For the fifth year running, Colmore Food & Drink Festival has returned to Victoria Square for the weekend (3rd and 4th of July), showcasing some of the finest food and drink Colmore Business District has to offer!
As well as each establishment selling a range of dishes, all priced at only £3 (an excellent way to try somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit for cheap!), there is a variety of entertainment, from local Jazz groups to cook-offs!
Open from 11am – 7pm I thought it’d be the perfect stop for lunch, as did many of the people working in Birmingham! Luckily there was a kitchen demo from JoJolapa which was great fun to watch! What was also great were the deck chairs under the parasols to keep us all from cooking in the beautiful weather! Hopefully tomorrow the queues shouldn’t be as bad as they were today, as when I walked past again at around three the queues had already died down to less painful lengths.
Walking through the festival were these ladies on stilts, but if I’m being honest I have no idea who they were representing, but they kept telling everyone to make sure there was room for dessert which is always good advice!
I was spoilt for choice, with their being over 25 vendors, but first I decided to pay a visit to Nosh & Quaff, a new restaurant set to open soon right next to Victoria Square.
They were offering a Nosh & Quaff Dog and a Nosh & Quaff Beef Rib, however after seeing pictures on Twitter I opted for the hot dog. The dog was a gourmet oak smoked Frankfurter, seasoned with paprika, nutmeg and black pepper, served with pickles, mustard and caramelised onions.
The hot dog was delicious, if a bit messy, but what I thought was genius was placing the caramelised onions underneath the sausage, which definitely helped! The sausage itself was scrumptious, possibly because I do love a good Frankfurter, with an delightful mild smoky flavour.
We were unsure whether or not we should visit Nosh & Quaff when they open, but I think now we definitely ought to check them out!
After, when the queues had died down a bit, I returned to Asha’s, serving contemporary Indian cuisine on Newhall Street. Asha’s were serving Samosa Chaat, Kebabs ‘Tak-a-Tak’ and Chicken Biryani, and I chose the samosa chaat.
The samosa was stuffed with potato and green peas mixed with spices, served on a bed of chickpeas along with tamarind and mint chutney. As pretty as some of the dishes offered by Purnell’s Bistro were, personally this has to be one of the prettiest dishes available at the festival, with an amazing explosion of colours and beautiful mint swirls.
I started off with the chickpeas and sauces which were all beautifully spiced, and underneath hidden was the star of the show; the samosa. The samosa was crispy on the outside yet beautifully delicate and soft on the inside, an amazing vegetarian offering which I’d absolutely come back to try again.
Lastly I tried out All Bar One, a chain of contemporary bars serving food and drink, in Newhall Street and in Brindley Place. They were offering a beetroot cured salmon gravalax, za’atar chicken and a goats cheese salad, and I chose the za’atar chicken.
The za’atar chicken skewers, covered in a za’atar (a Middle-Eastern spice), sesame seed, thyme and sumac, served on a bed of salad, drizzled with tzatziki.
Having had my fair share of chicken skewers (well, souvlaki from Street Souvlaki at Digbeth Dining Club), it was interesting to see them done with different spice combinations. Having never tried za’atar (even though she’s raved about it several times), it was an interesting first, with the over spices provided providing a beautiful aromatic kick, excellently contrasted with the tzatziki sauce which I’ve grown to really enjoy.
Also it came in the cutest box ever!
With Colmore Food & Drink Festival still open for another day, theres plenty to try out, whether its to try out a restaurant you’ve always been dying to try, or listen to some beautiful Jazz, you shouldn’t definitely get down to Victoria Square!