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Big Buzz around the launch of Zen Metro

Pawan Kenth and Paul Bassi

Last night the Colmore Business District was buzzing from the launch of the new Zen Metro on Cornwall Street. Property and finance professionals came out in force to support BrandAsia’s newest venture, Zen Metro.

This sophisticated Thai restaurant in the heart of Birmingham’s financial district boasts an extensive menu, chic interior and a party atmosphere to match. With this iconic bar being the sister restaurant of award winning Asha’s, nothing other than exemplary service and great food was expected and definitely delivered.

The exclusive VIP Launch also attracted many well-known faces from the media. Guests included Capital XTRA’s Sacha Brooks; Heart FM’s Steve Denyer; Free Radio’s Andy Goulding, ITV Presenter Genelle Aldred, Radio WM’s Richie Anderson and special guests The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham.

Corporate giants also joined to show their support, such as Bond Wolfe, Cushman and Wakefield, Colmore BID, Marketing Birmingham, Ernst and Young, Seven Capital to name a few, as well as journalists and bloggers.

Guests enjoyed Zen Metro’s elegance and charm and devoured a fabulous selection of traditional Thai bites and curries such as skewered grilled prawns with mango; raw papaya salad; coupes of duck salad; mini bowls of massaman curry and green chicken curry.

Manager Jaimon George said, “we were thrilled that #GetTheZenVibe was trending on twitter and we really appreciate the support of our customers who created that buzzing ambience. We know they will return to us to enjoy some great Thai food.”

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New Zen Bar Opens In Colmore Business District

New Zen Bar InteriorColmore Business District has always been the hub for great bars and restaurants in Birmingham and now it’s set to be even better with the launch of Zen Metro on Cornwall Street.

Based on the site of the old Metro Bar and Grill – the restaurant will be launching a new menu serving great Thai food from July 6th Having been taken over by Paul Bassi and Pawan Kenth’s Brandasia Group in 2015, the iconic venue has been refurbished and will be taking a new direction offering a quality offering for its regular business clientele.

After a £250,000 investment, the 100-seater venue has now been transformed into a sophisticated Thai restaurant complete with a huge blossom tree centrepiece, emulating a luxurious south-eastern vibe. Guests can enjoy Metro by Day and Zen by Night. There is a glassed private dining room too that seats up to 20 people, where you can enjoy dinner and a quality wine list or Read more »

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Opus Restaurant, Midlands most sustainable restaurant

Birmingham Greener Awards

Birmingham Greener Awards

Opus at Cornwall Street has secured its place as the Midlands’ most sustainable independent restaurant with another award win.

The 2AA Rosette restaurant won the ‘Best Greener and Healthier Lifestyles (Food) Scheme’ award at the ‘Making Birmingham Greener and Healthier Awards 2016’, an accolade from Birmingham’s Green Commissions to celebrate those businesses that are undertaking groundbreaking work with environment.

Opus picked up the gong at a ceremony on Tuesday 5th July at Birmingham Council House, after it demonstrated a dedication to ethical food sourcing, educating schoolchildren on the importance of good nutrition, raising awareness of British suppliers and collaborating with other Birmingham businesses in an attempt to make the city greener.

Praised for its passion for sustainability, 90% of Opus’ produce is sourced in Britain and much around the Midlands, in a bid to support the local economy and lower the Read more »

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Turners Michelin Restaurant to Return to More Accessible Cooking

Chef Richard Turner

Chef Richard Turner

Chef Patron Richard Turner, of his eponymous Michelin Starred restaurant, Harborne Birmingham, has today announced that he is going to return to his roots, focusing on accessible cooking for his loyal customers.

Turners restaurant is a small 26 cover restaurant , one of the smallest restaurants of its level in the Uk, that has held a Michelin Star since 2009. “Many of our customers travel from right across the UK and we receive a huge amount of positive feedback directly and in the media, all being very supportive. My passion from over 30 years of cooking remains sourcing quality seasonal ingredients and creating balanced simpler dishes,

Continuing “My customers increasing tell me they want to dine with us more often and in a more relaxed atmosphere. The trend towards tasting menus and the formal service inhibit such. So, I have decided to create a more relaxed experience for my customers, dropping Tasting Menus,  with a simplified a la carte menu, which will maintain the focus on quality just on a more accessible basis.”

“We will be opening for more hours, serving the best ingredients available, at accessible prices.” Continuing “Customers just want great food, value and a friendly welcoming service, it’s a simple as that. I love cooking and look forward to the renaissance of my restaurant following our annual closure in august .”

Richard is keeping the actual details of his new venture Read more »

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Birmingham Hospitality Awards Host the Finest of the Midlands

BFDH Awards Judges

BFDH Awards Judges

Many luminaries from the Hospitality industry gathered at the Edgbaston Cricket Stadium Monday night to celebrate, reward and highlight the great work done within the city at places where people EAT DRINK and SLEEP.

The inaugural Birmingham Food Drink & Hospitality Awards was held on Monday 6th June at the prestigious sporting arena, which is making a name for itself by hosting high profile events. The event, hosted by celebrity TV personality and proud Brummie, Alison Hammond (pictured with James Day, editor of ETM Above) raced along at a brisk pace and the attendees were fabulously entertained.

The Awards are the first of their kind, including a plethora of Read more »

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Birmingham Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park

Birmingham's Michelin Chefs Nathan Eades, Richard Turner, Brad Carter

Birmingham’s Michelin Chefs Nathan Eades, Richard Turner, Brad Carter

Birmingham basks away in the glorious heat wave at the Foodies Festival

The UK’s largest food festival returned to Brum on the 3rd, 4th, 5th June set in one of Birmingham’s most popular, scenic destinations, Cannon Hill Park – and with the glorious heat wave everyone was out to play.

 With music playing, drinks pouring, people eating plus the gleeful blast of sunshine the festival couldn’t have gotten any better. The lawns were served up with delightful dish of food stalls, live music, entertainment and cooking talks from famous sommeliers and Michelin Starred Chefs like Richard Turner, Brad Carter and Nathan Eades. These nationally renowned Chefs cooked their signature Chefs Recipes in the AGA Rangemaster Chefs Theatre, with the lovely Great British Bake Off Winner Read more »

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‘Flavours of Shropshire’ Pop-up By TV Chef

Shropshire Pop-Up Chef James Sherwin HOTRS

Shropshire Pop-Up Chef James Sherwin HOTRS

Chef James Sherwin returns for ‘Flavours of Shropshire’ Pop-up

A Shropshire chef, who became known for his regional pop-up restaurant events and a stint on a national TV cooking show, is returning to the popular pop-up format in Shrewsbury after a gap of two years.

James Sherwin has been invited by Ginger & Co, Shrewsbury’s newest independent coffee shop, to stage a series of pop-up restaurant events at the venue throughout June and July. James burst onto the culinary scene in 2014, when he successfully competed on Channel 4’s ‘The Taste’, hosted by Nigella Lawson, and set the region’s taste buds alight with his ‘James-in-a-space’ pop restaurants at venues across the Midlands.

James, known for his challenging flavour combinations and passion for cooking with seasonal local ingredients, is a regular chef-demonstrator at food festivals throughout Shropshire and the Midlands and is also the new sous chef at Shrewsbury’s House of the Rising Sun restaurant.

His first Ginger & Co pop-up, ‘Flavours of Shropshire’, will take place on Wednesday June 8, offering a seven-course taster menu focussing on spring and early summer Shropshire flavours. Further ‘pop-ups’ will follow at the coffee shop, in The Square, on June 22 and July 20th

“I love the springtime flavours of Shropshire, so it couldn’t be a better time of year to Read more »

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New Rooftop Birmingham Restaurant By Top London Chef

Chef Des Macdonald Rofuto Restaurant

Chef Des Macdonald Rofuto Restaurant

Rofuto brings Birmingham dining to new heights.

Renowned restaurateur, Des McDonald (pictured) is set to shake up the Birmingham dining scene with his latest venture Rofuto, a restaurant set high in the City skyline at over 141 feet in the sky with incredible 360 degree views. Now open with a £3 million investment, Rofuto offers an izakaya-style restaurant, serving a high quality modern Japanese menu of world class dishes. The restaurant sits alongside the stunning cocktail lounge and sake bar, Kurabu, from its unique rooftop position at the new Park Regis Hotel.

Located high above the City centre, the restaurant and cocktail lounge sits on the 16th floor of Park Regis, the new 4 four star modern luxury hotel located in the heart of Birmingham. Rofuto is a direct translation of the word ‘loft’ in Japanese and the interiors reflect this inspiration. With a large central bar, an open Japanese style kitchen and an eclectic mix of furnishings, unique hand painted murals and design, Rofuto is a truly theatrical dining space. Kurabu, with its panoramic views of the city skyline, world class DJs and a backlit bar is perfect for more intimate drinking and dining.

The vision for the restaurant and cocktail lounge has been created by one of the UK’s most respected restaurateurs, Des McDonald. With over 20 years’ experience running some of the world’s most high profile establishments including Le Caprice, Scott’s, Soho House and Annabel’s. Early in his career, Des was Head Chef at the world famous Ivy restaurant, before moving from the kitchen into the boardroom to become CEO of Caprice Holdings. Des was inspired to open Rofuto following visits to Tokyo and Singapore; he has developed every aspect of the concept, design and menu to bring a new izakaya-style restaurant to Birmingham’s thriving dining scene.

Des McDonald says: “I am delighted to be opening my first modern Japanese restaurant Rofuto, with my partners at Park Regis Birmingham. I love rooftop spaces, having opened four successful restaurants on the roof of Selfridges in London. I fell in love with the unparalleled dramatic views from the 16th floor, Birmingham is a great, vibrant city and I’m excited to become part of its dynamic and diverse dining scene.”

Rofuto will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Sunday. The restaurant will serve Read more »

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From Field to Fyfield: Oxfordshire Village On A Plate

Kay & Mark Chandler Owners of The White Hart Fyfield

Kay & Mark Chandler Owners of The White Hart Fyfield with their ‘flavours of Fyfield’ dishes

Award-winning Oxfordshire gourmet pub The White Hart at Fyfield, near Abingdon, is helping to put village produce on the UK foodie map by taking ‘source local’ to a whole new level with their ‘flavours of Fyfield’ dishes.

The flavours of Fyfield are being served up on a plate with new seasonal dishes that are comprised entirely of quality ingredients sourced from the village and producers within just a two-mile radius.

Owners Kay and Mark Chandler, who have been at the helm of the White Hart for ten years, have long been passionate about supporting the local community and the best of the region’s produce. “Fyfield is not a large village, but right on our doorstep and almost within walking distance we have some of the best suppliers in the UK,” said chef-patron Mark.

“Our eggs are delivered daily by farmer Ben Lay, of Manor Farm in the village, who also supplies Waitrose. Farmer Jamie Thompson, of Swannybrook Farm, supplies some of our game including the wild pigeons that are currently on our menu served with Fyfield wild garlic.

“We are also currently being treated to some of the first of the season asparagus, which arrives at our back door directly from local Millets Farm. Brothers Nigel and Tony cultivate some of the best asparagus I’ve tasted. It’s so fresh – only travelling less than a mile from field to fork – and our customers love it.

“It’s exciting when these soil coated stems arrive at our kitchen door. Fresh asparagus to a chef is the first true taste of the year, and is best served simply. So we wash and blanch them, before serving them lightly griddled with one of Manor Farm’s free range eggs, slowly poached. The dish is so fresh, it almost tastes of the village and is already Read more »

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Glynn Purnell to welcome X-Factor winner Sam Bailey into his Friday Night Kitchen

Glynn Purnell Friday Night Kitchen

Glynn Purnell Friday Night Kitchen

Michelin starred chef Glynn Purnell will open the doors of his Friday Night Kitchen on October 7th at Villa Park’s Holte Suite and the ‘Yummy Brummie’ will be joined by X-Factor winner Sam Bailey.

The East Londoner, now living in the Midlands, will join Glynn on stage to assist with the cooking along with other celebrity friends of Glynn, before performing for over 400 guests at the prestigious Midlands venue.

Tickets are now on sale for the fun-filled, live show-cooking event that over the last two years has gained the reputation of being the best Friday night out in the Birmingham social calendar. Award-winning presenter Suzanne Virdee will host the evening alongside Heart West Midlands presenter Ed James. The night will include on stage guests discussing and cooking their favorite dishes with Glynn before the audience enjoy the dishes themselves.

The one and only raffle prize on the night will give guests the chance to win a meal cooked at home by Glynn and his Purnell’s team for up to six people a money can’t buy experience, Glynn and his team will turn up, cook Sunday lunch and clean the kitchen up before they leave!

To round the evening off guests will then be treated to live music from Read more »

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