Birmingham Flavour Flav

Birmingham Flavour Fortnight

If you are eating out in Birmingham over the next two weeks, check out the
Birmingham Flavour Fortnight site first, for a feast of special menus and promotions available in dozens of city venues.

Purnells restaurant cherry clafoutis

Among those is Michelin-starred Purnell’s on Cornwall Street, which is offering four courses for £40 per person during Flavour Fortnight.

The Old Joint Stock Birmingham pies

The Old Joint Stock, voted one of the UK’s top 25 pubs by the Observer newspaper, is offering any speciality pie for £10 during Flavour Fortnight.

Buffalo & Rye Birmingham spicy prawn pops

Over in Bennetts Hill,  Buffalo and Rye is offering a free cocktail when you spend £10 on food.

Tom's Kitchen beetroot cured salmon.jpg

And Tom’s Kitchen at the Mailbox is offering 20% off the food bill for the duration of Flavour Fortnight.

Running from today (Friday 1st September) to the 17th these are just a small selection of the treats on offer, find out how to book and the conditions of each offer online.

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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.

hardens-uk-restaurant-guide-2017

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:

Asha’s
Edmunds
The Karczma
Lasan
Opus Restaurant
Purecraft Bar and Kitchen
Purnells
Purnells Bistro
San Carlo
Simpsons
Turners at 69

Review of 2012

As this is my last post for 2012, I thought I’d look back on some of the highlights of the food and restaurant scene in Birmingham and Warwickshire.

Scooping awards and accolades – The Malt Shovel in Barstoncelebrated being named Warwickshire Dining Pub of the Year in the 2013 Good Pub Guide.  Pub Restaurant Chef of the Year was Rob Hartwell from Rose & Crown in Warwick. The Bluebell Henley in Arden won Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the year for the Midlands. Blue Bistro in Coventry was awarded Best Newcomer in the Warwickshire Life Food and Drink Award and Peel’s in Hampton Manor were awarded Best Restaurant of the Year. Restaurant Bosquet in Kenilworth (with chef Bernard Linier pictured below) impressed Birmingham Post’s Richard McComb to pick up a McComb Award for Dining (MAD).

Bernard Lingier

 

 

 

 

 

Birmingham’s reputation as a fine dining city continued with Purnell’s named the BMW Squaremeal Best UK Restaurant. Lasan and Simpsons were included in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants of the Year, as voted by Harden’s readers. In Restaurant magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants in the UK Loves featured. Purnell’s, Simpsons and Turners all retained their Michelin stars.

Purnell's

 

 

 

 

 

 

The region’s hotels saw significant investment and heavyweight chefs drafted in to support new openings. Marcus Wearing consulted on the menu for Hotel La Tour’s Aalto restaurant, where I became a fan of their afternoon tea.  Hogarth’s completed a £4m make-over and chef Martin Blunos was appointed as Culinary Director.

Hotel La Tour scones and afternoon fancies

 

 

 

 

 

 

The popularity of single ingredient restaurants spread from London to the Midlands. High quality steak and chicken cooked well won new customers for the New Inn in Harborne and The Flat Chicken in Stratford. Barbecuing meats was the hottest cooking trend of the year, with the openings of Argentinian Fiesta del Asadoon the Hagley Road and Brazillian Rodizio Rico in The Mailbox.

The competition for the most glamorous makeover was a tie between The Warwickin Hockley Heath and The Star & Garter in Leamington, which was given a £500K make-over by the Peach Pub Co.

The Warwick

 

 

 

 

In the culinary Olympics it was a cook-off between the French and Italians. Funky brasserie Le Truc Café and Purnell’s Bistro opened to give Brummies a Gallic twist to their dining. While the award-winning San Carlo Group launched Fumo in Waterloo Street. The cocktail bar, restaurant and late lounge serves small dishes of Venetian tapas known as Cicchetti (pronounced chi-KET-tee).

Fumo appetisers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chefs on the move included Solihull chef Mathew Ebdon joining The Beeches in Hampton in Arden and it was all change at Edmunds in Brindleyplace, who welcomed Dider Philipot to head up the French fine dining restaurant as Andy Waters left to run the restaurant at The Queens at Belbroughton Worcester.

Didier Philipot Edmunds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sunglasses and crowds came out for food festivals. Kenilworth followed the successful Stratford and Leamington food festivals by launching their first Foodie Fortnight promoting local restaurants and food producers. I went to the Chilli Festival in Brindley Place for the first time and admired how the contestants kept their cool, as the torture of hotter and hotter chillies were administered. The Colmore Row Food Festival returned for a second year and filled Victoria Square with tasters from local restaurants including Saffron and Opus.

Birmingham Chilli Festival stall

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Leamington Spa Restaurant 23 moved to bigger premises in Holly Walk and the bar/ restaurant / club Altoria opened its three floors to diners. High Pavement in Warwick and The Lazy Cow in Stratford were welcome additions to the towns’ dining offers.

High Pavement Warwick

 

 

 

 

 

Going to events meant that I was able to meet lots of local producers. I met the Mini Jar Company and Napton Water Buffalo Company at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, Tan Rosie and cheesemaker David Jowett at the Stratford Food Festival and  Jabberwocky at the Leamington Food Festival.

David Jowett

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan food producers saw the benefits of collaboration in Kings Heath Birmingham. Lucky13 Bakehouse, Change Kitchen, Cuffufle Chutney, Wanton & Furious and Capeling & Co joined forces to form B14 collective. Delish Deli in Rugby moved to bigger premises and Summersaults opened their new deli next to their vegetarian restaurant.

Summersaults deli counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our regional food sector is thriving and I hope that my blog has highlighted how easy it is to shop local, eat local and support Warwickshire’s food heroes.

 


 

Table Talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s round-up features new Autumn menus.

Making the most of the season, The Rose & Crown in Warwick has introduced rich slow-cooked meats, mushrooms, game, squashes and pumpkins in risottos to their Autumn menu. www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk

Roasted coley served with a bean stew and venison stroganoff, are two of the new Autumn dishes using fresh, seasonal produce at The Church in Northampton. www.thechurchrestaurant.com

Purnells has called their new Autumn menu ‘windswept and interesting’ which is designed to be enjoyed by the whole table. The six courses include red mullet with a cep consommé, Creddy Carver duck breast with beetroot and fallen Autumn fruits with chocolate and vanilla beignets for £60 per person. http://www.purnellsrestaurant.com

Restaurant News

Purnell’s has launched a Simply Summer six course menu. This includes an amuse bouche, goats’ cheese with heirloom tomatoes, veal tongue with an organic poached egg yolk horseradish and  watercress, Brixham brill with textures of artichoke English asparagus and confit potatoes, roast breast of duck with treacle and black pepper glaze,  “Strawberries and cucumber”  and raspberry Eton Mess for £60 per person. www.purnellsrestaurant.com

From now until 31st August enjoy a set two course lunch with a glass of Prosecco for £14.50 or three courses for £19.50 at Mallory Court.www.mallory.co.uk

A new copper- topped bar is the centrepiece of The Stag at Offchurch’s £30,000 makeover. The refurb has also increased the number of dining covers to 90. www.thestagatoffchurch.com