CBD Food Festival? Yes please.

It may have become apparent to you that a lot of our blogs revolve around food – but when a city has such a good offering it makes perfect sense, perhaps it’s because we
lu-hurve eating, probably a combination of the two - anyway this annual shindig is one of our all time favourites.

Now in its 4th year the CBD Food Festival (that’s the Colmore Business District for the layman) affords the opportunity to get small taster plates from some of the city’s best restaurants for the respectable sum of around £3-5; this is one of the 21st century’s greatest ideas and allows you to get 2 maybe 3 dishes if you have room/ eyes bigger than your stomach.

Walking around Victoria Square it becomes evident that the CBD area of the city houses some of our very best restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and pubs – we’re talking Purnell’s, Opus, Asha’s, Hotel du Vin, Metro... in fact there were 24 participants and everyone we passed made us say things such as ‘mmmmm’ or ‘that looks good’ or ‘I’m getting one of those’. The full list is below.

After a circuit of all available options, I started my festival outing with a hotdog from Purnell’s –this was not any ordinary dog – it was the 'Whoops Dog' named after Glynn Purnell’s Jack Russell. It consisted of pork belly, Merguez sausage and garlic mayonnaise. The tasty little number was topped off with a pork scratching and I can confirm it was delicious. £3 to you.

Here’s Will getting involved with one (with added Instagram type filters for your viewing pleasure)...

















Our party up until this time had split into two groups (girls/boys – why does this happen?) and when we reconvened us boys got such a serious bout of food envy from Katie’s plate of Asha’s chicken Biryani that we immediately split again – we were headed, of course, to the aforementioned Indian restaurant's stall. Asha’s had three dishes to choose from and I opted for the kebab medley (£3 to you) - It was celestial – I even drank the pot of mint yogurt that accompanied the dish - My only regret was that I was in a public location and was unable to lick my plate clean - dammit!


Other members of our group enjoyed Chung Ying Central's Dim Sum – So popular they had sold out of some of their dishes! An Eton Mess Bomb from Opus (pictured below) and a sizeable hot dog with ale onions from The Bureau (one of CBD’s newest bars).


We took shelter from the sun and enjoyed some live music from a band who were participating in the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival, which incidentally had began on the same day – the 18th July (which also incidentally is my birthday, for anyone who is interested). The live jazz added to the great laid back ambience of the festival. Next up were some cookery demonstrations from some of the city’s star chefs including James Wong of Chung Ying and a collaboration between Glynn Purnell and David Colcombe of Opus.

We could very easily have stayed all day, but unfortunately we had a job to do, so full up and having to leave, slightly fed up, we reluctantly left.

Back at the office one festival attendee stated on our Twitter feed (good plug there) that they had gone for lunch and were so impressed they were tempted to go back for dinner as well. A likely story? See Exhibit A. your honour... 

Exhibit A.


The weather was, as always at CBDFF, blistering – Having said that the next day was the Saturday monsoon – but as someone once said the rain never killed anyone and when the food and entertainment is that good who cares!

Roll on the 5th CDB food festival; we will be there for sure.


Here's what you could have won consumed

All Bar One
Asha's Restaurant
The Bureau
The Centenary Lounge
Chi Bar
Chung Ying Central
Costa Coffee
Edmund's Lounge, Bar & Eatery
Ginger’s Bar
Hindleys Bakery
Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Isaacs Contemporary Indian Dining
The Jekyll & Hyde
JoJolapa Bar & Restaurant
Metro Bar & Grill
The Old Contemptibles
The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre
Opus at Cornwall Street
Pure Bar & Kitchen
Purnell's/ Purnell’s Bistro
The Square Peg
Urban Coffee Company
Yorks Bakery Café

PAUL (23/7/14)


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