Street Food Renaissance
Do you really need a plate to enjoy an amazing meal? Not in Birmingham, where a street food revolution is in full swing.
Long hailed as the new foodie capital, Birmingham has been enjoying something of a food renaissance of late, as lovers of traditional gourmet sit down meals cast off the restrictions of more formal dining.
Without the need for seats, cutlery or even a proper kitchen, the street food phenomenon has opened up the world of high quality cuisine to a whole new audience, giving anyone with a passion for cooking (or eating) the chance to get stuck in.
Digbeth Dining Club started up in 2012, aiming to bring the magic of the London street food scene to the Second City. Taking over Spot*Light, on Lower Trinity Street, every Friday night, DDCopens up to a bevvy of street food vendors, attracting crowds from Birmingham’s artistic hub and far beyond. Ranging from the self confessed ‘dirty burgers’ of The Original Patty Men, all the way to delicate crepes from Platinum Pancakes, DDC is all about serving up incredible food without the pretence.
The Soul Food Project first set up shop in 2010, serving authentic home cooking from the southern states out of the kitchen of theHare and Hounds in Kings Heath. Since then they’ve taken up residency at The Church in the Jewellery Quarter, where they serve up exclusive cocktails, in addition to a menu of Cajun classics.
The Project has also branched out with sister site, Peel & Stone, a sourdough bakery on Water Street. Specialising in slow leavened breads, using individually sourced flours, Peel & Stone serves up staggering array of baked goods, ranging from the rustic to the artisanal. And, once a week, they invade The Church for the Backroom Brunch, serving up a lazy Sunday morning menu that’s more akin to an informal family get together than a restaurant.
While regular dining clubs are all the rage, others are happy to work on a more ad hoc basis, from pop-up stalls to city spanning collaborations. Low ‘N’ Slow cooks up authentic barbecue, giving meat the slow and steady treatment in and around the city. For Low ‘N’ Slow texture is just as important as taste, specialising in ‘pulled’ meat, cooked for hours until it almost falls apart. The thinner fibres mean more surface area for the deliciously sticky sauce to stick to.
Two Cats Roaming started out as a pop up kitchen back in 2014, but following a year of rave reviews, opened up their very own kitchen in the middle of the jewellery quarter. Bringing ‘New Baltic’ cuisine to the curious palettes of Birmingham, the newly launched Two Cats Kitchen serves up an extensive tasting menu that’s widely regarded as one of the most exciting in the city.
Photos courtesy of Two Cats Kitchen, Scoff Street Food, Independent Birmingham, Soul Food Project, Glamour in the County and Digbeth Dining Club/Tom Horton.