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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

George Michael Tribute Night

George Michael

 

 

We all love a good shin-dig over Christmas and the cheesier the better. So it’s great to see so many tribute acts over the festive season all around Birmingham.

So if you are a Young Gun having some fun, The Westmead Hotel are launching their party nights this December.  First up they’re getting the party started with a Motown and Northern Soul night on Wednesday 6th December.

Hot on the heels of that is a Dance Through the Decades party night on Tuesday 12th. December. But the night that everyone is getting excited about, is the tribute to George Michael and 80’s night on Wednesday 13th December.

We all remember George Michael tragic passing on Christmas Day last year, but what better way to commemorate his legacy than to celebrate the music of Wham and his international solo chart success.

So whether you want to hop aboard the love train for an unforgettable night of soul classics or slow dance to Last Christmas  and reminisce over George, there’s sure to be a fun filled night for everyone.

 

Dining and dancing tickets available from the Westmead Hotel 0121 445 1202.

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Aluna at the Mailbox Unveils New Menu

aluna

Aluna is proud to be unveiling a delectable new menu. It’s out with the old and in with the new, but its still filled with Aluna’s signature pan-asian allure. Diners will be lavished with offerings such as Thai Green Curry, Malay Butter Prawns, and Salt and Pepper Squid. Vegans and Vegetarians have been taken care of too – try the Stir Fried Tofu with Cashew Nut, and Chargrilled Vegetable and Glass Noodle Salad. Meat-lovers will be glad to see the Aluna Burger and Rib Eye Steak from the grill with a choice of peppercorn and oriental sauces.

General Manager  Nitin Solanki says: ‘We’re really happy with our new menu and excited for everyone to get down to the Mailbox to try it out. Whether its a meal with friends in the evening or after work drinks, Aluna has just the right vibe to get you in the festive spirit.’

 

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Curry King cooks up a storm for 2017 return

curry king

Chances are if you’re from Birmingham, you’ve proudly told someone that your hometown invented the Balti. Dubbed the ‘Curry Capital’ of the UK, the city has something for everyone when it comes to curry; from your Friday night takeaway to your fine Indian dining. So it’s no surprise that charity LoveBrum is making the most of the Brummie love for curry for its annual ‘Curry King of Birmingham’ fundraiser.

Following on from last year’s debut, Curry King of Birmingham will return to the ICC, Birmingham on Thursday 16 November with hundreds of guests creating their very own curry whilst enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by the experts. As Bobby Davro opens the event in his true belly-laughing style, each table will nominate a ‘chef’ to deliver the table’s chosen spices to a chef on stage who will then cook up the creation ready to be judged by an esteemed – if not terrifying – panel of experts who will choose this year’s Curry King (or Queen) of Birmingham.

LoveBrum is pulling out all the stops for next month’s event, with 10 of the region’s finest foodies judging the culinary creations; esteemed food writer Paul Fulford will join fellow writer Anita Champeneri from Delicious PR, and Asian Today and Birmingham Awards organiser, Anita Chumber, on the panel. Restauranteurs Aktar Islam (Lasan Group), Rai Singh (Praza and Pushkar), and Raj Rana (Itihaas) will also lend their expertise to the evening’s competition. The ‘Black Country’s Master of Food’ Nitisha Patel will be joined by founder of Miss Macaroon, Rosie Ginday, and Soul Tree Wine’s Gorvinder Singh, on the panel. Additionally, the most recent judge to be announced is the wonderful Richard Turner from Turners at 69.

Returning judge Aktar Islam, commented: “I’m delighted to be part of Curry King of Birmingham once again this year; celebrating our city – and nation’s – favourite cuisine in such a fun way… it’s an event like no other!

“I’m so proud to be involved with the amazing work that LoveBrum does, as it really goes above and beyond when it comes to supporting the city’s unsung heroes and bringing communities together. The fact that this event will allow support to those who really need it only makes it a more wonderful event to get involved with; whether that’s judging, entering or simply attending.”

Curry King of Birmingham is all about fusing food, fun and fundraising in the most exciting way. Described as ‘black tie, but not as you know it,’ the event is all about interaction and participation, with each table joining together to create their curry ready for judging. In addition to the competition, there are also a host of great opportunities for guests to raise money for LoveBrum, including an interactive quiz, raffle, silent auction, and a live auction – with every single penny raised going directly to the local causes that LoveBrum supports.

To add to the evening’s entertainment, six-piece band HouseJammerz will be playing 80s classics, followed by a DJ set from Rob Holliday of The Prodigy/Marilyn Manson.

With headline sponsors East End Foods and SimkissGuy Recruitment joining forces with drinks sponsor Swallow Drinks, Curry King of Birmingham 2017 is an event like no other!

Tickets cost £90, with tables of 10 also available, from ticketlist.co.uk/curryking.

All proceeds from Curry King of Birmingham will go to LoveBrum, a charity that prides itself on unearthing and supporting hidden gem projects within the city, in particular ones that may not have access to the support and exposure they need. The charity aims to profile around 40 causes per year, with 12 receiving £2,000 funding complemented by a year of business support. These projects are promoted as part of a monthly vote, where members find out about a cause every week and vote for their favourite at the end of the month.

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Brum Celebrates the Best in Business

Tony DTIBA

400 business leaders packed into Edgbaston Stadium on November 9th to celebrate the inaugural City of Birmingham Business Awards, hosted by Downtown Birmingham, and sponsored by Lifestyle Partnerships.
The gala awards dinner, presented by Ed James, rewarded some of the best businesses and business leaders in the City Region.

The big winners on the evening included Paul Cadman, Michele Wilby and Bart Dalton who won the Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and Business Personality of the Year respectively.

Best Hotel went to Hotel du Vin. Pictured are General Manager, Tony Elvin and Sales Manager, Jason Simpson.

The biggest prize on the evening went to Argent LLP who won the Business of the Year award.

Frank McKenna CEO of Downtown in Business commented: “It has been fantastic to reward all of the amazing businesses in the Birmingham City Region. The calibre of businesses in the city made a nomination for these awards an achievement in itself. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and wish all the nominees best of luck for next year when the COBBA’s will return.”

Celebrations went on long into the night, with a terrific set from Happy Monday’s icon Rowetta, followed by an aftershow party at the Malmaison Hotel.

 

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The Stable Cider Experience

 

Cider Tasting

If you have eaten at The Stable before, you will know that these guys are not only passionate about their pizza, but their cider too.  So much so, they are extending their expertise to improve our knowledge of the good stuff by offering a range of different cider tasting experiences. If you are looking for a Christmas gift with a twist, this really is a must for a cider-loving loved one!

The nationwide chain offer three unique events: ‘The Strictly Cider’, ‘The Cider and Supper’ and the top dog ‘Ultimate Cider Experience’. First up is ‘The Strictly Cider’ event which acts as an introductory experience. At £15pp guests are treated to rustic cheese and crackers, all washed down with ten of the tastiest ciders brewed on home shores. There is also plenty opportunity to ask the cider expert on hand any questions you may have about the carefully selected drinks you’ll be enjoying on the day.

For £22.50pp ‘The Cider and Supper’ event provides all the ‘Strictly Cider’ experience does and more! You will be talked through the top ten tasters. Additionally, the cheese and crackers will act merely as a warm up to your choice of pizza to follow. Group bookings can request a buffet range of The Stable’s cheesy treats. Individuals can pick from a cutely, quirky menu of home-cooked options. A real comfort during winter months.

The ‘Ultimate Cider Experience’ offers a much more in depth experience for those who love all things cider. A steal at £30pp. The ultimate option is ideal for those who want to pick up skills to take home. You will try a wider variety of high-end ciders and be given a work-shop on distinguishing notes, tastes and colours. Pizza will be served alongside, in keeping with The Stable’s specialty. You will also be offered cider brandies to accompany the gloriously, rich brownies you will enjoy for dessert!

If you are a self-proclaimed sucker for scrumpy it really is worth checking these events out. Great for an array of occasions; birthdays, an understated stag or hen party, even a work’s Christmas gathering would suit the location. No doubt, the forever warm and welcoming staff will be on-hand to ensure you a memorable visit.

To find out more head to the website: http://stablepizza.com

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Review – Blakes Restaurant at the Westmead

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On Friday we had the pleasure of dining at Blakes, the new restaurant just launched at the Westmead Hotel in Hopwood. First things first, the service throughout was amazing – not too many check-backs, and a really polite and friendly face from everyone working there.

The dining part of the restaurant is all dark navy and soft grey, a more composed version of the bright (and decidedly Instagram-friendly) flower wall in the bar. We started with two duck eggs which had slowly exploding, golden yolks, perfectly seasoned, nestled on three al dente sprigs of fresh asparagus. Sometimes asparagus can be woody or tough, but this was great, grilled gently, and served with a swipe of acidic pea puree to contrast the salty yolks.

The other starter consisted of a hearty portion of juicy, whole chicken wings in a sweetly succulent barbecue sauce, with a fresh salsa with a good kick, and a mini bucket of homemade slaw. This was really good value as a starter and lovely that it came with salsa as that really cut through the stickiness of the wings.

After freshening with a finger bowl, we enjoyed the last of our cocktails – mine a french martini studded with a raspberry and coated with a fine, silky, froth, and a very punchy mojito – one of the best I’ve tried.

For the main, we selected a chicken burger – but this was no ordinary chicken burger. In the middle, buttermilk chicken thighs, in a coating that was creamily reminiscent of the name, gherkins – fresh with an audible snap – onions and tomatoes. On the outside, the brioche bun was a textural delight. The surface of the bun  buckled under fingertips but underneath had a bouncy, brioche tenacity.

While picky about pizza, this one was just right: delicate mozzarella, fresh jalapenos, discs of salty pepperoni and the best part and a unique selling point of Blakes – a dough base made in-house. When baked in the special-order, copper penny covered, wood fire oven, this base becomes a grainy, satiny wonder when folded to capture the rest of the sliding hot pizza.

Finally we managed to find room for a masterpiece of a dessert. Consisting of a warm, marbled slab of brownie, with pistachio ice cream and peanut brittle, it was artfully arranged but hearty in the generous, rich flavour of the brownie.

Blakes offerings for Sunday lunch look incredible and they are constantly coming out with new and exciting seasonal cocktails to get you in the mood – Poisoned Apple Pie for Halloween definitely sounds intriguing.

 Reviewed by Dhechen Lama

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Only the best – Hotel du Vin & Bistro’s autumn menu lets the ingredients do the talking

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Every good chef knows it is the quality of ingredients that can make or break a meal, which is why Hotel du Vin’s Chef Director Matt Powell continually travels the length and breadth of the UK to source the very best.

This year’s Autumn A la Carte menu, which has just launched at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, is no different. The dishes have been carefully created by Matt to really showcase that quality which goes into each one.

The smoked salmon starter, for example. Served with quails eggs, shallots, capers and cornichons, it’s a signature dish of Hotel du Vin’s that is never far from the menu in one form or another. The secret to its success is the salmon, provided by bespoke smoking and curing specialists Severn & Wye Smokery. They follow a very traditional smoking process, ensuring their produce is of the highest quality, and pride themselves in having zero carbon footprint by using alternative energy supplies to prepare their produce.

A new addition to the menu is the Herdwick lamb shank tagine with ras el hanout and cous cous. Always a crowd pleaser, flavoursome, tender and versatile lamb is not just for Spring. The Herdwick lamb on Hotel du Vin’s menu is sourced from the prestigious Altham family, a quintessential British butcher who are steeped in heritage and tradition. They work closely with producers such as Cumbrian fell top famer Jonathan Hope. With the rolling Skiddaw Fells for a backdrop, Jonathan’s flock of hardy Herdwicks are free to roam and graze naturally on the local fell vegetation, where wildflowers mingle effortlessly with native grass. This natural, no-stress lifestyle plays an undeniably important role in ensuring that tender, succulent lamb can be enjoyed for an extended season.

And to finish? Valrhona chocolate is internationally recognised as the producer of the finest chocolate in the world, so you can’t go wrong with this years’ delicious Baked Chocolate and Pear Pudding with honey crème fraiche. Based in the Rhone Valley in Southern France, Valhorna use traditional techniques and machinery to produce exceptional chocolate from Cocoa beans sourced from long term growing partners.

Matt Powell said, “The Hotel du Vin philosophy is simple. You need to start with quality ingredients to create delicious meals. We work incredibly hard to ensure we work with only the best suppliers, and we’ve seen a growing interest from our guests in the stories behind the produce on their plates. We take our food, and our suppliers, seriously and we want our customers to experience that philosophy in the dishes we serve them.”

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Oxfordshire pub the White Hart reaps National awards

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

It has been a bumper award-winning year for an Oxfordshire gastro pub that sources much of its ingredients from a bountiful kitchen garden. The White Hart at Fyfield has received a crop of accolades including being named Restaurant of the Year South East in the Food Awards England.

 Owners Mark and Kay Chandler were delighted to receive the gong at the fourth annual award ceremony held at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on Monday, October 2nd.  The White Hart team have also been recognised by The Good Food Guide 2018 and The 2018 Michelin Guide.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Food Awards England organisers Creative Oceanic, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have such great finalists and winners representing the English food industry and enhancing its reputation nationally and internationally. These were the fourth annual Food Awards England. They are a true reflection of the talent in the country and we want to make sure that the hard work and determination of English food professionals don’t go unnoticed.”

Mark and Kay put their success down to their ethos for sourcing the very best, seasonal ingredients and the dedication and passion of their team. They commented: “It has been a wonderful year for us. We were honoured to win Restaurant of the Year South East and to feature in both The Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide 2018 was the icing on the cake for us and our fantastic team.”

“We are lucky to have such a talented and enthusiastic team and such wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep. Our ethos centres around using the best sustainable produce in the area. We work with local farmers and suppliers, grow lots of Read more »

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Top 5 Street Foods Here and Coming to Birmingham

tamatanga rice

Birmingham is a city worth celebrating, to state the obvious our city has gone street food crazy which only means one thing for your appetite it’s about to go through the roof! Street food inspired restaurants are emerging in all quarters, but can you blame them? It’s a riveting concept and even better when the food is mouth-watering!

If you’re on the hunt for authentic street food experience packed complete with all the flavour and excitements of the market delights, you’re in for a treat. Her’s are top 5 Deliicous choices.

 

Tamatanga

Hearty, home styled Indian food! Tamatanga is nestled among some of Nottingham’s best restaurants.  Brummies look no further this chic eatery has brought their flavours of success into our turf with the promise of “a new way to eat Indian”.  Try their tapas style sharing dishes, you can choose from ambrosial dishes such as Chaat, Samosas, Jerk Tikka, Prawn Tempura as well as regular curry dishes made from traditional recipes.

Zindiya

The perfect love affair spot for Indian street food lovers!  Zindiya is a new eatery and bar in town serving Indian realness with a culture twist. Stuck for what to eat for lunch? Well this little bundle of joy fits perfectly into that mould. Before the food arrives you will find yourself already feeling enticed by the bright walls covered in authentic artwork bringing a piece of India to Birmingham. Whether you’re after a light bite at lunch as well as a more substantial dinner in the evening, Zindiya will have you wishing all restaurants serve Chaat.

Indico

This little gem offers a true celebration of Indian street food and cultural heritage, tucked in Shirley and Solihull the food at Indico has been carefully selected to showcase the best and tastiest dishes from the Indian street food culture . Make sure to try the buttery paranthas of the Punjab and Goa’s famous Goan fish curry rice and Raos omelette  which is an omelette dipped in spicy coconut gravy garnished with lime and onions.

Gateway To India

You’ll never see such fab mixed grills than here.  It’s a real feats for the eyes. They have the best selection of vegetarian dishes like Chana bature, papri chaat and pau bhaji

Mowgli

Booming already in Liverpool and Manchester, Mowgli will be opening its doors late September stationed at Grand Central.  The venue layout is intimate surrounded by a Jungle Book theme, when you arrive you will know this place is unique. The menu is fresh and innovative, be sure to try the Indian styled ‘chip butties’,  flavour filled yoghurt Chaat bombs and delicious fish dishes as well as an extensive wine list to choose from. If you have specific dietary requirements do not feel left out they also serve gluten free and vegan meals!

Get your tummy ready and just about everybody you know because things are about to get exciting!

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It’s Mooncake madness as China town’s Mid Autumn Festival roars into the Arcadian

Chinese lion pic

This weekend will see a host of colourful cultural festivities at the Arcadian as The Chinese Festival Committee host the Mid Autumn Festival this Saturday afternoon.

Headed up by James Wong, owner of the Chung Ying Restaurant Group, there will be a feast of activities and food to enjoy for all the family.

The Mid Autumn Festival has been celebrated in China since the Shang Dynasty over 3000 years ago. It has ties to the moon, fertility, and the Autumn harvest time.

James Wong says, “It gives me great pleasure to bring the Mid Autumn festival back to Southside. The Arcadian is a great space for all the festivities and in modern times the day is a time for Chinese families to get together to eat lots of delicious food! Not many know the historical story of the festival and the tradition of the mooncakes, and it is an interesting one.”

One of the many legends goes thus: after Hou-Yi shot the nine other suns out of the sky, the gods were impressed and gave him an elixir of immortality. But he loved his wife Chang so much that he couldn’t bear to live without her.

People were jealous and when Hou-Yi left the house his friend Peng Meng chased his wife for the elixir, which she loyally refused to give away. She was forced to flee into the moon, and in his overwhelming grief Hou-Yi arranged all her favourite foods outside their house as an offering to her.

This is where the tradition of mooncakes comes from. They are a sort of savoury, filled dumpling with red bean paste and a duck egg, which resembles the moon when the dumpling is broken into.

With Taekwondo performances, Dragon Dances, a performance from the Hall Green Academy choir and fireworks to end the festival at 7pm, you are sure to work up an appetite.

Luckily, there will be a plethora of street food offerings. City favourites Digbeth Dining Club will be on hand, as well as the fantastic Dim Sum Su, which we can’t wait to try out.

If all this wasn’t enough, Mr James Wong himself is even promising to shave his head in aid of cancer research if £4,000 can be raised for Macmillan. That’s worth a visit in itself.

Entrance is free and the weather looks fine so this is sure to be an event for all the family.

 

ENDS

12:00 – 19:00 at The Arcadian –  Birmingham

 

Hurst Street, Southside, B5 4TD Birmingham United Kingdom

 

 

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