Table Talk 15 September

The latest news from Lasan, The Steamhouse Company, Restaurant 23 and Patina in this week’s table talk.

Lasan restaurant Birmingham

Lasan in Birmingham has closed its doors  – but don’t worry its only temporary! The restaurant is being refurbished and a more spacious interior plus new menu will be revealed in October.

The Steamhouse

Steamhouse, the  coffee and bagels café in Leamington, has expanded and opened a new branch in Stratford upon Avon on the High Street.

Restaurant 23 Leamington Spa

Restaurant 23 in Leamington has welcomed  Abigail Connolly to the team. Abigail is taking over from  Eduardo Neto  as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.

Patina Bakery wedding cake

A new bakery has opened in Kenilworth. Patina is owned by Amy Clarke, who was previously pastry chef at The Cross. Ingredients used for her wedding and celebration cakes come from fair-trade sources and often local ones too – with flour from nearby Charlcotte Mill.

Coming soon to Birmingham…

coming soon to Birmingham

A trio of new openings in Birmingham will be offering an appetising menu of truffle-topped pizza, street food and gin.

After India, Argentina and the USA, the Lasan Group are looking to Italy for their new concept which opens in the Selfridges Food Hall later this month. Izza! will serve sourdough pizzas, antipasti, cured meats and salads. The thin-crust pizzas will be baked in a beechwood-fired oven. Expect to pay £8 for a basic Margherita to around £15 for a truffle- topped pizza.

The Mosaic Pub and Dining Group (who own the Button Factory in the Jewellery Quarter) is turning the former Fiddle & Bone into The Distillery. The canal side pub will re-open after Easter with a gin bar upstairs and pub serving real ales downstairs.

During the Easter weekend, on Saturday 15 April, the Custard Factory will be launching Street Food Saturday their first monthly street food event. Expect German sausages from @yumlaut curries and chaats from @TheIndianRasoi homemade soups and deli sandwiches from @little6T3 and a selection of international dishes from @ChefShack627. For the sweet-toothed, @Churros_Susanna  will be on hand with their Spanish churros and chocolate sauce and there’ll be cakes, bakes, and proper tea from @HMS_Cupcake  @TheGinBoxUK will be serving  gin-based cocktails from their lovingly converted horse box.

Birmingham in UK’s top ten cities for eating out

Birmingham has secured fifth place in the latest edition of Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2017.

This annual guide is based on one of the country’s most detailed surveys of regular restaurant-goers. In Harden’s 26th poll of diners 7,500 participants contributed 50,000 reviews for food, service and ambience.


Congratulations to top scorers Adam’s, Carters, Lasan and Original Patty Men with 5/5 and Al Frash, Gourmet Burger Company and Jyoti with 4/5.

The full listing of Birmingham restaurants (including a new entry for Rofuto) are:

The Karczma
Opus Restaurant
Purecraft Bar and Kitchen
Purnells Bistro
San Carlo
Turners at 69

What’s on – food and drink events

May is set to be a busy month for food and drink events.

It started with a bang for the opening of cocktail bar The Edgbaston (which I will feature soon) and the biggest street food night in the Midlands at Digbeth Dining Club.

may events summary

From Crabstock in Northampton and a spring fair at the Newbold Comyn Arms in Leamington Spa to an Awadhi banquet at Lasan, I hope there will be something that you like the sound of. Details for my top picks are on the Events page.

Enjoy yourself and why not tw-eat me your pics @midlandsgourmet.

February food and drink events

So what food and drink events are on the horizon for February?

Feb events

Celebrate the end of the British game season with the The Star and Garter in Leamington Spa.

Spice up your taste buds with a North Indian food festival in Birmingham with Lasan, or slap your thighs to the oompah band at Coombe Abbey’s Bavarian Night.

Continue the Chinese New Year celebrations at The Oriental with their wine matching dinner, join the old world versus new world debate at Hotel du Vin, or bubble into the weekend with the Friday Fizz birthday party at The Leamington Wine Company.

The choice is yours!

Currying favour

Today is Independence Day in India, so to celebrate Indian cuisine that is a little closer to home here is a tasty competition for Lasan’s new Summer Sunday Banquet.

Lasan montage The Daily Telegraph

Lasan has launched a traditional home-style feast of three courses as their Summer Sunday Banquet. Available from 1pm – 9pm until Sunday 29 September, the sharing dishes are £19.98 per person and £9.98 for children under 10.

As a Midlands Gourmet Girl reader you could win a meal for two!

Simply tweet #lasan @midlandsgourmet to enter, before 30 August when a winner will be chosen.


Aktar Islam profile

Aktar Islam

I met Aktar Islam, the chef and co-owner of Lasan and Fiesta del Asado, at the BBC Good Food Show Summer. In between his interviews and demonstrations, we talked about his favourite ingredients, Birmingham as a culinary destination and his plans for the future. Read my interview on the Profiles page.

Fiesta del Asado

Fiesta Del Asado logo

Lasan customers will recognise Aktar Islam overseeing the kitchen brigade, but Fiesta del Asado is not an Indian / Latin American fusion concept. It is a joint business venture for Lasan to bring Birmingham its first Argentine restaurant.

An invitation from the owners to try the dishes cooked on the grill fuelled by apple wood, olive wood and charcoal was the motivation to venture up the Hagley Road to try this new restaurant.

fiesta-del-asodo interior

The appetising smell of the grill in the open kitchen greets you on entering this ground floor dining room. What used to be a hotel, has been transformed by pale green walls, dark wood floors, stone fireplace, relief tiles and knick knacks to evoke a rustic Argentinian home.


After a drink at the bar we ordered our starters. Empanadas, the high rise puffs of pastry stuffed with spinach and provolone cheese, are served with mini pots of fiery red pepper, spring onion and cilantro dip. My partner’s starter of Choricitos, was a coil of paprika spiced sausage with a smoky blackened skin. We also shared succulent garlic prawns before our mains arrived.


My grilled chicken had been marinated in garlic and thyme and was balanced on a bed of fresh salsa. My partner’s 8oz bavette steak had a crisp, tangy, salt rub crust, which is one of Fiesta del Asado’s specialties. As sides we added four discs of flatbread with a melted provolone cheese topping and chips sprinkled with garlic and thyme.

photo (3)

Our waiter recommended the churros from the dessert menu. I have fond memories of dipping churros into chocolate sauce outside a nightclub in Barcelona, but this time I was too full to be tempted!

From taking our coats and seating us at the bar, to serving starters and mains courses in under an hour and calling a taxi for us, we found the service both efficient and friendly.

Fiesta del Asado has a concise menu that is well executed. The offices and hotels along Hagley Road can now claim to have a good, local restaurant on their doorstep.

229 Hagley Road Birmingham B16 9RP

0121 455 9331