We’ve never been around on the days when Kings HEATh have taken place, so when we finally were free one day when it was happening, we got ourselves down there as quickly as we could. Kings HEATh is a street food event that takes place roughly every month in Kings Heath, organised by BrumYumYum. We decided to invite a few of our friends to come try it out with us, so all seven of us hopped on the bus Saturday morning.
As soon as we got off the bus at Kings Heath, we were hit by all the delicious smells, as well as the sound of live music playing. There was a fairly big crowd there, enough that there was a lively atmosphere, but not so many that queuing for food would be a daunting prospect.
Our group quickly split up – two on the hunt for vegetarian food, two headed straight for the British Bus Bar and the other three of us heading for our first food of the day: vegetarian dumplings from Charlie Dumpling.
Firstly can we say that their stall is quite possibly the cutest street food stall we’ve ever seen, it’s absolutely adorable. We chose a portion of tibetan momos, which were filled with a mix of vegetables, served alongside kimchi coleslaw and dipping sauce. Quite often dumplings need the dipping sauce for the flavour to really come through, but these momos really held their own, with the beautifully soft vegetable filling which was full of flavour. Our friends tried the King Dumpling meal which included giant vegeterian dumplings in a soy and ginger broth, and absolutely loved it. (I wish they had been too full to finish it, as it looked delicious and I would have happily helped them out…)
Next up were Caribou Poutine. We’ve heard a lot about this pair of Birmingham Uni finalists who started up their own business selling their twist on traditional Canadian poutine. This Quebecian dish is normally fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, but Caribou Poutine serve it alongside a delicious range of toppings. We ordered the “Mrs Piggy” – the original poutine topped with pulled pork, bacon and sausages. We can never resist the sight of one type of pork on a menu, so seeing three at once felt like Christmas.
The cheese curds melted on the hot chips so it acted like a lovely stringy form of mozzarella, the hand cut chips themselves were delicious. The pulled pork which had been cooked for 8 hours was divine, and you can never go wrong with a generous amount of streaky bacon and sausage. We absolutely adored the gravy, which we thought was a different recipe to standard english gravy, but even if it was it was just a beautiful topping for all of the potatoy cheesey goodness.
While we were eating this, our friends returned from their visit to the British Bus Bar each with pints and chicken wraps from Open Sesame. Their only response when we asked them what they thought of their wraps were “Mmmmm…”. We needed no convincing after that, and so we decided to follow our poutine with a chicken and couscous box from Open Sesame.
Available as both a wrap and in a box, it came with Persian chicken pieces, buttery couscous with lemon and herb roast vegetables, pomegranates, a lovely portion of homemade hummus in one corner and a dip that we believe may have been sour cream in another. The sweet chilli sauce drizzled artistically over the top was delicious. Having more frequently encountered pomegranates served with spicy foods recently, I am a definite fan of the addition of pomegranate to salads, as they not only cool down any spice but also introduce an interesting new texture. Also the bowl of hummus at the back of the tent was the biggest bowl of hummus we’ve ever see.
As we declared that we hadn’t had anywhere near enough meat for a Saturday lunch time, we then headed to get a portion of steak and fries from StakeHaus – a bavette steak cooked medium, topped with Billy Gruff Butter and a side of rosemary fries.
A very generous amount of steak which itself was cooked to perfection. I was expecting a portion of steak half the size, so by serving a large quantity, StakeHaus defintely won the three of us over. The chips were lovely, sprinkled with salt and pepper which worked really well with the rosemary flavour. We had been tempted by their slightly healthier equivalent of our portion, where the potato fries were replaced with courgette ‘chips’, but we just couldn’t resist the call of even more carbs. I’m still intrigued as to what the courgette chips would have been like, but delicious potato chips get no complaints from me.
As always, we were tempted by the thai marinated chicken from Buddha Belly, but after the amount of meat we had just consumed, we knew we just had no more room. (However, when our friends turned up holding a box of the vegan curry and struggled to finish the last few mouthfuls, of course I had to be a good friend and step it to scoop up the deliciousness – I just couldn’t let it go to waste!)
No good diet-ruining day would be complete without dessert, which today came in the form of BAKE‘s delicious cakes. Between our entire group of friends, I think at least five cakes were bought and and eaten within a very small space of time.
I decided to order one piece of Blackberry Chocolate Donut Bread Pudding and some of the Salted Peanut Millionaire’s Shortbread (last two photos) – I had brought tupperware boxes in my bag with the very good intentions of taking the cakes home to enjoy over the weekend. I’m almost ashamed to admit that the cakes only just survived the bus ride home before I wolfed them down.
The bread pudding was delicious in itself, mixed with pieces of lovely dark chocolate and blackberries, but my other choice was something else entirely. I tweeted BAKE later on that “I had no words for how delicious their peanut butter millionaire’s shortbread was” – well, now I’ll try and give it my best shot! There was an impressively thick layer of shortbread, topped with a salted caramel and peanut mixture that was at least 3cm thick if not more. The pleasantly large slice was topped off with a lovely layer of dark chocolate. I ate this so quickly and regretted not buying even more of it.
Whilst I was in heaven with the Millionaire’s Shortbread, he however couldn’t resist the call of the ‘Blueberry Peach Pie Crumble Bar’, which was shortbread covered with a blueberry and peach filling and topped with an oaty crumble. His exact words were “Good god, I’ve got a new favourite dessert”. It was absolutely amazing and incredibly moreish; he was absolutely gutted he only bought one. Our friends also tried the Piggyonaire’s Shortbread, which was Millionaire’s shortbread with bacon. Having never tried bacon in sweet food it was a pleasant surprise, with the bacon taste hitting you at the end of each bite, giving a slightly smokey salted caramel flavour.
With a lovely selection of live music, and large selection of all kinds of food and drink, Kings HEATh was a great experience and we’ll definitely be coming back nest month!