Lunch at Bodega, Birmingham

It’s been quite a while since I visited Bodega, but I am always hearing positive things about the restaurant, so a friend and I decided to visit for lunch last week.

Situated on Bennets Hill in Birmingham, Bodega is a contemporary cantina specialising in authentic, fresh and homemade South American food. As a member of the Bitters ‘n’ Twisted family of bars, they also offer a wide range of fabulous cocktails, so we felt that it was only right that we should try some of them!

I like the atmosphere in the restaurant – bright, simple and colourful with friendly staff and South American music in the background, with a wide and varied menu that caters for all dietary requirements.

My friend and I decided to share a small plate of nachos to start, with all the typical vegetarian toppings – salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole etc. We have chosen this many times in our previous experiences at numerous restaurants and pubs, and when it arrived we were grateful that we only ordered the small portion as it was more than enough for two! Every component was delicious and we commented that it was the nicest plate of nachos we’d ever had. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

An Incredible Foodie Evening at Dewsall Court with Ping Coombes

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know just how much I love good food, so I was absolutely delighted when The Bloke and I received an invitation to a dinner party at Dewsall Court, with the menu designed and created by the Masterchef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.

With a colourful history that dates back to 1644, the building was in a derelict state by 1989 until it was purchased by the Robinson family, making them the first family to live in the property since the reign of Queen Anne.

They spent a decade restoring the building and lived there happily until 2007, when the patriarch Joe sadly passed away. In 2009, the decision was made for the home to be turned into an exclusive use, 10 bedroom venue, which is run by Jane, her children Joseph and Samantha and Samantha’s husband, Julian. Set within 15 acres of land, overlooking the Black mountains, every aspect of the house has been completed to an exquisite standard, being the epitome of country house charm and elegance. As most of my pictures haven’t done it justice, I have used most of these directly from their Instagram page (@Dewsall.Court) – click on the images for full view… Continue reading

Chung Ying Chinese Moon FEASTival

imageOne of my favourite foods has always been Chinese, and yet The Bloke and I rarely visit any local Chinese restaurants, despite the fact that there are some incredible places to eat in Birmingham.

Last week The Bloke and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Chinese Moon Feastival – a celebration and a charity fundraiser for the Birmingham Big Art Project (with the objective being to commission and install a piece of high quality public art that will encourage international recognition) – that was held at three different Chung Ying restaurants across the city.

It was hosted by James Wong, MD of Chung Ying, Chairman of the Chinese festival committee and Birmingham Business Man of the Year. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Nutella Brownie Cake

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Those of you who follow me on Pinterest may have noticed the amount of things I regularly re-pin on my ‘Desserts’ board. In fact, I can quite easily spend hours salivating over beautiful recipes, making a promise to myself that one day, I would actually bother to try them.

Unfortunately, I’m no Nigella, and while I can cook the basics, baking has never been something I have been particularly successful with. The Bloke, however, thoroughly enjoys it and our cupboards are filled with various trays and things that I have no idea what they do…

That is, until I discovered a recipe for brownies that used only three ingredients – a jar of Nutella (which I can eat just with a spoon), eggs and flour. Bargain. However, as I was following the recipe I found that my own attempts looked nothing like the pictures, so I added my own additional ingredient.

Thirty minutes later, I discovered that my ‘brownies’ had in fact turned into the most beautiful sponge I had ever made. Light, fluffy, gorgeous… Even The Bloke was impressed when I proudly presented him with a large piece, smothered in more Nutella and topped with mini-marshmallows and chopped hazelnuts.

I’ve since tried it twice more, and each time I get the same result, so I thought I’d share it with you. Continue reading

An Evening of Tapas at Byzantium

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I love Tapas, so when I was invited to try out the menu at Byzantium Mediterranean Restaurant in Kings Heath, I was very much looking forward to it! I have visited the restaurant before, having been invited to the launch of the new Upper Room, but I thought it would be interesting to take in the atmosphere of the restaurant on a busy evening.

The Bloke and I were given an option of tables to be seated at, so we chose one in a quiet little room at the side of the main eating area. From the second we sat down, the staff were superb, particularly when recommending different dishes to have in order to achieve a more authentic experience.

We started with flatbread and dips – my expectations being that pitta-sized bread would be served. However, the bread that arrived was the size of an average pizza, and we got stuck into the selection of dips the came with it – Tsatsiki, Hummus and Zaalouk – all of which were beautiful. Continue reading

An Evening at Bohemian, Moseley

Bohemian Moseley

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I like visiting new places, particularly if there are food and cocktails involved, so I was delighted when I was invited to the launch of the newly refurbished Bohemian Cocktail Bar + Kitchen in Moseley, during which I would be testing their new cocktail and food menu (I know, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!).

I’d never been to Bohemian before, although I’ve heard many good things about it from friends, so I had no idea what to expect. However, the minute I walked in I received a warm welcome from the staff, and it was clear from the beautiful decor and atmosphere (combined with an awesome reggae playlist in the background) that it was going to be a good night! Continue reading

An Evening at Byzantium

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I love tapas, so when I received an invitation to attend the launch of the new ‘Upper Room’ at Byzantium Mediterranean Tapas restaurant in Kings Heath, Birmingham, I was delighted!

Byzantium is an independent restaurant, offering dishes inspired from across the Mediterranean and is immensely popular, being fully booked on a regular basis. As an extension, they have created an ‘Upper Room,’ suitable for private functions, large groups, business meetings, conferences and parties, and I was excited to see what they had created.

While I had never visited before, everybody I spoke to had high praise for the quality of the food, the staff and the atmosphere and the restaurant has endless numbers of rave reviews online. What I discovered was that they were absolutely right.

The new Upper Room, located on the second floor of the restaurant, has been beautifully decorated and seats up to 40 people, and after being given a hugely warm welcome from the management and staff I had the opportunity to meet some of the other bloggers and media groups from around the city.

Throughout the night we were treated to an enormous selection of samples from their menu, including Italian Arancini balls with prawns, salmon, risotto and mozzarella, Greek halloumi souvlaki, marinated pork belly with a balsamic glaze, Spanish Albondigas meatballs with a spicy tomato sauce, anchovy and black olive tapenade, a Little Mezze of courgette fritters, quinoa salad, hummus, tzatziki and pomegranate seeds, French Chicken Ballotine with black olives and chorizo, French bread with caramelised onions and Camembert, and Moroccan Zalouk. I was in tapas heaven, particularly falling in love with the Arancini – I had never tasted that particular combination of food before and it worked well. Every single item of food was cooked perfectly, presented beautifully and tasted absolutely delicious, and I loved the fact that everything was served at suitable temperatures, from the piping hot Arancini and Albondigas to the wonderfully cold tapenade. Amazing.

Byzantium is a hidden gem within Birmingham, and certainly one of the best tapas restaurants I’ve been to in the city. It has a wonderful range of dishes to suit every taste, is extremely reasonably priced (check out the menu here), and I would highly recommend a visit. And now with the new Upper Room, you can bring even more of your loved ones with you!

Want to find out more or make a booking?

Email: info@byzantiumtapas.co.uk

Telephone Number: 0121 4445444

Website: http://www.byzantiumtapas.co.uk

 

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Byzantium to try their menu. All food and drink was complimentary (I know, it’s a tough life but someone has to do it) but this didn’t mean that I was under any obligation to provide any sort of promotion or review. This review is honest and my own.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

 

An Evening at Meating

MEATING Restaurant

I’ve never been one to turn down a discount, particularly when food is involved, so when I heard about the 50% discount that was being offered at Meating, a new restaurant at the Arcadian in Birmingham for their soft launch week, I was emailing them as fast as my little fingers could type.

I haven’t eaten at the Arcadian before (although I have indulged in many cocktail-fuelled dance and comedy evenings with friends there), so I was intrigued to see how well this new restaurant fit with the rest of the styles on offer.

It turns out, quite well in fact! In a relatively small place, they have created almost an industrial feel in their decor, although it looks a little bare at the minute, but The Bloke and I were warmly welcomed as soon as we walked through the door. Of course, the first thing I did was order a raspberry mojito – my standard for testing the quality of what to expect – and was given one of the best I’ve ever tasted. A good start! Continue reading

An Evening @ Rub Smokehouse, Birmingham

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Rub Smokehouse and Bar, Birmingham

I have always been a fan of anything that concerns food, so when I was invited to the media/press night at the new Rub Smokehouse & Bar in Birmingham last week, I was delighted. Created on the site of the former Living Room and above The Soloman Cutler at the bottom of Broad Street, Rub promised to deliver a whole range of food with it’s roots firmly in the American Deep South, with a wide range of cocktails to match.

And deliver it certainly did, being one of the best nights out I’ve had in ages. Continue reading