Veganuary Options in Birmingham

Gone vegan for January? After my steak review the other day, it’s clear I have not, but lots of people I know have, and I’m beginning to hear several of those people bewail their lack of options for tasty eats around Birmingham. Never fear, I’ve investigated the best vegan friendly options in the city to get you through the rest of January and beyond.

Veganuary

naturally healthy foods

The vegan shop and cafe is the obvious choice for finding tasty vegan food. The flagship store in the Orion Building has a cafe attached, where you can order brunch or dinner from an array of cooked and raw options, raw desserts, kombuchas, teas, juices and much more. The store itself is well stocked with everything you could need too. I’m there for a review meal next week, so expect a full report then! If you can’t wait til then, check out what Bite Your Brum thought of the brunch.

1847

I’ve reviewed vegetarian restaurant 1847 before. It’s a great space, with lovely food, and a large proportion of both their a la carte and express lunch menus are suitable for vegans too, with still more dishes with a vegan option available on request.

The warehouse cafe

I’m surprised I’ve never written about The Warehouse Cafe, as I’ve eaten there a few times and always liked it. Hidden away in Digbeth, once you’ve found your way in through the Friends of the Earth building, the cafe is cosy and welcoming. The whole menu is vegetarian, with many options for vegans, such as a take on a Katsu Curry, a vegan burger, a vegan chocolate brownie. Check out the write-up from Independent Birmingham.

fressh

Fressh is a relatively new addition to the city centre, serving an entirely vegan menu. With a large menu of breakfast, lunch, salads, drink and dessert items, there’s plenty of choice to keep you visiting again and again. Cast your eyes over Nutella Tasha’s review for more details.

 

cafe soya

An Arcadian must-visit, Cafe Soya does a great job catering for vegans, with a huge vegetarian menu. I’d recommend asking with your server first, as vegan dishes aren’t always clearly flagged on the menu in my experience, but many of the veggie dishes are vegan friendly, with a lot of incredibly convincing mock meats made from soya.

Mr Singhs pizza

Vegan pizza? Yes, really. All vegetarian pizzeria, Mr Singh’s, offers lots of vegan choices from a faux Pepperoni to a Vegetarian Supreme piled high with veg. They offer takeaway too, so this is a good replacement for your usual cheese filled choice from the local pizza shop.

cherry reds

I love Cherry’s, and I’ve reviewed it before. But what about options for vegan eating? They offer a delicious sounding vegan breakfast, a vegan burger, and several vegan options from the main and sharers menu. They often have vegan cakes on offer too, just ask at the till.

mowgli

I loved Mowgli when I visited. Indian food is often a great option for more interesting vegan choices. Mowgli have a seperate vegan menu available, which makes figuring out what you can eat incredibly easy. You can get all sorts, including puri, dahls, chickpea dishes, curries and lots more. Gorgeous.

There are lots of places to get your eat on, and I’d love to hear any suggestions you have! Looking for more choices? I highly recommend you follow Nutella Tasha who is always full of good tips for the best vegan food in town, and the Ting Thing. Ting recently went plant based in her diet, and focuses her reviews on the ease of ordering, catering to dietary requirements and information available, which is incredibly helpful for making informed choices.

 

Medicine, Birmingham

There’s a new king of baked goods in town. Hidden away at the top end of New Street is Medicine, a bakery, coffee shop and gallery space from the mind behind the famous Medicine Bar that was once part of The Custard Factory.

Medicine Bakery

We went in this weekend to check out the gorgeous looking cake that’s being gracing my Instagram timeline. The cafe itself is a gorgeous space, that sort of reminds me of a cafe in a museum. It’s popular too, so go early if you want the most choice. On our lunchtime visit there was a queue down the stairs and the supply of the already infamous cronuts and kruffins was dwindling.

Medicine Coffee

We ordered some lunch and settled into a table with a hot drink. The Hot Chocolate (£3) was rich and creamy, and disappeared quickly. My latte (£2.50) was excellent. The coffee is strong, and well balanced, and the latte was excellently made. Great value too!

Mushroom Grilled Cheese

For lunch, I chose the Mushroom and Comté Sourdough Grilled Cheese (£4). The sourdough is freshly baked, and it shows. It had a good strong sour flavour and was light and fluffy, with good crisp from toasting. It was oozy with cheese and tasty, garlicy mushrooms. Delicious, light lunch.

Rueben on Rye

Dave’s Rueben on Rye (£5) was almost appealing enough to tempt me, and I don’t like rye bread. The bread is filled with salt beef, pickles and american mustard. The mustard was strong, and a perfect partner to the soft, tender salt beef. Having eaten the real deal in the States, Dave was impressed this version.

Nutella Blondie

Onto the important part. The cake! Dave chose a Nutella Blondie (£3.50). It was firm and chewy, with plenty of chocolate running through.

Cronut

My Cronut (£3.50) was incredible. The pastry is light and flaky, and was filled with a chocolate cream. The chocolate top is sprinkled with dried fruit, nuts, chocolate drops and marshmallows. The things are huge too, and I had to give up before the end. It was gorgeous, and I really want to go back and try the other flavours. The fruit topped ones look so pretty, and I bet they’re tasty.

I was really impressed with Medicine. Everything looked amazing, and our meal was decent value and delicious. We’ll be back.

We paid in full ourselves. All prices correct at the time of writing. I didn’t tell them I was a blogger. All words, images and opinions are my own, and my property. 

 

Cau, Birmingham

January is without doubt the worst month of the year. It’s cold, it’s dark, you’ve got no money left after Christmas and you’ve had to go back to work. Luckily, restaurant January deals are here to save us, so we can a night out without busting the budget. Steak restaurant, Cau, are currently offering vouchers for 50% off steak. I got my hands on some vouchers, and Dave and I went along to the Brindley Place branch for his birthday dinner.

Cau

The restaurant itself is very cool, with dim lighting, funky moulded chairs and plush white booths. The music was louder than most eateries, but we found it was perfectly balanced; we could hear each other across the table perfectly, but we couldn’t hear the conversations of the tables around us, and instead the music adds to the vibe of a cool hangout for the after-work crowd.

Cocktails

The drinks menu is sizeable, with a few nice options for Argentinian beers, a good cocktail list of classics and house recipes, and a whopping wine list. I immediately knew I’d be happy here when I realised they divide their wines into red, white, rose and Malbec. Yes, they have a whole seperate Malbec list. I had a glass of the Trasandino Malbec (£6.75) which is from Argentina, alongside my main course. It was juicy, full of rich fruits, and was a great pairing with the steak. We also tried a couple of cocktails.

Cau cocktails

Negroni

Dave’s Apple Pie (£8.50) is a El Jimador Tequila shaken up with apple pie syrup, apple and sweetened citrus juices and finished with burnt cinnamon. It was sweet, without tipping into sickly, and struck me as quite festive with cinnamon flavours. My Cau Negroni (£7.50) was like myself, short and boozy. It was strong, exactly how I like it.

Shrimp

To start, I had the Shrimp Chicharron (£6.95). Crispy fried shrimp is served in ají amarillo sauce, with a scattering red jalapeño, spring onion and coriander cress. The onion is plentiful and strong so I’d suggest avoiding this if you’re out with someone you’re hoping to snog later, but the dish was absolutely delicious. The shrimp was fresh and plump, with a light batter.

Empanadas

Dave chose Empanadas (£7.50). You can choose two of four fillings, and Dave selected Spicy Beef and Spanish Chorizo and Cream Cheese. The pastry was light, with no oiliness. The beef filling was not too spicy, giving a gentle tingle instead. The chorizo and cream cheese paired brilliantly.

steak

Rib-eye

We both ordered the 260g Rib-Eye (£18.95), cooked medium rare, with sweet potato fries, a béarnaise sauce (£1.95) for Dave and a Classic Chimichurri (£1.50) for me. The steaks were perfect, pink in the middle, seared on the outside, with a nice hint of charred flavour from the grill. They were juicy and flavoursome. My Chimichurri was gorgeous, full of fresh, zingy flavours, which cut through the rich meat.

To share, we ordered Truffled Mac and Cheese (£3.95) and Dirty Rice (£3.25), which is basmati rice with BBQ brisket, pepper and onions. The Mac and Cheese was gorgeous, with a strong taste of truffle, plenty of cheese and a good gooey texture. The Dirty Rice reminded me of paella rice. The rice itself was tasty, but I found the brisket a little dry. Dave had no complaints though, so that seems to be a matter of taste.

I found the service between starters and mains a little quick off the mark; we had a very small gap between courses, which makes you feel a little rushed. This is my personal preference though, and all the staff were super friendly and helpful. I’d just have liked a larger gap to digest my starter.

Apple Pie Cheesecake

churros

We had a much better gap between mains and desserts though. Dave chose the Apple Pie Cheesecake (£5.95) which to our surprise came topped with a tuft of candy floss. For me, I’m not a big fan of gimmicks for no real reason, and while I couldn’t quite see what the floss added, Dave enjoyed it thoroughly. The cheesecake was creamy and tasty, and really did taste exactly like an apple pie. My Churros (£5.25) were perfection. They were beautifully crisp, lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar, and served with a pot of Dulce de Leche. Delicious.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, a great dinner and all for a good price. Without the voucher, this would have been a pricier night out, but for a special occasion, Cau is a great pick.

We paid in full, using a voucher available to everyone. I didn’t tell them I was a blogger. All words, opinions and images are my own.