Maybe I've started to get complacent, maybe the thriving independent cafes, restaurants and bars have lulled me into a false sense of security?
So, to keep you in the loop, the plans consisted of a day travelling around the city eating and drinking. Bread and butter for a blog such as this you might think.
To kick off the day, I hopped over the road to Stirchley Stores and Loaf where yet another brilliant pop-up event was happening. This time it was the turn of Stirchley Brewhouse. The talented folk at Loaf had put together a locally sourced breakfast menu together with loose leaf tea and single estate coffee made by mercenary baristas.
The menu contained some excellent healthy choices including porridge and sourdough toast. But today was not about healthy choices and let's be honest, only a very brave/talented food blogger blogs about toast.
I went for a creation called a Mock Muffin. In between a sourdough english muffin I found sauage and black pudding patties, bacon jam, egg and cheese. As you can imagine, it tasted rather good.
For a beverage I chose a coffee. This part took me a little by surprise, as I thought I'd done all the hard work ordering my food. Not so. Having chosen to go with a coffee I was then asked through which apparatus I'd like it made. The options were a V60, Aeropress or Chemex. After a brief discussion on the merits of each method (which resulted in me being none the wiser) I went for a V60. The result was smooth and intense with some pleasant notes of bright red fruit and spice.
|Mock Muffin and a V60. I'm lovin' it.|
A short bike ride later and I was in King's Heath for the Farmer's Market. Held on the first saturday of every month it consistently offers a wide range of locally sourced produce sold by talented, friendly people. After a brief stroll around, it was barely lunchtime and blowing an icy gale, so naturally it was time for some more sausage. Those familiar with the farmer's market scene in town will know Squisito and their great range of home cured meats, sausages and generally delicious produce. They also run supper clubs and host courses ranging from sausage making, curing and smoking to bread making.
I sampled a couple of their Toulouse sausages which were dense and meaty with a good hint of garlic and pepper.
So then it was back on the bike for a well earned sit down back at home. Now, where did I put that Chelsea Bun? Accompanying the bun was some Assam from All About Tea bought from Anderson and Hill. For an everyday drinking sort of tea I've found the intensity of flavour excellent, their Earl Grey being a personal favourite.
|Still some way to go on the jigsaw.|
After some intense jigsaw action, it was nearly time for dinner. Off in to town we went to a place that I know has had much praise since opening. I'm by no means the first to mention how good MinMin Noodle Bar is and I'm sure I won't be the last. We started with a house speciality: Vietnamese Cheung Fun. A delicate but still highly flavoured mixture of pork, prawns, wood-ear mushrooms and shallots steamed in a gelatinous rice parcel. The accompanying light, tart dipping sauce and fresh pickled vegetables worked very well.
For the main event I went for Yakibuta Ramen with kimchi. Noodles in a rich home made broth with contrasting textures of vegetables were topped with Japanese style roast pork. A side of searingly hot and sour home made kimchi made this one of those dishes you crave again and again.
|Yakibuta Ramen with kimchi.|
Once the volume of liquid in my belly had started to subside, it was back up into town for a few beers. Not just any old beer though. The recently opened Brewdog Birmingham just heppened to be hosting a festival of IPAs made by some of the best new craft brewers the UK has to offer. Over the course of that weekend we were treated to delights previously unseen on tap in our city. Featuring the likes of The Wild Beer Co. Madness IPA, Marble Brewery Earl Grey IPA, Magic Rock Brewing Cannonball IPA and Summer Wine Brewery Maelstrom IPA. Since opening, the Brewdog Bar has been constantly busy and has proved there is a great apetite for progressive, modern and above all flavoursome beer in the city.