A taste of La Dolce Vita


If Italian cuisine is one of your favourites, then head over to the Birmingham suburbs Moseley and Kings Heath for a taste of la dolce vita. The Southern regions of Gargano and Puglia are being celebrated in a new deli and limited edition dinner pop-up by chefs from those regions.


In Moseley a new deli Sapori di Sole Italian for ‘flavours of the sun’ brings delicious produce from the Gargano region of Southern Italy, where owner Antonello Turco (of Byzantium restaurant in Kings Heath) is from.

Fill up your larder with artisan cheese, raw honey, extra virgin oils, hams, handmade chocolates, almond biscuits and olives as well as savouring the homemade Italian dishes, including the paposcia to take away.


At the end of the month is a three night Puglian feast is taking place at the Kitchen Garden Café in Kings Heath. This pop-up is produced and presented by Cooks in case and promises a sensory experience of traditional Italian home cooking.

There are two menus to tempt the taste buds: Terra featuring vegetarian and meat options (Thursday 30th March and Saturday 1st April) and Terra e Mare featuring seafood, meat and vegetarian options (Friday 31st March).

Dishes include tender slow-cooked octopus served with the queen of Italian cheeses burrata; meatballs in a slow-cooked tomato sauce with rosemary potatoes, as well as homemade desserts such as tiramisù and an orange, almond and walnut cake.

The new venture is a collaboration between Birmingham arts producer Judy Owen and her partners Monica Contini and Valentina Comunale based in Italy. Monica said: “We love to cook for people and we can’t wait to bring our Puglian cuisine to the Kitchen Garden Café in Birmingham, including our famous burrata cheese! It will be very informal and relaxed and will allow people to discover some of the special dishes that have made our region famous for its gastronomy.”


Blue Rabbit hops into Kings Heath

The Kitchen Garden Café in Kings Heath has played host to a number of innovative pop-ups and their latest is with Blue Rabbit & Co.

This new independent bistro is led by chef Dominic Simmonds. Dominic has worked at a number of Birmingham’s top restaurants and is now cooking his own style of high quality, simple, food  @DominicSimmonds

He says “We are passionate about serving delicious food at a reasonable price and while we admit this is not an original idea, it is, however, one which we feel is important amongst so many of today’s high street chains.”

Blue Rabbit

At a reasonably priced two courses £15 three courses £18 here is a sample menu –

Starters – ham hock terrine, beetroot cured salmon, tomato, mozzarella and black olive salad.

Mains – rabbit and fennel stew with white beans, hake, pearl barley and salsa verde, strozzapretti, mushrooms and spinach.

Desserts – chocolate brownie with mint choc chip ice cream, lemon and ricotta cake.

Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights http://www.bluerabbitandco.com


Epi Restaurant pop-ups in Birmingham

After an extended break I’ve finally emptied my inbox, which contained some exciting news for 2014. There will be a new street food collective launching in Birmingham, Glynn Purnell is publishing his first cookbook and there are a couple new food festivals planned for Warwickshire in the Summer. I’ll let you know more details as soon as I have them.

One event that I can tell you about now, is a new pop-up from chefs Nathan Eades and Grant Hill.

Nathan Eades and Grant Hill Epi Restaurant pop-up

After a successful few months running their Epi pop-up restaurant in Bromsgrove, the Ludlow trained duo are making their way over to Birmingham for three dates this month.

Nathan and Grant will be serving modern British cuisine with French technique and influence.  They will be using local artisan suppliers and both have a keen interest in foraging and wild foods.  Nathan says: “We’re both trained in classical French cookery, that’s what we love doing and feel comfortable doing, but we’re going to use local ingredients as much as possible.”


Here is what diners can expect from some of the dishes at the Kitchen Garden Café on Monday 13, 20 and 27 January – goat with spiced quinoa and fennel, salmon with cauliflower and chicory and pork with broccoli and almonds.


This isn’t the first time that the Kitchen Garden Café has played host to successful pop-ups, as happy diners from masterchef the professionals finalist Claire Hutchings can testify. The venue is a mix of a licensed cafe, organic Fairtrade deli and garden centre, that transforms itself into an a la carte restaurant for weekend evenings. http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk

Epi pop-up tickets are £32.50 and available via  www.epi-KGC.eventbrite.co.uk.  For more information visit their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/epirestaurant or follow them on twitter @RestaurantEpi.


Claire Hutchins Pop-Up Restaurant

Claire Hutchings

Moseley’s Masterchef finalist Claire Hutchings is back in Birmingham, with a series of pop-up nights at the Kitchen Garden Café. Enjoy a five course tasting menu for £45 on the following dates –

7th 8th  27t 29th 30th January.

4th 5th 6th 17th 19th February.

4th 5th  6th March.

Claire will also be hosting a vegetarian evening on 14th – 15th January.