Its April at last! I’m not doing a good job of waiting for Nomad and The Botanist in Birmingham, as well as The Mock Turtle and Drawing Board in Leamington Spa, to open their doors.
I’ll be visiting all of them over the next week or so, but in the meantime to whet your appetite here is what you can expect from these exciting new additions to the Birmingham and Leamington restaurant scene.
Known for his vegetarian masterpieces at Warehouse Café and Bistro 1847,chef Alex Claridge is branching out on his own with pop-up Nomad. The three month residency at the Kings Heath Café starts on Friday 3 April but move quickly if you want to bag a table!
Alex says “I want to cook food that excites me. Nomad is a collection of ideas, focusing on memory, place and nature. I want to explore these things through cooking.”
The Birmingham Mail has already had a sneak peak at the menu, which includes dishes to surprise and delight diners – including moss, filthy duck wings, fresh ricotta in ashes and white chocolate, caramel, pepper dulse, popcorn. If you miss out on this pop-up, a city centre Nomad residency is planned for June.
On Monday 6 April, the wrought iron gates of Chamberlain House in Temple Street will reveal The Botanist bar and restaurant. The first foray into Birmingham by the Living Ventures group, we are promised barbecue, deli and rotisserie food with an extensive 45 cocktails and 82 bottled beers. All under the care of general manager Julian Rose-Gibbs (ex The Victoria).
The collaboration of The Jabberwocky with The Cake Doctor was bound to get my pulse racing! Two of my favourite street food chefs are opening their first restaurant together, in the unlikely setting of an assisted living development for the over 55s.
Flic explains; “The development company at Queensway Court want a fresh, local caterer who won’t provide jail-house slop. We want a Jabberwocky restaurant where we can serve toasties, tea and all the other foods that make us happy. Leamington has tons of cafés, but down that end, where the retail park lurks, the best you can get is a chain coffee and a defrosted vac-pack of cake.”
Queensway Court is open to the whole community, so everyone can enjoy a Manwich to a Sunday roast with some of the finest cakes for afters, seven days a week from 8.30 am when they open on Thursday 2 April.
The Regency Arms pub in Leamington Spa sadly closed its doors in January this year. Perhaps the good value menu by resident chef Christophe Charpentier and live music weren’t enough to keep the venue going, which is a huge shame as I liked the place.
Details on this new opening are scant, but the owners are teasing us with their refurb pics on Twitter, showing glimpses of comic book art, with a tentative opening date around Thursday 9 April for the handsome two storey Newbold Terrace pub.
So a busy week ahead trying the menus of Nomad, The Botanist, The Mock Turtle and Drawing Board awaits!
Photo credits: Birmingham Mail, Nomad, The Botanist, The Mock Turtle, Drawing Board