in it.

    6 apple hazelnut ice creamNext up the Little Sponge of curds, fennel, elderflower, flowers and blueberries looked pretty but was probably my least favourite – I just can’t get on with curds.

    7 little spongeAnd then the final mysterious dish ‘potato’ had gained ridiculous suggestions from our end of the table all night but what arrived, much to Lauren’s delight, was choux pastry filled with sweet cream and covered in biscuit soil. A fantastic end.

    8 potato profiterole

    I’m aware of how pretentious this might sound but I love that we’re now at the stage where Birmingham has a fine-dining pop-up scene.  It’s pretty awesome that people, chefs and diners alike, are willing to take a chance on something a bit different in the city and it feels like Two Cats Roaming have been a real catalyst for this.  Although I’m equally excited that they’ve just announced that they’ll be opening their own permanent restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter, it doesn’t take away from the fact they’ve really helped push the food scene in the city into something new and exciting.  This evening was brilliant and I won’t leave it so long to return.

    Disclosure: Nothing to see here, I paid for this all out of my own money and I’d totally do it again.