kitchen bites

Kitchen Bites #25: August & September 2017

This months Kitchen Bites is in a slightly different format – a video! I thought I would film a video over for my youtube channel of all this months yummy goodies, so instead of replicating it here, I’ve linked the video below!

We’ve got oaty goodness from Quaker, healthy chickpea crips from Hippeas, noodles, spice blends and a few cookbooks to look at too!

I hope you enjoy, and I’d love you to let me know what you think in the comments!

Review: The Meat Shack

Given our usual tardiness at checking out new places in Birmingham these days, you’d be forgiven for not expecting this review for another year or so. But occasionally we just go and pull it out the bag!

The Meat Shack have recently opened up a permanent place on Thorp Street (near the Hippodrome) so we went along a couple of days before our holiday to check it out. Randomly, Lee used to actually work in that same building many moons ago when it was another restaurant, so the space was strangely familiar yet very different.

There’s a nice small selection of drinks – Lee tried a Sadlers Peaky Blinder.

But let’s get to the food. We’re no strangers to The Meat Shack’s ‘filthy dripping goodness’ burgers, with their never ending lines at street food events underlining just how popular they are. I can’t say I’m not glad to be able to sit and wait for that cooked to order burger though, rather than stand!


I ordered the Buffalo Blue burger – with blue cheese, american cheese, candy bacon crumb, iceberg, red onion, blue cheese dressing and frankys buffalo sauce. I’ve had this one only once before and love the salty and spicy combination so much.

Lee went for a Dutch Piggy – dripping such cheese, american cheese, streaky bacon, iceberg, red onion, pickle, ketchup and chipayo, one he had not tried before, but kept up their reputations for being some of the best burgers in the city.


We also tried the Shack attack fries (skin on fries with green chilli relish and Holy F*ck Suace) and sides of onion rings and frickles (fried pickles). We looooooved the Frickles, which made a great addition to the burgers. The fries, although nothin wrong with them, could have been so much more, which was our only (very minor) criticism.


The burgers certainly live up to their tag line and as usual we loved every single bite. The city is a really great place now for burgers, with these guys and OPM doing a trade down in Digbeth so let’s hope there’s room in the city for both to thrive!

Paid in Full

A Day Out At Chester Zoo

Join us on Imogen’s birthday trip to Chester Zoo! She’s been showing a real interest in animals int he past few months so thought a trip to one of the best zoos in the in country was in order! It’s changed quite a lot since we last visited and we loved the new areas and how interactive it was. A great day out for children and Imogen Loved it! Have a watch below of what we got up to.

Some failsafe food highlights in Birmingham city centre

*This is a collaborative post

Birmingham is blessed with a fantastic and varied selection of restaurants. From established chains like Wagamama, ASK Italian and Giraffe, to some great independent outlets like Del Villaggio and Zen Metro, there’s always something new to discover.

So here’s a look at some highlights from Birmingham city centre that always provide a heartwarming selection of fantastic food.

There are few more failsafe meal options than the classic burger with Digbeth’s Original Patty Men setting a high standard for the Birmingham area.

However, in the city centre we have the legendary Five Guys chain that’s always a good bet thanks to their unlimited burger toppings, whilst the Dirty Cow Burger are a great Birmingham-only restaurant that features a massive Big Brummy meal that includes no less than three burgers!

If that sounds like too much meat, there’s also some great vegetarian restaurants in the city centre. In particular, the awesome Not Dogs deliver fast food with a veggie twist with Quorn quarter pounders and the eight-inch Quorn bratwurst hot dogs doing a great job of mimicking the meat-based meals.

Given Birmingham’s multicultural heritage, it’s no surprise to find that we have plenty of mouth-watering cuisines from all over the world in our city centre.

From the fascinating Ethiopian food at Blue Nile, to Syriana and Damascena’s mezze treats, there’s no shortage of interesting new tastes to experience. And with delivery companies like Deliveroo covering all of these Birmingham city centre restaurants, exploring the fascinating flavours of the world has never been easier.

However, it’s Birmingham’s reputation for being the balti capital of the UK that means that we have to feature some of the city centre’s best curry houses.

And whether it’s sampling the spicy North Indian flavours at Pushkar, or tasting the legendary tandoori kebabs at Asha’s, it’s quick to understand why our city has become such a big hit amongst curry fans.

But there will always be those who are keen to see which Birmingham city centre restaurants serve up the best examples of classic British food.

Thankfully the Red Lion pub more than delivers on traditional British dishes like Cumberland sausages and mash and beer battered haddock, whilst their award-winning Sunday roasts offer the perfect way to celebrate the weekend.

So whether you’re seeking to grab a quick takeaway from one of Birmingham’s legendary curry houses, or are looking for a relaxed sit-down meal at a stylish burger joint, there’s plenty of options in Birmingham city centre.




Where’s Your Happy Place?

Where is your happy place? Recently, SACO asked 1500 adults across Britain about their happy place, and the results are really interesting!

If put on the spot, I would have to say that my happy place is somewhere by the seaside. Living in Birmingham, about as far from the sea in the UK as you can get, I often feel starved of the sea and sea air, so maybe this is why I love it so much when I am there. Saying this, I am equally happy closer to home. Having a staycation in my home city of Birmingham and eating out at one of brilliant restaurants here gets me just as happy!

The research, carried out by SACO who offer serviced apartments in Birmingham, showed that almost one in four (23%) people from Birmingham said a cosy gastro pub in the heart of the Cotswolds was their preferred choice, closely followed by eating an ice cream on Brighton Beach (22.6%) and hiking around the picturesque Lake District (22%). Tucking into fish and chips in Padstow came in fourth place (20%), while walking in the Peak District rounded off the top five (19%).

I would say that the top result was a little surprising to me but I would wholeheartedly agree with the others!

I think my top 3 happy places in the UK would be

  • Eating fish and chips on the pier in Bournemouth
  • Ice creams on the beach (any beach!)
  • A relaxing cream tea in the countryside in Devon

Oh look – they all include food, no surprise there!

Cornwall came out on top in the staycation stakes, with 28% of people listing it as their preferred destination , with Devon hot on its heals. I can totally see why people choose these places, however having recently visited Dorset for the first time, I would put this up there too.

Food was found to be a big factor in Birmingham residents’ happiness levels on holiday too with 57% saying that eating fish and chips by the sea is an absolute must, while 53% liked going for pub lunches while on a staycation and 35% lust after cream teas. These are certainly people after my own heart!


According to SACO’s research, the top 10 happy places for Birmingham residents were:

Pub lunch in the Cotswolds
Eating ice cream on Brighton Beach
Walking / hiking in the Lake District
Eating fish and chips in Padstow
Walking in the Peak District
Enjoying a pasty in St Ives
Admiring the white sandy beaches of the Hebrides
Enjoying a cream tea in the Isles of Scilly
Visiting the Roman baths at Bath
Eating candy floss on Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Have a look at the infographic below for the results in full!

*This post was in collaboration with SACO who supplied the infographic and research.



Where would your happy place be? Let me know in the comments!